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.
$995 per person
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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′
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′
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′
- 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.
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
- Voluntary or involuntary evacuations
Mandy B, 2015
Rachel Q, 2014
Matt B, 2014
Jason R, 2013