Yosemite Glacier Point to Half Dome Guided Backpacking Trip (2023)

  • Yosemite National Park

Trip Highlights:

Glacier Point

Half Dome

Mist Trail

Little Yosemite Valley

Mt. Starr King

Illilouette Valley

Highlights: Looking for an incredible Half Dome backpacking trip? Our Yosemite Glacier Point to Half Dome guided tour is an epic journey through some of the most beautiful and popular parts of the park. Begin the adventure at Glacier Point (Yosemite's number one attraction) with panoramic views of the Sierra Nevada high country. Quickly lose the crowds by descending into the Illilouette Valley and setting up camp along the creek. On Day three hike around the base of Mt. Starr King to Little Yosemite Valley, passing by the precipice of Nevada Fall along the way. If we are unable to summit Half Dome this afternoon for a sunset; we will take in the sunrise the next morning. Return to Yosemite Valley along the famous Mist Trail soaking in both Nevada and Vernal Falls. This is one of our most popular Yosemite Backpacking Trips!

Note: In 2022 the park service began a major rehabilitation and road improvement project along the Glacier Point Road. Should this project be delayed into 2023 making Glacier Point inaccessible, this itinerary will be changed to a 4-Day Half Dome backpacking trip itinerary both starting and ending in the Yosemite Valley.

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Trip Dates

2023 Departure Dates by Month

    May Departure Dates

    June Departure Dates

    July Departure Dates

    August Departure Dates

    September Departure Dates

    October Departure Dates

All 2023 dates remain tentative until permitted 23-weeks in advance. Please remain from making travel arrangements outside of this timeline”

Yosemite Glacier Point to Half Dome Backpacking Trip

For a detailed map with elevation profile of the tentative itinerary, click here: Map.

Day 1
Meet your guide in Curry Village at 4:00 pm. Get acquainted with the group and with gear. If time allows before dinner, visit some of the Valley’s walkable destinations. Grab dinner at one of park’s numerous restaurants. (Food is not provided while in the front-country.) Camp in the Yosemite Valley Backpacker’s Camp. Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 0 / +0′, -0′

Day 2
The group heads to the Curry Village Pavilion by 7 am for breakfast before catching the morning bus to Glacier Point at 8am. After taking in the sites from Glacier Point, we will be relocated to the Mono Meadows Trailhead just to the west of Glacier Point where we will eat lunch before setting out on the trail. After lunch, we willdescend into Illilouette Valley over 3.2 mostly downhill, easy miles. We’ll make camp on a waterside knoll upon crossing Illilouette Creek at the end of the day’s journey. If the sky is cloudless, experience an incredible show of stars! Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 3.4 mi / +120′, -890′

Day 3
After a hearty breakfast we will hike out of the Illilouette Valley on a moderate uphill and scenic climb to the Panorama Trail before descending to the precipice of Nevada Fall and ultimately Little Yosemite Valley at 6040′ where we will camp for the night. There is a beach along the Merced River here that makes for excellent relaxation. Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 5.5 mi / +700′, -1,150′

Half Dome
Half Dome will be completed either in the afternoon on Day 3 to catch the sunset, or the following morning with an alpine start to catch the sunrise. This is a strenuous uphill of 3.5 miles to the summit at 8,836′. Round-trip mileage: 7.0 mi, 2,700′ elevation change

Day 4
We will descend to the Yosemite Valley Floor (4,000′) via the Mist Trail which parallels the Merced River and both Nevada and Vernal Falls. Today’s Mileage/Elevation: 4.5 mi / +300′, -2,440′ Generally, our goal is to finish between 2-4 PM but this can be later due to the human factors within the group.

Gear
We provide gear upon request as needed, including backpacks, sleeping bags, tents, pads, trekking poles, and eating utensils at NO EXTRA COST. Lastly, the proceeds from our guided adult/family trips go towards our non-profit youth summer camp program.

Note: All trips are subject to Lasting Adventures obtaining the necessary wilderness permits. Although our success rate is 98%, should we not obtain the exact trail-head, a trip of equal quality will be obtained. Should weather, fire, and/or delayed seasonal openings affect the chosen itinerary, a different itinerary will be offered. Lasting Adventures is recognized for its commitment to safety and risk management. In this regard, the summit of Half Dome (or any other peak) will not be attempted when clouds are in close proximity.

*All trips are pending permit availability which we gain 23-weeks in advance. Please refrain from making travel arrangements until we have confirmed dates.

REQUIRED FORMS

In addition to full payment; final acceptance of any participant is subject to receipt and review of all the Required Forms. These forms are also attached to your confirmation email once you register online.

We will require an additional medical release for any guests on multi-day trips or any guest who is currently under the care of a physician for any ongoing disease, illness, or any other condition/factor that may be a concern on the trip.

DIETARY CONSTRAINTS

Although we are able to accommodate many specific dietary constraints and choices, we prepare foods in a facility with peanuts, gluten, soy, and other major allergens, and are not certified as an ‘allergen-free’ facility. We take steps to limit the risk of cross-contamination, but we cannot guarantee that foods we prepare will be fully free of major allergens.

We have experience accomodating a variety of dietary choices and concerns, including, but not limited to:

  • Vegan and Vegetarian
  • Peanut and/or Tree Nut Allergy
  • Lactose Intolerant
  • Celiac’s or Gluten Free
  • Kosher

If we have questions or concerns about the information on your medical form, we will call you the day before your trip to ensure we are packing foods you are able to eat without issue.

TRADITIONAL BACKPACKING

Lasting Adventures runs “traditional backpacking” trips. This is done without the use of porters, stock, or other outside assistance. You will be expected to carry all of your own personal gear and a share of the group gear and food in a backpack for the duration of this trip. The weight can be expected to be 30-50 lbs and no more than the recommended ⅓ of your body weight.

As needed, it is recommended that participants discuss their ability to conduct a backpacking trip with their doctor, including (but not limited to) the ability to carry heavy loads over long distances and strenuous and uneven terrain. Levels of difficulty listed on our website are relative and in no way an objective declaration of difficulty, and a regular physical exercise program is recommended prior to going on your adventure.

TRIP ITINERARIES

All trips are subject to itinerary changes for a wide variety of reasons including, but not limited to permitting, weather, forest fires, park or public land closures, and/or road closures. In most all situations we will offer an alternative itinerary of equal value and quality or a credit through the end of the following season. Payments are non-refundable for itinerary changes. If a trip is canceled due to circumstances beyond our control prior to its start date a trip credit equal to the full amount paid will be issued.

STAFF SCHEDULES

Due to the nature of backpacking, our guides work long hours. In order to provide the best possible experience to our guests and our guides, we limit the number of hours that our guides work to 15 hours per day. Guides will not be required to be available from 9 pm to 6 am, unless a different time period is agreed upon by the group prior to this standard break period. This varies on our summer camps, where our outdoor educators are available as needed at all times.

During time off, our guides will be available for emergencies, but should be allowed to rest and should not be considered available for other purposes outside of working hours. Please refrain from requesting non-time-sensitive assistance from guides during this period. Our guides are also entitled to take off 10 minutes every four hours, as well as 30-minute meal breaks every 5 hours, between 6 am and 9 pm. We appreciate your cooperation with these scheduling requirements.

FIREARM POLICY

Lasting Adventures understands that firearm laws and policies vary in every area we operate in. Regardless of local laws and policies, Lasting Adventures does not allow firearms on any of our trips. Participants who bring firearms will not be allowed to participate while in possession of their firearm.

TRAVEL INSURANCE

For your protection and ours, we strongly recommend the purchase of Travel Insurance, which can provide you with coverage for trip cancellation/interruption (including COVID-19), travel delay, medical expenses, emergency assistance, airfare, and baggage loss/delay to protect your financial investment. Travel Insurance through the Protect Group is available at checkout for 10% of the total cost of your trip. See more information on this policy HERE. You are also welcome to purchase any other travel insurance of your choice.

Travel Insurance is the easiest and best way to protect both yourself and our smaller non-profit organization against last-minute cancellations. We will happily provide timely and accurate documentation for any insurance claim related to our trips upon request.

PAYMENT SCHEDULE

Full payment ispreferred for all Backpacking Trips. During check-out you may opt to pay a 50% deposit at time of booking and the remaining 50% 30 days from departure. If choosing this option you can either complete payment on your own with the self-service link in the confirmation email or you will be billed automatically at or shortly after the 30 day interval for the remaining amount. Any new multi-day booking made at/within 45-days in advance will be required to pay in full. Feel free to contact us directly to set up any other payment plan. When registering online expect to pay a booking fee of 3.0% (which is capped at $30) and a processing fee of 2.7% (no cap). These fees can be avoided when paying by check. For detailed information see Payment Options.

CANCELLATION AND REFUND POLICIES

Lasting Adventures reserves the right to cancel trips. If a trip is canceled due to circumstances beyond our control a trip credit equal to the full amount paid will be issued. Lasting Adventures is not responsible for additional expenses incurred while preparing for the trip.

The following cancellation policy is only for trips booked directly through our official website, lastingadventures.com. If you have booked via a third-party website, such as The Clymb, TripAdvisor/Viator, or bookyogaretreats.com, the below policy does not apply, and you are held to the third-party’s cancellation policy.

Multi-Day Adventures/Summer Camps Cancellation Policy

  • More than 90 days prior to the start date, we will grant you a full refund.
  • Between 90 and 61 days prior to the start date, we will grant you a full refund minus a $50/person processing fee.
  • Between 60 and 46 days prior to the start date, we will retain 25 percent of the total trip cost. You may also take a non-refundable credit of the full value paid.
  • Between 45 and 31 days prior to the start date, we will retain 50 percent of the total trip cost. You may also take a non-refundable credit of the full value paid.
  • Less than 31 days prior to the start date, or once the trip has begun, there will be no refund or credit.

48 Hour Risk-Free Cancellation Policy

Cancellations of any trip can be made without penalty within 48 hours of the initial booking. After 48 hours our standard terms and conditions apply. To cancel, please email us at staff@lastingadventures.org or leave a voicemail at 800-513-8651. This policy does not apply if the booked trip occurs within 96 hours of the initial booking.

Fire/Smoke Cancellation Policy

Fire/smoke cancellations are considered circumstances beyond our control. If your chosen travel insurance does not cover fire/smoke cancellations, a credit equal to the full amount paid will be issued. In this case, you will be required to submit proof of the purchase of said travel insurance. If we cancel during your adventure with us, we will refund a credit equal to the amount of days not used. In both cases these credits will be lifetime/transferable.

Other Considerations

Departing From a Trip: Once a participant has joined a trip and the trip has begun, no opportunities for refunds or credits will be possible, regardless of the reason for departure. Costs associated with assisting a participant with evacuating from the wilderness will be passed on to the participant. Travel Insurance (below) is strongly recommended.

Minimum Participants: Our Guide Service multi-day trips have a two person minimum. (Yoga trips have a three person minimum.) Should we fall short on these minimums, we will contact you 30-days in advance of your scheduled start date with options that may include switching to another trip/date and/or a single-participant surcharge.

Infectious Disease Policy (including COVID): Any participant, on any program/trip, with any sign/symptom of a potential illness will not be able to participate and no refund/credits will be given. Many forms of Travel Insurance cover these circumstances. We ask that you screen yourself and/or your child prior to participation and contact us to cancel should any sign of illness be present. Health screenings can be expected on all youth programs.

Half Dome & Other Summits: Reaching the top of a summit, such as Half Dome, is a risky activity which can be made far worse by inclement weather. While we aim to get everyone to the top, summiting is not guaranteed. Lightning and rain can be deadly on exposed summits and our experienced guides may have to call off a summit bid if weather conditions are unfavorable.

TRIP CHANGE/CREDIT POLICY

Once you book a trip with Lasting Adventures, the value you paid is valid towards switching to another trip in the current or the coming year, pending available spaces on the new trip. Changes to your booking and conversion to a credit must occur more than 30 days prior to your original start date. Changes within 30-days are subject to fees. Once changed to a lifetime credit, credits are non-refundable and are a dollar-for-dollar value.

COUPONS

See our Coupon Use Terms and Conditions

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#1 Rated Guide Service in the West

Yosemite Glacier Point to Half Dome Guided Backpacking Trip (10)

Guide Service Guest, 2021

@stephenp236

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"My son and I (both tax accountants) recently enjoyed a three-day private guided backpacking trip with Last Adventures. The trip met all our expectations; we had a great time! The guide’s love of her work and knowledge of Yosemite National Park made the trip a success. She planned all the details, provided excellent gear, and made sure everything worked out as planned"

Yosemite Glacier Point to Half Dome Guided Backpacking Trip (11)

Guide Service Guest, 2021

@D8156BRjennifero

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"Lasting Adventures made my trip to Yosemite a dream vacation! It was stress-free because every detail was covered from food and transportation to clear meeting instructions and itinerary. Our guide took a hike that would have been fun and made it magical by explaining the history and ecology of the area we were hiking. He matched our pace and often let us lead. I can't say enough good things about Zachary and Lasting Adventures!”

Yosemite Glacier Point to Half Dome Guided Backpacking Trip (12)

Yoga Retreat Guest, 2021

@MikeK746

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“I did the Yosemite yoga 3 day backcountry camping. It was amazing! I would definitely do it again. The food was great! The scenery was superb camping in high country aside a mountain lake, and the guides and yoga instructor were fantastic!!!”

Yosemite Glacier Point to Half Dome Guided Backpacking Trip (13)

Guide Service Guest, 2021

@cezefo

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"We were a group of 7 family members (ages 22-65 years old), and for all of us it was our first hiking/backpacking/camping experience. We all had such an amazing yet challenging experience! Our guides’ spirit, cooking, and knowledge were great!”

Yosemite Glacier Point to Half Dome Guided Backpacking Trip (14)

Guide Service Guest, 2021

@Ambrosiaboyd

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“We backpacked with a group of 7 other people from 'Backpacker's Camp' to Mae Lake, up to Mt Hoffman, Cloud's Rest, and finally completed the trip with an amazing last day, summiting Half Dome at sunrise! It. Was. Incredible!! Our guides immediately made us feel comfortable and excited. Their passion for the wilderness, people, and their career as a guide is contagious. If you have the chance to go on a Lasting Adventures trip - please do it!”

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