Highlights: Our 6-day California Backpacking Summer Camp Youth Programs in Yosemite are designed for younger participants, ages 11-13, who are both new or experienced backpackers. These youth adventure summer camps start in Yosemite Valley on Sundays and end in Yosemite Valley on Fridays. These programs 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 and 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 exploration 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.
Drop-off/pick-up time & location: Our Sunday through Friday program begins at the old Yosemite Valley Stables parking lot at 12 pm on Sundays and ends at the Curry Village large parking lot by Bus Stop #14 at 12pm on Friday. Late arrivals can usually be coordinated but please let us know if you will be arriving after 1pm, as this may affect the group’s itinerary.
Scholarship Application – Every youth deserves this opportunity!
“The camp counselors were incredible and really motivated. They encouraged and led the kids in such a good way. They were so knowledgable of the area, cooked amazing meals, taught the kids about nature and Yosemite, kept them safe and most importantly helped each kid prove to themselves they could do it and that built more confidence in my daughter for sure.” –Young Adventurer’s mother, August 2019
“Our son had a great time backpacking in Yosemite Park with Lasting Adventures. The terrain, routes, and instructors were all fantastic and I bet he will want to go back next year.” –Young Adventurers parent, July 2019
”When we returned to pick our kids up we found them dirty, STINKY, with their share of cuts, bruises and bug bites and HUGE SMILES on their faces. We could not of been happier to hear about their adventures.” –Young Adventurers parent, August 2019
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:
Recreational Summer Camp
Lasting Adventures only operates non-therapeutic, recreational summer camp programs. Lasting Adventures does not employ professional therapists or mental health counselors, and our outdoor educators are not trained in any form of therapy or drug rehabilitation.
It is important that all participants considering a trip with Lasting Adventures are comfortable with and have experience being away from home/parents for the duration of the trip; have some level of regular physical fitness; and have a personal desire to be on the trip. Although nearly all our participants are ready for a backpacking trip, should a participant not be prepared (either mentally, emotionally, or physically), they may be removed from the trip at any time. No refunds will be given in these cases and an extraction fee may be charged.
Please make sure your child is ready for their adventure by:
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.