Days: 3 Days
Distance: 22 miles/35km
Origin: Tuolumne Meadows, Yosemite National Park
If alpine lakes and mountain peaks are your calling then the Young Lakes Backpacking Trip is the choice for you! This Yosemite backpacking adventure is perfect for those looking for a short getaway offering all that Yosemite’s wilderness has to offer. The Young Lakes are nestled in a beautiful basin surrounded by numerous peaks over 12,000 feet. We backpack to the lakes on the first day and setup a basecamp from which to explore the surrounding peaks and ridgelines. We have a full day to explore with just day packs, choosing our adventure as we go. We’ll create a cross-country route that climbs to peaks and ridgelines offering tremendous vistas across the High Sierra. The possibilities are endless, as are the exceptional views. After a couple of nights in the backcountry, we return to Tuolumne Meadows via the Pacific Crest Trail. Our Yosemite hiking guides will take care of all the work, leaving you to simply hike and fully appreciate the gorgeous surroundings.
Our hike begins in the beautiful Tuolumne Meadows and our trail heads north past Lembert Dome and through pine forest to picturesque Dog Lake. We continue onward, steadily gaining elevation as we pass through a wildflower meadow near Delaney Creek, as the mountain peaks surrounding our destination get ever closer. The ascent steepens somewhat as the trail crosses the flanks of Ragged Peak but soon we turn east and arrive at the gorgeous Young Lakes. We’ll set up our basecamp for the next 2 nights nearby and spend any remaining time in the afternoon relaxing or exploring the shores of the lakes. Enjoy the alpine sunset glow across the surrounding mountains as your guide prepares a delicious backcountry feast.
Distance/Elevation: 6 miles, 1500 foot ascent
Today’s focus is day hike exploration of this beautiful alpine region. Several notable peaks surround Young Lakes including Ragged Peak, White Mountain and Mount Conness. We’ll load up our day packs and head out, climbing to above the treeline, exploring many unnamed lakes and alpine tarns, wildflower meadows and sparkling streams. As we gain elevation, the mountain views extend in every direction, revealing a seemingly endless expanse of High Sierra peaks. Exact destinations for this day are open to the whims of the group but summits of either White Mountain or Mount Conness are certainly great options. However the day unfolds, you will be treated to some of the most outstanding alpine scenery in Yosemite.
Distance/Elevation: up to 8 miles, 2500 foot ascent/descent
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
After a hearty breakfast at our lakeside camp, we will pack up and begin the trek back to Tuolumne Meadows. We will take an alternate route back which intercepts a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail. It’s an enjoyable hike heading almost completely downhill and offering remarkable views of the jagged Cathedral Range to the south. We skirt along the edges of meadows and across small creeks before arriving back at our starting point.
Distance/Elevation: 8 miles, 1500 descent
*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 Tuolumne Meadows 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?
You will meet your guide at the Tuolumne Wilderness Center at 8am the morning your hike begins. We will distribute all gear and pack up before heading off on the trail.
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.
July: 11-13, 15-17, 25-27
August: 2-4, 14-16
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.)