Highlights: Looking for an incredible Half Dome backpacking trip? This trip will make the experience unforgettable! Begin the adventure at Glacier Point (Yosemite’s number one attraction) with panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada high country. Quickly lose the crowds by descending into the Illilouette Valley and setting up camp along the creek. On Day three hike around the base of Mt. Starr King to Little Yosemite Valley, passing by the precipice of Nevada Fall along the way. If we are unable to summit Half Dome this afternoon for a sunset; we will take in the sunrise the next morning. Return to Yosemite Valley along the famous Mist Trail soaking in both Nevada and Vernal Falls. This is one of our most popular Yosemite backpacking trips for good reason!
2019 snowpack update: Our snowpack this year in the Sierras is currently at about 150% of normal. We anticipate a late opening for the Yosemite High Country with snow prevalent into late June and beyond at higher elevations. River, creek, and waterfall flow will be at high and sometimes dangerous levels. We do not estimate the cables on Half Dome being installed until the first week of June. Any trips through mid-late June can be impacted and back-up itineraries will be offered when necessary. Further updates will be provided by email for registered clients and campers.
Meet your guide in Half Dome Village at 3:00 PM. Get acquainted with the group and with gear. If time allows before dinner, visit some of the Valley’s walkable destinations. Grab dinner at one of park’s numerous restaurants. (Food is not provided while in the front-country.) Camp in the Yosemite Valley Backpacker’s Camp.
We will head over to Yosemite Lodge for breakfast and to catch the 10:00 AM bus to Glacier Point (7,214′). After taking in the views at Glacier Point, we will descend down into Illilouette Valley. After 3.7 mostly easy downhill miles (only one short climb of about 200′) we will cross the Illilouette Creek and camp at a knoll along the water. If the sky is cloudless, experience an incredible show of stars! Total mileage: 3.8.
After a hearty breakfast we will hike out of the Illilouette Valley on a moderate uphill and scenic climb to the Panorama Trail before descending to the precipice of Nevada Fall and ultimately Little Yosemite Valley at 6040′ where we will camp for the night. There is a beach along the Merced River here that makes for excellent relaxation. Total mileage: 5.5.
Half Dome will be completed either in the afternoon on Day 3 to catch the sunset, or the following morning with an alpine start to catch the sunrise. This is a strenuous uphill of 3.5 miles to the summit at 8,836′. Roundtrip mileage: 7.0
We will descend to the Yosemite Valley Floor (4,000′) via the Mist Trail which parallels the Merced River and both Nevada and Vernal Falls. Total mileage: 4.5
Typically, our goal is to finish between 2-4 PM.
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.