5 Days

Mileage | Rating

28 Miles

Map and Elevation



Meeting Location

Tuolumne Meadows Store
4 pm


Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne

Guide’s Top Pick!

The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne is a true gem in a less-visited area of Yosemite. The pure waters of the Tuolumne River, fed by Sierra snow melt, run wild and scenic through the Muir Gorge in the central region of Yosemite National Park. In this 3,000 foot deep canyon you are treated to everything from rushing cascades to deep tranquil pools that are perfect for a refreshing and invigorating soak. This is truly a trip for water lovers as you are never far from the river.

Check Out the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne Experience!

Sample Itinerary

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

Day 1
Meet your guide in front of the Tuolumne Meadows Store at 4 pm. Get acquainted with the group and with gear. If time allows before dinner, explore some of the areas hidden gems. Grab dinner at the Tuolumne Grill before camping in the Tuolumne Meadows Backpacker’s Camp at approx. 8,600′. Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 0 / +0′, -0′

Day 2
Have breakfast at the Grill before catching the mid-morning YARTS bus to White Wolf (7,875′) where we will begin the hike. Today is a long (though mostly downhill) 10.5 mile hike dropping over 3,500′ into Pate Valley (4,380′) on the western end of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 9.5 mi / +100′, -3,600′

Day 3
Today we will begin our hike paralleling the Tuolumne River as we head east and gradual uphill. As the river winds both along the river and up onto some granite walls and outcroppings we will be awarded with some dramatic views in all directions. We will hike approximately 7 miles to a riverfront campsite within the granite walls of the canyon and across from where Cathedral Creek cascades into the Tuolumne. (Campsite elevation: 5,500′) Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 6.9 mi / +1,600′, -350′

Day 4
We will continue our hike up the Tuolumne hiking another 7 miles to Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp (7,980′). En route we will past famous spillways along the Tuolumne River such as Waterwheel Falls, LeConte Falls, and California Falls. At Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp we will have a chance to rest and relax along the beach below. After dinner, hike a few minutes from camp onto a bluff for a spectacular sunset! Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 6.5 mi / +2,250′, -0′

Day 5
Today we depart the Tuolumne River gorge and head up into the open space of Tuolumne Meadows (8,600′). We will hike 8-miles total while taking breaks along the way at prime water holes and even a few smaller lakes. Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 5.5 mi / +700′, -0′. Our expected ending time is between 11 am-2 pm.

Guides, permits, shuttle costs, all meals in the backcountry (Day 2 lunch through Day 5 lunch), and all group gear (cooking gear, bear cans, water filters, first aid, toiletries, etc.). We also include internal frame backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, tents, trekking poles, and eating gear (as requested) at no extra cost.

Not Included
Examples: Personal items (see Equipment List online), front-country food (see above), optional trip insurance, tips for guides (10-20% of trip fee), Yosemite gate entrance fee (~$35), and alcoholic beverages.

Note: This is a strenuous trip. Participants should be experienced backpackers and/or in above-average to good physical condition. 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. You will be kept in contact throughout this process.

*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 Tuolumne Meadows:

    July Departure Dates  

  • Tue, Jul 5th - Sat, Jul 9th
  • Sun, Jul 24th - Thu, Jul 28th

    August Departure Dates  

  • Sat, Aug 6th - Wed, Aug 10th
  • September Departure Dates  

  • Thu, Sep 1st - Mon, Sep 5th
  • Sun, Sep 18th - Thu, Sep 22nd


    *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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