Yosemite Hiking Adventure – Lodge Based

Trip Length 6 Days
Group Size 4–12
Activity level
Starting from
$3,199 for REI Members
$3,500 for non-members
Departures Aug 2021-Sep 2022

Yosemite’s invigorating trails and inspiring landscapes make this 6-day edge-to-edge exploration an unforgettable adventure.

Magnificent Yosemite National Park holds a revered place in the hearts of avid adventurers. From its world-renowned granite monoliths to the flower-carpeted meadows and alpine lakes of the Tuolumne high country—Yosemite’s landscapes are a top destination for those inclined to get up-close to nature’s bounty.

Beginning on the shores of Mono Lake, we visit an otherworldly desert ecosystem punctuated by dormant volcanoes and fascinatingly-shaped tufa towers. Above Tuolumne Meadows, rocky paths take us past sparkling high country lakes and to sweeping views of the meadows below and the mountains beyond. Our exceptional guides lead us from the dramatic east to the more heavily forested west. Along the way, take in breathtaking views of Yosemite Valley’s most iconic features—Half Dome, El Capitan, and Vernal and Nevada Falls. After hiking the Valley from top to bottom, we return to our accommodations each evening to reminisce about the day’s adventures amongst new friends.

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Trip Highlights

  • Explore Yosemite from edge to edge on the park’s most scenic trails
  • Spend evenings in comfortable lodging with home-cooked meals
  • Journey to alpine lakes and hike the Mist Trail past Vernal and Nevada Falls
  • Relish breathtaking views of Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows
  • Visit fascinating Mono Lake and a giant sequoia grove


This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Trip members should be capable of hiking up to 9 miles while carrying a daypack that weighs 10–15 pounds on trails with elevation gains/losses of up to 3,200'. Trails will include some steep sections, stairs, and exposed overlooks. The trip guides will brief trip members on the rigorousness and exposure of each hike prior to setting out. Hikes take place between 4,000–11,000' in elevation.

  • Hiking

What's Included

Lodging for five nights; meals as noted in the daily itinerary; group transfer from Reno, Nevada and return; guide leadership and park entrance fees.


Hotel, 2 nights; Lodge 3 nights.

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive at Mono Lake and hike the South Tufa Reserve.

Meet your guide and fellow travelers in Reno, Nevada, at 9am today. From Reno we drive along the east side of the Sierra Nevada to Mono Lake, stopping for a picnic lunch at the Mono Lake Visitor Center. This afternoon we hike through the world-famous South Tufa Grove, wandering through otherworldly tufa towers and learning about Mono Lake’s unique million-year-old ecosystem. Arriving in Lee Vining late this afternoon, we check into our hotel rooms. Tonight we gather for a home-cooked dinner and orientation in our private group dining cabin. Lunch and dinner included.

Hiking: 1.5 miles, Elevation gain: 100'; Driving: 3 hours

Day 2

Explore Cathedral Peak and Budd Lake.

We drive over Tioga Pass (9,943'), the highest highway pass in California. Arriving at Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park, we hike to Budd Lake. We follow a primitive trail through a high alpine meadow bursting with wildflowers and the crystal clear, bubbling waters of Budd Creek. Today’s hike takes place at 8,570' to 10,120' in elevation. All meals included.

Hiking: 9 miles; Elevation gain/loss: 1,900'

Day 3

Hike to Gaylor and Granite Lakes, transfer to Yosemite West.

Departing the east side of the Sierra, we drive to Yosemite West. En route, we stop to explore a series of stunning mountain lakes. We begin our hike at just under 10,000' with a short and steep climb to a breathtaking view of nearby Mount Dana. Past the ascent, our trail becomes gradual and easy as we make our way to Middle Gaylor Lake and Upper Gaylor Lake. Along the trail we have sweeping views across Moraine Flat to the rugged mountains beyond. Reaching the top of the pass we are rewarded with awe-inspiring views of the granite peaks along the Sierra Crest. Our loop hike continues past Granite Lake, which sits below an impressive granite cirque. Today’s hike takes place at 9,950' to 10,861' in elevation. Our day concludes at our private lodge in Yosemite West. All meals included.

Hiking: 5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 1,200'; Driving: 2 hours

Day 4

Hike McGurk Meadow to Taft Point and Sentinel Dome.

We set out for the McGurk Meadow Trailhead. On our way to the very edge of Yosemite Valley at Taft Point, we take in the giant fissures and vertical gashes in the granite mountain. From Taft Point we have stunning views across the valley to Yosemite Falls. Our final reward is the panoramic vistas from Sentinel Dome, which include Half Dome, Yosemite Valley, Merced River Canyon, Tenaya Canyon and beyond to the high country. Today’s hike takes place at 7,000' to 8,100' in elevation. Overnight at Yosemite West. All meals included.

Hiking: 7.5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 1,500'

Day 5

Hike from Glacier Point past Nevada and Vernal Falls.

From Glacier Point, we appreciate the sights of Yosemite Valley from a different perspective than the day before. We hike the Panorama Trail past Nevada Falls (594’), admiring the granite dome named Liberty Cap that rises to an elevation of 7,080'. Next, we hike down the famous Mist Trail for spectacular, up-close views​ of Vernal Falls (317'). Today’s hike takes place at 4,000'–7,200' in elevation. All meals included.

Hiking: 8 miles, Elevation gain/loss: +700'/-3,200'; Driving: 1.5 hours

Day 6

Hike in the Merced Grove of giant sequoias and return to Reno.

We load our luggage onto the support van and drive to the Merced Grove of giant sequoia. Our hike takes place at 6,000’ in elevation, through a grove of magnificent trees that are thousands of years old. Following our hike we stop along the shoreline of Tenaya Lake for a picnic lunch. Our drive continues to the Reno-Tahoe Airport. We expect to arrive by 5pm; flights departing Reno-Tahoe can be scheduled after 7pm. Breakfast and lunch included.

Hiking: 3 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 400'; Driving: 5 hours.

Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. This gear list has been created to help you in choosing your equipment for the trip. Try to bring only what is necessary as this will help you and the field staff.

What to pack

You might also consider

Travel documents

  • Airline Tickets (Confirmation and Itinerary)
  • Final Bulletin (Emailed Prior to Departure Date)
  • Photo Identification

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 800-622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out REI Expert Advice , which has great information to help you prepare for your trip.