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Yosemite National Park | California

Hiking in Yosemite National Park

57hours Icon season


May through October

57hours Icon nearest-city

Nearest city

Sacramento, CA, is 3 hours away, San Francisco, CA, is just over 4 hours away

57hours Icon duration


5-6 days

57hours Icon skill-level

Skill level

Intermediate to advanced

It's hard to surpass the majesty of Yosemite

While Yellowstone was the first designated National Park in the US, it was Yosemite that captured the interest of early conservationists and was the first parcel of land to be set aside specifically for preservation — signed into existence by none other than Abraham Lincoln in 1864. For more than 150 years, Yosemite has enthralled its visitors with its abundantly diverse wildlife, waterfalls, sequoias, trails and mountains, as well as monoliths. The park annually entices up to 4 million visitors who want to explore, climb, hike, camp and immerse themselves amid the park’s iconic features like El Capitan, Half Dome, Sentinel Dome, Tuolumne Meadows, Dana Meadows, and the Cathedral Range. The list goes on and on! All it takes is one visit or a look at some Ansel Adams photos to understand the park’s massive appeal. So grab your hiking boots and get ready to be amazed!

Most Popular Itineraries

Hiking Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne Waterfall

$1100 per person · 5 days

Yosemite even has its own Grand Canyon. This 30-mile hike during four and a half days will take you past waterfalls not seen by most of the park’s visitors. The first descent of the Grand Canyon of Tuolumne was made in the 19th century by John Muir — leaving the entire journey with a solid provenance. Along your hike, you’ll pass Waterwheel Falls and California Falls before passing Pete Valley (swimming anyone?) on your way to the final destination of White Wolf along the Tioga Pass. Count on ample time to take in the Yosemite backcountry along the way!

Hiking High Sierra Loop

$1310 per person · 5 days

Start your five-day backpacking adventure from Tuolumne Meadows on the John Muir and Pacific Crest Trails and make your way up into the high backcountry of the Cathedral Range. Expect crystal-clear mountain lakes around every bend and expansive alpine meadows as daily backdrops to this 26-mile loop. You’ll be camping at the stunning Vogelsang and Emeric Lakes after days of exploring the granite slopes much admired by John Muir!

Hidden Yosemite Backpacking Trip

$1580 per person · 5 days

Even though the park receives 4+ million visitors per year, there are corners of Yosemite that still remain relatively untouched. This 42-mile hike over the course of six days will take you into the dramatic landscape of the northern edges of the park. Along the way, you’ll hike past canyons, old-growth forests beneath alpine ridges and peaks. Expect amazing camping in Slide Canyon and beyond — with rivers and clear alpine lakes outside your tent!

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’s included?

What you get on this adventure:

  • A professional, knowledgeable, medically-trained, wilderness guide
  • Meals prepared by your guide while in the field
  • Use of a top of the line, technical day pack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • Use of tents, sleeping pads, and sleeping bags
  • All group camping gear
  • National park backcountry camping permits

What’s not included:

  • Accommodation prior and after the trip
  • Transportation to and from Yosemite

How fit do I need to be?

These hiking adventures are best for intermediate to advanced hikers. Intermediate hikes will see a little more change in elevation and hikes will start to increase in length, hiking anywhere between four to eight miles. Advanced hikes are full day treks with steep descents and challenging switchbacks. You will hike 3-9 miles per day with a 25-35 lbs backpack. It is highly recommended you have some previous recent wilderness backpacking experience and previous hiking experience with the ability to hike up to 10 miles a day. You should have the ability to carry an overnight backpack for up to 10 miles a day for multiple days in a row. Very good physical condition is required. Keep in mind, the weather in summer can be very hot and you’ll also be packing a daypack 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:

  • Day pack large enough to carry all the items listed (a 60-75L bag) — can be provided by the guide
  • Water bottle or hydration bladder (2L capacity)
  • Lightweight hiking boots or shoes
  • Outer waterproof shell jacket (hard shell) with hood
  • Hiking pant (soft shell)
  • Lightweight long underwear baselayer bottom
  • Lightweight long underwear baselayer top
  • Insulating layer – midweight
  • Insulated down or synthetic jacket
  • Synthetic T-shirt
  • Socks and underwear
  • Camp shoes or sandals
  • Spare clothes for layering
  • Sunhat
  • Warm hat
  • Towel
  • Sunglasses
  • Ear plugs — optional
  • Flashlight or a headlamp
  • Toiletries (sunscreen, hand sanitizer, bug spray, toilet paper, etc.)
  • Eating utensils and a lightweight bowl — can be provided by the guide
  • Pocket knife
  • Swimwear — optional
  • Flip flops — optional
  • Camera — optional (but recommended)

What can I expect from hiking with a guide?

Hiring a local guide offers you the chance to experience Yosemite’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 Yosemite — 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 not private and pricing is per person.

The standard group size on these private Yosemite hiking tours is five guests to one guide, but larger groups can be accommodated.

Custom dates and private tours are possible. 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!

Cancellation policy

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 Expedition Cancellation Policy, which states:
If Client cancels the Booking anytime prior to one hundred twenty (120) calendar days in advance of the trip contemplated by the booking, Client is entitled to a full refund. For cancellations ninety (90) to one hundred nineteen(119) 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 seventy five (75) to eighty nine (89) calendar days in advance, Client is entitled to a refund in the amount of twenty-five percent (25%) of the total amount paid when Booking. After that deadline, Client is not entitled to any refund. Any reimbursable expenses arising out of the Booking incurred by Guide prior to the date of cancellation (including but not limited to plane tickets, car rental payments, and lodging or transportation fees) are non refundable as soon as they are incurred by the Guide.

For more information on terms and conditions, please visit our Terms of Service page.

Getting there and meeting location

To get to Yosemite, most people fly into Sacramento International Airport (SMF) which is around three hours away from the park. Another option is flying into the San Francisco International Airport (SFO), just over over four hours away from the park. From both airports, you can rent a car or take a shuttle service to get to Yosemite National Park.

Once you and your guide agree on the details of your itinerary, your guide will suggest the best place to meet, whether that’s at a location within the Yosemite National Park or a predetermined location, such as your accommodation. From there, you’ll head to your tour. The guide will choose the appropriate terrain dependent on conditions and the hiking ability of the group.

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