Day 1 – Arrival Day, Trip Overview
Day 2 – Tenaya Lake to near Clouds Rest
Day 3 – Clouds Rest Summit
Day 4 – Half Dome Summit
Day 5 – Yosemite Valley, DepartureAccomodations:
This spectacular women's backpacking itinerary includes the Yosemite High Country and the legendary Valley – hard to come by! We’ll leave from picturesque Tenaya Lake then wind our way down to Yosemite Valley by way of Clouds Rest and Half Dome. We’ll see waterfalls, lakes, 11,000’ peaks, and wildlife. We’ll dedicate an entire day to summiting Half Dome, leaving our backpacks behind for lightweight daypacks.
We’ll camp off the beaten path, allowing for plenty of time to relax, take pictures, and recover in camp before the next day’s adventure. You’ll be well fed and taken care by our fantastic guides.
Along our hike, we will see many Sierra wildflowers blooming, 1000 year old juniper pine trees, plus lots of wildlife, including deer, marmots, and maybe even a bear. We will allow for plenty of time for photos and take our lunches near scenic lakes or vistas. After Half Dome, we'll even cool down in the refreshing stream nearby. What a treat! This trip is designed for women looking to experience the wonders and beauty of Yosemite National Park and are up for the challenge of Half Dome.
If you only get to do 1 backpack trip in Yosemite – do this one.
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Day 1 ~ Arrival Day
This trip requires a shuttle, so trip participants will meet in Yosemite Valley at 12 noon . For those arriving by train, we will meet you where the bus drops you off. For others providing your own transport, we’ll meet in the Yosemite Falls Lodge Lobby. From here, we will travel to the Yosemite High Country, where we will camp for the first evening to begin our acclimatization. Food and group equipment will be distributed and your guides will assist you with equipment suggestions and packing. We’ll spend time talking about the itinerary, flora, fauna, and weather. A great dinner will be served at about 6:30PM.
Day 2 ~ Hike to Base of Clouds Rest
After breakfast and packing, we’ll drive to the Tenaya Lake trailhead and begin our trek to Yosemite Valley. The trail ascends gently for about two miles, then climbs steeply to 9200’ affording views of Tenaya Canyon. We’ll walk along lakes, streams, and pass abundant wildflowers en route to our camp. Tonight, we’ll camp before the ascent of Clouds Rest with spectacular views of Tenaya Canyon.
Day 3 ~ Clouds Rest
Today the trail takes us over the summit of Clouds Rest. We’ll take a break there to enjoy the spectacular views of Half Dome, Tenaya Canyon, and distant peaks of the Sierra range. This is a view to remember so take plenty of pictures! The trail then descends steeply—at times it’s like a huge staircase—with more incredible views of Half Dome. We’ll camp just above the junction of the spur trail to Half Dome near a creek that will lull us to sleep.
Day 4 ~ Half Dome
The summit of Half Dome is about 2.5 miles from our camp. We’ll camp here again tonight and today carry only light daypacks. We will depart early and after the steep hike up to the approach of the dome, we’ll use the cables like stair banisters to walk the final 5-10 minutes to the summit. We’ll have lunch on top of Half Dome and spend some time enjoying the view of Yosemite Valley. We’ll then retrace our steps 2.5 miles back to our camp, where will enjoy our delicious celebratory meal!
Day 5 ~ Little Yosemite Valley, Departure
We will rise very early and make the 6-mile hike down to Yosemite Valley coming out at Happy Isles. Along the John Muir Trail, we will walk along the Merced River, before viewing Nevada Falls, Vernal Falls, and stopping for photos. Upon arrival back into Yosemite Valley, we’ll stop for cold drink and well deserved ice cream. For those taking the train back, you’ll be back in plenty of time for the 4 PM departure.