5 Days

Mileage | Rating

30 Miles

Map and Elevation



Meeting Location | Time

Curry Village Parking
4 pm


Cathedral Lakes to Clouds Rest & Half Dome

Highlights: Kick off your Yosemite backpacking experience with one of the most iconic sections of the John Muir Trail, weaving between majestic alpine lakes to the summits of Clouds Rest and Half Dome! Camp the first night at Cathedral Lakes amid the spirit of the true high country, then hike the JMT up and over Cathedral Pass with stunning views of alpine peaks along the way. Set up camp in the Sunrise Lakes area for Night 3, and from there, tackle the Clouds Rest summit (9,926’) for one of the most spectacular views of Yosemite Valley in the park! Your adventure culminates with the summit of Half Dome (8,836’) before returning to Yosemite Valley on the Mist Trail passing two spectacular waterfalls. This trip’s strenuous itinerary is well worth it! If you’re looking for an authentic Yosemite experience, this is the adventure for you!

Check Out the Cathedral Lakes to Clouds Rest & Half Dome Experience!


For a detailed map with elevation profile of the tentative itinerary, click here: Map.

Day 1: Meet your guide in Curry Village at 4:00 PM. Get acquainted with the group and with gear. If time allows before dinner, walk to some of the Valley’s iconic destinations. Eat dinner at one of the park’s numerous restaurants. (Food in the front-country is not included.) Camp in the Yosemite Valley Backpacker’s Camp. Today’s mileage: .5 mi~ / 0′

Day 2: After grabbing breakfast in Curry Village, take the morning shuttle to the Cathedral Lakes Trailhead. Catch your first glimpse of the high country while hiking 3.2 moderate miles up to Lower Cathedral Lake  (9,288′). Upon arrival, have lunch lakeside and set up camp with a stunning view, then spend the rest of the day exploring this iconic alpine lake area, with the option for another short hike up to Upper Cathedral Lake. We’ll return to camp this evening and enjoy a delicious hot meal and tea before bedding down beneath the stars. Also at this location: swimming, relaxing, and taking in an amazing sunset. Today’s mileage: 6 mi / +800-1,000′, -800-1,000′; Camp Location: Lower Cathedral Lake.

Day 3: Hike the JMT up and over Cathedral Pass (9,700) for some of the trips most spectacular views, passing Matthes Crest, Tressider Peak, Echo Peaks, and Columbia Finger on the way to Sunrise Lakes. Find your reward for a full day of hiking at the top with a relaxing evening at camp beside Sunrise Lake, complete with a spectacular alpenglow sunset. Today’s mileage: 7 mi / +666′, -500′; Camp Location: Sunrise Lakes.

Day 4: After a hearty breakfast, hike approximately 3.5 miles to the summit of Clouds Rest at 9,926′. Enjoy lunch at the top while soaking in one of Yosemite’s most renowned panoramic views. From the summit, hike down 5 miles to Sunrise Creek for the final night of camping. Today’s mileage: 7.3 mi / +800′, -2,800′; Camp Location: Sunrise Creek/John Muir Trail Junction.

Day 5: Wake early and hike 2.5 miles to top of Half Dome at 8,836′ (carrying only lightweight daypacks). Take in the views and descend the 2.5 miles back to camp before hiking out another 5.5 miles to Yosemite Valley via the Mist Trail. En route, experience two of the park’s most spectacular waterfalls. Generally, our goal is to finish between 2-4 PM but this can be later due to the human factors within the group. Today’s mileage: 10 mi /, +1,900′, -5,000′

Other: Going this route there are options. For example; there is a trail that goes around the summit of Clouds Rest should anyone not want to summit. Half Dome in itself can be an option too.

Required shuttle costs are included in the above costs. We also include backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, pads, trekking poles, and eating utensils at NO EXTRA COST as needed. Lastly, all profits from our guided trips go towards our non-profit youth summer camp program.

Note: All trips are subject to Lasting Adventures obtaining the necessary wilderness permits. Although our success rate is 98%, should we not obtain the exact trail-head, a trip of equal quality will be obtained. Should weather, fire, and/or delayed seasonal openings affect the chosen itinerary, a different itinerary will be offered. Lasting Adventures is recognized for its commitment to safety and risk management. In this regard, the summit of Half Dome (or any other peak) will not be attempted when clouds are in close proximity.

*All trips are pending permit availability which we gain 24-weeks in advance. Please refrain from making travel arrangements until we have confirmed dates.


Cancellation Policy/Traditional Backpacking

Multi-Day Adventures/Summer Camps Cancellation Policy

The following cancellation policy is only for trips booked directly through our official website, lastingadventures.com. If you have booked via a third-party website, such as The Clymb, TripAdvisor Experiences/Viator, or bookyogaretreats.com, the below policy does not apply, and you are held to the third-party’s cancellation policy.

If you cancel or leave a multi-day trip for any reason:

  • More than 90 days prior to the trip start date, we will grant you a full refund. (*Exception: our Lodging/Hiking package has a $100 non-refundable processing fee per room booked.)
  • Between 90 and 61 days prior to the trip start date, we will you a full refund minus a $50/person processing fee.
  • Between 60 and 46 days prior to the trip start date, we will retain 25 percent of the trip cost. You may also take a non-refundable credit of the full value paid.
  • Between 45 and 31 days prior to the trip start date, we will retain 50 percent of the trip cost. You may also take a non-refundable credit of the full value paid.
  • Less than 31 days prior to the trip start date, or once the trip has begun, there will be no refund or credit.
  • There will be no cost for cancellations for trips we are unable to run due to closures and/or restrictions by government officials. We will make departure determinations for trips 7 days in advance of the departure date. Refunds for trips not able to be run will be processed within 5 days of the intended departure date and can only be processed back to the original payment method used for the current trip. 
    • Exception: We may make this determination 15 days in advance for Lodging Packages. 
    • Any portion of a trip purchased with a credit from a previous year will revert back to a credit.
    • Due to the difficulties of running seasonal programs, a lost season can affect us greatly. We appreciate any of our customers that would choose to take a lifetime, transferable credit for the value paid of their trip, should the trip not be able to operate due to government restrictions.
  • Final payments on multi-day trips are automatically processed/due at 30 days in advance of the trip. Any new multi-day booking made at/within 45-days in advance will be required to pay in full.
    • Exception: Final payments are due at least 45 days in advance for our Lodging/Hiking package.
  • For our Summer Camps, due to COVID-19 in 2021 participants must have a responsible party available within 6 hours of Yosemite Valley for pickup in case of emergency. 
  • If we determine that a trip should be pulled or cancelled mid-way through the trip (for example, due to unhealthy smoke levels or other circumstances outside our control, we will provide a credit for the unused portion of the trip.


Traditional Backpacking

Lasting Adventures runs traditional backpacking trips. Traditional backpacking is done without the use of porters, stock, or other assistance. You will be expected to carry all of your own personal gear and a share of the group gear and food in a backpack for the duration of this trip. This weight will typically be between 30-50 pounds and in no case more than ⅓ of your body weight.

As needed, it is recommended that participants discuss their ability to conduct a backpacking trip with their doctor, including (but not limited to) the ability to carry heavy loads over long distances and over strenuous and uneven terrain. Levels of difficulty listed on our web site are relative and in no way an objective declaration of difficulty, and a regular physical exercise program is recommended prior to going on your adventure. A subjective guide to difficulty levels can be found here: Difficulty Levels.


Dietary Constraints

Although we are able to accommodate many specific dietary constraints and choices, we prepare foods in a facility with peanuts, gluten, soy, and other major allergens, and are not certified as an ‘allergen-free’ facility. We take steps to limit the risk of cross-contamination, but we cannot guarantee that foods we prepare will be fully free of major allergens.


Departure Dates from Curry Village:

    May Departure Dates  

  • Sun, May 29th - Thu, Jun 2nd
  • June Departure Dates  

  • Fri, Jun 24th - Tue, Jun 28th
    Sorry, Sold Out
  • Thu, Jun 30th - Mon, Jul 4th

    July Departure Dates  

  • Tue, Jul 5th - Sat, Jul 9th
  • Thu, Jul 14th - Mon, Jul 18th
  • Mon, Jul 25th - Fri, Jul 29th
  • Sun, Jul 31st - Thu, Aug 4th
  • August Departure Dates  

  • Sat, Aug 6th - Wed, Aug 10th
  • Sat, Aug 13th - Wed, Aug 17th
  • Sun, Aug 21st - Thu, Aug 25th

    September Departure Dates  

  • Thu, Sep 1st - Mon, Sep 5th
    Hurry, only 4 spots remain
  • Sat, Sep 10th - Wed, Sep 14th
  • Thu, Sep 22nd - Mon, Sep 26th
  • Thu, Sep 29th - Mon, Oct 3rd


*Permitting for the above trips is done 24 weeks in advance of the dates listed above. Please refrain from making travel arrangements until permits are confirmed. Having Travel Insurance is highly recommended.


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