Photo: Sarah Carter


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Ten Lakes Basin


  • 4 full days in the wilderness
  • One of Yosemite's most scenic lakes
  • Forests, alpine meadows, and ridgelines
  • Wonderful mountain solitude in the Sierras
  • Roaring campfires in the mornings & evenings
  • Fantastic day hike to explore the high country
  • Incredible night skies


Come explore the spectacular high country of the world-renowned Sierra Nevada with Wildland Trekking on this hike through the heart of Yosemite National Park. This trek will take you on a point-to-point traverse of the geographic center of the park. Starting off the spectacular Tioga Road, our path will lead us through upper montane forests and across high exposed ridges to a sublime sub-alpine basin where we will spend two nights among some of the best mountain scenery on Earth. Our trip ends at one of the most beautiful lakes in the Sierra. This tour takes us off the beaten path in Yosemite so we’ll be able to enjoy flower-filled meadows, star-studded nights and the pastel hues of the alpenglow in peaceful solitude.
Feel free to call us at 1-800-715-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

Photos: Sarah Carter

Trip Itinerary

Day 1

This Yosemite trip begins with rendezvous in Yosemite Valley on the patio of Half Dome Village (formerly Curry Village) in front of the Yosemite Mountain Shop at 6PM on Day 1. The Mountain shop is located on the street-facing side of the Half Dome Village Pavilion (closest to the parking lot). You will easily spot your guide waiting for you in a Wildland Trekking hat. We'll conduct an orientation meeting, after which we'll get settled in the Backpackers Camp a stone's throw away from majestic Tenaya Creek and under the spectacular domes and cliffs of Yosemite Valley. We'll enjoy dinner either at Half Dome Village or in camp.

Day 2

Hiking Mileage: 7 miles
Elevation Gain: 2300 feet
Elevation Loss: 900 feet

After a quick breakfast we will shuttle to our starting trailhead on the Tioga Pass Road. We’ll cross three small creeks as the trail takes us through a forest interspersed with lodgepole pines, red fires and western white pines. We hike through stunning Half Moon Meadow and then ascend over three dozen switchbacks up to 9600 ft. Ten Lakes Pass with stupendous panoramic views of much of Yosemite. A final one mile descent through scattered white bark pines leads us to the shores of one of the lakes in the breathtaking Ten Lakes Basin. We will set up camp and enjoy a relaxing evening with a hearty backcountry dinner prepared by your guide.

Day 3

Hiking Mileage: 4-7 miles
Elevation Gain: varies
Elevation Loss: varies

Today is a layover day and that will give us the opportunity to kick back, relax and explore the area. After a leisurely breakfast and a chance to enjoy our coffee around the campfire, we’ll pack up a picnic lunch and begin our day of exploration. Our itinerary is flexible but we’ll plan on visiting some of the out of the way lakes and, perhaps, bagging one of the many peaks surrounding the lake basin. After a high altitude picnic, we’ll be back at camp by mid-afternoon and that will give us time for another swim, or to just relax with a good book beside the lake.

Day 4

Hiking Mileage: 8 miles
Elevation Gain: 2200 feet
Elevation Loss: 2500 feet

We’ll enjoy a hearty breakfast after an early wake-up call and prepare for today’s hike down from our high country camp. There will be a lot of ups and downs as we traverse the southern edge of the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. We will break for a picnic lunch at a scenic spot (plenty to choose from!) and continue to our campsite high above the 4000 ft. deep Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River. Views from here are fantastic, encompassing much of the northern half of the park from Matterhorn Peak down to Mount Dana and beyond.

Day 5

Hiking Mileage: 6 miles
Elevation Gain: 300 feet
Elevation Loss: 1800 feet

After a quick breakfast we’ll begin our final hike that takes us out of the mountains. Our trail drops us steeply as we switchback down the east side of Tuolumne Peak. Then it’s easy going along the glacially scoured valley as we follow Murphy Creek down from its headwaters in the Polly Dome Basin. We head south from here, through a dense lodgepole forest, along the lightly traveled Murphy Creek trail. We end our trip at a trailhead on the shores of Tenaya Lake, a beautiful sub-alpine lake nestled in a glacial basin surrounded by the white granite peaks and domes of the Yosemite high country. We'll shuttle back to Yosemite Valley and reminisce on the way, and perhaps start dreaming about our next adventure!

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 technical backpack
  • Use of trekking poles
  • All meals are included from dinner on Day 1 through lunch on the last day
  • A professional, knowledgeable, certified Yosemite hiking guide
  • National park backcountry camping permits
  • Bear cannisters for food storage
  • 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, leather gloves (for the cables on Half Dome) 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

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 backcountry – 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 or Big Agnes sleeping pads
  • Leki or Black Diamond trekking poles
  • Cooking stoves and cookware
  • Bear cannisters
  • 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, leather gloves, 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 72 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?

This trip meets in Yosemite Valley on the patio of Half Dome Village (formerly Curry Village) in front of the Yosemite Mountain Shop at 6PM on Day 1. The Mountain Shop is located on the street-facing side of the Half Dome Village Pavilion (closest to the parking lot). You will easily spot your guide waiting for you in a Wildland Trekking hat and shirt. This trip includes dinner and camping that night at the backpackers camp. Personal vehicles can remain parked at Half Dome Village during your 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.


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.

Guide Shifts

Yosemite and Sequioa-Kings Canyon guides work daily shifts from 5 a.m. to 9 p.m. During off hours (9 p.m. to 5 a.m.) the guides' time is their own, and they are free to sleep, rest, take personal time, postpone guest requests until the next morning, and any other legal, reasonable activity people engage in when not working. We ask all guests to respect the guides' off-duty hours by not waking or asking anything of them unless there is a true emergency. Also, state law requires that employees receive an uninterrupted 10 minute break every four working hours, so guides are required to take four 10 minute breaks between 5 a.m. and 9 p.m.

Group Size and Age Restrictions

The standard group size on backpacking 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 1-800-715-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)