Yosemite, Sequoia & Kings Canyon Adventure

Trip Length 6 Days
Group Size 4-12
Difficulty
Starting from
$2,199 for REI Members
$2,424 for non-members

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Explore three awe-inspiring national parks?Yosemite, Kings Canyon and Sequoia?on a guided 6-day active adventure with REI.

Come discover why John Muir called the snow-crowned Sierra Nevada the ?Range of Light.? Set out with a band of fellow curious adventurers to experience the bucket-list moments that abound here. Wander the Giant Forest and stand in reverence beneath the red-gold sequoias. Meet General Sherman, the largest tree on Earth. Trek to Edenic backcountry waterfalls. Encounter the surreal with a naturalist-led tour of Crystal Cave, with its turquoise pools and Seussian stalactites. Journey to the floor of Kings Canyon?one of the deepest in America. Hike Yosemite?s breathtaking Mist Trail and sample the John Muir Trail. Go wild swimming in green-blue waters. Stand on the rim of Yosemite Valley and come face to face with iconic Half Dome, surrounded by a vast sea of granite.

All along the way, our expert guides share insights on the Sierra?s natural and human history. They also handle the details (including dinner), freeing you to just be present. Comfy campsites welcome you at the end of each day. Fill up on delicious ?backcountry gourmet? dinners. Savor the transcendent quiet of a starry Sierra night.

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Trip Highlights

  • Explore the iconic national parks of the Sierra Nevada on this immersive 6-day hiking adventure
  • Visit a giant sequoia grove in Sequoia National Park and marvel at General Sherman, the largest tree on Earth
  • Drop into Kings Canyon and hike to a beautiful backcountry waterfall. Take a refreshing dip in the Kings River.
  • Take in Ansel Adams views of Yosemite Valley and look for rock climbers on El Capitan
  • Hike up Yosemite?s spectacular Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Daily hikes typically range between 5-9 miles in length with elevation gains/losses of up to 2,100?.Trip members should have previous hiking experience and be in good physical condition. Trails are composed of dirt and rock with some steep sections and exposed overlooks. All hikes are optional and our guides will brief trip members on the vigorousness and exposure of each hike prior to setting out.

  • Hiking

What's Included

Five nights camping accommodations; guide leadership; van transportation from/to Fresno, CA; meals as indicated on the itinerary; beverages including coffee, hot tea and hot chocolate; all group camping equipment; park fees and local taxes.

Accommodations

Camping, 5 nights.

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Roam the Giant Forest and meet the largest tree on Earth.

Our trip begins today in Fresno, California. Meet your guides and fellow hikers at 7:45am at our host hotel. After introductions, we load into our private van and set out on the three-hour drive towards the great national parks of the Sierra Nevada. From the flat Central Valley, we climb thousands of feet to the western slope of the Sierra, the only place where the giant sequoia grows naturally. Arriving first at Kings Canyon National Park, we stop to explore Big Stump Grove and learn why Kings Canyon was protected as the nation?s third national park. Heading next to neighboring Sequoia National Park, we begin an afternoon hike along a series of rolling, interconnecting trails to the Giant Forest, home of General Sherman, the largest Sequoia on Earth. After spending time in the shade of these gorgeous, enormous and ancient trees, we make a quick transfer to our comfortable campsite for a delicious guide-prepared dinner and a crackling campfire. Lunch and dinner included.

Hiking: 7.5 miles with 1,800? of elevation gain/loss. Transfer: 3 hours.

Day 2

Hike up a granite dome for astonishing vistas. Explore Crystal Cave.

After a hearty breakfast in camp, we set out to explore Sequoia National Park. We stretch our legs on a short but stout hike through thick forests to the top of Little Baldy, a granite dome with 360-degree views that encompass some of the tallest peaks of the Sierra Crest, with some of the steepest vertical relief in North America. After our hike, we continue to Halstead Meadow, a wildlife-rich wetland habitat. We stop for a picnic lunch in this beautiful meadow before heading to the park?s visitor center for a quick educational stop, learning more about the natural history of the Sierra region. Today?s final adventure takes us underground to the Crystal Cave, where a Sequoia Parks Conservancy naturalist enlightens us on how this rare marble karst cave came to exist. Returning to the surface, we head back to camp for dinner under a blanket of stars twinkling through the forest canopy. All meals included.

Hiking: 5 miles with 900? of elevation gain/loss.

Day 3

Descend into Kings Canyon, hike to Mist Falls and take a dip in crystal waters.

Today, we descend into a deep river canyon that makes Yosemite Valley look small in comparison. Kings Canyon, the mile-deep cousin of the more famous glacially-carved valley to the north is a breathtaking sight to behold. After switchbacking our way to the canyon bottom, we drive along the mighty Kings River, staring up in awe at towering granite walls until we reach Road?s End trailhead. Our hike today follows along the canyon floor to the confluence of the South Fork of the Kings River and Bubbs Creek. We hike alongside the river up a rugged granite trail, past sparkling cascades and swimming holes, through cedar and pine forests to the base of Mist Falls. The falls are a perfect lunch spot and turnaround point but, before returning to the trailhead, we make one final stop for a cooling swim in the Kings River. This section of river is postcard-perfect, as the green-blue waters, rimmed by white granite boulders, flow past stands of towering conifers. All meals included.

Hiking: 9 miles with 800? of elevation gain/loss.

Day 4

Journey to Yosemite National Park. Take in Yosemite Valley and El Capitan.

We ease into the day with a stroll through a nearby Sequoia grove. After some quiet time with these arboreal giants, we break camp and begin our three-hour drive north towards the wonders of Yosemite National Park. We head to Tunnel View for our first classic panorama of magnificent Yosemite Valley and then take a short, steep hike up to Artist?s Point, a great spot to drink in the grandeur before us. Stopping next at El Capitan Meadow, with the largest granite monolith in the world before us, we look for big wall rock climbers scaling the rock feature?s imposing face. The meadow is also a great place from which to imagine the incredible geological forces required to form this breathtakingly beautiful valley. With our appetite now whet for more exploration, we continue on to our camp and imagine what amazing discoveries await in the coming days. All meals included.

Hiking: 3 miles with 600? of elevation gain/loss.

Day 5

Hike to the rim of Yosemite Valley for unsurpassed views of legendary Half Dome.

We enjoy a hot breakfast before setting out for our trailhead along Tioga Road. Today?s hike descends along a trail winding its way through a forest of massive pines. We discover an improbable natural granite arch along the way to our final destination, the summit of North Dome. Standing atop this granite lookout, Half Dome lies at eye level directly across the canyon from our lofty perch. This vantage point also offers unsurpassed views of Glacier Point, Clouds Rest, Mt. Watkins and many other landmarks of Yosemite Valley and Tenaya Canyon. After lunch, we climb back up to the trailhead, imagining what it was like when members of the Miwok, Paiute, and Ahwahnechee tribes explored, traded and lived in these mountains, laying down the foundations for the trails we hike on today. Back at camp, we savor another fabulous dinner and relive the day?s adventures around our cheerful fire. All meals included.

Hiking: 9 miles with 1,400? of elevation gain/loss.

Day 6

Hike the Mist Trail and John Muir Trail. Behold sky-high waterfalls.

On our last day in Yosemite, we set out on one of the most iconic hikes in the park, the spectacular Mist Trail to Vernal and Nevada Falls. Our trail starts out flat but soon begins to climb, up steps hewn from granite, alongside the roaring Merced River. As we approach 318-foot Vernal Falls, the river turns to a raging torrent of whitewater and mist as it siphons through massive boulders near the bottom of the falls. Continuing our climb to the top of Vernal Falls, the river becomes surprisingly calm, along with the trail, until our next ascent begins alongside Nevada Falls. After climbing past this larger, narrower waterfall, we eat lunch on the granite slabs surrounding the river. Our descent follows a different path, along the John Muir Trail. This is just a small section of the historic trail that links together John Muir?s various mountain rambles from Yosemite Valley to Mount Whitney. Once back on the valley floor, we take a victory lap of Yosemite Valley before beginning our late afternoon drive back to Fresno where we bid farewell to our guides and newfound friends. We plan to arrive back in Fresno by 8pm this evening. All meals included.

Hiking: 9 miles with 2,100? of elevation gain/loss. Transfer: 4 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 choose the proper equipment. Try to bring only what is necessary; this will help you and the field staff.

What to pack

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.