Our all-female 13-day Young Women’s Adventure Program is aimed at instilling confidence and leadership skills in the next generation of female adventurers! This unique summer camp for girls ages 14-18, led by our top female guides, will focus on showing young women their true potential in both an outdoor setting and in their day-to-day lives while teaching the practical skills of backpacking and outdoor safety.
A recent article in the Atlantic titled “The Confidence Gap” discusses particular challenges young women face in society, namely a startling lack of confidence compared to their male counterparts. As Richard Petty, a psychology professor at Ohio State University notes, “Confidence is not, as we once believed, just feeling good about yourself… Confidence is the stuff that turns thoughts into actions.”
Through our adventure-based programming, campers will be challenged to turn their goals into action on a daily basis by utilizing perseverance and determination to summit mountains and accomplish feats they never imagined. While trekking the glorious Sierra Nevada mountain range, these young explorers will also get a crash course on influential female adventurers in Yosemite’s history and issues related to women’s roles in the outdoors and society.
With the knowledge of the great legacy of women who came before them, this 13 day backpacking trip through high altitude mountains lakes and meadows will leave young women with a sense of self-empowerment and confidence that they will be able to apply in every facet of their lives.
This is a Sample Itinerary only.
Day 1: Meet your Guides/Counselors between 12-1 pm. Get acquainted with the group and with gear. Group orientation and relocation to the Tuolumne Meadows Backpackers Campsite for the evening. Tuolumne Meadows 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 packing up and stretches we will head out on the trail through Tuolumne Meadows and following the river downstream for 6 miles to Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp at 7,840′. Participants will enjoy the natural water features and exploring in this area.
Day 3: After morning circle time (stretches, map review, goal setting, etc.) we will continue weaving our way down the Tuolumne River gorge while appreciating the natural art that the glaciers left behind. We will hike about 7 miles today to a site along the Tuolumne River and across from the Cathedral Creek cascade which joins the Tuolumne River in this location at approximately 5,600′.
Day 4: Today we will awake to granite walls all around us as we prepare with morning stretches and circle time. Today’s hike will continue another 7 miles to Pate Valley at 4,380′ which is the west end of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. This valley is a meadow area which may have been along an old Indian trading route.
Day 5: Day 5 will also begin early as we have a more strenuous day today of uphill trail as we leave the Tuolumne River Gorge and head to White Wolf. This almost 10 mile uphill hike will ascend nearly 3,500′ to White Wolf at 7,875′. Once here we will celebrate our achievement with ice cream, real toilets, and a re-supply of food and clean clothes.
Day 6: After a much needed rest and relaxation we will head back east for 5.5 miles along a more moderate trail before a lunch break at the Ten Lakes trail junction at 8,240′. After lunch we will begin our uphill segment of the day climbing nearly 1,400′ over the next 2.8 miles to the Ten Lakes Pass at 9,620′. After taking in the view we will drop down approximately 600 feet over the next mile to camp along one of the lakes in the Ten Lakes basin.
Day 7: We will wind our way out of the Ten Lakes basin dropping into the South Fork of the Tuolumne at nearly 8,800′. Total hiking will be approximately 6 miles.
Day 8: Today, after awaking in a very remote site, we will head approximately 8.5 miles to May Lake at 9,329′, passing and rounding Tuolumne Peak and many spectacular high country views along the way.
Day 9: Today, is our much needed “Zero” day with packs. This means no mileage with packs on today. Instead we will partake in a morning scramble to the top of Mount Hoffman at 10,850′. This is approximately a 4 mile round-trip from May Lake. Mount Hoffman is the geographical center of Yosemite and offers one of the best views in all of the park. This afternoon participants will have a chance to swade, fish, relax on May Lake before afternoon activities and dinner. An awesome sunset experience will be had on the bluff above our campsite.
Day 10: Today we will leave May Lake and follow the Snow Creek to the rim of the Yosemite Valley. We will travel a total of 8-miles to a campsite at 6720′ directly across the valley from Half Dome. Another spectacular sunset location for our last night together in the wilderness.
Day 11: We will hike a moderate 10-miles round-trip to enjoy the view and accomplishment from reaching the top of North Dome at 7542′. North Dome looks over the Yosemite Valley. We will return to our campsite by Snow Creek.
Day 12: On our last day we will descend to Yosemite Valley via the Snow Creek Trail. We will drop from nearly 2,600′ in 2.6-miles. We will then hike past Mirror Lake (now Mirror Meadow) on level ground for our last 2.5 miles before we head to the Backpackers Camp for our last night together.
Day 13: After packing up camp we will do a final bonding activity together as we explore the secret Indian Caves. We will then return to the Curry Village Pizza Patio. Here we will unpack and celebrate with pizza and beverages before we say our goodbyes.
Note: Remember this is only a sample itinerary. We can accommodate late arrivals on this first day as communicated in advance. All 13 day trips will have a re-supply half-way through the trip. Participants are encouraged to pack an extra duffle bag with clean socks, shirts, underwear, etc.
Other: On all youth programs, we have a 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 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.
Scholarship Application – Every youth deserves this opportunity!
“The trip was well organized, the food was good, the leaders were extremely knowledgeable and engaged all of the kids. He is already talking about next year. This trip is highly recommended for adventurous souls!”