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Tuolumne to Yosemite Valley

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Adventure Details

Welcome to the Yosemite Tuolumne to Yosemite Valley backpacking page! All the information you desire can be found amongst these pages. Simply click on the black tabs below to access all the information you need, i.e. pricing.  Need more? Give us a call at 877-399-2477 or send us an email.

Tuolumne to Yosemite Valley

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This 5 day, 4 night camping/backpacking tour takes you off the beaten path - for real! We start from the Yosemite high country of Tuolumne Meadows, passing at least two high mountain lakes, off trail for over a day, then to Clouds Rest and Half Dome, ending on the floor of the Yosemite Valley. This trip offers amazing views, mountain creeks, lakes and waterfalls.  But the best part - very few people for the majority of the hike! When you go off the beaten path and then off trail, you get the park all to yourself - and there is nothing better than just you, nature and maybe a couple bears pooping in the woods*.  Once we get near Little Yosemite Valley and Half Dome, then you will encounter more wildlife - i.e. people. This hike does provide the possibility of hiking to the top of Half Dome - permit dependent.  However, while Half Dome does require additional permits, a hike up Clouds Rest requires no permits and will take you to a higher elevation than Half Dome - amazing views with fewer people.  Bear in mind, even a day hike up Half Dome or Cloud's Rest will increase the difficulty and oh snap! level of this trip from a 7 to an 10.

*We do not guarantee you will see bears on this or any trip in Yosemite as the wildlife does not work on a schedule and refuse to do so until their demands for a higher minimum wage is met. 

**Route Variation - Our specific hiking route and campsites on each departure are dependent upon permit availability. Difficulty of the hike will also vary based on the route change. Additionally, the ascent up Half Dome is very challenging and is weather permitting.

Day 1

After meeting the group, we catch our early am shuttle to Tuolumne Meadows. Upon arrival, we will set you up for your adventure to Nelson Lake. The hike is about 6 miles total, of which 3.5 miles are off trail. Off trail hiking, while slower going, is well worth the additional time and effort. No crowds and scenery you get to enjoy as a backpacker, not a tourist. You will hike by Elizabeth Lake and camp for the night by Nelson Lake.

Day 2

After breakfast, we continue hiking off trail through Echo Valley for an additional 4 miles (taking 5 to 6 hours). Today is all off trail - hiking through the impressive Cathedral Range, meadows, pines and along Echo Creek. We will camp for the night near Echo Creek and Echo Creek Trail - the first time we will see a real trail in 7.5 miles.

Day 3

Today we are back on the main trail so hiking will not be as slow going. We will cover about 8 miles as we head towards Sunrise Creek and the Little Yosemite Valley area, hiking a small section of the John Muir Trail. We most likely will camp near Sunrise Creek so we don't have to "share" our trip with 50+ other campers at Little Yosemite Valley.

Day 4

We leave camp for the day and hike up Half Dome or Cloud's Rest. Since Half Dome requires a permit, this ascent is not a guarantee. Cloud's Rest does not require permits but also has fewer people, no cables to have to hang on to and you get higher (by hiking up, not the other way) than Half Dome - a much better experience in our opinion!

Day 5

After breakfast, we pack up to hike out of Little Yosemite Valley and back to the Valley and on the most popular trails in Yosemite! On our way, we pass both 317 ft tall (96.2 m) Vernal Falls and the 570 ft tall Nevada Falls on the way to the Happy Isles trailhead. We descend to about 4,000 ft (1219.2 m) and will hike about 5 miles (8.0 km). We will be back in the Valley by around lunch time.


Reviews

Share your experience!    Review this trip

Rating   

Wow, this as a great trip. It was probably the most strenuous workout I've done in quite a while, and it was fantastic. Our guide, Kyle Sherman, is mature and experienced beyond his years. He has unbelievable people skills and is a superb asset to your company. I would hike anywhere with Kyle.
The rental equipment, tent, pack, bag,etc. was in great shape and worked well. The views were fantastic throughout the whole trip and Kyle was extremely knowledgeable about the area, topography, etc. I would recommend hiking with Kyle to anyone.

Frank Werts


09/09/16

Rating   

"Best trek ever!" - Sorry for the teen-speak, but this trip was just amazing. Just Roughinit have put together an excellent route. The landscape was just amazing and the sense of isolation for the first 2 days emphasised the wild beauty of Yosemite. The group was small and our Guide, Joe Keyser, was fantastic. He gave us the support we needed to meet the challenge, just when we needed it, and gave us the space to make it our own accomplishment. This trip was great value and if I get another opportunity to come to Just Roughinit's coverage areas, I'll be checking availability and asking for Joe.

Lee Smith


07/01/15

Rating   

5 Days in Yosemite with Just Roughin' It = 5 Stars!

Just spent 5 days in Yosemite on one of the "Tuolumne Meadows" backpacking trips. It was my first time in Yosemite and my first backpacking experience. I'm ready to go again!

Our guide, J.P., was great! The food he cooked was delicious. Can you say, no leftovers? J.P. not only cooked, but also cleaned/washed all of our dishes and cookware after each and every meal. He took very good care of us!

Our route took us from Tuolumne Meadows to Booth Lake (7 miles); Booth Lake to Merced Lake High Sierra Camp (via Vogelsang Pass, elevation 10,900 ft; 9 miles); Merced Lake High Sierra Camp to Sunrise Creek (7 miles); Half Dome summit (5.5 miles); Sunrise Creek to Yosemite Valley (7 miles).

Day 2 and our traverse of Vogelsang Pass was a bear! But, we wanted the experience of going up to that elevation and through the pass. We could have taken a shorter, easier route but everyone in our group was very glad we got to experience Vogelsang Pass.

Our 9 miles on the second day and the hike down Vogelsang, which is a rough, rocky, and steep one made even more difficult with a backpack on, is definitely not for everyone. But for those in good enough condition to complete it, you will be well rewarded with pristine panoramic views of Yosemite!

And, what an exhilarating, exciting, rewarding experience it was to summit Half Dome. The steep, sheer, granite face is intimidating but can be safely completed using the "cables".

Scenery beyond compare, wildlife, the camaraderie with the other hikers, and Just Roughin' It in Yosemite made for a great vacation!

Douglas McDaniel


10/10/14

Rating   

I went on my first trip with Just Roughin It to Yosemite with my 16 year old son, and it was an awesome experience. We started in Tuolumne Meadows, camped near Vogelsang, climbed up to Vogelsang Pass, then down to Merced Lake. Went across to Surprise Creek, climbed Half Dome, then ended in Yosemite Valley. About 35 miles in 5 days.

Our guide JP was excellent: very knowledgeable, enthusiastic, energetic, and encouraging. The food was fantastic! (how can you beat fish tacos on the top of Half Dome!!!). The equipment was great. Everything worked out perfectly.

I highly recommend Just Roughin It to anyone that wants to try out back-packing and to learn some of the tricks from an expert guide. We were already planning our next backpacking trip on the flight back home.

Iain Boyd


10/10/14

Rating   

I went on my first trip with Just Roughin It to Yosemite with my 16 year old son, and it was an awesome experience. We started in Tuolumne Meadows, camped near Vogelsang, climbed up to Vogelsang Pass, then down to Merced Lake. Went across to Surprise Creek, climbed Half Dome, then ended in Yosemite Valley. About 35 miles in 5 days.

Our guide JP was excellent: very knowledgeable, enthusiastic, energetic, and encouraging. The food was fantastic! (how can you beat fish tacos on the top of Half Dome!!!). The equipment was great. Everything worked out perfectly.

I highly recommend Just Roughin It to anyone that wants to try out back-packing and to learn some of the tricks from an expert guide. We were already planning our next backpacking trip on the flight back home.

Iain B.


09/03/13

Rating   

Just spent 5 days in Yosemite on one of the "Tuolumne Meadows" backpacking trips. It was my first time in Yosemite and my first backpacking experience. I'm ready to go again!

Our guide, J.P., was great! The food he cooked was delicious. Can you say, no leftovers? J.P. not only cooked, but also cleaned/washed all of our dishes and cookware after each and every meal. He took very good care of us!

Our route took us from Tuolumne Meadows to Booth Lake (7 miles); Booth Lake to Merced Lake High Sierra Camp (via Vogelsang Pass, elevation 10,900 ft; 9 miles); Merced Lake High Sierra Camp to Sunrise Creek (7 miles); Half Dome summit (5.5 miles); Sunrise Creek to Yosemite Valley (7 miles).

Day 2 and our traverse of Vogelsang Pass was a bear! But, we wanted the experience of going up to that elevation and through the pass. We could have taken a shorter, easier route but everyone in our group was very glad we got to experience Vogelsang Pass.

Our 9 miles on the second day and the hike down Vogelsang, which is a rough, rocky, and steep one made even more difficult with a backpack on, is definitely not for everyone. But for those in good enough condition to complete it, you will be well rewarded with pristine panoramic views of Yosemite!

And, what an exhilarating, exciting, rewarding experience it was to summit Half Dome. The steep, sheer, granite face is intimidating but can be safely completed using the "cables".

Scenery beyond compare, wildlife, the camaraderie with the other hikers, and Just Roughin' It in Yosemite made for a great vacation!

Douglas M.


08/30/13


ItineraryPricing

Trip Cost Per Person

5 Day

$1150

Regular Price

$1200

Includes camping and dinner the night before the trip.

What's included?

  • 5pm orientation the afternoon prior to your hike at Yosemite Valley at the backpacker's camp.
  • Backpacking permits.
  • Tent camping each night on the trail plus the night of orientation at the backpacker's camp*.
  • All food while on the trail prepared by your guide - from dinner at orientation through breakfast on the last day*.
  • Double occupancy tent, sleeping bag, sleeping pad, backpack, trekking poles. A single tent is available for an additional $50.
  • A certified, medically trained guide that will lead you safely on your journey. 
  • An unforgettable experience! 

*Camping at backpackers camp, dinner the night of orientation and breakfast the morning of the trip is $50/person additional and is not mandatory.
Our prices do not include guide gratuity (15% to 20% of the tour price is recommended).

Just Roughin’ It Adventure Company recommends you purchase a travel protection plan to help protect you and your trip investment! Now more than ever it is important to think about the unexpected. Consider travel protection for Trip Cancellation/Trip Interruption Emergency Medical and Emergency Evacuation/Repatriation, Trip Delay, Baggage Delay and much more… Click here for a quote from TravelEx Insurance Company.


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Upcoming Trip Schedule

Select a date below to get started.

The below dates are not necessarily set in stone, so if there are dates that work better for you, send us an email and we'll see what we can do about setting up a different trip date for you! Please note that dates listed below that are 4+ months in advance of your trip date are not guaranteed until permits are released by the park service, BLM, etc. It is best to not make additional travel arrangements, i.e. flights, until we have confirmed your dates. Yep, this is for real!

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Number of DaysDatesPrice/person
5 daysJul 16,2017 - Jul 20,2017$1150Book Now / More Info
5 daysAug 2,2017 - Aug 6,2017$1150Book Now / More Info
5 daysAug 8,2017 - Aug 12,2017$1150Book Now / More Info
5 daysAug 17,2017 - Aug 21,2017$1150Book Now / More Info
5 daysAug 24,2017 - Aug 28,2017$1150Book Now / More Info
5 daysSep 10,2017 - Sep 14,2017$1150Book Now / More Info

Not seeing the dates you want? Send us an email and we'll see what we can do. Please note that dates listed above that are 4+ months in advance of your trip date are not guaranteed until permits are released by the park service, BLM, etc. We advise you do not make additional travel arrangements, i.e. flights, until we have confirmed your dates. 


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Related Destinations

"My favorite backpacking trip is the Cremation Canyon trip. You get to hike the popular main trails of the canyon, but get a chance to get away from the crowds and camp virtually alone under the sky, unostructed by trees or the canyon walls. "
Tino Morales
6 years experience
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Email:info@justroughinit.com
Local:480-857-2477
Toll Free:877-399-2477