Highlights: For the hiker wanting to see it all, the Yosemite Icons trip offers stunning views of Yosemite’s most famous landmarks from rarely seen perspectives. Experience the adrenalin rush of peering over the sheer 3,000 foot face of El Capitan –the mecca of rock climbers around the world. Feel the mist of the roaring Yosemite Falls as you stand over the water plunging nearly 1500 feet to the pool below making it one of the tallest free-falling waterfalls in the world. Have lunch while gazing down on the granite bubble North Dome and relax while watching the sunset on the valley from Eagle Peak. This is a bucket list backpacking trip that lets you get up close and personal with scenes most people only see on postcards in the gift shop.
For a detailed map with elevation profile of the tentative itinerary, click here: Map.
Day 1: Meet your guide in Curry Village at 4 pm. While staying in the Yosemite Valley backpacker’s camp you will get acquainted with the group, gear and trip logistics. Once camp is set up, you are free to explore short Yosemite Valley hikes per the recommendation of the guide. Eat dinner at one of the park’s numerous restaurants. (Food is not provided while in the front-country.) Yosemite Valley is at roughly 4,000′ in elevation.
Day 2: We will get a casual start and stop by the Yosemite Lodge for a quick coffee and breakfast before heading up 3.2 miles up one of Yosemite’s most classic trails out of the Valley gaining ~2,500 feet ascending to the top of Yosemite Falls. This trail, despite being a strenuous climb, provides excellent views of Half Dome, Glacier Point and Yosemite Valley. From the top you will have the opportunity to watch the falls plummet thousands of feet to the pools below. From here, we will hike about another half mile and set up camp next to the babbling Yosemite Creek at an elevation of about 6820′.
Miles: ~4.6 Elevation: +~2,820
Day 3: Wake up to a delicious breakfast, before packing a considerably lighter day pack and hiking up about 800 feet over 4.5 miles to El Capitan where you can experience the summit of the world’s largest granite monolith without taking the hard route climbing up the face. If you’re lucky, you may even see one of Yosemite’s world famous rock climbers topping out after days on the wall. After lunch at the top, we will descend 4.5 miles back to our camp and maybe even head over to Eagle Peak for sunset if time allows.
Miles: ~8.4 Elevation: +~800ft. -~800ft. (optional additional hike to Eagle Peak)
Day 4: Today will be our longest day as we will leave camp in the morning and climb up to Yosemite Point—a famous viewpoint within the park showcasing Half Dome, the Valley and the dramatic Clark Range. We will then hike 5 miles ascending ~1,000 feet along the rim of Yosemite Valley and enjoy ever changing views of the granite below. Finally, we will continue another 5 miles along Indian Ridge past Basket Dome and Indian Rock to the Snow Creek Junction then down to our campsite where will catch the sun setting on the looming face of Half Dome. Our campsite tonight is at approximately 6,720′.
Miles: ~10 miles Elevation: +~1,720; -~1,700
Day 5: We will descend 2.5 miles and about 2,600 feet in the final morning. Along the way you’ll get spectacular views of Half Dome before arriving at the Valley floor. We will then hike along the Tenaya Creek past Mirror Lake as we make our way back to Curry Village. Typically we end this trip between 11am-1pm. Miles: ~5 Elevation: -~2,600ft.
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.