July through late September
Sacramento, CA, is 3 hours away; San Francisco, CA, is just over 4 hours away from the trailhead
Experience the ‘thru-thrill’ of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail
Make an exciting journey through 65 miles of Pacific Crest Trail spreading from Sonora Pass to Tuolumne Meadows, some of the most stunning parts of Yosemite National Park! This adventure will give you a chance to hike a section of the PCT and discover the natural wonders of northern California. Capture the stunning views of sparkling waterfalls, canyons, flowery meadows, and lakes surrounded by rugged granite peaks. Spend your nights in the best camping ground in the area and use your days for exploring the wildlife and enjoying the scenery. Make the most of your trip by going with a guide and make some memories that will last a lifetime!
Book This Adventure
Hiking the Pacific Crest Trail in California
Experience the thrill of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and explore the astonishing nature that Yosemite holds! On this nine-day hiking adventure, you will have the opportunity to experience the challenging adventure the PCT entails. By hiking the northern region of California, you will learn a lot from your guides and discover many breathtaking places, such as Tuolumne Meadows, Glen Aulin Cascades and Sonora Pass, as well as beautiful lakes and canyons along the way. Hike the PCT in style with freshly-prepared gourmet meals and high-quality gear provided by your guides. Let this be your safe and skillful introduction to the Pacific Crest Trail thru-hike in the future. Enjoy the incredible beauty, discover hidden gems of Yosemite, and let your guides make the most out of your trip!
Day One: Meet your guide and prepare for the hike
Meet your guides near the town of Lee Vining in the Eastern Sierra just north of Mammoth Lakes, CA, in the afternoon hours. Spend the night at a nearby campsite. Share a freshly prepared meal with your group and conduct a pack check and go over all the gear for the trip.
Day Two: Start your hike
After an early breakfast, begin the day by driving to the exit trailhead at Tuolumne Meadows and then take a private shuttle to the Leavitt Lake trailhead where you will begin your adventure. Quickly meet up with the PCT, hike down into Kennedy Canyon for the night, and set up camp along the remote West Walker River. Get to know your group better and have dinner prepared by your guides. Relax and get ready for the next day!
Day Three: Continue your adventure and enjoying great company
Continuing South along the PCT through lush forests, make your way to Dorothy Lake Pass where you will pass over the northern boundary of Yosemite National Park. Camp along the shores of beautiful Dorothy Lake for the evening! Enjoy the scenery and the amazing company!
Day Four: Move forward and explore new areas
Use this all-downhill day to relax and enjoy the views. Hike down Jack Main Canyon along Falls Creek through numerous meadows and forests. Take advice from your guide who will teach you everything about using a map and guidebook to plan logistics, daily distance, etc. Eventually make your way to secluded Wilma Lake to camp for the evening.
Day Five: Reach your supply stop
From Wilma Lake, your group will head East through remote Stubblefield Canyon and then down into dramatic Kerrick Canyon. Hike up the canyon for a bit, and set up camp along the babbling Rancheria Creek. This is where you will meet our resupply, and pick up another four days worth of food and fuel.
Day Six: Recharge your batteries and keep hiking
Leaving Kerrick Canyon, hike over Seavey Pass and make your way down to Benson Lake. Enjoy lunch along the riviera-like sand beach of Benson Lake and recharge your batteries. After lunch, climb up to stunningly beautiful Smedberg Lake where you will make camp for the night on its remote far shore.
Day Seven: Discover an amazing camp spot
The day begins early, with a hike up over Benson Pass and a long downhill into deep and majestic Matterhorn Canyon. Then it’s on to the small Miller Lake for the night — one of the guests’ favorite camp spots!
Day Eight: Make your way to the Glen Aulin area
Continuing eastward, hike past Spiller Creek and then down into Virginia Canyon before climbing up a bit again into the Cold Canyon. Make a long descent into the famed Glen Aulin along the Tuolumne River. Camp for the night in the Glen Aulin area with its stunning waterfalls and impressive cascades.
Day Nine: Reach your final stop and continue thru-hike on your own
From Glen Aulin, hike up past numerous waterfalls along the Tuolumne River making your way to Tuolumne Meadows. Your adventure ends with a nice stroll along the river in the Meadows eventually reaching the trailhead at Soda Springs — the first “civilization” you will have seen in eight days!
Things you need to know
Covid measures in Yosemite National Park
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 travelling 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!
What you get on this adventure:
- Professional local mountain guides certified in emergency wilderness medicine, food handling and Leave No Trace Principles (and trained in local natural history)
- Breakfast, lunch, and dinner prepared by your guide while in the field
- Backpacks, sleeping bag and pad, trekking poles, eating utensils, and tents
- Porter re-supply mid-way through the hike
- Private van shuttle back to cars left at the Levitt Lake Trailhead
- Permits for trip
- One night of camping in the Eastern Sierra with dinner the night before the hike begins
How fit do I need to be?
This hiking adventure is for intermediate to advanced hikers only. Previous recent wilderness backpacking experience and very good to excellent physical condition are required. You will have to carry an overnight backpack for up to 10 miles a day with 2000-3000 feet of elevation gain for multiple days in a row. While the tempo will be slow, it will be steady. The PCT Yosemite trip is a committing and strenuous wilderness trip, so it is recommended that you train accordingly! Keep in mind, the weather in summer can be very hot and you’ll also be packing an overnight backpack filled with water and other things you’ll need throughout the day.
What do I need to bring?
Here’s a list of the equipment you need to bring:
- Overnight pack large enough to carry all the items listed (around a 60-75L bag) — can be provided by the guide
- Sleeping bag and pad — can be provided by the guide
- Trekking poles — can be provided by the guide
- Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
- Outer waterproof shell jacket (hard shell) with hood
- Hiking pant (soft shell)
- Lightweight long underwear base layer bottom
- Lightweight long underwear base layer top
- Insulating layer – midweight
- Insulated down or synthetic jacket
- Synthetic T-shirts
- Warm hat
- Spare clothes for layering
- Synthetic shorts and/or swimsuit
- Flip flops — optional
- Lightweight glove — optional
- Foam ear plugs
- Pocket knife
- Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
- Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
- Insulated mug
- Lightweight bowl and spork
- Camera — optional (but recommended)
What can I expect from hiking with a guide?
Hiring a local guide offers you the chance to experience California’s beauty to the fullest. Local guides know all the hidden gems the area has to offer, will explain the history and geology during the hike, and will customize your day to the desires of your group. Because there is so much to see and do in California— and it gets crowded quickly — this is one location where it really pays to have a guide by your side to make the most out of this once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Why should I book with 57hours?
With us, it’s all play and no work for you! 57hours is an open platform that connects you with trained and certified outdoor adventure professionals all over the world. Using our tech-savvy, we make it super easy to find and book adventures worth tackling, with guides worth booking, all gathered from the first-hand experiences of the locals who adventure in these amazing locations.
What about group sizes and pricing?
The tours listed above are private. All pricing is per person. The standard group size on these private Pacific Crest Trail hikes is ten guests and two guides.
If you’re traveling with a larger party, contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
What is the minimum age requirement?
- Everybody over the age of 18 is welcome to book this hiking adventure.
- Minors may be permitted to join private tours on a case-by-case basis. If you plan to hike with anyone under the age of 18, please contact us prior to booking to make arrangements.
What about bad weather?
Tours are scheduled to fit with the seasons and ideal hiking conditions. When the weather does not cooperate, your guide will know the correct course of action to take. Whether that’s shifting to a more favorable location or postponing until conditions approve, your guide will know just what to do. In the event of predictably bad weather, you will be contacted prior to the trip to discuss suitable alternatives.
Do I need an insurance policy?
We highly recommended that you cover all your bases with both emergency medical and travel insurance. With medical insurance, if you have an accident or medical emergency on or off the mountain, you’ll avoid paying out of pocket for costly expenses. This covers everything from hospital treatments to emergency air transportation and more.
As we’ve recently seen, travel plans can be abruptly halted, so it’s a good idea to purchase travel insurance that covers cancelled flights, natural disasters and other scenarios that may interrupt your travel plans. For peace of mind, we suggest you consider both options of insurance.
If you need assistance selecting the right insurance for your group, let us know and we will be happy to help!
With 57hours, you benefit from both our own cancellation policy as well as that of the individual guiding service that delivers your adventure. All policies regarding cancellation will be clearly laid out by your guide after booking your adventure, but rest assured that our own cancellation policy will work on top of what is provided by your guide.
For this adventure, 57hours offers a Moderate Cancellation Policy, which states:
If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to thirty (30) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. For cancellations fourteen (14) to twenty nine (29) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of fifty percent (50%) of the total amount paid when Booking. For cancellations zero (0) to thirteen (13) days in advance, the Client is not entitled to any refund.
For more information on terms and conditions, please visit our Terms of Service page.
Getting there and meeting location
To get to your meeting point, most people fly into Sacramento International Airport. From there, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service, and take a four-hour drive to Lee Vining, just north of Mammoth Lakes, CA, where you will meet your guides. From there, you’ll head to your adventure. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the hiking ability of the group.