Yosemite Hiking Adventure – Lodge Based

Trip Length 6 Days
Group Size 4–12
Activity level
Starting from
$3,349 for REI Members
$3,650 for non-members
Departures Aug 2022-Sep 2023

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.

We hike on some of the park’s most scenic trails by day and return to our comfortable lodging each night.

Trip Highlights

  • Discover the scenic highlights of Yosemite National Park on this active 3-day adventure
  • Explore the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias and hike among the largest trees on Earth
  • Climb the granite stairs of the Mist Trail past thundering Vernal and Nevada Falls
  • Soak up Ansel Adams views of Yosemite Valley

Activities

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.

Accommodations

Hotel, 2 nights; Lodge 3 nights.

Your Adventure Itinerary

Itinerary map for Yosemite Hiking Adventure – Lodge Based
Day 1

Arrive at Mono Lake and hike the South Tufa Reserve

Meet your guide and fellow travelers in Reno, Nevada this morning. 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 to Glacier Point

We head to the Valley Floor to start our climb up to a renowned viewpoint. On our way up to the rim, we take in the giant fissures and vertical gashes in the granite mountain, and views of Yosemite Falls. Our final reward is the panoramic vistas from Glacier Point, which include Half Dome, Yosemite Valley, Merced River Canyon, Tenaya Canyon and beyond to the high country. Today’s hike takes place at 4,000' to 7,200' in elevation. Overnight at Yosemite West. All meals included.

Hiking: 9.6 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 3,200'

Day 5

Hike the John Muir and Mist trails to Vernal and Nevada Falls

From Happy Isles, we follow Merced River upstream, eventually joining the famous Mist Trail for spectacular, up-close views of Vernal Falls (317'). Continuing up the Mist Trail, we climb up and over the Nevada Falls (594’), taking in incredible views from many angles. From the top of the falls, we loop back by descending the John Muir Trail. Today’s hike takes place at 4,000'–6,000' in elevation. All meals included.

Hiking: 5.5 miles, Elevation gain/loss: 2,000'; 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. We expect to arrive at the Reno-Tahoe Airport late this afternoon. Breakfast and lunch included.

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

Itinerary map for Yosemite Hiking Adventure – Lodge Based

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

Contact Us

Feel free to give us a call at 1 (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales ( 1 (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.