Highlights: This is one of our favorite trails that gives one a comprehensive Yosemite experience. Beginning in Tuolumne Meadows and rising nearly 1500’ to Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, will give participants a close look at the Yosemite high-country and some of the Sierra crest. Pristine high altitude meadows are common. We will then follow the headwaters of the Merced River as we pass by many high alpine lakes and new and old growth forests. This trip ends with the last afternoon and evening in Little Yosemite Valley which provides an option to summit Half Dome if you so choose.
Day 1: Meet your guide in the afternoon. Get acquainted with the group and with gear. Valley highlights (food in the front-country not included.) Camp in the Yosemite Valley Backpackers camp.
Day 2: Catch morning shuttle to Tuolumne Meadows. We will depart Tuolumne Meadows by means of the John Muir Trail but quickly diverge onto the Rafferty Creek trail. This is a steady uphill hike into high alpine meadows. Our goal this day would be to go 6.5 miles to either Boothe Lake (9,845′) or Vogelsang High Sierra Camp (10,130′)for the night.
Day 3: Today we will drop in elevation to Babcock Lake (8,885′). We will hike a total of 5.3-miles as we follow Fletcher Creek, the headwaters of the Merced River. At Babcock lake fishing and swimming into the early evening hours.
Day 4: Our goal today is Echo Valley (7,020′). We will leave Babcock Lake in the morning and drop over 1500 feet and 3.9 miles as we hike down to Merced Lake for a lunchtime break. We will then hike another 2.6 easy miles besides Merced Lake and along the true headwaters of the Merced River to Echo Valley.
Day 5: We will continue following the Merced River to Little Yosemite Valley (6,140′). Today we will hike 6.7 easy and downhill miles past awesome backcountry waterfalls and cascades. If water level permits we will take a break for natural waterslides at Twin Bridges.
Day 6: Our final hike takes us 4.5 miles down to Yosemite Valley (4,000′). We will hike along the famous Mist Trail that descends besides both Nevada Fall and Vernal Fall before ending in Curry Village. Plan to finish between 1-3pm.
Other: Half Dome can be completed in the afternoon/evening of Day 5 or early morning on Day 6 before hiking out. This is a 7-mile roundtrip from Little Yosemite Valley. Half Dome requires cable permits and as requested we will exhaust all means to obtain these permits.
Required shuttle costs are included in the above costs. We also include backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, pads, and eating utensils at NO EXTRA COST as needed. Lastly, all profits from our guided trips go towards our non-profit youth summer camp program.
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.
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.