Days: 3 or 4 Days
Distance: 24 miles/38km
Difficulty: Intermediate +
Origin: Half Dome Village, Yosemite National Park
Cost: $900 (3 days)/ $1100 (4 days)
Yosemite National Park is world famous for its extraordinary views, incredible waterfalls and towering granite cliffs and domes. The Yosemite Falls/ Snow Creek Loop offers you the opportunity to experience all these wonders while avoiding the most popular and crowded places in the park. You will hike up and out of Yosemite Valley, past the incredible 2400-foot tall Yosemite Falls, to the rim of the valley where you will bask in the glorious views and spend your first night. Then enjoy a day traveling through the high country towards North Dome, offering incredible views of Yosemite Valley and the peaks of the High Sierra, then to Indian Rock and Snow Creek for your second night. The hulking granite mass of Half Dome is right in front of view and this perspective is hard to beat. Day 3 will take us back down to the valley floor along the Snow Creek Trail. Enjoy the impressive views of Tenaya Canyon, Cloud’s Rest and Mt. Watkins as you make the steep descent, arriving back in the Valley in time for lunch. Whew! A strenuous but fantastic Yosemite backpacking adventure!
We will meet at the Curry Village Store in Yosemite Valley at 8am. After a detailed orientation and fitting of equipment, we’ll load up our packs and head out on the trail. The lower section of the trail is very popular but the steep climb quickly separates the casual walkers from hardy hikers like you. The switchbacks seem relentless but soon you are rewarded with stunning views as you gain elevation. Catch your breath in the shade, snap a few pictures and then it’s back at it. Up, up, up we go! It’s 3.5 miles to the top of the falls. Tonight’s camp is nearby and although we haven’t put in too many miles, the climb will leave you ready to drop the packs for the day. Explore the nearby surroundings while your guide sets up camp and prepares a delicious dinner.
Distance & Elevation: 5 miles, 3000 foot ascent
After a tasty breakfast, we’ll pack up camp, cross Yosemite Creek and head on out to Yosemite Point for some breathtaking views from the rim. Then we’ll head off along the Lehamite Creek Trail towards Indian Rock and Snow Creek. The trail today is decidedly less steep but we’ll have a few ups and downs along the way. And away from the crowds, you’ll enjoy the peace and solitude that so enthralled John Muir. There are a few side hike opportunities today including North Dome and Indian Rock.
Distance & Elevation: 8 to 10 miles, 1000 foot ascent/descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
After a night under the star filled sky, we will enjoy one last breakfast in the wilderness before packing up camp. The hike back to the valley is all downhill…about 2000 feet. Once back in Yosemite Valley, we’ll hike by Mirror Lake, and then catch the shuttle back to our starting point in time for lunch.
Distance & Elevation: 5 miles, 2000 foot descent
4-Day Option: With our popular 4-day itinerary, you will have the opportunity to enjoy more day hiking along Yosemite’s North Rim, including the chance to stand atop world famous El Capitan. You will also enjoy some shorter mileage days with the backpacks. This is a great option if you prefer to just take your time a little more!
*Final itineraries are occasionally subject to change due to permit/campsite availability, park restrictions/closures, weather conditions and/or road closures.
- A professional, licensed and medically trained guide
- All necessary gear: backpack, tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, trekking poles
- All cooking/eating gear: bowls, cups, utensils (your guide will prepare all meals)
- All meals from lunch on Day 1 through lunch on the last day + trail snacks
- Backcountry permits and fees
What’s Not Included:
- Transportation to/from Yosemite National Park
- Lodging the night before/after the trip
- Clothing, raingear, and footwear
- Personal toiletries, sunscreen
- Water bottles/hydration bladder
- Headlamp or flashlight
- Guide gratuity (suggested 10-15% of trip cost)
*Upon booking you will receive a detailed trip information packet
How many people are in the group?
Most trips in Yosemite will accommodate 5 people plus one guide. On occasion, a group may be as large as 12 people plus 2 guides.
Are there age restrictions?
Children under the age of 13 are generally not permitted on regularly scheduled trips. This restriction may be negotiable on private tours. Please contact us with any questions regarding this policy.
How do I sign up?
In order to confirm a reservation, we require an initial deposit of $250 per person, with the final balance due 90 days prior to the trip’s departure. If you book a trip within 90 days of the trip’s scheduled departure, then full payment is due at the time of booking.
Your deposit is payable over the phone by Visa, MasterCard, AmEx, or Discover. Checks by mail are fine as well, as are bank transfers ($35 transfer fee). Call our office Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm Arizona time. 1-877-272-5032
Where does the trip begin/end?
This trip will begin/end in Yosemite National Park. You will want to fly into San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento, Fresno, or Reno. You will need to arrange your own transportation from airports to the park. In most cases, renting a car is your easiest and best option. Please visit our Travel Resources page for information on airports, shuttles/rental cars and recommended hotels.
Where do meet our guides?
We will hold a pre-trip orientation at 5:00pm the evening prior to your trip’s departure at the at a pre-arranged location inside the park. Departure times and logistics for the following morning will be discussed at the orientation. Most trips will depart between 7am and 9am.
What do we do with our car and extra stuff?
On the first morning of your trip, you will follow your guide to the long-term parking area where you can leave your car and personal belongings for the duration of the hike. You can also check with your hotel to see if they are willing to store your luggage for you while you hike.
What time will we get back on the last day?
Most trips end at lunchtime on the last day of the trip. If you are considering flying home on the last day of the trip, you should be finished up around 2pm. Since each trip has slightly different logistics, feel free to contact us with specific questions related to the expected return time for your trip.
June: 17-20, 29-July 2
July: 11-14, 17-20, 23-26, 28-31
August: 1-4, 10-13
Don’t see your dates? Custom dates may be available!
Call 1-877-272-5032 or email us for details.
When booking your Yosemite Backpacking Tour, make sure that you book out at least 4+ months in advance due to Grand Canyon National Park’s permit system. Backpacking permits are issued on the first of the month 4 months in advance (i.e. Jan 1 for all of May, Feb 1 for June, Mar 1 for July…etc.)