Adventures / Wild Hikes

Hike the Valleys and Peaks of Yosemite National Park

Lace up your boots to hit secluded trails through iconic Yosemite

This trip is no longer on sale

Trip Ref #10112

Adventures / Wild Hikes

Hike the Valleys and Peaks of Yosemite National Park

Lace up your boots to hit secluded trails through iconic Yosemite

DURATION

3 nights

LOCATION

United States

ANNUAL LEAVE

2 days off work

SEASON

Apr-Oct

GROUP SIZE

Up to 9 people

MEETING POINT

San Francisco Airport, California

ACCOMMODATION

Campsite · Cabin

DIFFICULTY

Moderate

Anyone with good fitness levels and a love of the great outdoors

Spend 2 full days hiking secluded trails along the Yosemite valley and camping under the stars

See some of Yosemite's big-hitters: El Capitan & Vernal Falls and get up close to giant 3000 year old sequoia trees

Explore the Yosemite valley floor before ascending to new heights to see the valley from iconic lookout points.

All our reviews are verified

We only invite travellers to leave a review if they have booked this trip with Much Better Adventures.

Maarten, August 2021

The national parks are beautiful and our guides Megan and Alex were great! We had a chance to see a ton of wildlife, including wolves, bears, bison and more. The evenings at the campsite were very nice with campfires and some games. We would highly recommend this trip.

Included

Guides

Expert, medically-trained naturalist guides with wilderness first responder training

Accommodation

2 nights camping and one night in a peaceful cedar cabin

Meals

Delicious fresh food included throughout

Transfers

To and from the airport (or your accommodation in San Francisco) and everything in-between

Equipment

All you need for on the trail camping

Permits

All national park entry fees and permits

Not Included

Flights to and from the meeting point

Travel insurance

Personal expenses

Tips for your guides

The Area

map

Logistics

Starts

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

10:30 on Day 1

Ends

San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

18:30 on Day 4

Transfers

Your host will meet you at San Francisco International Airport, California at 10:30 so please book a flight that arrives before 10:00. Alternatively, you can be collected at your accommodation in San Francisco at around 09:00 if you are already in town.

Your trip ends back at San Francisco International Airport where your host will drop you off at 18:30. Book any flight that leaves after 20:00 to ensure you have enough time to check-in. Alternatively you can be dropped at your accommodation in San Francisco if you are staying on.

Travel options

There are direct flights to San Francisco International Airport (SFO) from all over the US and major hubs in Europe.

Day 1

Campsite · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 2

Campsite · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 3

Cabin · Twin share

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

Day 4

Departure day

Breakfast

Lunch

Dinner

What is the food like?

Evening meals around the campfire will be based around rice and pasta dishes with fresh vegetables. For breakfast there will be eggs, pancakes and fruit. Lunches will be meat-based sandwiches unless you request a vegan/vegetarian option. During the adventure you'll be kept full of delicious, local snacks. Water, tea and coffee are provided as well as wine and beer in the evenings.

Vegetarian, vegan and other dietary requirements can be accommodated - just request when booking.

What is the accommodation like?

Campsite

You will camp in one of Yosemite's historic campgrounds, located in Central California's rugged Sierra Nevada Mountain Range. You'll camp under the stars, amongst the Giant Sequoias, near waterfalls, sheer granite cliffs, deep valleys, grand meadows, and more. Campsites are equipped with flush toilets, vault toilets, and drinking water. Each campsite contains a picnic table, fire ring, and a food storage locker.

Yosemite Pines Cabins

You'll stay in cedar wood cabins set amongst pine trees at a site just outside the national park. The cabins are comfortable with air conditioning, water coolers and coffee makers. Your cabin has a veranda, picnic area and fire pits ready for classic American campfire evenings after your days spent hiking in Yosemite.

Upgrades

For solo travellers looking for their own space, an optional private room can be booked for an extra charge, see Optional Extras for the price. Please request this at the time of booking (this is subject to availability).

Day 1

Hit the road to Yosemite and hike amongst giant sequoias

Hiking

2-3 hours · 7-8km · 150m up · 150m down

Your adventure begins at San Francisco airport where you'll be met by your host. Together with your fellow adventurers you’ll jump in the van and hit the road for a couple of hours over to Yosemite National Park. In the afternoon you'll enjoy a warm up hike in Mariposa Grove, the largest sequioa grove in Yosemite with over 500 mature giant sequioas where you can get up close to these iconic trees.

This evening you will set up camp and enjoy a camp dinner as you prepare for your big day in the valley tomorrow.

Day 2

Hike the Yosemite valley floor to the big hitters

Hiking

6-8hrs · 16km · 900m up · 900m down

After a big campsite breakfast you'll spend a full day exploring the Yosemite Valley floor. Your route packs in some of the park's most famous sites - El Capitan, Half Dome, and Yosemite Falls - towering above you as you hike around the winding trails. Throughout the day, your guide will share stories of the area and the park's history while keeping an eye out for unique flora and fauna.

Day 3

Hike up to see the park from above

Hiking

6-8hrs · 16km · 610m up · 610m down

Today you'll take on a more challenging trail to see the park from high above. Depending on conditions, your hike may be Yosemite Falls, the Four Mile Trail to Glacier Point, or a hike to Vernal Falls. Expect to take on some serious elevation as you ascend to new heights and see the valley from some iconic viewpoints. Tonight you'll enjoy a final dinner around the campfire, hearing Yosemite stories and maybe the odd bear-encounter tale from your guides!

Day 4

Farewell Yosemite

Hiking

2-3hrs · 7-8km · 150m up · 150m down

After a final campsite breakfast, you'll pack up and head out on one last hike nearby to soak up the last of Yosemite, for this trip at least. Jump back in the van for the drive back to San Francisco in time for any onward travel.

15% Off Outdoor Gear

In need of a few more items? All bookings receive a 15% discount on us to use at Cotswold Outdoor, Snow + Rock and Runner's Need.

What's included?

All your camping equipment including tent, sleeping mat and cooking items.

What's available to hire?

  • Sleeping bag (see Optional Extras for prices)

What do I need to bring?

Bags

  • Backpack (60-70 litres)
  • Waterproof cover or drybags

Clothes

  • Hiking boots, waterproof with sturdy soles
  • Wool hiking socks, multiple pairs
  • Long sleeve base layers (synthetic and moisture wicking)
  • Long pant base layer (synthetic and moisture wicking)
  • Light synthetic shirt or tank for warmer days
  • Hiking pants or shorts (at least one pair should be long pants)
  • Insulating mid layers (fleece jacket or vest, down jacket)
  • Waterproof, windproof shell
  • Light gloves
  • Warm hat
  • Casual clothes for camp

Sleeping

  • Sleeping bag (2-3 season). Also available to hire.
  • Cotton or silk sleeping bag liner (optional)

Other

  • Water bottles or Camelbak, 3L total minimum capacity
  • Headlamp
  • Small towel or facecloth
  • Toiletries and personal first aid
  • Sunscreen and insect repellant
  • Sunglasses
  • Personal mess kit
  • Trekking Poles (Optional)
  • Camera
  • Book
  • Ear plugs

Optional Private Tent & Cabin Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Tent & Cabin Upgrade

Per Person

Optional Private Tent Upgrade

Payable Before Departure

Optional Private Tent Upgrade

Per Person

Sleeping Bag - Down

Payable Before Departure

Sleeping Bag - Down

Per Person

Sleeping Bag - Synthetic

Payable Before Departure

Sleeping Bag - Synthetic

Per Person

We've crunched the numbers to work out the total carbon footprint of this trip, and plant enough trees to suck 2x as much back out the atmosphere.

What's the number?
It works out on average at 93kg of CO2 emissions per person, including all local transport, accommodation, food, activities, guides, staff and office operations.

The only thing it doesn’t include right now is flights and travel to the destination. We do make an overall estimate across all our customers separately, but as we don’t book flights, have customers from all corners of the world, and no way of reliably knowing their travel plans, we simply can’t include an individual number in the figure on display here. We’ve got a goal for 2022 to fix that, so that when you book, there is a way to measure and mitigate the carbon emitted by your flight too.

But what does the number mean?
Yep, hard to picture eh? To give you an idea:

  • Driving 1000miles/1609km would be approx. 281kg of CO2 in an average car (or 140.5kg per person if there was 2 of you in it).
  • A return economy class flight London - New York would be approx. 1,619kg (1.66 tonnes) per person.
  • 10 trees in a temperate forest are estimated to remove approx. 250kg of CO2 from the air in a period of 5-10 years.

What are we doing about it?
Our trips are relatively low-carbon by design, and we're working with all our hosts to develop long term carbon reduction plans. For every person booked with us since 2016 we’re planting enough trees to suck at least 2x more carbon out the atmosphere than is emitted by their trips. All native trees, as part of amazing projects that are re-foresting degraded land, tackling the biodiversity crisis and supporting local communities at the same time. We go further than that too, also funding re-wilding projects worldwide to help protect important keystone species from extinction. See the reforestation and re-wilding schemes we support. See our carbon action plan.

Want to know more?
Amazingly, no international travel company has ever publicly published their carbon measurements before, as far as we know. We believe that must change, quickly. So we’re openly sharing the method we used in the hope that other companies will be able to more easily follow suit and build on what we've done so far. You'll find it all here.

This adventure is for anyone with a basic level of fitness. While the days hiking in the park are fairly long - up to 8 hours - the trails are easy with plenty of stops. Day 3 involves a fair bit of ascending so is more of a challenge, however the pace is easy going and you'll be stopping often to marvel at Yosemite's sweeping vistas.

Sure can! Over 50% of our travellers travel solo, it’s a great way to meet like-minded people.

Tips are not included in the trip cost. The amount to tip is entirely at your discretion but there is an expectation to tip in the USA; your guides will rely on tips for a considerable portion of their income.

We suggest to budget for 10%-20% of the trip cost as a guideline.

Of course, you are free to tip more or less, and the amount should be reflective of your perception of service and quality - a tip is not compulsory and should only be given when you receive excellent service.

There is drinking water available at your accomodation on nights 1 and 3.

The hiking route has several water re-supply points, so you just need to bring reusable water bottles to fill up throughout the hike and for the overnight in the backcountry.

In July and August you can expect cool mornings followed by warm pleasant daytime temperatures. Summer days are typically sunny, with an occasional thunderstorm. Daytime highs are mostly in the 70s Faranheit (20-25 celcius), occasionally creeping up to the 80s (late twenties celcius)

September is a little cooler particularly in the mornings and evenings while camping out, so bring extra layers.

Our recommended travel insurance provider is Campbell Irvine.

Travel insurance is compulsory on all of our adventures. Your insurance should include adequate protection for overseas medical treatment, evacuation/repatriation, your baggage and equipment and the specific activities involved on your adventure.

Your insurance policy should also include specific Covid-19 cover, including cancellation and curtailment cover if you, your travel companion or a close relative are diagnosed with Covid-19.

We fully endorse Campbell Irvine as their insurance offers all of the above, so get in touch with them or call on 020 7938 1734 to get your insurance sorted. We suggest that you book travel insurance as soon as you book your adventure, just to cover you for any last minute life changes. We know you’re an active lot and injuries do happen!

We automatically convert prices from the local currency that a host receives to your chosen currency. We update our exchange rates on a daily basis so this does mean that prices displayed on the site are subject to currency fluctuations, which is why you may see them change over time.

If you wish to change the currency you pay in, head to the bottom of the page.

All of our group adventures are specially designed for adults to enjoy (18+) as we want these adventures to bring together outdoorsy people who are truly like-minded. Children can be accommodated on some private departures.

You're in good company. Our adventures are typically made up of a mix of solo travellers and small groups of two or three friends who simply love adventure, pushing themselves and meeting awesome like-minded people. See here for more info about our lovely bunch of Much Better Adventurers.

Want to book a private trip? Just tap ‘Private Group’ in the dates and prices tab.

Your trip is led by carefully curated local hosts and expert guides. See here for more info about the guides we work with.

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