Yosemite Women’s Backpacking – The High Country

Trip Length 4 Days
Group Size 4-12
Activity level
Starting from
$1,299 for REI Members
$1,400 for non-members
Departures Jul 2022-Sep 2022

Spend four days exploring the spectacular, uncrowded vistas of Yosemite’s high country.

Perfect for women who want to try backpacking and experience the real Yosemite without having to deal with trip planning logistics, this long weekend takes you far away from the tourists who crowd the valley. Led by experienced women, we head into the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, where every bend of the trail reveals another jaw-dropping vista. Our exact route will vary based on the season, conditions and permit availability, but rest assured, our guides are Yosemite maestros who will orchestrate an adventure you will always remember.

Hiking up to nine miles a day, we travel through a postcard-perfect landscape of granite domes, waterfalls, snowcapped peaks and meadows graced with wildflowers. We swim in pristine alpine lakes. We feast on some of the best food you’ve ever had in the backcountry, courtesy of our guides, who also share daily mini-lessons on wilderness travel and women’s gear. At night, we hang out around the campfire, drinking cocoa and swapping stories, under the spell of the star-filled sky.

Yosemite's serene backcountry is the perfect place to reconnect with the outdoors, recharge your batteries and learn new backpacking skills.

Trip Highlights

  • Enjoy a four-day backpacking adventure in Yosemite's dramatic High Country
  • Hike past jagged peaks, alpine lakes and fields of wildflowers
  • Learn backpacking skills and camping basics from our expert female guides
  • Get gear tips and improve your backcountry cooking skills
  • REI Women’s Adventure—designed for women, guided by women

Activities

This trip is rated Moderate Plus [3–4]. Although this is a novice backpacking trip, conditioning is key to the enjoyment of it, as there are daily moderate to strenuous physical challenges. Participants will be carrying their own backpacks weighing 35 to 40 pounds ​up & down hills at elevation, for distances of up to 9 miles daily over varied terrain.

To maximize your enjoyment of the trip, we strongly encourage participants to be involved in a training regimen before the trip, that ideally includes some training hikes with a weighted pack. We also recommend that you stay well hydrated prior to departure to assist in mitigating altitude sickness. Most important to your enjoyment of the trip is your overall fitness level.

  • Backpacking

What's Included

Professional guides; meals as noted on the daily itinerary; tents; group cooking gear; group first-aid kit, water filter; campsite and permit fees.

Accommodations

Backcountry camping, 3 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Itinerary map for Yosemite Women’s Backpacking – The High Country
Day 1

Meet at the Ten Lakes Trailhead in Yosemite National Park.

Our trip begins at the Ten Lakes Trailhead, 7,500’ in elevation. Before we head into the backcountry, our guides will 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 over dinner. Upon arrival at our first backcountry site, our guides will offer 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. Dinner included.

Backpacking: 2 miles; Elevation gain/loss: minimal.

Day 2

Backpack to our next camp and learn wilderness camping skills.

We enjoy breakfast in camp before loading our backpacks for the hike up 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, opt to relax at camp or take a swim in the cool alpine waters. Following dinner, look forward to an inspirational evening campfire program as we watch for shooting stars overhead. All meals and snacks provided.

Backpacking: 4.5 miles; elevation gain of approximately 2,000'.

Day 3

Hike in Yosemite’s high country landscape. Enjoy a primer in backcountry cooking.

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'.

Day 4

Retrace our steps through forests and wildflower meadows to the trailhead.

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'.

Itinerary map for Yosemite Women’s Backpacking – The High Country

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. 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 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.