Yosemite Camping

Yosemite Valley Hiking Weekend


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Matt Cairns
Matt Cairns

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(800) 231-4575
Camp in the heart of Yosemite Valley
Visit Glacier Point and see unique perspectives of Half Dome
See Yosemite Waterfalls up close

Deep in the heart of the Sierra Nevada Mountains lays the incomparable Yosemite Valley. There, you’ll discover Half Dome, El Capitan, all 3 of North America’s tallest waterfalls, and the “Wild and Scenic” Merced River. It is such a wildly impressive natural landscape that it has earned its own nickname “The Incomparable Valley”. Join us here where we’ll follow in the footsteps of John Muir, feel the power of the waterfalls, and contemplate what it was like when this entire region was covered in ice thousands of feet thick. You’ll spend your days with your interpretive mountain guide, hiking and exploring on- and off-the-beaten path. Each day brings more highlights and plenty of photographic opportunities.


June 6 - 9, 2024
3 spots available
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June 30 - July 2, 2024Join Waitlist


2024: $1295 per person

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Trip Itinerary

Yosemite Valley Hiking Weekend - Day 1 - Meet your guide in Yosemite Valley Yosemite Valley Hiking Weekend - Day 1 - Meet your guide in Yosemite Valley

Meet your guide and group at the Pines Campground (4,100’) at 5pm (two weeks before the trip we will confirm the exact site number as part of your final bulletin). After a short trip orientation, your guides will prepare a hearty dinner and campfire, and a walk out to the Merced River is possible if there is interest.

Yosemite Valley Hiking Weekend - Day 2 - Hike Yosemite's famous trails Yosemite Valley Hiking Weekend - Day 2 - Hike Yosemite's famous trails

After a hearty campground breakfast we will set off on an exhilarating morning hike along the famous Mist Trail to visit Vernal, Nevada, & Illilouette Falls. The trail lives up to its name and you’ll surely want to bring your rainjacket along! After lunch along the Merced River, we’ll make our way back to Yosemite Valley. In the afternoon your guide will tour you around the eastern end of Yosemite Valley, weaving tales of Yosemite pioneers, Miwok Indians, geology, and local wildlife. We’ll top off our day with a grand vista of the iconic Half Dome for sunset. Bring your camera! Expect a 6-9 mile day on moderate-easy terrain with up to 1,700’ of elevation gain and loss.

Yosemite Valley Hiking Weekend - Day 3 - Explore Glacier Point and Yosemite High Country Yosemite Valley Hiking Weekend - Day 3 - Explore Glacier Point and Yosemite High Country

We’ll start out of camp early today and shuttle ourselves up to the famous lookout at Glacier Point, looming high above Yosemite Valley. From this vantage, we’ll peer down into the valley 2,700 feet below and have panoramic views that include Half Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, and the Clark Range. Here it’s easy to see why Yosemite is famously known as “The Incomparable Valley”. After some time for pictures and contemplation, we’ll lace up our boots and set out to the South Rim of Yosemite Valley. We can visit Taft Point, perched out over the valley with unique views of the famous El Capitan. We can continue on to the summit of Sentinel Dome, with 360-degree views of the Sierra High Country and great views of the powerful Yosemite Falls, North America’s Highest Waterfall. Expect 5-7 miles of easy-moderate hiking with several hundred feet of elevation gain and loss.

Yosemite Valley Hiking Weekend - Day 4 - Get up close and personal with El Capitan Yosemite Valley Hiking Weekend - Day 4 - Get up close and personal with El Capitan

Today, we’ll turn our sights to the western end of Yosemite Valley, beginning with a stop at the towering Yosemite Falls. At 2,425’, this is the tallest waterfall in North America and 7th tallest in the world. From there, we’ll get up close and personal with the massive El Capitan. From the meadow we’ll talk about geology and rock climbing, and you’ll have the chance to spot rock climbers high up on the face. It takes the average party 3.5 days of living on the wall to climb it bottom to top! Leaving the meadow, we’ll hike to the base of El Cap. Putting your hands on the smooth granite and staring up 3,000ft to the top really puts Yosemite into perspective. And what a way to finish your Yosemite trip! We’ll end around 2pm on Sunday in time for you to travel to your next destination. 3 miles of hiking on easy-moderate terrain.

What's Included


  • 3 night stay in Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley

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

  • Starting with dinner on Day 1 and ending with lunch on Day 4
  • 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 Upper Pines Camgpround in Yosemite Valley, CA. 30 days before the trip we will confirm the exact site number as part of your pre-trip email communication. Arrive by 5pm so you can meet your guides and group for your trip orientation. Plan for extra time to get to your destination, as traffic can be heavy in Yosemite Valley during the peak months of summer. Personal transportation is required for this trip. The last day of your trip will end at 2 pm.

Campground Reservations

Campgrounds cannot be confirmed until 120 days in advance. Thus, we cannot guarantee departures nor specific campgrounds until these reservations are in-hand and we highly recommend holding off on booking flights, etc until the campgrounds are confirmed.

Lodge-based itinerary

Camping not your thing? We offer a lodge-based itinerary of this trip, instead of camping in Yosemite Valley, you would spend three nights at Curry Village. Your gude will meet you on the morning of Day 2 and you will be responsible for your breakfasts and dinners. Call or email us for more details

What's not included
  • Personal clothing & footwear
  • Transportation to Yosemite Valley
  • Recommended 10%-20% gratuity for guides
  • Trip Insurance
  • Airfare
  • Evacuations

Trip Reviews

Michelle A, 2023

We had a phenomenal three day hiking trip in Yosemite Valley with SYMG, while staying at Upper Pines Campground. Planning was a breeze and all pre-planning logistical questions were graciously answered. Our guide, Jackson, was a delight in every way, and we miss him! He has a very pleasant personality, is very knowledgeable, and worked very hard during the trip but took care to never show the efforts that were taking place behind the scene. The food he prepared was delicious. He is easy-going and struck the right balance between pushing us so that we were able to accomplish what we wanted and also recognizing that we were on vacation and were happy to follow a relaxed schedule. Jackson accommodated our food preferences graciously and without hesitation. I highly recommend SYMG and Jackson and would surely do another trip with them.

Fran S, 2014

We had a great time on our tours with Carlos. He was informative, fun, challenged us and encouraged me. We saw some of the most exquisite landscapes we could ever hope to. He was the perfect guide for my grandson and I. I would have every confidence in recommending SYMG and Carlos.

Brent S, 2015

Upon our arrival our kids rolled down their windows to let the fresh mountain air fill our car and refresh our minds. We found the adorable cabin and had time to become acquainted with bustling Curry Village. After a restful night sleep, we met up with our guide Brendan and started our adventurous day of bike riding around the Yosemite Valley. We had so much fun on our ride that even when it started to drizzle my kids didn’t want to stop, but laughed and found riding in it to be one of our favorite memories! The rest of the week was filled with one adventure after another that showed us the grandeur of Yosemite in ways that we had never seen it on previous visits. We hiked up the Mist Trail and overlooked the most incredible scenery from the top of Vernal Falls! Our guide was very cautious about the steep, slippery steps of the path we had climbed up and led us down a switchback trail where we found an illusive black-headed grosbeak bird to photograph (we are bird nerds). Another day we drove through Tuolumne Meadows and climbed up to a granite overlook of the valley that was incredibly inspiring. Our final day of horseback riding through the sugar pine trails left us one of our most hilarious memories. As our horses made their way across the final creek, my husbands horse got a little too close to the one in front of him and ended up with a big splat mud bath! It was timely to make one more lasting memory of our Yosemite trip! In closing I wanted to make a specific note about the quality of the SYMG guide Brendan and the type of tour he led. We all felt that the entire trip was tailored to each of our individual needs, and Brendan was very generous in that regard. Not only did he help us prepare with daily needed supplies, but also he taught us helpful tips about body mechanics and outdoor terminology to educate us about outdoor adventures. This natural, organic method was very helpful to each of us, and his willingness to make it a “journey to enjoy rather than a destination to reach” gave the trip a higher quality value. My kids talked Brendan’s ear off and asked tons of questions. When it came time to say goodbye to him, it was the only time all week that they whined and had tears in their eyes!

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

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