Yosemite Hiking Guides
Yosemite National Park Treks
Yosemite National Park Hikes
Yosemiote Hiking Tour
Yosemite Guided Treks
Yosemite National Park Tour
Yosemite National Park Guides
Yosemite Hiking Vacation
Get More Information!  

Yosemite Basecamp Tour

Highlights

  • Comprehensive experience of Yosemite
  • Major highlights all in one trip
  • Classic hikes as well as lesser-known gems
  • Yosemite Valley's best waterfalls & domes
  • High country hikes with incredible views
  • Camp on the "quiet side" of Yosemite
  • Exceptional outdoor cuisine

Description

Our all-inclusive Yosemite Basecamp Tour packs a tremendous amount of value into one action-filled five day hiking and camping package. We give you the best of both sides of Yosemite - phenomenal hikes in Yosemite Valley as well as up in the Park's stunning Tuolumne Meadows. We spend two days exploring Yosemite Valley's world-famous granite features, like Half dome and El Capitan, as well as its amazing waterfalls and incredible glacial history. We spend three days in the cooler, quieter high country around Tuolumne Meadows, hiking through subalpine parklands, past beautiful clear-blue lakes and to the summits of some of the Park's "cathedral" peaks!

We set up our base camp on the Eastern "quiet side" of Yosemite, at a wonderful private campground a short drive from the Park. Each day after a hearty breakfast we drive along Yosemite’s Tioga Pass and head into the park for unforgettable days of hiking on a diversity of hand-picked trails. At night we return to our camp for campfires, fantastic meals, relaxation, and showers.
One of the most amazing aspects of visiting Yosemite is learning about its glacial history. Your guide will lead you through 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.
We're Here to Help!
 

Trip Dates

Click on a date to register.
You can also click here to request new dates or book through customer service.
  • Available to Book
  • Going Fast
  • Contact Us to Book
 
Don't see your dates?
Call us - we may be able to add them!
800-715-HIKE (4453)

Trip Itinerary

Day 1
  • Shuttle: 3 hours
  • Hiking Mileage: 5-9 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1500 feet
Our first hike begins at the Happy Isles trailhead with an outstanding 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. We'll enjoy a panorama that includes 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 complete our hike and then shuttle up and over Tioga Pass to a private campground on the Eastern, "quiet side" of Yosemite. We'll settle into camp and, as your guide prepares a sumptuous meal, there is time to shower, sit around the campfire and watch as the alpenglow turns the high peaks of the Sierra Nevada a brilliant crimson high above us!
Day 2
  • Shuttle: 1.5 hours each way
  • Hiking Mileage: 9 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 938 feet
Today we will climb one of Yosemite Valley’s iconic granite domes, Half Dome's northerly brother, the spectacular North Dome. Our hike starts above the Valley at a normally quiet trailhead and heads south through a pristine Lodgepole Pine forest. After only a few miles we will enjoy a rejuvenating break at Indian Arch, an arch-shaped rock that provides breathtaking views of the mountains that surround us. From Indian Arch we will descend down onto the top of North Dome where we will enjoy a picnic lunch with out-of-this-work, 360-degree views of Yosemite Valley and the surrounding mountain peaks as our backdrop. After snapping lots of photos and soaking up the views, we will complete our hike back to the trailhead, then return to camp for showers, evening cuisine, and another roaring campfire!
Day 3
  • Shuttle: 1 hour each way
  • Hiking Mileage: 7 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 1800 feet
Today is an unforgettable adventure as we embark on a cross-country hike to one of Yosemite’s most beautiful lakes - Cathedral Lake. Our hike begins in Tuolumne Meadows but quickly ascends into a lodgepole forest where we’ll say goodbye to the trail and set off cross-country towards Budd Lake. The hiking is moderate through open forest as we circle Cathedral Peak and crest a saddle before descending to Cathedral Lake. On the shores of the lake we’ll dip our feet and/or go for a chilly but refreshing swim, enjoy a wonderful picnic lunch, and relish the world-famous views of one of the most picturesque features of Yosemite's high country: Cathedral Peak reflected in the crystal waters of Cathedral Lake. We’ll follow the trail to return, making a loop, and stroll under Eichorn Pinnacle before entering a deep Red Fir forest before our descent to the trailhead. Another feast of a dinner and relaxing evening await us back at camp.
Day 4
  • Shuttle: 1 hour each way
  • Hiking Mileage: 5 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 2000 feet
Today, after a satisfying breakfast, we'll attempt to summit 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 real gem of today comes when we reach the summit of Mount Hoffman, 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 over a picnic lunch before heading back down to May Lake and back to the trailhead.
Day 5
  • Hiking Mileage: 7 miles
  • Elevation Gain/Loss: 2300 feet
  • Shuttle: 3 hours
Today we start with a relaxing breakfast, then pack up and head up Tioga Pass one last time. Our first stop of the day is a warm-up hike to the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias. A visit to Yosemite is not complete without taking the time to awe over these absolutely amazing trees. Tuolumne Grove has a couple dozen fully mature Sequoias that we will tour before hiking back to the trailhead.

After Tuolumne Grove we head to Glacier Point Road where our next hike takes us to the top of Sentinel Dome, arguably the best viewpoint of Yosemite Valley and the surrounding high country.

Starting at 7800 feet, we pass through a Red Fir forest that is prime black bear habitat on our way to the summit of Sentinel Dome. The top of the dome, 300 feet above the trailhead, is a modest scramble up moderately sloping, fun granite slabs. Views from the summit are among the best in Yosemite and encompass much of the Valley and high country of the Park. Continuing on from the dome, our route follows the lightly visited Pohono Trail along the southern rim of Yosemite Valley to spectacular Taft Point. Here are phenomenal views of El Capitan, Cathedral Rocks and other western Yosemite Valley highlights. We'll complete our hike back to the trailhead and then shuttle back to Yosemite Valley and the end of our tour. What a week it's been!



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 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

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? In the Dates section of this trip page, the green dates are bookable online by simply clicking on the date, and blue dates must be booked through our customer service team for a variety of possible reasons. To email our customer service team, you can click here 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?

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.


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 basecamp trips is 6 guests and 1 guide. 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)
     
 
Month
Valleys
Alpine
 
 
hi
low
hi
low
 
 
June
81°
51°
71°
46°
 
 
July
89°
57°
77°
50°
 
 
August
89°
56°
81°
53°
 
 
September
82°
51°
71°
46°