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.
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.
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.