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Yosemite and backpacking: a match made in heaven. Spend between 4 and 6 days strolling through some of the world’s most beautiful places, from gemstone lakes surrounded by fairytale meadows to dramatic granite walls and misty waterfalls. Let your feet grow tired from climbing up towering domes—before pitching your tent and getting ready for the rest of your adventure. With the logistics taken care of and an expert guide by your side, all you have to do is choose an itinerary and show up! Get busy making life-long memories and reveling in million-dollar views: Yosemite never fails to amaze.

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  • World’s third oldest national park

    Experience life in some of the world’s most incredible wilderness areas in the world’s third oldest NP

  • So many sites to visit and enjoy

    Visit bucket-list sites like Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Tuolumne Meadows, and Cathedral Lakes

  • Logistics all taken care of

    You don’t have to worry about the permits, backcountry equipment, and food—everything is included

Available itineraries

Glacier Point to Half Dome Backpacking Adventure

For those who want their Yosemite backpacking experience to be short and sweet, this 4-day adventure does the trick! Starting at Glacier Point, you will meander through the Illilouette Valley and along the Panorama Trail (seeing multiple towering waterfalls along the way), until you reach and climb up the Half Dome—probably the most famous landmark in Yosemite. Once the adventure is done, you’ll have been richer for an unparalleled experience in one of the most beautiful wilderness areas in the US.

Note: All dates remain tentative until your guides confirm trailhead permits, usually 22-23 weeks in advance. Please refrain from making travel arrangements (that are unchangeable) until dates/permits are confirmed. Read more in our FAQ.

  • Meet your guide in Curry Village at 4:00 pm. Meet your group and do an extensive gear check. If time allows before dinner, you’ll be able to walk to some of Yosemite Valley’s iconic sightseeing spots. Get to know your group and your guides a bit better over dinner, before pitching a tent at Yosemite Valley Backpacker’s Camp.

    Meals: Dinner

     

    Curry Village
  • After eating a quick breakfast at camp, you’ll catch the morning bus to Glacier Point at 8am. After relocating to the Mono Meadows Trailhead (west of Glacier Point), eat lunch before setting out on the trail. After lunch, descend into Illilouette Valley and walk 3.2 of mostly downhill, easy miles (5 km). Set up a camp on a waterside knoll upon crossing Illilouette Creek at the end of the day’s journey. If the sky is cloudless, experience an incredible show of stars!

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
    Hiking: 3.4 miles (5.5 km)
    Elevation: +120’, -890’ (+36 m, -270 m)

     

    Sprawling view of Yosemite landscapes with dramatic granite walls, a waterfall and a forest as seen from the Glacier Point.
  • After a hearty breakfast we will hike out of the Illilouette Valley on a moderate uphill and scenic climb to the Panorama Trail before descending to the precipice of Nevada Fall and ultimately Little Yosemite Valley where you will camp for the night. There is a beach along the Merced River here that makes for excellent relaxation. Today evening (to catch the sunset) or tomorrow morning (to catch the sunrise), you’ll climb up Half Dome—one of the best and most scenic experiences in Yosemite!
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Hiking: 5.5 miles + 2.5 miles if climbing up Half Dome (9 km + 4 km)
    Elevation: +700’, +2,700’ if climbing up Half Dome; -1,150’, -2,700’ if climbing up Half Dome (+213 m, +822 m; -350 m, -822 m)

     

    Hikers on their way to climb the peak of Half Dome in the Yosemite National Park.
  • We will descend to the Yosemite Valley Floor via the Mist Trail which parallels the Merced River and both Nevada and Vernal Falls. Generally, our goal is to finish between 2-4 PM but this can be later due to the human factors within the group. If there’s time, celebrate your achievements with your guides and fellow backpackers. Say goodbye to Yosemite or continue touring on your own!
    Meals: Breakfast and lunch
    Hiking: 4.5 miles (7.2 km)
    Elevation: +300’, -2,440’ (+90 m, -743 m)

     

    Towering Vernal Falls seen during a backpacking trip in the Yosemite National Park.
Cathedral Lakes, Clouds Rest & Half Dome Backpacking Adventure

Arguably most scenic of the three itineraries offered, this adventure is also suitable for people who want to get challenged. Over 5 days, you will soak in the magnificent panoramas of Cathedral Lakes, Clouds Rest and climb up the Half Dome—one of the best experiences in Yosemite! Come for the thrilling hikes and show-stopping natural wonders and stay for the great company and once-in-a-lifetime experiences of sleeping under the stars in one of the best backpacking destinations on the planet.

Note: All dates remain tentative until your guides confirm trailhead permits, usually 22-23 weeks in advance. Please refrain from making travel arrangements (that are unchangeable) until dates/permits are confirmed. Read more in our FAQ.

  • Meet your guide in Curry Village at 4:00 pm. Meet your group and do an extensive gear check. If time allows before dinner, you’ll be able to walk to some of Yosemite Valley’s iconic sightseeing spots. Get to know your group and your guides a bit better over dinner, before pitching a tent at Yosemite Valley Backpacker’s Camp.

    Meals: Dinner

     

    Curry Village
  • After eating a quick breakfast at camp, take the morning shuttle to the Cathedral Lakes Trailhead. Catch your first glimpse of the high country while hiking 3.2 moderate miles (5.2 km) up to Lower Cathedral Lake. Upon arrival, enjoy a delicious lunch by the lake, go for a swim, and set up camp with a stunning view. Your group will spend the rest of the day exploring this iconic alpine lake area, with the option for another short hike up to the Upper Cathedral Lake. Return to the camp in the evening and enjoy a hot meal and tea before hitting the sack beneath the stars.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
    Hiking: 3.2 miles (5 km)
    Elevation: +800’, -1,000’ (+245 m, -305 m)

     

    Yosemite’s Upper Cathedral Lake during sunset, surrounded by conifers and with a lofty granite peak in the distance.
  • After a hearty breakfast, hike along the JMT up and over Cathedral Pass (9,700’/ 2,957 m), enjoying some of the adventure’s most spectacular views over Matthes Crest, Tressider Peak, Echo Peaks, and Columbia Finger. Find your reward for a full day of hiking with a relaxing evening at the camp beside Sunrise Lake, complete with a spectacular alpenglow sunset, spend some quality time with fellow backpackers and get ready for another night under the stars.
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Hiking: 7.3 miles (11.7 km)
    Elevation: +666’, -500’ (+203 m, -152 m)

     

  • After a hearty breakfast, hike approximately 3.5 miles (5.6 km) to the summit of Clouds Rest, standing at 9,926′ (3,025 m). Enjoy lunch at the top while soaking in one of Yosemite’s most renowned panoramic views. From the summit, hike down 5 miles to Sunrise Creek for the final night of camping.
    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Hiking: 7 miles (11.3 km)
    Elevation: +800’, -2,800’ (+244 m, -853 m)

     

    Clouds Rest mountain
  • Wake early, enjoy your last breakfast in Yosemite. Day 5 may be the last day of the adventure, but it isn’t any less exciting! You’ll hike 2.5 miles (4 km) to the top of Half Dome at 8,836′ (2,693 m) —arguably one of the best experiences in Yosemite. Take in the spectacular views and descend the 2.5 miles (4 km) back to camp before hiking out another 5.5 miles (8.9 km) to Yosemite Valley via the Mist Trail. En route, experience two of the park’s most spectacular waterfalls. Generally, you can expect to return by 4 pm. Say goodbye to Yosemite or continue touring on your own!
    Meals: Breakfast and lunch
    Hiking: 10 miles (16 km)
    Elevation: +1,900’, -5,000 ft (+580 m, -1,524 m)

     

    A hiker climbing with cables
Tuolumne Meadows to Half Dome Backpacking Adventure

If you want a bit more time exploring Yosemite, this 6-day tour will do it! This adventure will take you from the Tuolumne Meadows, down to Babcock Lake, along the Merced River to Little Yosemite Valley, and finally to Yosemite Valley and up the Half Dome—one of the most rewarding experiences in the area. Prepare for thrilling hikes, witness breathtaking natural wonders, and sleep under the stars in one of the world's premier backpacking destinations—all while being in great company.

  • Meet your guide in Curry Village at 4:00 pm. Meet your group and do an extensive gear check. If time allows before dinner, you’ll be able to walk to some of Yosemite Valley’s iconic sightseeing spots. Get to know your group and your guides a bit better over dinner, before pitching a tent at Yosemite Valley Backpacker’s Camp.

    Meals: Dinner

    Curry Village
  • Fuel up with a satisfying breakfast in Curry Village before boarding the morning shuttle to Tuolumne Meadows. Embark on your journey along the John Muir Trail, eventually transitioning to the Rafferty Creek Trail. As you ascend steadily into high alpine meadows, embrace the breathtaking scenery that unfolds around you. Your goal for the day is to cover 7.5 miles (12.1 km), reaching either Boothe Lake (3,001 m / 9,845′) or Vogelsang High Sierra Camp (3,079 m / 10,130′). The diverse landscapes and elevation changes offer a dynamic and invigorating hiking experience.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Hiking: 12.1 km (7.5 mi)
    Elevation: 7.5 mi / +1,500′, -0′”

    Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite.
  • Embark on another day of exploring Yosemite, descending in elevation to Babcock Lake (2,703 m / 8,885′). The trail, spanning 5.3 miles (8.5 km) along Fletcher Creek, allows you to connect with the pristine wilderness. Take advantage of the opportunity to relax and cool off by the cold alpine lake, immersing yourself in the tranquility of the surroundings.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Hiking: 8.5 km (5.3 mi)
    Elevation: +30m (+100′), -396m (-1,300′)

    Merced river, Yosemite National Park.
  • After breakfast, descend 457m (1,500′) as you cover 3.9 miles (6.3 km) to Merced Lake. The journey continues with a 2.6-mile (4.2 km) hike along the scenic shores of the Merced River, leading you to Echo Valley (2,140 m / 7,020′). Immerse yourself in the diverse landscapes, experiencing the dynamic changes in terrain.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Hiking: 10.5 km (6.5 mi)
    Elevation: +30m (+100′), -610m (-2,000′)

    Hikers crossing a small river in Yosemite.
  • Today, your group will follow the Merced River to Little Yosemite Valley (1,872 m / 6,140′). Traverse 6.7 miles (10.8 km) downhill, passing by incredible backcountry waterfalls, lush wildflower-filled areas, and babbling creeks. The diverse and vibrant landscapes create a captivating backdrop for your day of exploration.

    Meals: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Hiking: 10.8 km (6.7 mi)
    Elevation: +76m (+250′), -548m (-1,800′)

    Half Dome can be completed in the afternoon/evening of Day 5 or early morning on Day 6 before hiking out. This is a 7-mile round-trip, +2,700’/-2,700′ (822 m) elevation change hike from Little Yosemite Valley.

    Merced Lake
  • Conclude your remarkable journey with a 4.5-mile (7.2 km) descent to Yosemite Valley (1,219 m / 4,000′). Traverse the renowned Mist Trail, offering spectacular views beside Nevada Fall and Vernal Fall. The final leg of your adventure is infused with natural beauty, creating a memorable conclusion to your Yosemite Valley exploration.

    Meals: Breakfast and lunch
    Hiking: 7.2 km (4.5 mi)
    Elevation: +91m (+300′), -744m (-2,440′)

    Vernal Fall Mist Trail
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Meet your guides

Lasting Adventures
5.00
Lasting Adventures
Hiking & Backpacking Guides
Operating since 1997, the non-profit Lasting Adventures, Inc. is the #1 backcountry outfitter in Yosemite National Park. Their small group backpacking trips are all-inclusive as they provide free use of quality gear provided to them by corporate partners such as Gregory, Big Agnes, and Leki. In addition to supporting you along the trail and while in camp, their professional guides take care of making high-quality and delicious meals and other camp chores. Their guides and outdoor educators are the key ingredients to our success at Lasting Adventures. While they all come from different backgrounds, they also all share a passion for adventure, fun, American National Parks, and sharing outdoor experiences with others to create memories that last a lifetime.
Scott Gehrman
5.00
Scott Gehrman
Scott is the Founder and Executive Director for Lasting Adventures, Inc. and has been guiding in Yosemite since 1995, in which he has personally logged over 8,000 miles. Scott is a recognized expert on the Yosemite backcountry and is often sought out and/or referred to by the park service to offer input and advice to other visitors and/or for park planning purposes. He holds certification in Basic Backpacking Awareness, is certified as a Wilderness First Responder by the Wilderness Medicine Institute of the National Outdoor Leadership School, and is trained as an Outdoor Emergency Care professional. In addition to actively facilitating the Lasting Adventures program in Yosemite, Scott has also expanded the program to other National Parks, including Olympic, Lassen/Volcanic, Joshua Tree, and Sequoia-Kings National Parks. When not on the trails or in the Lasting Adventures office, you might be able to catch Scott on the slopes snowboarding in Tahoe, or scuba diving at some remote destination.
5.00 (5 reviews)
Great Trip!
MJ3101 (source: Tripadvisor )

Recently finished a backpacking trip planned and guided by Lasting Adventures. This was my first trip to Yosemite and the trip far exceeded my expectations. The hiking was rigorous but the experience and the views were very much worth the effort. The tents, sleeping bags etc were all great quality and it was helpful to not have to tote our own stuff across country. Jenna Levy was our guide and she was terrific. She has a great personality and worked tirelessly to make our trip special. I have no reservation recommending Lasting Adventures to anyone interested in visiting Yosemite.

Great Experience
AdineS (source: Tripadvisor )

Amazing backpacking experience through Yosemite. I learned a lot, the guides were very knowledgeable and nice, and the group was a great one. Definitely an great experience! The guides meal prepped for the trip delicious food and we always had good food through the trip.

Amazing Trip!
Ellie S (source: Tripadvisor )

I was completely new to backpacking and had the time of my life with Lasting Adventures! I did the 5 day trip from Cathedral Lakes to Yosemite Valley and had a great time getting to the top of Cloud’s Rest and Half Dome. The hikes are challenging but the scenery is incredible and our guide, Quinn, really made the trip. He was friendly, professional and gave our small group the encouragement we needed to make it through each day. We woke up to fresh, hot coffee every morning and were treated to gourmet camp food the entire trip. Couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I can’t wait to come back!

Great guides, great food, and great adventure
Jen L (source: Tripadvisor )

The Glacier Point to Half Dome backpacking trip was one of the coolest and most fun adventures I have ever had. Riley and Ayni were wonderful guides. The food was incredible. They accommodated multiple dietary restrictions/allergies and the food still tasted delicious. I was slightly worried about going on this trip with Celiacs but had absolutely no issues getting tasty gluten free food. We also had two vegans who ate well the entire trip. Riley and Ayni were both extremely informative and provided tons of details about Yosemite history, nature, and helpful tips that will come in handy for future backpacking trips elsewhere. At the end of the trip I had such a great time that I didn’t want to leave Yosemite. I would highly recommend lasting adventures to anyone who wants to camp under the stars, wake up at the crack of dawn for an unforgettable trek up Half Dome, hang out with some cool people, and explore magical gems of Yosemite a little off the beaten path.

AMAZING ADVENTURE!! TRIP OF A LIFETIME!
adamsutterfield (source: Tripadvisor )

Yosemite is a place you have to see in person to really appreciate. Thanks to Lasting Adventures, we had an amazing experience. We were able to see the Park from a unique perspective in the back country while Backpacking. Our guides Nolan and Mary were so great! From the very beginning, they helped us get geared up and were always taking care of any questions or needs during our trip. We were pleasantly surprised at how well we ate while backpacking for 4 days. Lasting Adventures knows how to do Yosemite and I would highly recommend them for all your needs.

Things to know

  • What you get on this adventure:

      • An experienced, local hiking/backpacking guide with extensive knowledge of the area
      • A 4-day, 5-day or 6-day Yosemite backpacking adventure depending on your chosen itinerary
      • Backpacking permits & Half Dome summit permits
      • Required Park Reservations
      • All meals
      • Backpacking equipment — backpacks, single-person tents, sleeping bags, pads, trekking poles, eating utensils (upon request)
      • Group camping equipment
      • Overnights at camping sites
      • All transit during the adventure

    What’s not included:

      • Transportation to and from the meeting point
      • Accommodation before and after the adventure
      • Travel insurance — recommended
      • Park entry fee (around $35)
      • Personal expenses before heading into the backcountry
      • Guide gratuities
  • The best thing about these Yosemite guided backpacking trips is that they are beginner backpackers! However, even though no prior backpacking experience is necessary, you should have some hiking experience and be a physically active person. That said, the three itineraries offered vary in difficulty. The Glacier Point to Half Dome itinerary includes daily hiking covering between 3.5 and 7 miles (5.6-11.3 km)—with an elevation gain of up to 2,700 feet (823 m) while climbing Half Dome. More strenuous is the Cathedral Lakes, Clouds Rest & Half Dome itinerary, with hiking between 3 and 10 miles (4.8-16 km), again with an elevation gain of up to 2,700 feet (823 m) while climbing Half Dome. Similar in distances and elevation gains is also the third itinerary—from Tuolumne Meadows to Half Dome—but it is the longest one, which makes it the most challenging.

    During all three adventures, all participants should be able to carry a 30-50lb backpack. Temperatures can get very high in the summer nights and it can also get pretty cold during the nights (due to high elevations). Your guides will always be by your side during hikes and will notice if it gets too strenuous for anyone in the group, making frequent breaks. They will also teach you all the necessary skills you need for backpacking.

    If you’re looking for something a bit more challenging, check out another multi-day Yosemite hiking tour we have on offer.

  • Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:

      • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
      • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
      • Camp sandals/shoes
      • Underwear/undergarments (synthetic preferred for hiking) and long underwear
      • Spare clothes for layering
      • Light waterproof rain jacket, fleece/warm wool jacket, and warm synthetic jacket for mornings and evenings
      • 1-2 Pairs of lightweight hiking pants and shorts
      • Sunhat, beanie, bandanas/buffs, mosquito head net
      • Swimwear, camp pillow and towel
      • Personal medication
      • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
      • Headlamp or flashlight
      • Sunglasses
      • Camera — optional (but recommended)
      • Cards, small games, book and other things for entertainment at the camp — optional

    Backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, trekking poles, camp pillows, bowls, mugs and sporks are all included in the price of the trip. However, feel free to bring any of these items if you have your own. Dress comfortably and for the weather in clothes you can move in. Make sure to keep an eye on the weather forecast and adjust your packing list accordingly. Layers are best and don’t wear jeans. A comprehensive equipment list will be made available upon booking.

  • You can expect excellent backcountry cuisine throughout the guided Yosemite backpacking tour! Typical breakfasts might include burritos, oatmeals, pancakes, dried fruit, bagels, etc. For dinner, your guides will prepare a variety of pastas, risottos, beans, couscous, meats, vegetables, etc. Lunch will consist of trail food with fruits, vegetables, pita, bagels, salami, cheeses, hummus, trail mix, energy bars, etc. All special dietary requests (vegan, keto, gluten-free, vegetarian—you name it) can be easily accommodated, just let your guides know in advance!

  • Group sizes and prices:

      • For these group adventures, the maximum client-to-guide ratio is 5:1. The number of participants in a group is usually between 4 and 8.
      • The cost does not decrease as the group grows

    Backpacking in Yosemite National Park can be arranged for larger or for private groups (with a custom date). Contact us to make arrangements.

    Min. age requirements:

      • If you are older than 18, you’re good to go.
      • Minors younger than 18 are permitted to join, but must be in the presence of a parent or legal guardian.

    If your group has hikers under the age of 18, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.

  • To get to Yosemite, most people fly into Sacramento International Airport which is around three hours away from the park or the Fresno/Yosemite International Airport which is also three hours away. Another option is flying into the San Francisco International Airport, just over four hours away from the park. From here, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service.

    You will meet your guide in Curry Village at 4 pm on day 1, which means you can travel to the park on the same day. If arriving the day before, we suggest finding accommodation in Curry Village, Yosemite Village, Foresta, or El Portal.

  • All dates listed for these itineraries remain tentative until your gudies confirm trailhead permits, usually 22-23 weeks in advance. Although their success rate is high, should they not gain the exact dates through permitting, you will be contacted and offered choices including new dates and/or different itineraries. Should no alternative work, a full cancellation/refund will be granted.

    Please refrain from making travel arrangements (that are unchangeable) until dates/permits are confirmed.

  • 57hours is committed to providing safe outdoor adventure experiences. We require all guides using our platform to have a COVID-19 safety plan and to make the details of that plan accessible to travelers. In most cases, group sizes will be reduced, guides will avoid overcrowded locations, and other safety measures will be met depending on the location and activity.

    We also expect clients to respect local regulations and take measures to protect themselves, guides and the communities they’re traveling to. For more information on COVID-19 measures in Yosemite, CA, please refer to the Government of California website.

    Please contact us if you have any questions or require further information. We are happy to provide you with the most up-to-date information!

  • Deposits

    You can secure one of the set dates with a 30% deposit upon booking. The remaining 70% of the trip price is to be paid 90 days prior to departure, at the latest.

    Secure your early bird spot with a 10% deposit! This tour gets sold out very quickly, but with early-bird booking, you will be the first one to know about any new upcoming dates. Pick your preferred dates without the risk of your bucket list adventure selling out!

      • Only 10% of the total amount should be paid as a deposit upon booking. This deposit is non-refundable, but can be transferred to another 57hours adventure anytime in case the dates don’t suit you.
      • Once the dates are set, you can confirm your booking by paying another 20% of the total amount.
      • The final balance is due 3 months (90 days) prior to departure.

    Cancellations

    Booking fees are non-refundable in all cases. During checkout, however, you can choose one of 57hours’ flexibility options:

    Basic

      • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
      • For cancellations 90 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a 70% refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 0-89 days before the trip, there is no refund.

    Flexible

      • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
      • For cancellations 90 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a full refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 60-89 days before the trip, you are eligible for a 50% refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 0-59 days before the trip, there is no refund.

    Super Flexible

      • In case of cancellation within 48 hours after booking, the amount paid is fully refundable.
      • For cancellations 60 or more days before the trip, you are eligible for a full refund of the trip price.
      • For cancellations 0-59 days before the trip, you are eligible for a 50% refund of the trip price.
Have more questions? Read our FAQ, or Talk with us
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