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Highlights: This family-friendly backpacking trip includes some of the most iconic Yosemite vistas, coupled with fun and relatively mellow hiking. Begin the trip in Yosemite’s high country camping at the base of Mount Hoffman (10,850’) along the shore of May Lake. An ascent of Mount Hoffman is an option for those looking for extra mileage and scenery. From the high country you’ll descend into Yosemite Valley, camping directly across from the North Face of Half Dome nearly 2,750 feet above the Valley floor. The final descent takes you past the spectacular cascades of Snow Creek. This is the perfect Yosemite family backpacking trip!
For a detailed map with elevation profile of the tentative itinerary, click here: Map.
Meet your guide in Curry Village at 4 pm. Get acquainted with the group and with gear. If time allows before dinner, explore some of the Valley’s hidden gems with your guide. Eat dinner at one the park’s numerous restaurants. (Food in the front-country is not included.) Camp at the Backpacker’s Camp in Yosemite Valley. Today’s Mileage: 0 mi / +0′, -0′
Grab breakfast in Curry Village, then catch the morning shuttle to the trailhead near Tuolumne Meadows. Enjoy rugged wilderness vistas at Tenaya Lake (8,150′) before hiking up a total of 3.2 moderate miles to May Lake at 9,329′. After setting up camp along the shore of the alpine lake, opt for a four mile round-trip hike to the top of Mount Hoffman (10,850′). Mount Hoffman is the geographical center of Yosemite National Park and was John Muir’s favorite summit view. Today’s Mileage: 3.2 mi / +1,250′, -0′, with an optional additional 3 mi/1,650′ of elevation if hiking Mount Hoffman.
Hike south and mainly downhill a total of 7.5 miles (as we cross back over Tioga Road/Hwy 120) to the top of Snow Creek Falls (6,720′). Here we will camp alongside a creek and directly across from the sheer face of Half Dome. This site provides for some amazing views of Yosemite Valley and the surrounding mountain ranges. Today’s Mileage: 7.5 mi / +0′, -2,600′
We will return to the Valley itself by hiking down the Snow Creek trail, which descends 2,600′ feet into the Valley below. Once on the Valley floor we will hike out besides Mirror Lake (at the base of Half Dome) for another 2 miles. Ending time is usually between 11 am and 1 pm back in Curry Village. Today’s Mileage: 4.8 mi / +0′, -2,750′
Other: The May Lake Yosemite trip combines high alpine lakes and scenery, a chance to summit a major peak in Yosemite, and views into the Yosemite Valley from the northeast rim of the valley.
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. 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.
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. The weight can be expected to be 30-50 lbs and no more than the recommended 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 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.