Alpine Lakes


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Matteo Fiori
Matteo Fiori

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(800) 231-4575
Explore the high country basin in Ansel Adams Wilderness
Summit a 10,000'+ peak on Yosemite's border
Relax & enjoy beautiful Alpine Lakes

The alpine 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 environment where granite peaks, clear lakes, cascading streams, and wildflower-filled meadows captivate the senses of all who travel there. This trip is for those who want to enjoy the dramatic landscapes of Southern Yosemite away from the crowds while traveling with a professional, friendly, and knowledgeable guide. We’ll spend our days exploring this rich mountain environment, via established on- and off-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!


June 19 - 23, 2024Join Waitlist
July 24 - 28, 2024Book now
August 7 - 11, 2024Book now
August 28 - September 1, 2024Book now


June 18 - 22, 2025Book now
July 23 - 27, 2025Book now
August 6 - 10, 2025Book now
August 27 - 31, 2025Book now


2024: $1495 per person

Price based on shared hotel occupancy
Single Room Supplement:
Requested $255, Forced $125

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Trip Itinerary

Alpine Lakes - Day 1 - Meet your guide in Bass Lake, CA Alpine Lakes - Day 1 - Meet your guide in Bass Lake, CA

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.

Alpine Lakes - Day 2 - Hike to Lakeside Camp in Ansel Adams Wilderness Alpine Lakes - Day 2 - Hike to Lakeside Camp in Ansel Adams Wilderness

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.

6 miles, Elevation: +1709’/ -322′

Alpine Lakes - Day 3 - Explore Alpine Lakes Basin Alpine Lakes - Day 3 - Explore Alpine Lakes Basin

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.

Varies by trip 1-6 miles, Elevation varies

Alpine Lakes - Day 4 - Climb a 10,000'+ peak on the border of Yosemite Wilderness Alpine Lakes - Day 4 - Climb a 10,000'+ peak on the border of Yosemite Wilderness

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.

Varies by trip 1-6 miles, Elevation varies

Alpine Lakes - Day 5 - Depart Backcountry and return to Bass Lake Alpine Lakes - Day 5 - Depart Backcountry and return to Bass Lake

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.

6 miles, Elevation: +322’/ -1709′

What's Included


  • 1st night’s lodging at the Pines Resort in Bass Lake
  • 3 nights of wilderness tent camping (permits included)

  • All group gear including stoves, cookware, water filters, group first aid kit, etc.
  • Personal backpacking gear provided by request: backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, trekking poles, and tents

  • Personal transportation required
  • Follow guide in your own vehicle to remote trailhead and back on Day 2 and Day 5

  • Starting with lunch on Day 2 and ending with lunch on Day 5
  • Backcountry gourmet meals including trail snacks
  • Hot tea or coffee served each morning

A Few More Notes

Travel & Logistics

This trip begins and ends in Bass Lake, CA. Plan to arrive at the hotel before 6pm so you can meet your guides and group for your trip orientation. Transportation is not included in this departure, so you will need your own vehicle to get you to the Pines Resort as well as driving to and from the trailhead. We’ll return to Bass Lake between 2-3pm.

Training & Preparation

This is designed as a beginner-friendly experience. While we recommend putting in time to prepare for your trip, we often have people that are newer to backpacking join us.

We still recommend getting outside before your trip to hike in the shoes or boots that you plan to wear and feel comfortable with your personal clothing and gear. If possible, it’s also a great idea to do some hikes with a weighted pack on to prepare well.

What's not included
  • Transportation to and from trailhead and lodging
  • Personal clothing & footwear
  • Recommended 10%-20% gratuity for guides
  • Trip Insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Airfare
  • Voluntary or involuntary evacuations

Trip Reviews

Leslie B, 2020

Dear Graham, I just wanted to take a second to let you know how much we loved our SYMG trip and our guide, Connor Bass. As you know, not only had we never been to the Ansel Adams Wilderness, we had never been backpacking, and our camping experience had been limited to established sites with showers, etc.! To be honest, we only decided to do this type of trip because it seemed the best option for a vacation, given concerns about COVID-19. And now … wow! We want to do more of this sort of thing in “normal” times, too! A lot of the credit for that goes to Connor, who was just a great leader and guide all around. He always kept us feeling safe while gently pushing us to try something new. He calibrated the activity to our personal interests/abilities, and he’s a great chef! It was fun for Corbin and Lily to have a friend, and fun for all of us to have someone who could teach us about backpacking and the outdoors while wearing his expertise so lightly. Really, Connor’s knowledge of the landscape and everything in it was incredibly impressive! Thank you for arranging this on the office side. It was a great success! Best, Leslie

Yvonne Wu, 2020

This was our second time doing this same trip, and it was as amazing and magical as the first time, if not more so (warmer, fewer bugs, scenery even more spectacular if that's even possible). We are greatful to SYMG for accommodating us during COVID, putting additional procedures in place, and for being flexible with respect to our groups' needs (e.g., mule stock support).

Darren M, 2019

I just a quick note to say our trip in the Ansel Adams Wilderness with Gretchen was absolutely amazing -- experience of a lifetime department! The itinerary was perfect, the equipment was great, food was awesome and Gretchen was completely amazing. Gretchen in particular made the trip really special, she connected with our girls so well and made everyone super comfortable. Happy to leave a review in the right place or tell you more, but as I jump back into the swirl of work I just wanted to say thanks for a really first-rate experience from start to finish. Warm regards.

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Southern Yosemite Mountain Guides
Southern Yosemite
Mountain Guides
(800) 231-4575 (800) 231-4575 Local/International
+1 (559) 642-2817
Yosemite National Park, CA

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