Yosemite Backpacking – Classic Yosemite

Trip Length 4 Days
Group Size 4-12
Activity level
Starting from
$1,099 for REI Members
$1,174 for non-members
Departures Jun 2021-Aug 2022

Enjoy soaring peaks and epic views on this 4-day backpacking adventure.

For those, like John Muir, who believe time spent in nature is the pathway to a new way of life, majestic Yosemite National Park is the perfect destination. Breathe deeply amidst the Jeffrey pines, wiggle toes in crisp mountain streams and take in the colors of a Sierra sunrise as we backpack through this beautiful area.

Our route along Yosemite Creek takes advantage of running snowmelt, which feeds into crystal clear mountain creeks. Take a refreshing dip to wash away the miles-long journey. Trade our heavy packs for daypacks on a hike to the top of Eagle Peak, considered by John Muir to be the most comprehensive of all Yosemite views from the north rim of the valley. Along the journey, our expert guides will help hone our backpacking skills while teaching us the essentials of packing light and the history of all that surrounds us.

Looking for more ways to get away from the crowds and explore Yosemite’s backcountry? Explore Tuolumne Meadows and beyond on our High Country backpacking adventure.

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Trip Highlights

  • Hike to America’s tallest waterfall on a 4-day backpacking trip in Yosemite
  • Stand atop Eagle Peak and enjoy one of John Muir's favorite views of Yosemite
  • Look down 2,500' from the top of Yosemite Falls and marvel at the High Sierra


This trip is rated Moderate Plus [3–4]. Participants will be carrying their own backpacks weighing 35-40 pounds distances of 5-8 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. 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 instruction and guiding; meals as noted on the daily itinerary; 2-person tents; group cooking gear; group first aid kit, water filter; campsite and permit fees.


Backpackers campground, 1 night; Backcountry camping, 2 nights

Your Adventure Itinerary

Day 1

Welcome to Yosemite where our backpacking adventure begins!

This trip begins in Yosemite National Park, California. Today you will meet your guides and the other group members at the Backpackers' Campground, located at the far end of The North Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley. Group members must arrive at camp by 4:30pm for a trip orientation, gear check and dinner. Please allow yourself ample time as traffic can sometimes be an issue in the valley. Dinner included.

Day 2

From the trailhead, set out on a full day of backpacking.

We enjoy breakfast in camp before dividing up group gear, packing up our bags, and caravanning in our own personal vehicles, about 38 miles (45 minutes to an hour). We'll set a comfortable pace as we hike through the coniferous forest of Jeffrey and western white Pines, keeping a sharp eye out for birds like the mountain chickadee or Clark's nutcracker. This is typically a full first day of backpacking, with time along the way for lunch and natural interpretation. Today's trail runs beside the rushing waters of Yosemite Creek, traveling just below the snowline. We'll stop for lunch along our route, which will be between 5-7 miles with an elevation loss of around 700 feet. A refreshing dip in the creek can wash away the miles and after dinner, we'll enjoy some camaraderie around the campfire. All meals and snacks provided.

Mileage: 5-7 miles; 700' elevation loss

Day 3

Dayhike to the top of Eagle Peak and Upper Yosemite Falls.

After breakfast, we continue exploring the Yosemite backcountry. Today, we'll load up only our daypacks and set out for the rim of Yosemite Valley to enjoy the panoramic view from Eagle Peak, where we will experience Clouds Rest, Half Dome and other iconic features of the park face to face. John Muir considered this view to be "the most comprehensive of all the views" from the north rim of the valley. If there's time and desire, we will head over to the top of Yosemite Falls, 2,425' above the valley floor below. There should be time for a relaxing evening swim before dinner, and our final sleep under the Sierra stars will prepare us for the next day's hike back to civilization. All meals provided.

Mileage: 6-8 miles; 1,000' elevation gain/loss

Day 4

Return along Yosemite Creek to Tioga Pass Road.

On our final day, we'll break camp after breakfast and make our way out of the backcountry retracing our path travelling uphill along Yosemite Creek, a different perspective now after our nights out in the clean mountain air. We plan to arrive back at our vehicles by 4pm but there is no guarantee that we'll make it by then, so those flying out of Fresno should plan no flights before 9:30pm and those flying out of Oakland should plan no flights home before 10:30pm. Breakfast, snacks and lunch included.

Mileage: 5-7 miles; 700' elevation gain

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 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.