Portered Snow Creek

Yosemite, California
5.0 (6 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Lighter Backpacks
  • Shoulder Season Trip
  • Thundering Waterfalls
  • Iconic Views
  • 3000' Ascent of Snow Creek Trail
  • Yosemite's Only Arch
  • Spectacular Indian Rock

Description

Explore the North Rim of Yosemite Valley in comfort on this three day portered excursion into John Muir’s famous “Range of Light.” Enjoy thundering waterfalls, spectacular views of Yosemite Valley and the high country, potential wildlife, wonderful camps and fantastic hiking! This trip is a great early season adventure for families or anyone who wants to experience the magic of Yosemite National Park without the heavier packs of a backpacking trip. It can also be done as a 4-day or 5-day trip, making it a great addition to a longer visit to California, or a stand-alone trip worth doing on its own.

We ascend the rim that overlooks one of the world’s scenic treasures, Yosemite Valley. It offers a wonderful opportunity to escape the crowds, absorb some of the best views in the Park, sleep under the stars, and check out some of Yosemite’s most amazing waterfalls and peaks. We begin and end in Yosemite Valley, where El Capitan and Half Dome tower over the famous meadows. We’ll tackle the challenging and fulfilling Snow Creek Trail, hike Indian Rock (and Mount Watkins on the 5-day itinerary) while catching expansive views of the entire Yosemite Valley far below us and the incomparable High Sierra all around us! Photo opportunities are plentiful as the trail reveals fantastic views of Half Dome, Clouds Rest, Tenaya Canyon, Mount Watkins, and many more of Yosemite’s scenic wonders.

Please Note: Porters transport all camping gear (tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads…etc.) as well as food. They also set up and break down camp. Guests are responsible for carrying their clothing and personal items.

Read more …
4 Days
$1680 Per Person
5 Days
$1965 Per Person
Return Guests get a 10% discount on all Trips!
Trip Type: Portered Trek
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 4-6 Guests
Trip Length: 4-5 Days
Distance: 18+MI / 29+KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 3

Our difficulty ratings are based on a scale of 1-5, tours with a rating of 1 being least difficult, tours with a rating of 5 being most difficult

Backpack Weight:
15-20 pounds
Daily Hiking Distances:
4.5-9 miles
Most Elevation Loss:
3145 feet
Most Elevation Gain:
3145 feet
Quality of Trails:
Well maintained with some off-trail hiking
Additional:
Ascent and descent from/to Yosemite Valley on well-maintained rocky, moderately steep, south-facing switchbacks. Middle section traverses granite slabs and rocky sections broken up with sections of forest covered, dirt and duff trail.

Participants should:

  1. be active and healthy
  2. exercise several times per week
  3. be comfortable hiking 8-10 miles per day in hilly or mountainous terrain with a 10-pound backpack

SOLITUDE LEVEL 2

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Yosemite hiking trip a solitude 2. You can expect as much as an hour of solitude at a time.

TRAVEL TO YOSEMITE VALLEY BACKPACKERS CAMP

This trip meets in Yosemite Valley in the parking lot of Curry Village near the bear boxes at shuttle stop 14 at 6PM on Day 1. Your guide will contact you approximately 10 days before your trip to coordinate this rendezvous and answer any last minute questions you have. Your guide will be waiting for you in a Wildland Trekking hat and shirt. This trip includes dinner and camping that night at the backpackers camp. Personal vehicles can remain parked at Curry Village during your trip.

Most of our guests rent vehicles or drive their own to Yosemite Valley. However, you can also travel to and from Yosemite National Park using train and bus options from much of California:

From FresnoYosemite Area Rapid Transit (YARTS) is offering 4 bus rides each direction from Fresno to Yosemite Valley. To reach the Yosemite Valley Backpackers Camp get off at Curry Village and either walk or take a national park shuttle to North Pines Campground. Walk to the back of the campground and across the footbridge to the camp.

From Other California Cities: by rail on the Amtrak San Joaquin Train to the city of Merced (serviced by most large cities in California) or by Amtrak “Thruway” Bus Service from Merced to Yosemite Valley. To book your trip, use Amtrak’s Online Reservation Service to book round-trip Amtrak travel to “YOS” (Yosemite Valley).

California does not charge sales tax on services, so there is no sales tax for this trip.

All trips in Yosemite National Park have a 5% fee required by the National Park Service. This fee is applied when your reservation is made and is passed through directly to the national park.

There are no other taxes or fees associated with this trip. Feel free to give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) with any questions!

Private Trips

Traveling in perfect company is a wonderful thing! With our private trip offerings you can book a trip exclusively for your group. Whether it’s with family, friends or colleagues, private trips are a fun and enriching way to explore the outdoors.

Private trip pricing is based on a sliding scale, depending on the number of people in your party. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax and national park fees (where applicable) or guide gratuity. Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE to get the ball rolling!

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.3
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.1
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1

*all rates are per person

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Itinerary

Itinerary

DAY 1

This portered Yosemite hike begins with rendezvous in Yosemite Valley on the patio of Curry Village in front of the Yosemite Mountain Shop at 6PM on Day 1. The Mountain shop is located on the street-facing side of the Curry Village Pavilion (closest to the parking lot). You will easily spot your guide waiting for you in a Wildland Trekking hat. We’ll conduct an orientation meeting, after which we’ll get settled in the Backpackers Camp, a stone’s throw away from majestic Tenaya Creek and under the spectacular domes and cliffs of Yosemite Valley. We’ll enjoy dinner either at Curry Village or in camp.

DAY 2

  • Hiking Mileage: 4.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 3145 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 360 feet

Our porters will get an earlier start than us so they can have camp set up by the time we arrive (assuming no extenuating circumstances). Our first day begins with a leisurely “warm-up,” hiking around the north flank of Half Dome in the western end of Yosemite Valley. We skirt the south side of Mirror Lake and after a couple of miles, we take a side trail to have a quick peek at Snow Creek Falls as it cascades down the north side of Tenaya Canyon. To the left of the falls is the next section of our trip, the daunting Snow Creek Trail! We won’t let it intimidate us as we tackle the 3000 feet climb, slowly and steadily, but with only light day packs, thanks to our porters. The awesome views of Tenaya Canyon and the north face of Half Dome take our minds off the numerous switchbacks until the trail finally reaches the shade of a black oak forest near the northern rim of Yosemite Valley! A bit farther on, we arrive at our camp along the gentle cascades of Snow Creek and enjoy the pine scented air as our guide prepares a well-deserved gourmet dinner.

DAY 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 9 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 2040 feet

Today’s hiking takes us on a day trip along the North Rim of Yosemite Valley. It features pleasant forest walking, stupendous views, Yosemite’s only above water natural arch, and the summit of our high point on the trip, Indian Rock! We leave camp fairly early and continue north along Snow Creek through an enjoyable forest of lodgepole pines. We steadily gain elevation until we reach the literal high point of the trip at Indian Rock (8527′). Here photographic opportunities abound as the delicate arch frames Half Dome just two and a half miles across the canyon. After enjoying the views and a hearty lunch it is all downhill back toward camp. Once at camp we’ll relax around a roaring campfire and wonderful backcountry dinner before turning in for some much-deserved sleep.

DAY 4 (5-DAY ITINERARY ONLY)

  • Hiking Mileage: 7 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1750 feet

For those doing the 5-day itinerary, we will enjoy another exploratory day hike. We’ll depart camp after a hearty breakfast, and this time turn east toward Mount Watkins, our goal for the day. Three major rock faces dominate Yosemite Valley: Half Dome, El Capitan, and Mount Watkins. We will be summiting Mount Watkins (8500′) via an off-trail hike that is exciting, challenging and fulfilling. From the top of Watkins we will again be soaking up views of the spectacular Yosemite Valley, albeit this time from a different, more easterly vantage point. We’ll enjoy a picnic lunch, snap photos and begin our descent back to camp.

Back at camp we’ll enjoy one more feast of a dinner, this time a celebratory meal to honor this amazing trip we’ve had in the stunning Sierra Nevada mountains!

FINAL DAY

  • Hiking Mileage: 4.5 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 360 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 3145 feet

Our porters will arrive relatively early to break camp and transport our gear back to the trailhead. We will enjoy a final backcountry breakfast and then begin our hike down to Yosemite Valley. We will take our time down the steep switchbacks of the Snow Creek Trail, again passing Snow Creek Falls and Mirror Lake, before arriving back at our trailhead. We will say warm good-byes to our fellow backcountry hikers and, probably with a bit of nostalgia, conclude our Yosemite hiking experience.

Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary access restrictions, weather, lodging/campground availability, guest ability/injury, natural events like fires and flooding, and other potential causes.

Trip Dates & Booking

TRIP DATES & BOOKING

Click on a date to register. You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.

Available to Book

AVAILABLE TO BOOK

This trip is available and bookable online! Click on the date to register now or contact us online to book through our award-winning customer service team!

Going Fast

GOING FAST

This trip has 1 or 2 spots remaining and is bookable online! Click on the date to book now or contact us online to book through customer service.

Request a Reservation

REQUEST A RESERVATION

This trip is exclusively booked through customer service due to logistics with lodging, permits, staffing, availability, or something else. Please contact us online or call us at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to request a reservation.

Don't see your dates? Call us! We may be able to add new trip dates.

800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Details

Trip Details

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Top-of-the-line tent, backcountry sleeping pad and multi-day backpack
  • High quality, synthetic sleeping bag (professionally laundered after every use) – or bring your own.
  • Porters to transport gear in and out, as well as set up and break down camp
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from dinner on Day 1 through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Yosemite hiking guide
  • National park backcountry camping permits
  • Bear cannisters for food storage
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Clothes, raingear, and footwear (Oboz hiking shoes and boots recommended)
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Water bottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about what to pack.

MEALS: WHAT TO EXPECT

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the backcountry – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.

GEAR WE PROVIDE

We provide all group gear which includes the following:

  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware synthetic-fill sleeping bags (or bring your own)
  • Thermarest or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Bear cannisters
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

WHAT GEAR TO BRING

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Additionally, some guests choose to bring their own sleeping bag. We supply high quality, synthetic fill bags that are professionally laundered after every trip. Synthetic fill is non-allergenic, insulates when damp and stands up well to repeated washings, but is heavier and bulkier than down. If you’re able to bring your own down sleeping bag, there are multiple benefits. If not, we’ve got you covered!

WHAT CLOTHES TO BRING

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with detailed guidance about what clothes to pack (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, and our recommended clothing system. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

Trip Logistics

Trip Logistics

HOW DO I REGISTER?

Reserve your spot today! In the Trip Dates & Booking section of this page, the green and red dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you’re ready to register we’ll email you a link to a registration profile. You’ll have 72 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit.

Feel free to call us for more info – we’re here 7 days a week!

WHERE DO WE MEET?

This trip meets in Yosemite Valley in the parking lot of Curry Village near the bear boxes at shuttle stop 14 at 6PM on Day 1. Your guide will contact you approximately 10 days before your trip to coordinate this rendezvous and answer any last minute questions you have. Your guide will be waiting for you in a Wildland Trekking hat and shirt. This trip includes dinner and camping that night at the backpackers camp. Personal vehicles can remain parked at Curry Village during your trip.

Click here to see a printable, downloadable trip information packet with more detailed guidance about flights, shuttles, recommended lodging and more.

START/END TIMES

Your guide will inform you of the first day’s rendezvous time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will be out of the backcountry normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time) on the final day.

SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT’s, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We’ve developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

GUIDES

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.

GUIDE SHIFTS

Yosemite guides work daily shifts from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. During off hours (9 p.m. to 5 a.m.) the guides’ time is their own, and they are free to sleep, rest, take personal time, postpone guest requests until the next morning, and any other legal, reasonable activity people engage in when not working. We ask all guests to respect the guides’ off-duty hours by not waking or asking anything of them unless there is a true emergency. Also, state law requires that employees receive an uninterrupted 10 minute break every four working hours, so guides are required to take four 10 minute breaks between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.

GROUP SIZE AND AGE RESTRICTIONS

The maximum group size on portered trips is 6 guests, 3 porters and 1 guide. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) and we’ll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:

  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 10 and older to join private tours, with final approval on a case by case basis
  • specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis

WEATHER IN THE SIERRAS

Being a high mountain environment, the Sierra Nevada Mountains are prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in the mountains. On trips in June, snow is a possibility, and the rest of the summer rain is always a possibility on your trip. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures:

Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
Month
Valleys
Alpine
hi
low
hi
low
January
49°
26°
45°
25°
February
55°
28°
46°
26°
March
59°
31°
48°
27°
April
65°
35°
54°
30°
May
73°
42°
62°
37°
June
81°
51°
71°
46°
July
89°
57°
77°
50°
August
89°
56°
81°
53°
September
82°
51°
71°
46°
October
74°
39°
62°
37°
November
58°
31°
51°
29°
December
48°
26°
46°
25°

Accommodations

Accommodations

BACKCOUNTRY SLEEPING

TENT CAMPING

Sleeping on backpacking trips is in premier 1-person, 2-person or 4-person backcountry tents. Solo travelers, and anyone else who requests it, are issued single tents. Top-of-the-line self-inflating sleeping pads and synthetic-fill sleeping bags (professionally laundered after every trip) are also provided.

BACKCOUNTRY CUISINE

FRESH & DELICIOUS

Meals from breakfast Day 1 through lunch the last day are fully included and prepared by your guide. We never use dehydrated backpacking meals, instead serving freshly prepared, delicious backcountry cuisine made with a variety of common and specialty ingredients that travel well in the wilderness.

AMAZING CAMPSITES

IN THE ACTION

Of course campsites vary tremendously by destination, trip and even by the individual day of a trip. However, you can expect to camp in beautiful areas that put you right in the action to make the most of your backpacking adventure. We carefully design our itineraries with campsites in mind.

Trip Reviews

Trip Reviews

  • Average Customer Ratings:

  • 5.0 (6 reviews)
Heather T.
5.0

Fabulous Guide and Trip

2 years ago

Mark was fabulous, managed group with ease and enabled all to travel at own pace, customised opportunities on Day 2. Very professional and knowledgable.

David P.
5.0

High Expectations Met

2 years ago

Great trip. I had high expectations and they were met. Guides are impressive in their capability, knowledge, skills and are great people to spend several days with.

Natalie M.
5.0

Overall Incredible Trip!

3 years ago

Wes was awesome and very knowledgeable .Overall the trip was incredible. I will remember this trip for the rest of my life and I am already planning my next Wildland Trekking trip.

See All Guest Reviews!

Go to our reviews page

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