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 for trip orientation, gear check, and dinner. Please allow yourself ample time as traffic can sometimes be an issue in the valley. Dinner included.
Set out on a fun 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). Setting out at a comfortable pace, we hike through a 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. Lunch is along our route, which is between 5-7 miles with an elevation loss of around 700 feet. A refreshing dip in the creek can wash away the miles and bring smiles. After dinner, we'll enjoy some camaraderie around the campfire. All meals and snacks provided.
Mileage: 5-7 miles; 700' elevation loss
Day hike to the top of Eagle Peak and Upper Yosemite Falls
After breakfast, we continue exploring the Yosemite backcountry. Today, we'll explore with only our daypacks as we 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. 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
Return along Yosemite Creek to Tioga Pass Road
On our final day, breaking camp after breakfast we make our way out of the backcountry retracing our path traveling 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