Many believe that the northern portion of Yosemite National Park is the last true wilderness of the High Sierra. The Hidden Yosemite Backpacking Trip will take you through the less visited portion of the park that is home to deep canyons, dense old-growth forests, and stunning peaks and ridges. On this adventure you will camp besides rivers, and high alpine lakes that provide a dramatic landscape of the Northern Yosemite terrain including camping in upper Slide Canyon beneath the Sawtooth Ridge.
Meet your guide in the afternoon. Get acquainted with the group and with your gear. Tuolumne Meadow highlights (food in the front-country not included.) Camp in Tuolumne Meadows Backpackers camp at approx. 8600′.
Hike 6 easy miles out of Tuolumne Meadows and north into and towards the Tuolumne River gorge. This is a dramatic glacier cut river canyon. This is mostly a gradual downhill hike. This seasonal Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp location offers great swimming and exploring at 7980′. Total mileage today is approximately 6 miles.
We will get an early start as we continue along the Pacific Crest Trail. The start of the day will take us 7-miles through Cold Canyon before we reach an amazing vista peeking into Virginia Canyon and beyond. We will then descend and pass over Return Creek and into Spiller Canyon where we will camp by a backcountry waterfall. Total mileage today is approximately 10 miles.
We will rise and begin the day by ascending out of Spiller Canyon and past Miller Lake at 9,446′ before dropping into Matterhorn Canyon. At this point we will leave the Pacific Crest Trail as we continue deep into Matterhorn Canyon where we will make camp surrounded by the beauty of spectacular geological formations such as: the Fingers, Matterhorn Peak, Whorl Mountain, and the famous Sawtooth Ridge. Total mileage today is approximately 10 miles.
On this day we will climb over Burro Pass at 10,600 before descending into Slide Canyon. (The Slide can already be seen: a vast granite cliff, two thousands feet in height, had literally tumbled from the bluff on the right hand side of the stream in Slide Canyon with such a force that it not only made a mighty dam across the canyon, but may large stones had rolled far up the opposite side.) We will then climb out of Slide Canyon and over Mule Pass (10,440′) as we exit Yosemite. We will proceed about another 1.5 past some extraordinary eastern sierra pinnacles as we head to a campsite at Crown Lake (9450′). Total mileage today is approximately 8.5 miles.
On our final day we will continue our descent through the Eastern Sierras passing many other lakes, rivers, streams, and small waterfalls as we proceed to the Mono Village Resort on the east side of Twin Lakes at 7,092′. Our total hike will be 7.5-miles today. Reward yourself with lunch at the Mono Village Resort followed by an ice-cream before our return by shuttle to Tuolumne Meadows.
You can plan to depart that afternoon or evening either from Twin Lakes or
Tuolumne Meadows as you like. Estimated arrival at Twin Lakes is between 12-1pm. Estimated return to Tuolumne by 4pm.
Camping at Crown Lake on Day 5 is outside Yosemite National Park and pending the necessary permitting. If not obtained, we will only pass through the National Forest in one day’s time making for a longer hike on Day 6. This trip also has additional costs added in for shuttle return from Twin Lakes.
Guides, permits, shuttle costs, all meals in the backcountry (Day 2 lunch through Day 6 breakfast), and all group gear (cooking gear, bear cans, water filters, first aid, toiletries, etc.). We also include internal frame backpacks, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, tents, eating gear, at no extra cost.
Personal items (see Equipment List online), front-country food (see above), optional trip insurance, tips for guides (10-20% of trip fee), Yosemite gate entrance fee (approx.. $20), and alcoholic beverages.
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.
2017 SNOWPACK UPDATE: Our snowpack this winter is at 180% and growing. We anticipate a late opening for the Yosemite High Country with snow prevalent into July and beyond at higher elevations. River, creek, and waterfall flow will be at high and sometimes dangerous levels. Any trips through mid-late June can be impacted and back-up itineraries will be offered when necessary.
*All trips are pending permit availability which we gain 24-weeks in advance. Please refrain from making travel arrangements until we have confirmed dates.