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Alpine Lakes

About the trip

The high country lakes and peaks of the Ansel Adams Wilderness along the southern Yosemite border are truly spectacular. This trip takes you deep into a seemingly unspoiled subalpine environment where granite peaks, clear lakes, cascading streams, and wildflower filled meadows captivate all who travel here. This trip is for those who want to get away from the crowds and who would like to enjoy the dramatic landscapes of Southern Yosemite while travelling with a professional, friendly, and knowledgeable guide. We'll spend our days exploring this rich mountain environment, via established on- and of-trail routes. There's even the option of a peak ascent of one of the 10,000+ ft peaks making up the southern border of Yosemite!

Accommodations: We provide your first night's lodging in a chalet on beautiful Bass Lake. Facilities include lakeside pool and hot tub, as well as tennis courts, market and restaurants (pricing based on shared room occupancy).

Equipment: We supply all group camping gear (stoves, cookware, water filters, group first aid kit, etc.). We can also supply personal camping equipment (backpacks, sleeping bags, ground pads,trekking poles, and tents) upon request with no additional fee. You are welcome to bring your own personal camping equipment if you prefer. A detailed gear list will be sent to you upon registration.

Meals: We provide meals starting with lunch on day two through breakfast and trail snacks the last day. Our "Backcountry Gourmet" meals have been acclaimed in Sunset Magazine. We take pride in providing excellent meals even in remote surroundings.

Your Cost Includes: Meals (as noted above), group camping gear (as noted above), personal camping equipment (as listed above), accommodations (as noted above), applicable permits, professional mountain guide(s), pre-trip planning packet, and trip support from our friendly office staff.

Not Included: Personal clothing and footwear, personal gear not listed under “Equipment” above, meals while in the front country, tips for guides (10-20% of trip cost is customary), transportation, and optional trip cancellation insurance.

Preparation: Training is paramount to the enjoyment and success of your trip. We recommend exercising in the months prior to your trip to bolster sustained cardiovascular/aerobic activities as well as core and leg strength. Day hikes with a full backpack, preferably on hilly, off road terrain, is the best way to train for our trips. Activities such as cycling and step-master type machines are also excellent and preferable to a routine comprised solely of running.

Full Itinerary

Day 1: Check in to the Pines Resort on beautiful Bass Lake anytime after 4pm. Meet your guide and group at 6pm in the main lobby for a short meet-and-greet and trip orientation. Dinner tonight is on your own at one of the many local restaurants.

Day 2: After an early breakfast on your own (there is a nice bakery in the Pines village), we’ll meet you at 8am to drive to the nearby trailhead (7,600’). The drive, which takes about an hour, is your responsibility to and from the trailhead. After a quick gear sort we’ll hit the trail. We will hike approximately 6 miles, first through fir forests and finally into the high sub-alpine lakes basin where we will make basecamp.

Day 3: Today your guide(s) will lead a hike through the pristine upper lakes basin via established on- and off-trail routes. Exact destinations and distance vary depending on the preferences of the group members. The guides excel at customizing the itinerary to meet the preferences of the group. The day ends with swimming at our lakeside camp, a hearty dinner prepared by your guide(s), and stargazing.

Day 4: After a hearty breakfast prepared by your guide(s) we’ll set out again to explore the surrounding area. An optional summit hike to one of the nearby 10,000'+ peaks that make up the southern border of Yosemite National Park is a possibility. Also day hikes to other nearby alpine lakes with great fishing, swimming & photo opportunities are possible, depending on your interest.

Day 5: After a leisurely morning we’ll bid farewell to our cozy camp and make out way back to the trailhead. Expect a 12-1pm departure from the high country.


Want to experience this trip but don't want to carry a full backpack? Click Here for our stock-supported version of the same itinerary!


*Similar trips include: Ansel Adams High Sierra CampHigh Tour

Trip Details

5 Days/ 4 Nights

Group size
3-12 participants with 1-2 mountain guides

Trip Rating

$895 per person (3-12 registered participants)

price based on shared room occupancy
Single Lodging Supplement: Requested Single $180; Forced Single $90

Dates of trip in 2018
Jun 20-24, 2018
July 18-22, 2018
Aug 8-12, 2018
Aug 29-Sept 2, 2018
Custom dates & pricing available!


I'm the Aunt who went along with my nephew and nieces. I didn't realize what I was exactly getting into, but being I'm in pretty decent shape I went along... Ryan could be my son and he was the most thoughtful, considerate guide we could have had... Considering I never have been in the mountain, the meals Ryan made were exceptionally good... It was a very memorable experience for all of us. Next year when we come Ryan will be our guide... Thanks again for such an exciting experience

-Trish Ianniello Pvt Alpine Lakes July, 2015

We had a wonderful time on your trip. Both Alexes were really excellent - cheerful, great to be around, fun, knowledgable, really good with kids. All of us would certainly love to go on a trip with them again. We appreciated the quality of the food, and it's general healthiness - much better than I was ever expecting. The scenery was gorgeous and the route was perfect. I would tell any of my friends to book with you.
Thanks for everything -it was really great!

-Phil - Pvt Family Alpine Lakes Aug, 2015

I am just back from my trip to Alpine Lakes and I wanted to share that Brendan and Riley were absolutely outstanding guides in every way. They were not only incredibly kind, thoughtful, fun, gracious, graceful and extremely well prepared, their knowledge and enthusiasm for their work came through in everything they did. I had the pleasure of peaking Madera with Brendan and it was one of the most thrilling and memorable experiences I've had in the outdoors. His skill, foresight, strength, pacing, smarts and good nature are second to none.

-Christina Giorgio, Alpine Lakes BP 2015

Ian, My family and I had a great time on the Alpine lakes backpack trip! Chudy and Drew took great care of us and were very professional. We got some phenomenal photos but they don't begin to portray the vistas we encountered. From Chittendon Lake and Sing Peak Summit to Jones Store the trip met our every expectation. I hope that you are able to continue to get people into the backcountry. Thanks again.

-Francis Siracusa MD FACS

Hey Ian, So I just got back from the Alpine Lakes trip. It rocked. The dynamic duo of Jenny and Ryan really made it fun for all and it was by far the most relaxing trip I have had in the mountains.
The site they found was idyllic and the way they tailored day trips to the varying needs of the group was impressive especially since athletic prowess varied among participants.
Next summer I'd like to plan a trip with 1-2 other families. Kudos to you for building up SYMG into the corporate Titan it is today.

-Reed Maltzman June, 2013