Premier Yosemite Hiking Company

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Yosemite Inn-based Tour

Highlights

  • Guides Choice inn-based trip in Yosemite
  • Comprehensive experience of the Range of Light
  • The major highlights of the Park in 1 trip
  • Classic hikes as well as lesser-known gems
  • Yosemite Valley's best waterfalls and domes
  • Ascent of a high country peak for incredible views
  • Learn about the amazing geologic history that shaped this awe-inspiring landscape
  • Fantastic lodging at a serene spot outside Yosemite Valley
  • Wonderful meals at lodges & on the trail

Description

Come join us for an extraordinary week of hiking in Yosemite National Park! Each day we'll embark on exciting day hikes throughout the Park, and each evening we'll return to a comfortable lodge where we'll enjoy relaxing and charming restaurant meals and cozy rooms. We provide all the meals, lodging (pre-trip accommodations included as well), local transportation, and an expert guide so you can relax and soak up Yosemite!
Our daily hikes cover the gamut from popular, classic hikes to lesser-known gems that we selected just for this trip and our Yosemite Basecamp Tour. We'll spend time in Yosemite Valley, and we'll venture up into the high country of Tuolumne Meadows. We'll visit waterfalls, high peaks, stunning viewpoints, and giant Sequoia trees. You'll get to see and experience an amazing amount of this park in just 5 days!

One of the most amazing aspects of visiting Yosemite is learning about its glacial history. Your guide will point out this history throughout the week, noting evidence such as sheered domes, mountains of moraine, massive boulders perched in impossible positions, and other unique features. You'll also learn about Yosemite's wildlife, Native American history, and early settler history.
Join us and experience the best of Yosemite hiking in style! Give us a call at 800-715-HIKE (4453) to learn more or book your spot today!
Click here to have a detailed PDF information packet emailed to you, or request a reservation today. You can also call us at 800-715-HIKE.

 

Photos of this Trip

Trip Itinerary

Pre-Trip Lodging

This Yosemite hiking tour includes lodging the night before the trip begins at Rush Creek Lodge. Lodging in the Yosemite area can be extremely difficult to secure, so we added this night's accommodations as a convenience and added benefit for our guests. If you won't be using the pre-trip lodging, we can extend a $200/person discount to you, and if you're traveling solo a $200 discount off the single supplement as well. Guests are responsible for dinner this evening.


Day 1

Shuttle: 45 minutes each way
Hiking Mileage: 5-6 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 2000 feet
Accommodations: Rush Creek Lodge (or similar equivalent in rare cases)


Your guide will pick you up at Rush Creek Lodge (pre-trip lodging is included) or at Half Dome Village in Yosemite National Park (if you opt out of the pre-trip lodging) and we'll make our way to the first day's hike at Happy Isles trailhead. Our day begins with 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 explore more of the scenic wonders of this fantastic place. Then we return to our lodge where we'll get cleaned up and meet for a much-deserved dinner that evening.


Day 2

Shuttle: 1.5 hours each way
Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1800 feet
Accommodations: Rush Creek Lodge (or similar equivalent in rare cases)


Today we will arise early and drive up into Yosemite's high country. We'll head east along the Tioga Pass Road, stopping at Olmsted Point for a mesmerizing view of Yosemite's alpine mountains and Half Dome in the distance. We'll reach our morning trailhead in Tuolumne Meadows: a series of vast, alpine meadows with mountain streams snaking their way through the tall grass and plentiful wildflowers. Here, we’ll get an overview of the meadows from our hike to the summit of Lembert Dome. This hike involves some scrambling before topping out at the 9450 ft. summit with its amazing views of the Cathedral Range and the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River.

Afterwards we’ll head up to Tioga Pass, the highest highway crossing in California and the Sierra. Our after lunch hike will take us up the steep trail to the Gaylor Lakes Basin just below the rugged Sierra Crest. We’ll visit high alpine lakes and perhaps, the abandoned 1870’s Great Sierra Mine before returning to our lodge and resting up for dinner.


Day 3

Shuttle: 1.5 hours each way
Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1600 feet
Accommodations: Rush Creek Lodge (or similar equivalent in rare cases)


Today is the highlight of the trip for many of our guests. We'll have a big breakfast before heading to Glacier Point - one of the world’s great view points - with most of Yosemite’s iconic features on display below your feet, including amazing views of Half Dome, Mount Watkins and Vernal and Nevada Falls. From here, after soaking up the incredible views, we head up to the Pohono Trail which offers some of the best panoramic vistas of the Park. The views of El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, the Three Brothers and other iconic features of the west end Yosemite Valley change constantly as we amble along the trail 3000 ft. above the Valley floor. Taft Point is one of the most dramatic lookouts but we’ll have lunch at the high point of our hike, the 8122 ft. summit of Sentinel Dome. This is the site of one of Ansel Adams most recognized photographs and the views extend from the northern edge of the park to the highest peak in the park: Mount Lyell at over 13,000 ft.


Day 4

Shuttle: 1.75 hours each way
Hiking Mileage: 5-6 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 1200 feet
Accommodations: Rush Creek Lodge (or similar equivalent in rare cases)


***This trail will be temporarily closed in 2016 until early summer 2017. Your guide will substitute it with a carefully selected alternative.***

Today’s hike takes us into Yosemite's biggest trees and the largest and most impressive trees on earth - the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. We'll hike the lower and upper loops, which provide for a wonderful day 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. The Park Service has recently completed a restoration of the Grove and removed much of the man-made infrastructure-returning much of the natural peace and quiet to this special place. From the high point of our hike at Wawona Point, we’ll have an unparalleled view of the historic Wawona Valley, one of the earliest settled areas in Yosemite.


Day 5

*** This trail will be temporarily closed until fall of 2017. Your guide will substitute it with a carefully selected, equal or better alternative. ***

Shuttle:1 hour each way
Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
Elevation Gain/Loss: 2000 feet
Shuttle: 2 hours


On our final day, we'll pack up and enjoy a hearty breakfast before leaving Rush Creek Lodge. We'll turn east and enjoy one last, special treat: a summit attempt on Mount Hoffmann, a peak at the geographical center of Yosemite National Park! Our hike takes us uphill to May Lake, a charming sub-alpine lake framed by sheer granite cliffs. We'll take a break at the lake before continuing up the flanks of Mount Hoffman. This summit involves only hiking, but is an exciting ascent up a picturesque mountain peak.

The highlight of today comes when we reach the summit, which some people say offers the best view of any in Yosemite! From its high perch we will be looking down on Half Dome and Clouds Rest - a rare vantage point - and over to the bright granite peaks of the Cathedral Range. We'll snap some pictures and soak up the views before heading back down to May Lake and back to the trailhead. After our hike and a final lunch we'll contemplate the unforgettable week we've just experienced, and most likely start hatching new plans for future trips to 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 access restrictions, weather, road closures, guest ability/injury, and natural events like fires and flooding.

Trip Details

What's Included

  • Five nights of lodging at the Rush Creek Lodge, or similar equivalent in rare cases (you can opt out of the pre-trip lodging for a $200/person discount)
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from breakfast on Day 1 through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Yosemite hiking guide
  • 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
  • Water bottles 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

We provide all your meals from lunch the first day through lunch the last day. Your guide will prepare breakfasts and lunches with a variety of hot and cold meals that are appropriate for the day's activities. Feel free to tell us about your food preferences, as we're more than happy to tailor the menu to your needs/desires. Some specialty diets may require an additional fee.

For dinners, we've hand-picked local restaurants you're sure to enjoy! We made our decisions based on the quality of their food, their charm, and how much local color and character they have.


Gear We Provide

We provide all group gear which includes the following:
  • Deuter or Osprey backpacks
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • 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 will meet your hiking guide and group at Rush Creek Lodge (where pre-trip lodging is included, but you can opt out for a $200/person discount) between 7 and 9 a.m. the morning the trip begins. Your guide will be in contact approximately 2 weeks before your trip to coordinate the exact time and location of the rendezvous, which will depend on current weather and road conditions.

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


Start/End Times

Your guide will coordinate the first day's rendezvous time approximately 2 weeks before the trip. Generally, you can expect it to be between 7 and 9 a.m., although the exact time will depend on current weather and road conditions. We will be back to Rush Creek Lodge on the last day normally around 3 PM to allow guests to travel to San Francisco that evening (this time is not guaranteed however, 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 inn-based trips is 6 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°