This trip begins in Yosemite National Park, California. We meet our guides and traveling companions at 4:30pm at the Tuolumne Meadows Backpackers’ Camp, just uphill from the Dana Campfire Circle in the middle of the Tuolumne Meadows Campground. Our guides conduct a full trip orientation, providing invaluable tips about proper pack fitting for the female physique, and discuss various other gear necessities with women’s considerations in mind. After a gear check and review of the itinerary, we have an opportunity to relax and enjoy dinner together at camp.
We enjoy breakfast in our camp before packing up and caravanning a half hour’s drive west to the Ten Lakes Trailhead (7,500’). Before heading down the trail, we distribute group gear and food and then begin our six-mile hike to Ten Lakes Pass (about 9,660’) and down to our remote campsite close to Lower Grant Lake (9,258'), our home for the next two nights. We stop for lunch and photo opportunities, and work on skills development along the way. Once at our campsite, we relax at camp or opt for a swim in the alpine waters. Before dinner, our guides provide a primer on wilderness camping that covers such subjects as proper tent set-up in all conditions, sleeping comfort, fire building and backcountry bathroom etiquette. All meals and snacks provided.
Backpacking: 6.5 miles; elevation gain: 2,100'.
After breakfast, we continue exploring the Yosemite backcountry. We load our daypacks and set out on a 4–5 mile exploration of the Ten Lakes Basin. We adventure from lake to lake with many optional swims, hikes and scenic rest breaks along the way. We enjoy lunch at one of the many spectacular alpine lakes in the basin before making our way back to camp. After arriving in camp and before dinner, our guides discuss a variety of backcountry cooking tips and techniques including stove and fuel choices, lightweight ingredient options, caloric goals, basic recipes and backpacking drink options. Dinner is followed by a relaxing, reflective campfire program on our last night beneath the bright Sierra stars. All meals and snacks provided.
Hiking: 4-5 miles; elevation gain: 1,000'-1,400'.
After a hearty breakfast, we pack up our gear and retrace our steps to Ten Lakes Pass and down the Ten Lakes Trail to our cars waiting at the Trailhead. We plan to arrive between 4 and 5pm, but there is no guarantee as trail conditions and other factors can impact travel times. Those flying out of Fresno should plan flights after 9:30pm; those flying out of Oakland should plan flights after 10:30pm. Breakfast, snacks and lunch included.
Backpacking: 6.5; elevation loss: 2,100'.