Highlights: Our Young Adventurer’s 6-day Summer Youth Programs are designed for younger participants, ages 11-13, who are both new or experienced backpackers. These summer youth adventure camps start in Yosemite Valley on Sundays and end in Yosemite Valley on Fridays. These programs will offer shorter hiking distances and an introduction to camping, backpacking, and the outdoors among the natural geological formations surrounding us in the Yosemite high country.
This is a Sample Itinerary only and is subject to change.
Day 1: Meet your Guides/Counselors between 12-1 pm. Get acquainted with the group and with gear. Group orientation and relocation to the Yosemite Valley Backpackers Campsite for the evening. Yosemite Valley tour including geological and natural highlights. Evening activities and campfire to strengthen bonds while goal setting and an introduction to the Yosemite wilderness and history through storytelling.
Day 2: After morning circle time (stretches and goal setting) we will catch the morning shuttle to Glacier Point (7,214′) where we will take in the amazing views from this most famous Yosemite location. After taking in the views at Glacier Point, we will descend down into Illilouette Valley. After 3.7 mostly easy downhill miles (only one short climb of about 200′) we will cross the Illilouette Creek and camp at a knoll along the water. Creek play is optional and fun. If the sky is cloudless, experience an incredible show of stars! Total mileage: 3.8.
Day 3: This is an explore day! We will explore the Illilouette Valley east from our campsite and the areas along the south of Mount Starr King and the natural geological formations around. Time will be spent on group games, Leave No Trace and learning about the natural environment. Total mileage: 3-5.
Day 4: After a hearty breakfast we will hike out of the Illilouette Valley on a moderate uphill and scenic climb to the Panorama Trail before descending to the precipice of Nevada Fall and ultimately Little Yosemite Valley at 6,040′ where we will camp for the night. There is a beach along the Merced River here that makes for excellent relaxation. Total mileage: 5.5.
Day 5: We will descend to the Yosemite Valley Floor (4,000′) via the famous Mist Trail which parallels the Merced River and both Nevada and Vernal Falls. We will return to the Valley Backpackers Camp for the night. A valley night hike will be on hand tonight to view the stars. Total mileage: 4.5
Day 6: After breakfast and packing-up we will explore the secret Indian Caves before returning to Curry Village.
Note: Remember this is only a sample itinerary.
Other: On all of our summer youth programs we have daily circle time in the morning where youth engage in group games, share highlights, offer praise to each other, stretch, review maps and day itineraries, and set individual and group goals for the day. Also, whether breaking on the trail or in the afternoon or evening in the campsite, our Guides also facilitate additional opportunities for youth to develop a personal connection with nature. Problem-solving and initiative games are common as are smiles. Additional outdoor skills are gained as we practice Leave No Trace principles and promote environmental stewardship throughout the length of the program.
Our Sunday through Friday program begins at the old Yosemite Valley Stables parking lot at 12 pm on Sundays and ends at 12 pm at the Curry Village Pizza Patio on Friday. Late arrivals can usually be coordinated but please let us know if you will be arriving after 1 pm, as this may affect the group’s itinerary.
Scholarship Application – Every youth deserves this opportunity!