Yosemite National Park | California

Hiking in Yosemite National Park

Skill level

All skill levels welcome!

Group size

1 – 4 / private hikes are available

Price range

$925 – $1,475 per person

Season

May through October

Duration

4.5 – 6 days

Trip review

Read more about Maggie’s time in Yosemite here

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, and monoliths. The park annually draws 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.

On any hike, around any corner, be prepared for views and terrain that will captivate your mind forever.

Most popular packages and classes in Yosemite

High Sierra Loop

Start your 5-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

Even though the park receives 4+ million visitors per year, there are corners of Yosemite that still remain relatively untouched. This is the 6 day, 42-mile hike 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.

Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne Waterfall Hike

Yosemite even has its own Grand Canyon. This 4.5 day, 30-mile hike 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.

Who should hike in Yosemite?

The magnificence of Yosemite Valley is enough of a draw to make any doubtful hikers take the plunge and explore the area and beyond. There are trails for all levels of adventurer and everyone should make a visit at least once!

Need to know

When is the best time to go?

Late May and early September will spare you the lion’s share of crowd, but the park is of course hikeable during peak vacation seasons.

What about bad weather?

Inclement weather can always get in the way of hiking, but check with your guiding service about their policies regarding rain and other weather concerns.

What's a typical itinerary?

You’ll meet up with your guide and other hikers in your group. After you discuss the agenda for the day, usually you’ll start hiking|! Any gear related questions and concerns will be addressed before setting out on your journey.

What about group sizes?

Group sizes are usually between 1 – 4 people with one instructor. Also, if the group becomes larger, an extra guide will join to facilitate any additional support along the way.

Getting there

Consider getting to Yosemite via the Bay area, if you’re flying for your destination. The park entrance is about a 3-hour drive away.

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