Photo: Russ Nordstrand

Premier Yosemite Hiking Company

Wildland Trekking Phone Number

Yosemite Spring Basecamp Tour

Highlights

  • Explore Yosemite Valley without the crowds
  • See Yosemite's waterfalls are their most impressive
  • See waterfalls, mind-blowing views, and giant trees
  • Learn about the incredible glacial history of Yosemite Valley
  • Enjoy a diversity of hikes throughout the Valley
  • Visit a tree that's nearly 3 millenia old!
  • Soak up the beauty and magic of Yosemite
  • Savor our exceptional customer service and fantastic cuisine


Description

Our Spring Basecamp Tour in Yosemite Valley is a truly unique opportunity to experience the heart of Yosemite National Park in its best season. Lying at just 4,000 feet in elevation, "The Valley" has moderate winters, perfect should seasons (spring and fall) and summers are quite hot. This trip allows our guests to enjoy the most comfortable season in the Park, a time that also has the most impressive waterfall flows because of high mountain snowmelt.

We'll set up a comfortable basecamp in one of The Valley's national park campgrounds, and each day set out on hikes to waterfalls, amazing view points, edges of sheer cliffs, and more! Each evening we'll return to camp for wonderful outdoor meals, campfires, and relaxation.

Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to learn more about this trip or book your spot today!

Please Note: Our Yosemite basecamp trips utilize campgrounds with the best locations to accommodate the chosen trip itinerary. The camps are comfortable and provide showers, but can be very busy due to the popularity of the Park.


 

Photos of this Trip

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

Hiking Mileage: 5-9 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1500 feet
Campground: Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley


We’ll meet up the first morning of our trip at the Curry Village parking area. From there, we start a moderate hike to two of Yosemite’s crown jewels, Vernal Fall, and Nevada Fall, along the John Muir or the Mist Trails. While many of Yosemite's hikes are centered on a final destination, this route features stunning views the whole way, from Upper Yosemite Falls across the Valley, to the phenomenal granite heights of Liberty Cap, Grizzly Peak, the Panorama Cliffs, Sentinel Dome, Glacier Point and even Half Dome soaring above our heads.

After we lunch at a picturesque point overlooking the falls, we’ll return to the Valley floor and set up camp among the towering ponderosa pines and oaks of the beautiful Upper Pines Campground in the heart of Yosemite Valley. After relaxing a bit, we will explore more of the scenic wonders of this fantastic place and take a short hike to one of Yosemite’s lesser visited sights. Then, as your guide prepares a sumptuous meal, there is time to is sit around the campfire and watch as the alpenglow turns Half Dome a brilliant crimson over 4000 feet above us!


Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 7 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 3000 feet
Campground: Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley


Today we’ll tackle the Upper Yosemite Falls trail and ascend 3000 ft. to the North Rim of Yosemite Valley and the top of the sixth highest waterfall in the world! We begin our hike on the Valley floor at the historic Camp 4, where many of the legendary big wall climbers hung out in the 1950’s and 60’s. The trail ascends sharply from there as we make our way through oak/pine woodland that is prime habitat for bobcats. We soon reach Columbia Rock, with amazing views of Half Dome and the Clark Range across the Valley, before descending a bit to our first dramatic view of Yosemite Falls and the feel of cool mist on our faces. Continuing up a series of switchbacks, we top out on the Valley rim before descending a vertigo inducing stairway to the falls overlook. After a picnic lunch back at the rim we descend to the trailhead and our camp for a well-deserved hot shower and a gourmet dinner around the campfire.


Day 3

Hiking Mileage: variable
Elevation Gain/Loss: variable
Campground: Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley


We’ll give our sore legs a break today and spend our time exploring the wonders of Yosemite Valley. After a hot breakfast and coffee in the chill spring air, we’ll collect our day packs and set off on the Valley Loop Trail. The possibilities are endless, as we can explore more popular sights as Bridalveil Fall and Mirror Lake; or, we can go off the beaten path to more obscure places like the Old Big Oak Flat Road with its one of a kind views of El Capitan or Sierra Point, the only place in Yosemite to see four major waterfalls. We’ll top off the day with a picnic dinner and experience one of the most beautiful sunsets possible.


Day 4

Hiking Mileage: 5-6 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1200 feet


*** This trail will be temporarily closed in 2016. Your guide will substitute it with a carefully selected, equal or better alternative. ***

On our final day, we'll pack up and enjoy a hearty breakfast before leaving our basecamp among the ponderosa pines. We'll turn south and enjoy one last, special treat. Today's hike takes us into Yosemite's biggest trees - the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. We'll hike the lower and upper loops, which provide for a wonderful morning of hiking. We'll visit the 2700 year old Grizzly Giant, the 25th largest tree on earth, as well as many other of these giants. We'll also get an unparalleled view of Wawona Valley, another of Yosemite's special places.

After our hike and lunch we'll contemplate the unforgettable time we've just experienced, and most likely start hatching new plans for future trips to more special places like Yosemite!


Please Note: We always do everything in our power to follow the set itinerary, however it can change occasionally based on temporary park restrictions, campsite availability, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Top-of-the-line tent, sleeping pad, sleeping bag, and day pack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast the first day through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Yosemite hiking guide
  • Entrance fees and national park permits
  • Emergency equipment including a company-issued first-aid kit and satellite phone
  • You will receive a Lifetime Hiking Membership entitling you, your spouse and kids to a lifetime discount of 10% off any Wildland Trekking hiking trip after your first one!

What's Not Included

  • Clothes, raingear and footwear
  • Sunscreen, toiletries and personal items
  • Waterbottles and a headlamp or flashlight
  • Guide gratuity (industry recommendation is 10-20% of trip cost)
See the Packing Lists page for more information.


Meals: What To Expect

All of our hiking and backpacking tours include a diversity of tasty meals packed full of critical carbohydrates, proteins and fats. We carry foods that travel well in the outdoors – rice, pastas, lentils, beans, couscous, packaged meats, nuts, breads, oatmeal, granola, and more.

For optimal taste and energy, we supplement all our meals with spices, herbs, oils, cheeses, butter, sugar, and fruits and vegetables (fresh and dried). In addition, we provide you with with an assortment of trail mix, snacks, and dried fruits to eat at your own discretion.

We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. These and other special dietary requests may require an additional fee.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty or Big Agnes tents
  • Sierra Designs, Kelty, Big Agnes and Mountain Hardware sleeping bags
  • Thermarest sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Company-issued first-aid kit
  • Satellite phone


What Gear To Bring

We ask that you supply a couple of gear items on your hiking tour. These items are two 1-liter water bottles per person and either a headlamp or flashlight per person. Basic items like sunscreen, bug repellent (where and when applicable), lip balm, and toiletries are also important. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.


What Clothes to Bring

Please refer to the trip packet for a recommended clothing list (we email you a detailed trip packet when you inquire and when you register). All trips require a sturdy pair of hiking shoes or hiking boots (reliable brands include Montrail, Lowa, Merrell, Vasque, and Salomon), rain gear, and non-cotton and cotton clothing layers. A minimum of three pairs of wool or synthetic hiking socks are also required. All of these items are available online at Wildland Trekking Outfitters.

NOTE: See the Packing Lists page for more detailed information on what clothes and gear to bring on your hiking tour. The trip packet you receive when you contact us will have the most accurate clothing and gear list for the tour you're interested in.

Trip Logistics

How do I Register?

Ready to hike? Simply click here and complete the form to get the ball rolling. Our adventure consultants will confirm availability, and if you're ready to register we'll email you a link to a registration profile. You'll have 48 hours to complete your profile (and that of any dependents) and pay the deposit ($500).

Feel free to call us for more info - we're here 7 days a week!


Where Do We Meet?

You'll meet your hiking guide and group in Half Dome Village in Yosemite Valley around 8 AM the morning the trip begins. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip and will specify the exact location of the rendezvous at that point. You can park your personal vehicle at Half Dome Village for the duration of the trip.

Check out our Travel Resources page for information on flights, shuttles, lodging and more.


Start/End Times

Your guide will inform you of the first day's rendezvous time at the orientation meeting. Generally, you can expect it to be between 5 and 8 am, although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will be out of the backcountry normally before 5 PM (this time is not guaranteed, as a variety of circumstances can influence our exact return time) on the final day.


Safety Considerations

Your safety is our top priority. Our hiking tours are led by professional hiking guides, all of whom are wilderness-certified first responders or EMT's, each with years of guiding and wilderness experience. We've developed comprehensive risk management protocols that our guides adhere to in case of an emergency, and most tours carry a satellite phone. If you have any further questions about safety, please contact us at 1-800-715-HIKE (4453) for more information.


Guides

Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Check out our Meet Our Team page for staff bios.


Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on basecamp trips is 4 guests and 1 guide, with a maximum of 10 guests and 2 guides. If you have more questions about group size, please give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) and we'll answer all your questions.

Age restrictions are as follows:
  • 12 and older to join scheduled tours (mixed groups)
  • 5 and older to join private tours, with final approval and specific logistical requirements (such as porter or stock assist) determined on a case by case basis


Weather in the Sierras

Being a high mountain environment, the Sierra Nevada Mountains are prone to sudden temperature and weather shifts. This is an exciting aspect of being in the mountains. On trips in June, snow is a possibility, and the rest of the summer rain is always a possibility on your trip. To be fully prepared, please follow the recommended clothing list closely (this list comes as part of your trip packet when you register). See below for average summer temperatures:
 
Average Temperatures (Fahrenheit)
         
 
Month
Valleys
Alpine
 
 
hi
low
hi
low
 
 
January
49°
26°
45°
25°
 
 
February
55°
28°
46°
26°
 
 
March
59°
31°
48°
27°
 
 
April
65°
35°
54°
30°
 
 
May
73°
42°
62°
37°
 
 
June
81°
51°
71°
46°
 
 
July
89°
57°
77°
50°
 
 
August
89°
56°
81°
53°
 
 
September
82°
51°
71°
46°
 
 
October
74°
39°
62°
37°
 
 
November
58°
31°
51°
29°
 
 
December
48°
26°
46°
25°