This is an unforgettable journey into Yosemite’s second major watershed–the Tuolumne. After dropping into the canyon, we’ll spend the next several days hiking beneath its immense granite walls, taking refreshing dips in gorgeous swimming holes, and relishing the sights and sounds of the many waterfalls along the way. This trip offers time for a meditative exploration of the Yosemite backcountry, in a remote part of Yosemite that few people ever visit. Excellent trip for those who are new to backpacking, but looking for a challenge.
2023: $1695 per person
Price based on shared hotel occupancy
Single Room Supplement:
Requested $175, Forced $85
Explore Custom Trip Options
Check in to White Wolf Lodge anytime after 5pm. Meet your guide(s) and the rest of your hiking companions at 6pm on the porch of the lodge for a short meet-and-greet and trip orientation. Dinner tonight is on your own. White Wolf Lodge offers a buffet for guests.
After breakfast on your own, you will meet your guide(s) in front of the White Wolf Lodge at 8:00am and then we’ll hit the trail! The hike into the canyon is mostly downhill to the Pate Valley area for our first night’s camp. After getting the tents up, we will enjoy some backcountry gourmet cooking, before settling in under the starry night sky.
8.5 miles, Elevation: +375’/-3990’
We’ll start our day with a hearty camp breakfast before grabbing our packs and hitting the trail. The sound of water rushing over rocks will accompany us on our meditative journey up this impressive river canyon. After hiking up through Muir Gorge, we’ll select a nice camp near the confluence of Cathedral Creek and the Tuolumne River. Options for swimming and/or fishing once we get to camp, or just bask in the glory and rest your feet as your guide(s) make yet another sumptuous feast, followed by stories and sipping beverages around the campfire.
9 miles, Elevation: +2199’/-864’
After breakfast we’ll break camp and continue our hike up the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. With less mileage on the agenda, there will be more time for taking pictures and playing in the pools beneath the many cascades that adorn this section of the river. After getting our fill of water (and waterfalls!), we’ll finish the day’s hike, arriving to the Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp, which has potable water and pit toilets, getting us ready for tomorrow’s return to civilization. After our final feast, we’ll sit around the campfire chatting with other visitors to the Yosemite high country.
7 miles, Elevation: +2425’/-125’
On our last day of the trip, we’ll hit the trail by 9:00, and enjoy a leisurely walk (with light packs) up past granite slabs and outcroppings, continuing to trace the river’s path, until finally emerging in Tuolumne Meadows, one of the most biodiverse locations in Yosemite, painted with Sierra wildflowers. We’ll have time to grab a soft-serve ice cream cone at the Tuolumne Meadow store before hopping on the hiker’s bus at 2:15, delivering us to White Wolf at 3pm, where we will say our goodbyes, our minds full of memories, and hearts full of beauty. 6 miles, Elevation: +975’/-250’
- 1st night’s lodging at White Wolf Lodge in Yosemite NP
- 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
- Return shuttle to White Wolf from Tuolumne Meadows
- 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
Your trip begins and ends at White Wolf Lodge in Yosemite National Park. Plan to arrive before 6pm so you can meet your guides and group for your trip orientation. We recommend driving to White Wolf, although options for public transportation exist (see notes about public transportation in the section below). We’ll return to White Wolf by 3pm on the last day of your trip. Any luggage that doesn’t need to come with you into the backcountry can be stored safely in your vehicle at the White Wolf parking lot, or in your guide’s vehicle if you do end up taking public transportation. Bear lockers are there to store any extra food or scented items that you have during the trip.
Training & Preparation
While this trip is appropriate for someone new to backpacking, it might not be an ideal “first trip” due to the committing nature of the route through the canyon. 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)
- Voluntary or involuntary evacuations