Yosemite Falls Loop


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Matt Cairns
Matt Cairns

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See the best views of iconic Yosemite Falls
Traverse the North Rim of Yosemite Valley
See Half Dome from unique, up close angles

Lot of “bang for the buck,” on this short trip, spending 3 days backpacking Yosemite Valley’s North Rim. This is a wonderfully scenic trip with moderate days and highlights including hiking alongside the highest waterfall in North America (Yosemite Falls-2,425′) and some of the best views of Yosemite Valley and Half Dome in the entire Park.


May 25 - 27, 2024Book now
May 31 - June 2, 2024Book now
June 21 - 23, 2024Join Waitlist


$995 per person

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Trip Itinerary

Yosemite Falls Loop - Day 1 - Meet Your Guide in Yosemite National Park Yosemite Falls Loop - Day 1 - Meet Your Guide in Yosemite National Park

Meet your guide after breakfast in Yosemite Valley at the Curry Village Mountain Shop at 9am. We will leave our cars in the backpacker parking lot and take a free shuttle to the trailhead. From there, we’ll set off to gain the north rim of Yosemite Valley and the top of Yosemite Falls (2,425’). After we enjoy the spectacular and improbable falls lookout point, we’ll travel another .5 mile or through evergreen forests to camp. At our creekside camp we’ll enjoy refreshing swimming holes, followed by a gourmet backcountry dinner prepared by your guide(s).

4 miles, Elevation: +3671’/ -935′

Yosemite Falls Loop - Day 2 - Traverse the North Rim of Yosemite Valley Yosemite Falls Loop - Day 2 - Traverse the North Rim of Yosemite Valley

After crossing the mighty Yosemite Creek in the morning (there is a bridge!) we’ll continue along the rim to Yosemite Point lookout. Our route then continues through the Lehamite and Indian Creek drainages, eventually leading us to our camp at the incredible Snow Creek promontory with up-close views of Mt Watkins and Half Dome. After dinner, plan on enjoying a spectacular night of stargazing.

8 miles, Elevation: +1864’/ -1929′

Yosemite Falls Loop - Day 3 - Descend Snow Creek Trail Yosemite Falls Loop - Day 3 - Descend Snow Creek Trail

Today we’ll pack our backpacks one final time and bid adieu to our high camp. We’ll head down the Snow Creek Falls trail to Mirror Lake, exiting on the eastern end of Yosemite Valley. There we can continue the additional mile back to Curry Village or we can grab the free shuttle if we feel like it. We’ll get back to our vehicles around noon.

5 miles, Elevation: +305’/ -3077′

What's Included


  • 2 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

  • Starting with lunch on Day 1 and ending with lunch on Day 3
  • Backcountry gourmet meals including trail snacks
  • Hot tea or coffee served each morning

A Few More Notes

Travel & Logistics

Your trip begins and ends in Yosemite Valley, CA at 9:00am on the first day. Since the group begins hiking on Day 1 with specific mileage to cover, it is important that you are on time to meet your guide and group in the morning. Remember that there can be traffic during the summer months in Yosemite, so make sure to leave plenty of time for travel in the morning.

The evening before your trip, we recommend staying at one of the Yosemite Valley accommodations since they are the closest to your meeting point in Curry Village. Although, if needed, there are also accommodations in neighboring mountain towns. Please be aware of how long it will take you to get from your accommodations to the meeting point. On the last day of the trip, we’ll return to our vehicles between 12-1pm.

Training & Preparation

While this trip is rated as moderate and is designed to be a beginner-friendly backpack, the climb on Day 1 up Yosemite Falls (or Snow Creek switchbacks depending on direction) is quite substantial and qualifies as “Challenging”. For your training, you’ll want to focus on leg strengthening using a combination of gym workouts, stair climbing, and hiking in your local area with a fully weighted pack. The good news is that the day’s overall mileage is short, which means we can take our time and take plenty of breaks.

Looking for more tips? Check out our blog!


This itinerary may be done in reverse depending on the wilderness permit. This does not affect your meeting place or the timing of the trip. You will be notified in advance of any changes.

What's Not Included
  • Personal clothing & footwear
  • National Park Entry Fee ($35 for 7-day pass per vehicle)
  • Recommended 10%-20% gratuity for guides
  • Trip Insurance (strongly recommended)
  • Transportation to/from Yosemite Valley
  • Airfare
  • Voluntary or involuntary evacuations


Trip Reviews

Mandy B, 2015

I just went on the Yosemite Falls Loop backpacking trip last was awesome! Wilson and Scott were so great!!!

Rachel Q, 2014

We wanted share with your organization what an incredible experience we had with your guide Chris Plewa. Chris took us on a wonderful three day backpacking trip through the Yosemite Falls-Snow Creek Loop. He was delightful to be around, professional, prompt, very positive, kind and encouraging, an amazing backcountry chef and obviously very knowledgable both about backpacking and about the park.

Matt B, 2014

It is crazy twist of fate that Rachel and I were able to have the trip to ourselves and Chris, of course. Chris mentioned that there were other people that signed up but then had to cancel. Well I proposed to Rachel on Saturday at the second nights camp/overlook across from half dome. Thanks goes to Chris for being a helping hand for taking some pictures for us. This trip is just what we needed to see all of what backpacking for short trips could be with the amazing food and good planning. I will be sending another e-mail shortly to sing the praises of SYMG and to say thanks again for not only changing the way Rachel feels about backpacking, but allowing me a great opportunity to change Rachel's and my relationship forever. She said yes!!

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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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