6 Days

Mileage | Rating

37 Miles
Moderate – Strenuous

Map and Elevation



Meeting Location | Time

Curry Village Parking Lot
4 pm


Our Founder and our Operations Manager are your guides for this iconic Yosemite backpacking tour to raise funds for disadvantaged youth!


Join Lasting Adventures’ Founder/Executive Director, Scott Gehrman, and our Operations Director (and former Yosemite Wilderness Ranger) Chris Hubach, on a special 6-day adventure through Yosemite’s backcountry with our two most experienced staff members! As one of the park’s most  devoted stewards, Scott has been coming to Yosemite since childhood, and guiding here for more than 25 years! As a former wilderness ranger, Chris successfully hiked every step of Yosemite’s 800-mile trail network, and logged plenty of off-trail miles along the way. With more than 30 years of combined backcountry experience in the park, the duo hosts an unparalleled wealth of Yosemite knowledge to share with guests—from hidden secrets of Yosemite’s fascinating history to locations of the park’s lesser-known backcountry marvels. They are also both wizards in the backcountry kitchen (Chris specializes in vegetarian cuisine) who are passionate about creating delicious menu items to accommodate all guests, so no matter what your diet demands, you’ll eat like high-country royalty in their company! Scott has picked one of his favorite itineraries that gives you a incomparable presentation of everything Yosemite has to offer.

What’s best about our Founder’s Fall Adventure? It’s designed as a fundraiser for our youth scholarship program, and all profits go toward providing positive outdoor experiences for disadvantaged youth and teens!


Scott Gehrman, Founder/Executive Director

Scott is the founder and executive director of Lasting Adventures. He has been coming to Yosemite since childhood, and guiding in the park for just over 25-years. (He’ll tell you he started when he was young, and that he did; at the ripe age of 22.) Scott has logged thousands of miles in the Yosemite backcountry and well over 150 Half Dome summits, all while claiming to be afraid of heights. Over the years, Scott’s history of high-adventure experiences and first-hand encounters in the Yosemite backcountry have armed him with countless stories of his personal escapades, such as the time he awoke face-to-face with a black bear! He also has an arsenal of campfire tales stemming from an affinity for the lesser-known Native American and pioneer history of Yosemite. Scott’s favorite locations in Yosemite include Clouds Rest, Matterhorn Canyon, and Vogelsang Pass, the latter of which is in the itinerary for this adventure! When not in Yosemite, Scott can be found snowboarding, or hiking the slopes of Tahoe with his dog, and Lasting Adventure’s spirit animal, Summit.

Chris Hubach, Operations Director

Chris is Lasting Adventures’ Operations Manager who spent eight years as a Yosemite National Park Wilderness Ranger before joining our team. He has hiked every inch of trail within Yosemite and all but 20 miles in Rocky Mountain National Park, where he was also a Wilderness Ranger. Chris is not only a Wilderness EMT, but also a certified Leave No Trace Master educator with a vast amount of Yosemite knowledge accrued over more than a decade spent working and living in the area. His favorite locations in Yosemite include Mount Clark, Mount Hoffman, and Tenaya Creek, and as a history buff, takes particular interest in the park’s fascinating past. Chris began working with Lasting Adventures in 2018, and continues to evolve as a knowledgable steward of Yosemite in his current role. When Chris isn’t working, he spends his time traveling, and has visited 36 countries across the globe! The only continents he hasn’t been to yet are Australia and Antarctica–but they’re next on the list!

Also on this trip you can expect to benefit from 1-2 more of our experienced Yosemite guides who will join in on the fun while providing additional support to this exceptional experience.

Check Out the Founder’s Fall Adventure!


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

Day 1: Meet your hosts, Scott and Chris, at 4 pm in Curry Village. Get acquainted with the group and with gear. If time allows before dinner, explore some of the Valley’s iconic features. Eat dinner at one of the park’s many restaurants (food in the front-country is not included). Camp in the Yosemite Valley Backpacker’s Camp. Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 0 mi / +0′, -0′

Day 2: Grab breakfast in Curry Village, then take the morning shuttle to Tuolumne Meadows. From there, depart by means of the John Muir Trail and quickly diverge onto the Rafferty Creek Trail. This is a steady uphill hike into high alpine meadows. Our goal this day is to go 6.5 miles to either Boothe Lake (9,845′) or Vogelsang High Sierra Camp (10,130′), where we’ll spend the night in an area of Yosemite unanimously beloved as a favorite among our guides! Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 7.5 mi / +1,500′, -0′

Day 3: This downhill day begins with a drop in elevation to Babcock Lake (8,885′), over the course of 5.3 hiking miles alongside Fletcher Creek, the headwaters for the Merced River. Upon reaching camp at Babcock Lake, you’ll have the opportunity to relax and cool off in the brisk alpine lake before dinner. Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 5.3 mi / +100′, -1,300′

Day 4: After a hearty breakfast, we break camp and leave Babcock Lake, dropping over 1,500′ on the 3.9-mile hike to Merced Lake for a lunchtime break. We will then hike another 2.6 easy miles along the shores of the Merced River to Echo Valley (7,020′), where we’ll set up camp and enjoy a delicious dinner before bedding down for the a well-earned sleep. Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 6.5 mi / +100′, -2,000′

Day 5: Today we continue hiking along the Merced River to Little Yosemite Valley (6,140′) for a total of 6.7 easy, downhill miles past stunning backcountry waterfalls and cascades. You’ll experience lush meadows filled with wildflowers and babbling creeks as you trek through some of the park’s most pristine wilderness. Today’s Mileage/Elevation (without Half dome): 6.7 mi / +250′, -1,800′

Day 6: Our final hike takes us 4.5 miles down the iconic Mist Trail to Yosemite Valley (4,000′). Along the way we pass two of Yosemite’s most stunning waterfalls—Nevada Fall and Vernal Fall—before finishing in historic Curry Village. Typically, the goal is to reach the end of the hike, and trip, between 1:00 and 3:00 PM. Today’s Mileage/Elevation (without Half Dome): 4.5 mi / +300′, -2440′

Other: Half Dome can be completed in the afternoon/evening of Day 5 or early morning on Day 6 before hiking out. This is a 7-mile round-trip, +2,700’/-2,700′ elevation change hike from Little Yosemite Valley.


  • Required shuttle costs are included in the above costs. We also provide backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, pads, trekking poles and eating utensils as needed at NO EXTRA COST. This trip is primarily a fundraiser, and all profits go to supporting our Youth Programs.
  • All trips are subject to Lasting Adventures obtaining the necessary wilderness permits. Although we have a 98% success rate for obtaining permits, if we are unable to acquire permits for this exact itinerary, a trip of equal quality will be secured.
  • 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:

    September Departure Dates  

  • Fri, Sep 9th - Wed, Sep 14th
    Hurry, only 4 spots remain

*Permitting for 2020 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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