Kick off your Half Dome Backpacking Tour with one of the most iconic sections of the John Muir Trail, weaving between majestic alpine lakes to the summits of Clouds Rest and Half Dome! Camp the first night at Cathedral Lakes amid the spirit of the true high country, then hike the JMT up and over Cathedral Pass with stunning views of alpine peaks along the way. Set up camp in the Sunrise Lakes area for Night 3, and from there, tackle the Clouds Rest summit (9,926’) for one of the most spectacular views of Yosemite Valley in the park! Your adventure culminates with the summit of Half Dome (8,836’) before returning to Yosemite Valley on the Mist Trail passing two spectacular waterfalls. This trip’s strenuous itinerary is well worth it! If you’re looking for an authentic Yosemite experience, this is the adventure for you!
Please Note: Due to the 2023 record-setting snowpack, we are estimating a late June/early July opening for the Hwy 120/Tioga Pass Road and access to this trips itinerary. (However this can change also and be earlier/later as it is all dependant on the weather between now and then.) Expect itinerary modifications if scheduled on a trip prior to these openings. See more information below.
Due to a record setting snowpack this winter, we anticipate late seasonal openings for the 2023 summer at higher elevations (with Tioga Road opening between July 1-15th) and modified itineraries at lower elevations and on early season trips as needed. Our online offerings have been updated to reflect this.
Be prepared for wet/muddy trails, and the possibility of stream/river crossings and/or walking on/crossing/camping on/near snow. Trekking poles will be provided. Also be prepared for added adventure as you experience Yosemite in unparalleled beauty as it comes to life after one of the wettest winter seasons on record. If seasonal access or trail conditions present issues, the tour/hike/itinerary will be modified accordingly. For more information and what to expect, see: Yosemite’s 2023 Snowpack & 2023 Summer Expectations.
Mileage & Difficulty
“All 2023 dates remain tentative until permitted 20-weeks in advance. Please remain from making travel arrangements outside of this timeline. We will contact you if we are unsuccessful in obtaining the exact dates listed above. Feel free to contact us if you would like to confirm.”