Length

4 Days

Mileage | Rating

Varies
(see itineraries below)

Cost

$1130

Meeting Location | Time

Curry Village Parking
4 pm

BOOK NOW

4-Day Half Dome Guided Backpacking Tour

*In early September 2021, Yosemite Park Service announced that it will be changing its permitting process in ways that may affect this itinerary. Those determinations are yet to be made, and we will keep you appraised in the event that these changes affect your booking. We recommend you refrain from making travel arrangements until either this message is removed, and/or we are within 24 weeks of the trip departure date.

Highlights: Looking for the ultimate Half Dome experience? Our 4-day Half Dome guided backpacking tours are specially designed to make your journey to the summit as spectacular as possible!

This guided tour kicks off in Yosemite Valley, where visitors are enraptured by iconic sights like El Capitan and Yosemite Falls towering above them. From there we’ll hit the trail and guests will hike and camp alongside fabled waters like Sunrise Lakes or the Merced River, experiencing first-hand what John Muir deemed California’s “noblest forests.”

Our expert guides make your experience 5-star with delicious camp-cooked cuisine and comfort provisions around camp, while on-trail pointing out the lesser-known factual gems that surround you. The magic climaxes either on the final evening or the final morning, when you’ll climb the cables up Half Dome’s towering summit for a truly spectacular sunrise or sunset.

Put it all together and we can say without a doubt: there’s no backpacking experience quite like our Yosemite Valley to Half Dome Adventure!

NOTICE FOR 2022: Due to the closure of Glacier Point Road, this 4-day trip is offered in three itineraries (see below) with varying degrees of difficulty. Two are booked on this page and are Moderate-Strenuous, while the third is our Glacier Point to Half Dome backpacking trip is our most strenuous variation and is recommended only for advanced hikers, so please take that into consideration when choosing your adventure. Because we are attempting to gain very popular permits, it is highly recommended to refrain from making travel arrangements until we have passed the permit date 24 weeks in advance. If we are unsuccessful in obtaining dates, we will notify everyone booked and provide options.

Check Out our Yosemite Valley To Half Dome 4-Day Guided Backpacking Trip!

Itineraries

Option 1: Happy Isles to Half Dome (bookable on this page)

Difficulty: Moderate-Strenuous
Mileage: 16+ miles
Map and Elevation (See the RED route)

Day 1 — Yosemite Valley backpackers camp. Meet your guide in Curry Village at 4:00 PM. Get acquainted with the group and with gear. If time allows before dinner, walk to some of the Valley’s iconic destinations. Eat dinner at one of the park’s numerous restaurants. (Food in the front-country is not included.) Camp in the Yosemite Valley Backpacker’s Camp. Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 0 mi / ±0′

Day 2 — Happy Isles to Little Yosemite Valley. Rise around 6am, grab some breakfast, and set out via the Happy Isles trailhead for a 4-mile hike up the Mist Trail.  Soak in the rainbows and scenery as you hike past the pluming basin of Vernal Fall, where you’ll experience the trail’s namesake up close and personal (note: you will get wet!) Continue hiking to the top of Nevada Fall, where you’ll stop for lunch garnished with a breathtaking view of Yosemite Valley, before hiking the remaining mile to your campsite at Little Yosemite Valley. Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 4.5 mi / -300′, +2,440′

Day 3 — Little Yosemite Valley to Half Dome. Wake at a leisurely hour and enjoy a restful day of relaxing and exploring the Merced River Canyon. You pick the itinerary this morning. Sunbathing, hiking, fishing, and birding are all fair game, or set out for a mini-adventure before communing at camp for lunch and preparing for your Half Dome ascent! Today’s Mileage/Elevation (not including Half Dome): Varies

Half Dome
Depending on weather conditions, Half Dome will be completed either in the afternoon on Day 3 to catch the sunset, or the following morning with an alpine start to catch the sunrise. This is a strenuous uphill of 3.5 miles to the summit at 8,836′. Round-trip Mileage/Elevation: 7.0 mi / ±2,800′

Day 4 — Exit to Curry Village. On the final day of your journey, wake at a leisurely hour and eat our last delicious breakfast of the trip. After packing up camp, we’ll descend for 5 miles down the famous John Muir Trail, following the Merced River back to Curry Village, where you’ll arrive at your car between 2 and 4PM (time subject to change depending on group speed) for the end of our adventure. Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 4.5 mi / +300′, -2,440′

Option 2: Clouds Rest to Half Dome (bookable on this page)

Difficulty: Moderate-Strenuous
Mileage: 23 miles
Map and Elevation (See the GREEN route)

Day 1 — Yosemite Valley backpackers camp. Meet your guide in Curry Village at 4PM. Get acquainted with the group and with gear. If time allows before dinner, walk to some of the Valley’s iconic destinations. Eat dinner at one of the park’s numerous restaurants (food in the front-country is not included.) Camp in the Yosemite Valley Backpacker’s Camp. Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 0 mi / ±0′

Day 2 — Tenaya Lake to Sunrise Lakes. After grabbing breakfast in Curry Village, take the morning shuttle to the trailhead near Tenaya Lake. Catch your first glimpse of the high country while refreshing yourself in the stunning waters of Tenaya Lake (8,150′). After a 4.2-mile hike up the Sunrise Trail with portions of strenuous uphill, you’ll be rewarded with jaw-dropping views of Half Dome and Tenaya Canyon, and one of our favorite campsites in Yosemite on the shore of Sunrise Lake (9,166′)! Take a load off and enjoy the sunset while playing and fishing in one of our guides’ favorite high country destinations. Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 4.2 mi / +1,616′, -,500′

Day 3 — Sunrise Lakes to Sunrise Creek. After a hearty breakfast hike approximately 3.5 miles to the summit of Clouds Rest at 9,926′. Enjoy lunch at the top while soaking in panoramic views of Yosemite’s wilderness. From the summit, hike down 5 miles to Sunrise Creek for the final night of camping. Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 7.3 mi / +800′, -2,800′

Half Dome
Depending on weather conditions, Half Dome will be completed either in the afternoon on Day 3 to catch the sunset, or the following morning with an alpine start to catch the sunrise. This is a strenuous uphill of 3 miles to the summit at 8,836′. Round-trip mileage: 7.0 mi / ±2,800′

Day 4 — Exit to Curry Village. On the final day of our journey we’ll wake up at a leisurely hour and eat our last delicious breakfast of the trip. After packing up camp, we’ll descend 4.5 miles along Yosemite’s fabled Mist Trail, following the Merced River and passing two of the park’s most stunning waterfalls before arriving back at our cars by between 2 and 4pm (time subject to change depending on group speed). Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 4.5 mi / +300′, -2,440′

Option 3: Glacier Point to Half Dome (click here for dates and availability)

Difficulty: Strenuous-Very Strenuous
Mileage: 25.8 mi
Map and Elevation

Day 1 — Yosemite Valley backpackers camp. Meet your guide in Curry Village at 4:00 pm. Get acquainted with the group and with gear. If time allows before dinner, visit some of the Valley’s walkable destinations. Grab dinner at one of park’s numerous restaurants (food is not provided while in the front-country.) Camp in the Yosemite Valley Backpacker’s Camp. Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 0 mi / ±0′

Day 2 — Yosemite Valley to Illilouette Creek. Our journey hiking begins with the most strenuous day of the journey—a 4.7 mile trek up the switchbacks of 4-Mile Trail for an elevation gain of 3,200 feet! We’ll eat lunch over the jaw-dropping panorama views of Glacier Point before continuing on for 2.6 more miles of mostly downhill hiking to camp overlooking Illilouette Creek. Don’t forget your fishing pole (and CA license)…the trout in this creek love to bite! Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 8.8 mi / +3,500′, -1,100′

Day 3 — Illilouette Creek to Little Yosemite Valley. Today we trek the Panorama Trail along the Valley’s eastern rim to our third and final campsite at Little Yosemite Valley (LYV).  Upon setting up camp at LYV, you’ll have time to lounge on the campground’s gorgeous sand beach and refresh yourself in the Merced River before an early dinner and/or Half Dome hike! Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 5.5 mi / +700′, -1,150′

Half Dome
Depending on weather conditions, Half Dome will be completed either in the afternoon on Day 3 to catch the sunset, or the following morning with an alpine start to catch the sunrise. This is a strenuous uphill of 3.5 miles to the summit at 8,836′. Round-trip mileage: 7.0 mi, 2,800′ elevation change

Day 4 — Exit to Curry Village. On the final day of our journey we’ll wake up at a leisurely hour and eat our last delicious breakfast of the trip. After packing up camp, we’ll descend 4.5 miles along Yosemite’s fabled Mist Trail, following the Merced River and passing two of the park’s most stunning waterfalls before arriving back at our cars by between 2 and 4pm (time subject to change depending on group speed). Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 4.5 mi / +300′, -2,440′

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. 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 about 24-weeks in advance. Please refrain from making travel arrangements until we have confirmed dates.

Testimonials

“Even though the itinerary had to be modified due to the snow/weather conditions, I had the best time! I had never gone backpacking/camping before and Lasting Adventures and our guides helped make sure I was prepared. This was a fun, challenging, and rewarding weekend!” —LA guest, TripAdvisor, June 2019

“The Glacier Point to Half Dome backpacking trip was one of the coolest and most fun adventures I have ever had. Our guides were wonderful! The food was incredible. They accommodated multiple dietary restrictions/allergies and the food still tasted delicious!” —LA guest, TripAdvisor, June 2018

“I recommend this wholeheartedly to anyone wanting to check out what Yosemite has to offer that most don’t get to see. The best part was just having to turn up and having all the gear provided as well as some awesome food.” —LA guest, TripAdvisor, July 2018

Glacier Point Hike, Yosemite Day Hikes, TripAdvisor Yosemite Hiking

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. 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.

2022 DATES BY MONTH

Departure Dates from Yosemite Valley:

    May Departure Dates  

  • Fri, May 27th - Mon, May 30th
  • Mon, May 30th - Thu, Jun 2nd
  • June Departure Dates  

  • Fri, Jun 3rd - Mon, Jun 6th
  • Tue, Jun 7th - Fri, Jun 10th
  • Fri, Jun 10th - Mon, Jun 13th
  • Mon, Jun 13th - Thu, Jun 16th
  • Sat, Jun 18th - Tue, Jun 21st
  • Mon, Jun 20th - Thu, Jun 23rd
  • Thu, Jun 23rd - Sun, Jun 26th
  • Mon, Jun 27th - Thu, Jun 30th

    July Departure Dates  

  • Sat, Jul 2nd - Tue, Jul 5th
  • Mon, Jul 4th - Thu, Jul 7th
  • Thu, Jul 7th - Sun, Jul 10th
  • Tue, Jul 12th - Fri, Jul 15th
  • Sat, Jul 16th - Tue, Jul 19th
  • Mon, Jul 18th - Thu, Jul 21st
  • Fri, Jul 22nd - Mon, Jul 25th
  • Tue, Jul 26th - Fri, Jul 29th
  • Fri, Jul 29th - Mon, Aug 1st
  • August Departure Dates  

  • Tue, Aug 2nd - Fri, Aug 5th
  • Fri, Aug 5th - Mon, Aug 8th
  • Sun, Aug 7th - Wed, Aug 10th
  • Fri, Aug 12th - Mon, Aug 15th
  • Mon, Aug 15th - Thu, Aug 18th
  • Fri, Aug 19th - Mon, Aug 22nd
  • Tue, Aug 23rd - Fri, Aug 26th
  • Sat, Aug 27th - Tue, Aug 30th
  • Mon, Aug 29th - Thu, Sep 1st

    September Departure Dates  

  • Sat, Sep 3rd - Tue, Sep 6th
  • Mon, Sep 5th - Thu, Sep 8th
  • Fri, Sep 9th - Mon, Sep 12th
  • Tue, Sep 13th - Fri, Sep 16th
  • Fri, Sep 16th - Mon, Sep 19th
  • Mon, Sep 19th - Thu, Sep 22nd
  • Sat, Sep 24th - Tue, Sep 27th
  • Tue, Sep 27th - Fri, Sep 30th
  • Fri, Sep 30th - Mon, Oct 3rd
  • October Departure Dates  

  • Mon, Oct 3rd - Thu, Oct 6th
  • Fri, Oct 7th - Mon, Oct 10th

BOOK NOW

*Permitting for the above trips is done 24 weeks in advance of the dates listed above. Please do not make travel arrangements until permits are confirmed. Having Travel Insurance is highly recommended.

CONTACT US

    By using this form you agree with our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.

    Subscribe me your mailing list