Wonders of Yosemite

Yosemite, California
5.0 (12 reviews)

Trip Highlights

  • Extended Adventure
  • Stunning Scenery
  • Mountain Solitude
  • Alpine Trekking
  • Pristine Rivers & Lakes
  • Remote Wilderness
  • BIG Mountain Views
  • Guides Choice Trip

Description

This adventurous Yosemite trek is for people who want to get off the beaten path and explore the deep wilderness of Yosemite. We stay primarily in the stunning high country of this spectacular national park, exploring remote glacial-carved mountains, alpine lakes, ice-cold rivers, serene meadows, and wildlife. Our camps are in pristine settings at or near tree line and often near the shores of mountain lakes and rivers.

There’s no better way to escape the summer crowds and discover a wilder, more peaceful Yosemite than a wilderness journey like this one! Give us a call at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) to learn more or book your spot today!


NEED TO KNOW: YOSEMITE PERMITS

We enter the permit lottery for this trip 5 months prior to the trip start date. To create the best experience for our guests, we also apply for excellent, but lesser known, alternate itineraries. If we initially secure only an alternate itinerary, you can accept it, transfer to another trip or request a full refund. However,  we recommend accepting alternate itineraries and remaining on the trip, as there is a second (and more promising) opportunity to secure the primary permit approximately 1 week before the start date. We will update you and notify you of your options throughout this process. In the case that we are unable to secure the primary permit the week before, we will still run the trip with the backup itinerary (which is a highly rated, world class trip). In this case regular cancellation policies will apply.

Read more …
From USD
$2670 Per Person
Trip Type: Guided Backpacking Trip
Difficulty Level:
Solitude Level:
Group Size: 1-10 Guests
Trip Length: 7 Days
Distance: 45MI / 72KM

DIFFICULTY LEVEL 5

Scale of 1-5. 1 is least difficult; 5 is most difficult

SUMMARY OF DIFFICULTY
This 7 Day trek involves heavy packs and a burly climb of 3300ft the first day. We then have a 4500 ft climb, spread over a few days, to the highest mountain pass in Yosemite. The entire trip follows well maintained trails with occasional, moderate heights exposure.

Hiking Distances:

3-8 mi

Backpack Weight:

45+ lbs

Terrain:

Lightly Rugged

Max Daily Elev. ↑↓:

3300 ft

Heights Exposure:

Moderate

Please Note: Terrain, Elevation Gain and Heights Exposure ratings reflect the section or day of the trip with the maximum difficulty of each. Much of the trip is at easier levels. See the trip itinerary for more detailed information. Backpack Weight ratings are estimates that account for Wildland-provided gear, guest clothing, personal items and a share of group food. By packing light it’s often possible to stay on the lower end of the weight range. Pack weights also decrease during the trip.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS OF THIS TRIP

  • Hiking uphill or downhill with a 45+ lb backpack for 6-8 hours
  • Maintaining balance and footing on well maintained trails and lightly rugged terrain
  • Hiking with occasional, moderate heights exposure
* For an official and complete list of physical requirements, please see our Essential Eligibility Criteria.

SOLITUDE LEVEL 4

1 least solitude, 5 most solitude

We rate this Yosemite backpacking trip a solitude 3. You can expect several hours of solitude at a time.

Private Trips

Travel in perfect company by booking a private trip exclusively for your group!

Our sliding scale for private trips is based on the final number of guests in your group. Rates are per person and do not include sales tax, national park fees or guide gratuity. The final rate is based on the actual number of guests on the trip and may adjust based on cancellations or additions.

Please Note: you can also enjoy a private trip at our normal scheduled rates by filling any empty tour to capacity. However, if group members drop from the tour those spots will automatically become available on our website for instant booking. By purchasing a private trip at the rates listed below, your trip will remain exclusive to your group regardless of cancellations. 

Private Rates FOr This Trip

  • 2 People: Rate x 2.5
  • 3 People: Rate x 1.75
  • 4 People: Rate x 1.25
  • 5+ People: Rate x 1.15

*all rates are per person

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Itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1

This Yosemite backpacking tour begins with rendezvous in Yosemite Valley in the parking lot of Curry Village near the bear boxes at shuttle stop 14 at 6PM on Day 1. 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

  • Shuttle Time: 90 min
  • Hiking Mileage: 5.2 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1000 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 1150 feet

This epic Yosemite adventure starts from stunning Glacier Point.  After a short shuttle to the trailhead we will descend into a drainage with views of many of the highlights of southern Yosemite Valley including Vernal and Nevada Falls, Tenaya Canyon and the Clark Range. We’ll camp next to a pristine creek with stunning views of Mount Starr King. It’s been a great first day, which we’ll celebrate with our first hearty backcountry dinner prepared by your guide.

Day 3

  • Hiking Mileage: 10 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 2975 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 315 feet

After an early wake up call, we eat a hearty breakfast and continue our hike up a pristine creek flowing from the high peaks of the Sierra towards the rocky ramparts of the Clark Range. On the trail we maintain a constant but manageable ascent as we approach a series of alpine lakes, the sight of an infamous plane crash in the 1960’s.  We will continue our ascent to a high alpine lake where we will set up camp and prepare for tomorrow’s climb over a stunning, remote mountain pass – in fact the highest trailed pass in Yosemite.

Day 4

  • Hiking Mileage: 8.3 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 1820 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 2470 feet

It’s another early start this morning as we traverse around the alpine lake and begin our ascent toward the high peaks. We follow in the footsteps of Ansel Adams, who originally scouted this route in the 1920’s and made the first ascent of nearby Red Peak (11,699′). Once at the pass, we pause to catch our breath in the rarified air at well above 11,000 ft. It’s almost all downhill from here to our campsite along a fork of the famous Merced River. But first, high above tree line, we trek through one of Yosemite’s most beautiful alpine regions with views stretching from the park’s northern borders to the jagged peaks of the Minarets, far to the south. Finally, descending into a lodgepole forest, we reach camp and can relax along smooth granite slabs and soak our tired feet in the ice cold waters of the Merced River.

 

Day 5

  • Hiking Mileage: 5.9 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 90 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 1570 feet

We have a mellower hike today with a moderately easy route to tonight’s camp, so we can linger a little longer and savor a relaxing breakfast and hot drinks around the morning campfire. Once on the trail we amble along the west bank of the Merced River enjoying the relatively level trail through the glacially smoothed landscape. After a scenic riverside lunch, the trail steepens a bit as we continue our descent toward a large backcountry lake surrounded by granite slabs and conifer forests, which we soon reach. After setting up camp among the granite boulders, we will have time to enjoy the area and the lake, perhaps take a swim or just lie back and watch the clouds float by.

 

 

Day 6

  • Hiking Mileage: 7.75 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 325 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 1360 feet

Today we pack up and hit the trail as we continue following the Merced River as it makes its way from the high alpine peaks to the floor of Yosemite Valley. We soon pass a set of waterfalls as we amble past the Merced Lake Ranger Station and then a little farther along the bustling Merced Lake High Sierra Camp. But, the sounds of the campers quickly fade as we contour the shore of bucolic Merced Lake. The granite cliffs become taller as the trail descends along the river and the cascades become more numerous until we reach the glacially smoothed Bunnell Dome, here we will set up camp as the setting sun’s rays shoot up canyon, illuminating the domes and high peaks of the Cathedral Range.

Day 7

  • Hiking Mileage: 8 miles
  • Elevation Gain: 300 feet
  • Elevation Loss: 2900 feet

Today, we sadly pack up camp for the last time and prepare for our last day on the trail. But, we’ve saved some of the best for last as we hike past many of Yosemite’s most iconic features, including Half Dome, Clouds Rest, Liberty Cap and two of the most photographed waterfalls in the world: Vernal and Nevada Falls. It’s almost all downhill and the miles quickly go by as our trail hardened muscles and our lightened backpacks make the hiking seem easy. Too soon we’re at the trailhead and Curry Village where we’ll have an early afternoon lunch and bid farewell to Yosemite and the great adventure that we had.

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. Normal terms and conditions apply to trips with itinerary changes.

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.
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from dinner on Day 1 through lunch on the last day
  • Trained hiking guide(s) with years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. See Guide Bios.
  • National park backcountry camping permits
  • Bear cannisters for food storage
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and communication device (InReach Explorer or satellite phone)
  • Mandatory 5% national park fee that passes through directly to Yosemite

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear and footwear (see recommendations)
  • National park entrance fee
  • 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 trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Bear cannisters
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Emergency communication device(s)

Guest Packing List

When you register for this tour you’ll receive access to a printable, downloadable trip information packet with a detailed packing list specific to this trip (click here to see it now.) All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots, rain gear, a recommended clothing system, a headlamp or flashlight, a hydration system (water bottles and/or bladder) and other items specific to each trip.

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!

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.

Travel to Yosemite Valley

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.

Many Wildland 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 1 bus ride 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).

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 Precautions

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. Guides adhere to standardized risk management protocols in case of any potential or actual incident, and all tours carry an emergency communication device and comprehensive first-aid kit. Additionally we have a “24/7” system through which guides or guests can reach Wildland support personnel at any time.

If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.

Essential Eligibility Criteria

Essential Eligibility Criteria (“EEC”) have been specifically identified to help you understand the skills and abilities necessary to participate on each Wildland trip, and they apply uniformly to all potential trip participants, irrespective of the presence or absence of any disability.

Once you identify a trip in which you may be interested, please carefully review the EEC and itinerary details. If after reviewing the EEC that apply to your desired trip, you determine you need an accommodation in order to meet the EEC, please contact us prior to registering to discuss your requested accommodation.

The EEC exist for your own safety and the safety and enjoyment of all participants. If you are unable to meet the EEC for the trip, with or without an accommodation, you are not eligible for that trip. If you register and arrive for a trip for which you do not meet the EEC, you will be disqualified from participation on the trip and will be dismissed or evacuated from the trip without a refund.

Guide Shifts

The guide(s) on this trip 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.

Age Restrictions

Age restrictions on this trip 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 (12 reviews)
Mikey H
5.0

We will be back for sure.

6 months ago

This was our second trip with Wildland and it did not disappoint. We really decided to join you again mainly because of Beau. I hope Wildland realizes what a huge asset he is to the company. He is beyond skilled, knowledgeable, professional, and real when it comes to guiding. The meals he prepared for us were amazing. We will be back for sure. Thank you for helping make our guide request and permits to Yosemite happen.

Mitch M
5.0

Great Time

6 months ago

Our wildland guide, Rafi, combined experience and a great attitude. I felt safe even when we faced uncertain conditions and we all had a great time when relaxing in camp or during breaks.

Steve W
5.0

Excellent

7 months ago

Trip was reorganized due trailhead road closures and late snow melts but Wildland proved their ability to replan an excellent alternative trip showcasing the best of Yosemite and the extra transportation provided to and from Fresno into Yosemite was appreciated. Jessie our guide was very knowledgeable and enthusiastic about the area and adapted fun challenging routes to the well matched abilities of the group; including off trail 'wilding', scrambles and climbing. The food was plentiful and delicious and I recognize the extensive logistical effort to organize specific food preferences over a long 7 day trip - thanks Jessie!

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