Celebrating a milestone? Planning a special family vacation or an annual trip with friends? We can arrange an exclusive departure of most of our advertised trips for just you and your group.
Have you been dreaming of a particular trip that you don't see on our website? Not a problem, let us design a tailor-made trip that matches your interests, abilities, and budget.
With nearly 30 years in the business, we have mastered the art of designing trips in the Sierra. With extensive knowledge of the backcountry, permit systems, logistics, food planning and more, we can plan the perfect wilderness outing just for you!
Connect with a trip planning expert
Our friendly office staff are ready to answer any questions and help you book your next adventure!
PRIVATE & CUSTOM QUESTIONS
Yes! Children 16 and over are welcome to join any of our regular departures when accompanied by a parent. Some departures are also appropriate for 12 years and older such as our Ansel Adams Wilderness High Sierra Camp, Alpine Lakes or High Tour backpacking trips, Hiking Weekends, and Rock Climbing trips, again when accompanied by a parent. We also sometimes make exceptions for children who have had prior experience and success on the type of trip you are interested in joining. Past that, we’ve found it best for families with younger children to create a private trip for just the family which we are happy to do. This way the entire trip can be catered to your interests and abilities, and having a private guide will give lots of flexibility for the younger kids, meaning more fun for everyone. Feel free to contact us to discuss your family’s interests and we can help you plan a memorable adventure here in the Yosemite area.
Availability of both guides and permits is limited, so the sooner you book, the better. We suggest planning about 1 year to 6 months in advance, though we can sometimes find ways to accommodate your needs even at shorter notice.
What is a typical menu on a guided backpacking trip?”
The High Sierra lakes and streams we travel in are notable for the fishing opportunities! High Sierra Lakes hold fish in the 6-15′ range typically. Brook (mostly) and Rainbow Trout are commonly caught but its also possible to catch German Brown and Golden Trout depending on your location. We typically recommend the practice of catch and release. If keeping fish, we recommend keeping fish over 12′ and the Brooks only. You’ll be responsible for cleaning your own fish and will need to discuss with your guide a plan for cooking and eating them. Each person will also need a CA Dept of fish and game fishing license which you can pre-purchase online.
As far as fly fishing gear. We recommend bringing a 3-7 piece, 4-6 weight rod for the lakes and streams of the Sierra. Hard cases for pack trips mandatory. Recommended fly patterns are:
- Dry: Elk Hair Caddis, size 14, 16, 18. Adams, size 16, 18, 20. Royal Wulffs and Royal Coachmans, size 14, 16, 18. Stimulators, sz 10-12-14
- Nymphs: Hare’s Ear, size 14, 16. Pheasant Tail, size 16, 18, Wooley Buggers sz 8-12, Stone Flies sz. 8-12, Princes sz 10-12-14
- In Fall add terrestrials: Ants, hoppers, beetles
- 4x-6x tippets
If you use spinning rods, telescoping are best for packing. Small (1-2 lbs test is best). Lures should be barbless and single if possible, although treble hooks aren’t mandatory.
- Recommended lures are: Small Mepps, Rooster Tales, etc. Mepps Trouter Kit Plain: Little Wolf Silver, #1 Thunder Bug May Fly-Gold, #0 Agilia Long Silver, #1 Black Fury Fourescent, #1 XD Silver Body/Silver Blade, #1 Agilia Gold Undressed
“You guys did such an amazing job guiding and shepherding and sharing the wilderness with the one-day magnificent seven. Their enthusiasm and natural highs from the experience are beyond John Denveresque….so many Wows. They can’t stop talking about the hikes, the lakes, the mountains, the snow, the deer, the food, and you guys. When I asked Jasper his favorite part, he said “the guides,” and I think he spoke for the gang.
Can’t thank you enough for stepping in at such short notice, and then pivoting so brilliantly when Jasper broke his toe, and for making the whole experience transcendental for the boys. We can all only imagine how meaningful this was for a group of pre-teens who have been stuck inside with boring parents, without friends or fresh air, for four months. This unshackled the chains and let them breathe freedom and sunshine. It may set them on a worthy path in life, and will certainly be a memory to draw upon for life. Again, thank you, ad infinitum. And I hope we can do more!”
-Richard Bangs, Private Youth Alpine Lakes 2020
“Everything was amazing. Itinerary was perfect – stunning landscape and a real sense of adventure, while leaving lots of time to relax and enjoy the lakes, views etc. Logistics were super smooth and your gear was all great. Food was amazing and Gretchen was a great cook! We couldn’t believe the miracles she continued to pull our of the bear cans — fresh fruit, Mexican quinoa bowls with fresh lime, etc deep into the trip!”
-Darren M, Private Alpine Lakes 2019
“I just wanted to send a quick note of appreciation for the guide, Fred Ackerman, on our recent private trip into the Ansel Adams Wilderness, earlier this month. His expertise, his hard work, his attention to our well-being (and of course his cooking!) helped us enjoy our trip immensely. Even my oldest son, who was not looking forward to the trip, recently admitted that he enjoyed it. I have sent Fred a note directly, but wanted to let you know our appreciation as well.”
– David K, Private Ansel Adams High Sierra Camp 2018
“We had an amazing time, and it was such a wonderful bonding and learning experience for our family. We are so grateful to Jason for agreeing to take our children – we have a hard time finding companies that allow children, even on private trips. (Despite ours hiking as well as many adults!) Our travel with Jason was very smooth, and we enjoyed some excellent meals and lodging. “Hidden” (Northern) Patagonia is a very special place, and we loved exploring it.”
-Alyson and Craig B, Private Hidden Patagonia 2017
More Ways To Experience Yosemite & The High Sierra
Guided Backpacking Trips
At SYMG we specialize in planning and executing incredible Yosemite and High Sierra Backpacking Adventures. From three day Half Dome Trips to expedition-style John Muir Trail Adventures, we can do it all, and have since 1991. Our professional guides are renowned for their amazing backcountry cuisine and add color to the experience through natural and cultural history interpretation. In addition to the trips listed below that anyone may join, we can also organize private departures of any of our trips, or even create a custom trip just for you.Browse Backpacking Trips
Pack Supported Trekking Trips
Want to get out in the backcountry but don't want to carry a heavy backpack? Then our Yosemite and High Sierra Pack Trips are just the thing for you! We don't hike with the mules each day, but they do pack our gear and provisions along the trail, leaving you to enjoy the day and explore with your professional guide. Plush camps, amazing food, world-class scenery, and engaging guides make SYMG's Horsepack supported trips through the Yosemite High Country a trip to remember. In addition to the Pack Trips we offer, we can also organize private departures of any of our trips, or even create a custom trip just for you.Browse Pack Supported Trekking Trips
Since 1991 we've been offering Guided Yosemite Climbing in the southern Yosemite high country. All of our day trips are privately arranged and your personal guide will cater the days to your own personal interests and abilities. From easy top-roping for the family to challenging multi-pitch trad and sport routes, we can do it all. And if you're looking to expand your own skill set, consider our Rock Climbing Instruction courses: the rock climbing skills day and rock climbing camps.Browse Guided Rock Climbing Trips
Yosemite Hiking Tours
Since 1991 we've been offering Yosemite Hiking Adventures throughout the park. All of our day trips are privately arranged and your personal guide will cater the days to your own personal interests and abilities. Choose an interpretive day focusing on natural and cultural history walks to famous landmarks, or set out for a more challenging hiking day on one of Yosemite's long trails.Browse Yosemite Guided Hiking Trips