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Alpine Lakes and Summits

2 Summits, 3 Alpine Lakes, Countless Adventures - Guided Yosemite Backpacking Trips

Trip Highlights:

May Lake

Mount Hoffmann

Tenaya Lake

Clouds Rest

High Alpine Wilderness

Great Summit Views

Summit two of Yosemite’s most iconic peaks over the course of three nights in the backcountry, while camping and exploring the park’s stunning alpine lakes one of our most popular guided Yosemite Backpacking Trips! Start your journey camping at the shore of May Lake at the base of Mount Hoffmann (10,850’). Cool off in Yosemite’s largest lake (Tenaya) before hiking up to the Sunrise Lakes area where you will camp before tackling the Clouds Rest summit (9,926’). Leave the packs at camp for a light day hike to Clouds Rest on Day 4, where you’ll experience one of the best views of Yosemite Valley in the park! On the final day, retrace your steps for a downhill hike back to Tioga Road where you’ll be shuttled back to Yosemite Valley to end our trip. If you’re looking for a quintessential Yosemite high country experience, this adventure will not disappoint!

Mileage & Difficulty

22.5 Miles

Length

5 Days

Price

$1,875

Per Person

Departure Info

4 pm
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This trip is now completely permitted/guaranteed through August 3, 2024 departures.
Additional weeks/dates will be confirmed and updated every week through the permitting season.

2024 Departure Dates by Month

    May Departure Dates  

  • Fri, May 31st – Tue, Jun 4th

    July Departure Dates  

  • Thu, Jul 4th – Mon, Jul 8th
  • Thu, Jul 25th – Mon, Jul 29th
  • August Departure Dates  

  • Fri, Aug 23rd – Tue, Aug 27th

    September Departure Dates  

  • Mon, Sep 16th – Fri, Sep 20th
  • October Departure Dates  

  • Fri, Oct 4th – Tue, Oct 8th


All dates remain tentative until permitted 22 weeks in advance. Please refrain from making travel arrangements outside of this timeline. We will contact you if we are unsuccessful in obtaining your dates. Feel free to contact us if you would like to confirm.

Guided Yosemite Backpacking Trips – Alpine Lakes & Summits

For a detailed map with elevation profile of the tentative itinerary, click here: Map.

Day 1: Meet your guide in Curry Village at 4:00 pm. Get acquainted with the group and with gear. If time allows before dinner, walk to some of the Valley’s iconic destinations. Dinner and camping in the Yosemite Valley Backpackers Campsite. Today’s mileage: 0.5~ mi / 0′

Day 2: After breakfast and packing up the campsite, our group will return to Curry Village before relocating vehicles to the trailhead near Tenaya Lake. Catch your first glimpse of the high country while hiking 3.3 moderate miles up to May Lake (9,329′). After setting up camp along the lake’s shore, hike the four miles roundtrip to the top of Mount Hoffmann (10,850′). Mount Hoffmann is the geographical center of Yosemite National Park and was also John Muir’s favorite summit view. Also at this location: swimming, relaxing, and taking in an amazing sunset on the secret bluff which looks east across the Yosemite high country. Today’s Mileage: 6.3 mi / +2,500′, -1,500′; Camp Location: May Lake.

Day 3: Hike back down to Tioga Road and then up to Sunrise Lakes, stopping off for lunch and a dip in Tenaya Lake along the way. After the day’s biggest uphill hike, cool off in the cold alpine water before catching another spectacular sunset. Today’s mileage: 6 mi / +1,000′, -1,200′; Camp Location: Sunrise Lakes.

Day 4: After a hearty breakfast, leave the packs at camp for a light day hike approximately 3.5 miles to the summit of Clouds Rest at 9,926′. Enjoy lunch at the top while soaking in panoramic views of Yosemite’s wilderness. An easy mostly downhill hike takes us back to camp at Sunrise Lakes to end the day. Today’s Mileage: 7 mi / +800′, -800′; Camp Location: Sunrise Lake.

Day 5: Enjoy a leisurely wake-up time on the last morning, complimented by the final breakfast of the trip. After packing up camp, take in the views as you descend 3 miles down the Sunrise Trail back to Tenaya Lake, where you’ll be transported back to Yosemite Valley to end your trip. Generally, our goal is to finish between 2-4 PM but this can be later due to the human factors within the group. Today’s mileage: 3 mi / -3,300′

Other: Going this route there are options. For example; there is a trail that goes around the summit of Clouds Rest should anyone not want to summit.

NOTICE for 2022-2025: Due to the closure of the Tuolumne Meadows Campground, the meeting location for this trip has been changed to Curry Village and staying within the Yosemite Valley Backpackers Campsite on night one. You will be required to relocate your vehicles to the trailhead along the Hwy120 through northern Yosemite on the morning of day two. Details/Map will be provided by the guide on day one. Expect a 45-60 minute drive.

NOTES:

  • We can provide backpacks, sleeping bags/pads, tents, trekking poles and eating utensils as needed at no extra cost. Group gear including all kitchen supplies, first aid, and water purification is also included. See the Guide Service Backpacking Equipment List for more information.
  • All trips are pending permit availability which we gain 23-weeks in advance. Please refrain from making travel arrangements until we have confirmed dates. If we are unable to acquire permits for this exact itinerary on your chosen dates, you will be contacted with options to choose different dates and/or cancel/refund.
  • 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.
  • Your participation helps sustain our non-profit mission of supporting youth, families, and disadvantaged communities with positive experiences in America’s National Parks and natural spaces.

REQUIRED FORMS

In addition to full payment, the final acceptance of any participant is subject to receipt and review of all the Required Forms. These forms are also attached to your confirmation email once you register online.

We will require an additional medical release for any guests on multi-day trips, any “Half Dome in a Day” hiker, or any guest who is currently under the care of a physician for any ongoing disease, illness, or any other condition/factor that may be a concern on the trip.


DIETARY CONSTRAINTS

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 the foods we prepare will be fully free of major allergens.

We have experience in accommodating a variety of dietary choices and concerns, including, but not limited to:

  • Vegan and Vegetarian
  • Peanut and/or Tree Nut Allergy
  • Lactose Intolerant
  • Celiac or Gluten-Free
  • Kosher

 

If we have questions or concerns about the information on your medical form, we will call you the day before your trip to ensure we are packing foods you are able to eat without issue.


TRADITIONAL BACKPACKING

Lasting Adventures runs “traditional backpacking” trips. This is done without using porters, stock, or other outside assistance. For this trip, you will be expected to carry your personal gear, a share of the group gear, and food in a backpack. The weight can be expected to be 30-50 lb. and no more than the recommended ⅓ of your body weight.

As needed, it is recommended that participants discuss their ability to fully participate in a backpacking trip with their doctor, including (but not limited to) the ability to carry heavy loads over long distances and strenuous and uneven terrain. Levels of difficulty listed on our website are relative and in no way an objective declaration of difficulty. A regular physical exercise program is recommended before going on your adventure.


TRIP ITINERARIES

All trips are subject to itinerary changes for various reasons, including, but not limited to permitting, weather, forest fires, park or public land closures, and/or road closures. In most situations, we will offer an alternative itinerary of equal value and quality or a credit equal to the total amount paid through the end of the following season. Payments are non-refundable for itinerary changes. If a trip is canceled before its start date due to circumstances beyond our control, a credit equal to the total amount paid will be issued.


STAFF SCHEDULES

Due to the nature of backpacking, our guides work long hours. To provide the best possible experience to our guests and guides, we limit the number of hours our guides work to 15 hours per day. Guides will not be required to be available from 9 pm to 6 am unless the group agrees to a different period before this standard break.

During time off, our guides will be available for emergencies but should be allowed to rest and not be considered available for other purposes outside of working hours. Please don’t request non-time-sensitive assistance from guides during this period. Our guides are also entitled to take 10 minutes every four hours and 30-minute meal breaks every 5 hours, between 6 am and 9 pm.  We appreciate your cooperation with these scheduling requirements.


COUPONS

See our Coupon Use Terms and Conditions.

Please note: the itinerary for this trip may be different from what is listed, based on permit availability. We will discuss all options when permits are finalized. All options will be similar, with access to lakes, summits, and beautiful forests.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

For your protection and ours, we strongly recommend the purchase of Travel Insurance, which can provide you with coverage for trip cancellation/interruption (including COVID-19), travel delay, medical expenses, emergency assistance, airfare, and baggage loss/delay to protect your financial investment. We recommend those with “cancel for any reason” clauses included. See reviews of some of the best Cancel For Any Reason Travel Insurance Options presented by Forbes or Squaremouth. Other good student options include InsureMyTrip and Allianz Travel Insurance for Students.

Travel Insurance is the easiest and best way to protect yourself and our smaller non-profit organization against last-minute cancellations. We are happy to provide timely and accurate documentation for any insurance claim related to our trips when requested. Please remember that when canceling a reservation, you must first contact the company responsible for ensuring your reservation.


PAYMENT SCHEDULE

Full payment is preferred for all backpacking trips and youth programs/summer camps. During check-out, you may pay a 50% deposit at the time of booking and the remaining 50% at least 30 days from departure. If choosing this option, you can either complete payment on your own with the self-service link in the confirmation email, or you will be billed automatically at or shortly after the 30-day interval for the remaining amount. Final Lodging/Hiking package payments are due 45 days in advance. Any new multi-day booking made at/within 45 days in advance must be paid in full. Feel free to contact us directly to set up any other payment plan.

When registering online, expect to pay a booking fee of 3.0% (which is capped at $30) and a processing fee of 2.7% (no cap). These fees can be avoided when paying by check. For detailed information, see our Payment Options page.


CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICIES

Lasting Adventures reserves the right to cancel trips. If a trip is canceled due to circumstances beyond our control, a credit equal to the total amount paid will be issued. Lasting Adventures is not responsible for additional expenses incurred while preparing for the trip.

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 TripAdvisor/Viator, bookyogaretreats.com, or 57Hours), the below policy does not apply, and you are held to the third-party’s cancellation policy.

Multi-Day Adventures/Summer Camps Cancellation Policy

  • More than 90 days before the start date, we will grant a full refund minus a 2.7% processing fee for credit card transactions.
  • Between 90 and 61 days before the start date, we will grant a full refund minus $50/person and a 2.7% processing fee for credit card transactions.
  • Between 60 and 46 days before the start date, we will retain 25% of the total trip cost. You may also take a non-refundable credit of the total value paid.
  • Between 45 and 31 days before the start date, we will retain 50% of the total trip cost. You may also take a non-refundable credit of the total value paid.
  • Less than 31 days before the start date, or once the trip has begun, no refunds or credits will be issued.

 

48-Hour Risk-Free Cancellation Policy

Any reservation can be canceled within 48 hours of the initial booking, and we will grant you a full refund minus a 2.7% processing fee for credit card transactions. After 48 hours, our standard terms and conditions apply. To cancel, please email us at staff@lastingadventures.org or leave a voicemail at 800-513-8651. This policy does not apply if the booked trip occurs within 96 hours of the initial booking.

Fire/Smoke Cancellation Policy

Fire/smoke cancellations are considered circumstances beyond our control. If your chosen travel insurance does not cover fire/smoke cancellations, a credit equal to the total amount paid will be issued. If we cancel during your adventure with us, we will issue a non-refundable credit equal to the dollar amount associated with the number of days not used. In both cases, these credits will be lifetime/transferable but non-refundable.

Other Considerations

Departing From a Trip: Once a participant has joined a trip and the trip has begun, no refunds or credits will be issued, regardless of the reason for departure. Costs associated with assisting a participant with evacuating from the wilderness will be passed on to the participant. Travel Insurance is strongly recommended.

Minimum Participants: Our Guide Service multi-day trips have a two-person minimum. (Yoga trips have a three-person minimum.) Our Summer Camps have a four-person minimum. Should we fall short on these minimums, we will contact you 30 days before your scheduled start date with options that may include switching to another trip/date and/or a single-participant surcharge.

Infectious Illness Policy (including COVID): Any participant on any program/trip with any sign/symptom of a potential illness will not be able to participate, and no refund or credits will be given. Many forms of Travel Insurance cover these circumstances. We ask that you screen yourself and/or your child before participating and contact us to cancel if any sign of illness is present. Health screenings can be expected in all youth programs.

Half Dome & Other Summits: Reaching the top of a summit, such as Half Dome, is risky and can be made far worse by inclement weather. While we aim to get everyone to the top, summiting is not guaranteed. Lightning and rain can be deadly on exposed summits, and our experienced guides may have to call off a summit bid if weather conditions are unfavorable. You will not be allowed to summit using a Lasting Adventures permit should the experienced guide decide the conditions are not favorable.


TRIP CHANGE/CREDIT POLICY

Once you book a trip with Lasting Adventures, the value you paid is valid towards switching to another trip in the current or the coming year, pending available spaces on the new trip. Changes to your booking and conversion to credit must occur more than 30 days before your original start date. Changes within 30 days are subject to fees. Once changed to a lifetime/transferrable credit, credits are non-refundable and are a dollar-for-dollar value.


COUPONS

See our Coupon Use Terms and Conditions.

#1 Rated Guide Service in the West

Guide Service Guest, 2021
Guide Service Guest, 2021
@stephenp236
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"My son and I (both tax accountants) recently enjoyed a three-day private guided backpacking trip with Last Adventures. The trip met all our expectations; we had a great time! The guide’s love of her work and knowledge of Yosemite National Park made the trip a success. She planned all the details, provided excellent gear, and made sure everything worked out as planned"
Guide Service Guest, 2021
Guide Service Guest, 2021
@D8156BRjennifero
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"Lasting Adventures made my trip to Yosemite a dream vacation! It was stress-free because every detail was covered from food and transportation to clear meeting instructions and itinerary. Our guide took a hike that would have been fun and made it magical by explaining the history and ecology of the area we were hiking. He matched our pace and often let us lead. I can't say enough good things about Zachary and Lasting Adventures!”
 Yoga Retreat Guest, 2021
Yoga Retreat Guest, 2021
@MikeK746
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“I did the Yosemite yoga 3 day backcountry camping. It was amazing! I would definitely do it again. The food was great! The scenery was superb camping in high country aside a mountain lake, and the guides and yoga instructor were fantastic!!!”
 Guide Service Guest, 2021
Guide Service Guest, 2021
@cezefo
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"We were a group of 7 family members (ages 22-65 years old), and for all of us it was our first hiking/backpacking/camping experience. We all had such an amazing yet challenging experience! Our guides’ spirit, cooking, and knowledge were great!”
 Guide Service Guest, 2021
Guide Service Guest, 2021
@Ambrosiaboyd
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“We backpacked with a group of 7 other people from 'Backpacker's Camp' to Mae Lake, up to Mt Hoffman, Cloud's Rest, and finally completed the trip with an amazing last day, summiting Half Dome at sunrise! It. Was. Incredible!! Our guides immediately made us feel comfortable and excited. Their passion for the wilderness, people, and their career as a guide is contagious. If you have the chance to go on a Lasting Adventures trip - please do it!”
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