Yexplore

Yosemite Guided Hikes

YExplore has guided tours in Yosemite National Park for groups of all ages in every season. We guarantee smaller rosters for a better experience on your Yosemite tour. We will customize a tour for you with any group size. All tours have a privacy option. See all the options below and book, call or email tours@yexplore.com today.

Adventurous Hikes in Yosemite National Park

Yosemite-Bridalveil-Panorama-YExplore-DeGrazio-FEB2015

Beginner Hikes From $125

Yosemite National Park’s natural wonder is waiting to be explored on this adventure hike.
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Moderate Hikes From $125

Escape from the masses and take some of Yosemite’s most scenic trails a little further.
Yosemite-HalfDome-CloudsRest-YExplore-DeGrazio-JUL2015

Intermediate Hikes From $125

Achieve new heights on some of Yosemite’s most scenic trails. They will generally be longer than a moderate hike with more dramatic elevation gains.

Yosemite-TunnelView-YExplore-DeGrazio-NOV2015

Challenging Hikes From $125

r two), and you will be rewarded with incomparable views and a greater sense of accomplishment.

Yosemite-HalfDome-Falls-Panorama-YExplore-DeGrazio-Jun2014

Strenuous Hike From $200

Embark on a journey that will test your personal boundaries in some of the most demanding terrain in Yosemite.

Yosemite Guided Hikes

Mt. Hoffman Yosemite Guided Hikes
YExplore Group on Summit of Mt. Hoffman, Yosemite National Park
Book Guided Hikes

Explore our Yosemite Guided Hikes to make a lifelong connection with Yosemite National Park. Learn about the natural world and listen to the stories of Yosemite while we hike to some of the best photo spots in the park. Our guided Yosemite adventure hikes range from gentle half-day journeys that uncover natural beauty only seen on a particular trail to all-day treks that deliver rewarding vistas and true accomplishments. Strenuous hikes are also available to satisfy demanding eco tourists who strive for extraordinary challenges. Each adventure tour we offer is a unique interpretive educational experience. Our guides have roamed Yosemite and its backcountry for many years and will take pride in showing you some of the ‘secret trails’. Our main focus will be making sure you leave Yosemite with a new found knowledge of this wonderland and some of the best photos in your album. While we will share many tales of Yosemite with you, we will encourage you to write your own chapter. Adventure Hikes in Yosemite National Park for individuals,groups, and families of all ages and experience levels in every season. We guarantee smaller rosters for a more personal experience.

We plan our calendar of events based on weather conditions and road access. Some tours are only available at certain times of year. You may inquire with us if you do not see an event listed on the calendar on the date you wish to visit Yosemite. Guided Yosemite Hiking Tours (from Beginner to Challenging) are priced at $195 for 1 person and are discounted based on the size of the group. Half Dome & other Strenuous Hikes begin at $300 for 1 person & must be booked separately. 

Guided Hikes – Various Levels

 
Some Yosemite Hiking Tours may be available in Spanish (Ofrecemos viajes en Español). Please check for availability.

 

Yosemite Beginner Sentinel Dome Hike
Yosemite Beginner Sentinel Dome Hike

Beginner Hikes (Level 1 of 5)

Enjoy a pleasant half-day hike on a relatively gentle trail in Yosemite Valley or the High Country that will allow for excellent photo opportunities and a chance to picnic perched atop a magnificent vista point or alongside a meadow, lake, or stream. These introductory hiking tours are perfect for beginners. Expect to hike four to five miles with minimal elevation gains. Tours will last approximately four to five hours.

Beginner Yosemite Guided Hikes: Eastern Yosemite Valley & Mirror Lake, Western Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias, Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias, Sentinel Dome & Taft Point, Tuolumne Meadows
(Read Beginner Trip Descriptions..)

 

Yosemite Moderate Lembert Dome Hike
Yosemite Moderate Lembert Dome Hike

Moderate Hikes (Level 2 of 5)

Escape from the masses and take some of Yosemite’s most scenic trails a little further. These introductory hiking tours are perfect for beginners and novice hikers. Expect to hike five to six miles with elevation gains up to 1000 feet. Tours will last approximately five to six hours.

Moderate Yosemite Guided Hikes: Inspiration Point, Sentinel Dome and Taft Point, Wapama Falls at Hetch Hetchy, Lembert Dome and Dog Lake, Eastern Yosemite Valley, Western Yosemite Valley, Panorama Trail to Illilouette Falls, Elizabeth Lake
(Read Moderate Trip Descriptions..)

 

Yosemite Intermediate JMT Waterfalls Hike
Yosemite Intermediate JMT Waterfalls Hike

Intermediate Hikes (Level 3 of 5)

Achieve new heights on some of Yosemite’s most scenic trails. They will generally be longer than a moderate hike with more dramatic elevation gains. These demanding hiking tours are perfect for novice and experienced hikers and will offer a different perspective of the distinct character of the Valley and High Country. Expect to hike up to eight miles with elevation gains up to 2000 feet. Tours will last approximately six to seven hours.

Intermediate Yosemite Guided Hikes: Yosemite Falls & Western Yosemite Valley, JMT Waterfalls, Glacier Point to Taft Point via Sentinel Dome, Dewey & Crocker Points, Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias, Tuolumne & Merced Groves of Giant Sequoias, May Lake & Raisin Lake, Gaylor Lakes
(Read Intermediate Trip Descriptions..)

 

Yosemite Falls Challenging Hike
Yosemite Falls Challenging Hike

Challenging Hikes (Level 4 of 5)

Challenge yourself to go the extra mile (or two), and you will be rewarded with incomparable views and a greater sense of accomplishment. The added demands of these hiking tours are for adventure travelers who are experienced hikers and/or fitness enthusiasts. Expect to hike up to ten miles with various elevation gains up to 3000 feet. Tours will last approximately seven to eight hours.

Challenging Yosemite Guided Hikes: Mist Trail/JMT Waterfalls: Vernal and Nevada Falls, Panorama Trail (Glacier Point to Nevada Fall), Ostrander Lake, Chilnualna Falls, Mt. Hoffman, North Dome, Cathedral Lakes
(Read Challenging Trip Descriptions..)

Yosemite Strenuous Half Dome Hike
Yosemite Strenuous Half Dome Hike

Strenuous Hikes (Level 5 of 5)

Embark on a journey of self discovery during this experience that will test your personal boundaries in some of the most demanding terrain in Yosemite. Panoramic views are as incomparable as the sense of achievement you will feel upon completion of these über hikes. Typical Strenuous Hikes would include trails to Waterwheel Falls, El Capitan, Clouds Rest, & Half Dome summit attempts. These advanced tours encounter steep elevation gains and are for adventure travelers with extensive hiking experience and/or physical training. Each participant must seriously train for these tours. Expect to hike over fifteen miles with elevation gains of 3000 to 5000 feet. Tours will last seven to ten hours with the Half Dome Hike potentially lasting longer.

Strenuous Yosemite Guided Hikes: Half Dome, Upper Yosemite Fall, El Capitan, 4 Mile Trail (Valley to Glacier Point), Clouds Rest, Glen Aulin Waterfalls, Mt. Dana, Vogelsang Lake, Ten Lakes Pass, Pohono Trail from Inspiration Point to Dewey Point
(Read Strenuous Trip Descriptions..)

Half Dome Hikes

Book Now

Summiting Half Dome is a major accomplishment, and our Guided Half Dome Hikes provide preparation, trail knowledge, coaching, and the benefit of added security for anyone attempting this remarkable feat. We prepare you for the long one-day journey, provide insight to the trails, offer assistance on the cables, and help you maintain your confidence throughout the day so you are able to focus on achieving your goal. Join us for a Strenuous Half Dome hiking tour and reward yourself with breathtaking views and a true sense of fulfillment.

URGENT NOTE: Half Dome now requires permits on all days during the summer season. There will now be a quota system in place. Please contact us if you obtained your own permits through the lottery and would like a guided experience or inquire about our limited number of permits we have acquired in the lottery and through the backpacking reservation system.

 

Yosemite Tuolumne Meadows Family Hike
Yosemite Tuolumne Meadows Family Hike

Family Hikes

Book Now

Spend quality time with your family while learning the natural history of Yosemite. These interpretations combine short easy hikes with outdoor educational sessions that will benefit children and parents alike. We offer these introductory Beginner and Moderate Hikes at a special discount to families. Expect to hike four to six miles with minimal elevation gains. Tours will last approximately four to five hours.

Please Note: Family Tours are designed for families of 4 or more members with a $300 minimum charge. Infants and small children in child carriers are free. CALL 800 886-8009 for AVAILABILITY

 

Yosemite Backpack Trip
Yosemite Backpack Trip

Backpack Trips

Book Now

Experience Yosemite Wilderness and live for a few days in the backcountry as John Muir would “while cares will drop off like Autumn leaves”. Our backpack trips allow you to unplug and decompress while you literally follow in Muir’s footprints throughout Yosemite’s wild Sierra. Times may have changed, but the wilderness continues to attract many a hiker. Allow us to bring you to  some of our favorite spots as we ramble through the high country.

Yosemite Dewey Point Snowshoe Hike
Yosemite Dewey Point Snowshoe Hike

Snowshoe Hikes

Book Now

The winter months offer exclusive opportunities to enjoy Yosemite’s trails from a truly different perspective on a pair of snowshoes. These outings explore lesser known trails and will be conducted as hikes if we do not have a sufficient amount of snow in the area.

 

Yosemite Yoga Hike
Yosemite Yoga Hike

Yoga Hikes

Book Now

Join a Yoga Instructor on a private journey that will nourish your body, mind, and soul. This incredible opportunity of becoming one with nature will introduce you to the history of Vinyasa Flow Yoga while practicing the movements. Experience the breathtaking beauty of Yosemite in the Tuolumne Meadows area of the park while exploring your inner peace.

Group Tours & Company Outings 

There’s no better place than the trails of Yosemite National Park to engage in team oriented custom activities for your organization. Our tours would be perfect for skill development and team building for your group.

Honeymoons, Anniversaries, & Special Occasions

If you visit Yosemite for any special occasion, we will gladly create a custom private tour for you. We specialize in honeymoons, anniversaries, birthdays, reunions, family events, holiday celebrations, graduations, and lifetime achievements. We add personal touches to make your special occasion more memorable.

YExplore Policies Payments, cancellations, tipping, etc (Read more..)

Yosemite Beginner Hike Descriptions

Beginner Hiking Tours: (Level 1 of 5)

Enjoy a pleasant half-day hike on a relatively gentle trail in Yosemite Valley or the High Country that will allow for excellent photo opportunities and a chance to picnic perched atop a magnificent vista point or alongside a meadow, lake, or stream. These introductory hiking tours are perfect for beginners. Expect to hike four to five miles with minimal elevation gains. Tours will last approximately four to five hours.

BOOK HIKING TOUR
Mirror Lake and Eastern Yosemite Valley

Journey through Yosemite Valley to Yosemite Falls and/or Mirror Lake. Learn about the unique natural and cultural history of the land called Ahwahnee. Be sure to bring your camera as this hike will offer unique photographic opportunities of majestic landscapes and possible wildlife encounters.
Distance: 4-5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: Minimal (start at 4000 feet)
Time: 4 hours
Water Requirements: 32 ounces
Best time to visit: October-June

Western Yosemite Valley

Discover the quieter side of Yosemite Valley while hiking below 3000 foot cliffs and leaping waterfalls while we discuss the natural history of wondrous Yosemite National Park. Hike along the Merced River and listen to the stories of this remarkable valley and its people while meandering down tree lined paths with breathtaking views.
Distance: 3-4 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: Minimal (start at 4000 feet)
Time: 4 hours
Water Requirements: 32 ounces
Best time to visit: October-June

Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias

Enjoy a pleasant half-day hike on a gentle path in one of Yosemite’s Giant Sequoia groves while we visit some of the largest living organisms in the world. The trail follows the Big Oak Flat Road (one of the first historic roads that led to Yosemite Valley) and was in use for over a century. We will discuss the unique ecological roles of these trees as well as the history and natural world of Yosemite National Park. This activity is perfect for beginners and families. Interpretive Tours will travel approximately 3 miles and last 4 hours.

Distance: 3 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: ~ 500 feet (start at 6200 feet at trailhead and descend to 5700 feet in Grove)
Time: 4 hours
Water Requirements: 32 ounces
Best time to visit: October-April

Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias

Explore Yosemite’s least visited grove of Giant Sequoias with an opportunity to photograph a classic cabin nestled in the Sierra redwoods. This relatively easy half-day hike on a gentle path leads us to 20 mature trees which are some of the largest in the world. We will discuss the unique ecological roles of these trees as well as the history and natural world of Yosemite National Park. This activity is perfect for beginners and families. Interpretive Tours will travel approximately 4 miles and last 4 hours.

Distance: ~4 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain:  >500 feet (start at ~6000 feet at trailhead and descend to 5469 feet in Grove)
Time: 4 hours
Water Requirements: 32 ounces
Best time to visit: October-April

Sentinel Dome and Taft Point

The exciting day begins with relatively short access to one of Yosemite’s 8000+ foot peaks while learning about some of the natural features of the park along the way. From the summit of Sentinel Dome, we will have breathtaking panoramic views of all of Yosemite. We will then travel to discover some of Yosemite’s geological wonders, the Taft Point Fissures. The Taft Point overlook presents us with one last spectacular vista before we return. This versatile hike can be customized to be a Gentle, Moderate, or Intermediate Hiking Tour based on your group’s needs.
Distance: 4.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: ~<700 feet (7720′ at trailhead-8122 feet at Sentinel Dome-7503 feet at Taft Point)
Time: ~4  hours
Water Requirements: 32 ounces
Best time to visit: June-October

May Lake

Discover the beauty of a pristine subalpine lake in the center of Yosemite National Park. The trail gradually leads to May Lake which sits directly below Mt. Hoffman’s summit. From the the lake, we will take a couple of side trips to gain sweeping vistas of the Cathedral Range amidst unique geological features. This hike is 3.5 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of 650 feet and should last about 4 hours. Swimming opportunities will present themselves at May Lake on the return.
Distance: 3.5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 650 feet (8900-9450 feet)
Time: 4 hours
Water Requirements: 40 ounces
Best time to visit: June-October

Tuolumne Meadows

Follow the Tuolumne River on a gentle trail through a meadow system contained in a basin about 2.5 miles long and explore Yosemite’s high country throughout the summer months. Sitting below the Cathedral Range, Tuolumne Meadows is the largest subalpine meadow system in the Sierra Nevada and is home to some different species of animals not found in Yosemite Valley. We will search for Belding squirrels and elusive pikas as we learn about the natural history of Yosemite on this pleasant half day hike. Be sure to bring your camera as this hike will offer unique photographic opportunities of majestic landscapes and possible wildlife encounters.

Distance: ~4 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: Minimal (start at 8600 feet)
Time: 4 hours
Water Requirements: 32 ounces
Best time to visit: June-October

Yosemite Moderate Hike Descriptions

Moderate Hiking Tours: (Level 2 of 5)

Escape from the masses and take some of Yosemite’s most scenic trails a little farther. These introductory hiking tours are perfect for beginners and novice hikers. Expect to hike five to six miles with elevation gains up to 1000 feet. Tours will last approximately five to six hours.

BOOK HIKE
Inspiration Point

Travel back in time on one of Yosemite’s most storied trails and find your inspiration on a breathtaking hike up the south rim of Yosemite Valley. This gently used trail leads to one of the Valley’s hallmark vistas. We will uncover many of the same views witnessed by the first western visitors of Yosemite and will be visiting the site of the 1851 “Discovery of the Yosemite”. On this hike, we will discuss the importance of this “discovery” and history of Yosemite National Park.
Distance: 6 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1400 feet (4000′ – 5400′)
Time: 5 hours
Water Requirements: 48 ounces
Best time to visit: October-April

Sentinel Dome and Taft Point

The exciting day begins with relatively short access to one of Yosemite’s 8000+ foot peaks while learning about the some of the natural features of the park along the way. From the summit of Sentinel Dome, we will have breathtaking panoramic views of all of Yosemite. We will then travel a very scenic alternative trail to discover some of Yosemite’s geological wonders, the Taft Point Fissures. The Taft Point overlook presents us with one last spectacular vista before we return. This versatile hike can be customized to be a Gentle, Moderate, or Intermediate Hiking Tour based on your group’s needs.
Distance: 5.5 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: ~<1000 feet (7720′ at trailhead-8122 feet at Sentinel Dome-7503 feet at Taft Point)
Time: 5  hours
Water Requirements: 48 ounces
Best time to visit: June-October

Wapama Falls at Hetch Hetchy

Explore Hetch Hetchy and discover the ‘less traveled’ Twin Valley of Yosemite. This hike is considered one of Yosemite’s most scenic as it encompasses the area favored by John Muir. As we travel past the roaring O’Shaughnessy Dam, we escape through a tunnel to a tranquil setting along the peaceful path of the Tuolumne River. We continue along our trail that is lined with wildflowers in spring to the hike’s terminus, the Wapama Fall which stands at 1080 feet tall and is the most powerful fall in Yosemite.
Distance: 5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: <500 feet
Time: 5 hours
Water Requirements: 48 ounces
Best time to visit: October-June

Lembert Dome & Dog Lake

Spend an exciting day discovering sweeping vistas of Yosemite’s High Country above Tuolumne Meadows. Hike up a small but steep slope to the summit of Lembert Dome where we will have broad views of the Cathedral Range as well as many of the high peaks in Yosemite including Mt. Lyell, its highest. We then descend to one of Yosemite’s most pristine settings, Dog Lake, where we will picnic before we return down the trail to complete the loop. There will be an opportunity to swim in the shallow water of Dog Lake.
Distance: 4 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 800+ feet (8650′ – 9450′ with some loss and gain)
Time: 5 hours
Water Requirements: 48 ounces
Best time to visit: June-October

Mirror Lake and Eastern Yosemite Valley

Journey through Yosemite Valley to Yosemite Falls and Mirror Lake. Learn about the unique natural and cultural history of the land called Ahwahnee. Be sure to bring your camera as this hike will offer unique photographic opportunities of majestic landscapes and possible wildlife encounters.
Distance: 5-6 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: Minimal (start at 4000 feet)
Time: 5 hours
Water Requirements: 32 ounces
Best time to visit: October-June

Western Yosemite Valley

Discover the quieter side of Yosemite Valley while hiking below 3000 foot cliffs and leaping waterfalls while we discuss the natural history of wondrous Yosemite National Park. Hike along the Merced River and listen to the stories of this remarkable valley and its people while meandering down tree lined paths with breathtaking views.
Distance: 5-6 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: Minimal (start at 4000 feet)
Time: 5 hours
Water Requirements: 32 ounces
Best time to visit: October-June

Panorama Trail to Illilouette Fall

Explore Glacier Point then capture astonishing images of Half Dome with Vernal and Nevada Falls along the Panorama Trail. Continue down the trail to Illilouette Falls and bathe in a swimming hole in the creek before making the return trip back uphill to Glacier Point. This is also a popular trail for potential wildlife encounters.

Distance: up to 5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1400 feet (7220′ – 5800′)
Time: 5 hours
Water Requirements: 48 ounces
Best time to visit: June-October

* Please note the return trip up to Glacier Point is steep and this trail can be very hot in summer months. 
Elizabeth Lake

Start your hike in Tuolumne Meadows and rise to discover a true gem of the Yosemite high country. Elizabeth Lake sits directly below Unicorn Peak in the Cathedral Range. This is an ideal hike for swimming, and after a relatively short 2.3 mile hike to the shore, you will be able to take a dip in its cool inviting water. There will be opportunities to walk around and photograph the lake from several different perspectives.

Distance: ~5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 900 feet (8600′ – 9500′)
Time: 4 hours
Water Requirements: 32 ounces
Best time to visit: July-October

Yosemite Intermediate Hike Descriptions

Intermediate Hiking Tours: (Level 3 of 5)

Achieve new heights on some of Yosemite’s most scenic trails. They will generally be longer than a moderate hike with more dramatic elevation gains. These demanding hiking tours are perfect for novice and experienced hikers and will offer a different perspective of the distinct character of the Valley and High Country. Expect to hike up to eight miles with elevation gains up to 2000 feet. Tours will last approximately six to seven hours.

BOOK HIKE
Yosemite Falls and Western Yosemite Valley

Begin your morning hiking up steep switchbacks (1000 feet in 1 mile) to one of the most breathtaking views you can ever imagine. After standing face to face with the Upper Yosemite Fall, the hard part of your day will be complete, and you will spend the rest of the hike wandering around the western end of Yosemite Valley photographing along the Merced River.
Distance: 6 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1000 feet
Time: 6 hours
Water Requirements: 60 ounces
Best time to visit: October-June

Mist Trail/JMT: Vernal Fall

Step on the Mist Trail and hike the first leg of the giant granite staircase. Experience Yosemite Valley’s all-year waterfalls on this path which is famous for soaking its visitors in late spring. This hike is steep but very rewarding. The breathtaking views are worth the steep climb up the granite-carved steps, and this tour allows us to experience as much of the beauty of the JMT without the extra 600 feet of elevation gain. One overlook on the Clark Trail cutoff is one of the most spectacular waterfall views in all of Yosemite. Some portions of this trail are closed during icy conditions in winter months. If they are not accessible, we will attain other exciting views along the John Muir Trail which remains open throughout the year. We will traverse along this path for various sections of the hike regardless of the status of the other trail.
Distance: 5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1400 feet
Time: 5 hours
Water Requirements: 70 ounces
Best time to visit: October-June

Glacier Point to Taft Point via Sentinel Dome

Start the day from Glacier Point, Yosemite’s best view of Half Dome. From there, we will ascend 900 feet over the next mile to Sentinel Dome. This is, by far, the most challenging stretch of hiking for the day. We’ll catch our breaths on the summit of Sentinel Dome, and have breathtaking panoramic views of all of Yosemite with a well deserved snack. We will then travel to discover some of Yosemite’s geological wonders, the Taft Point Fissures. The Taft Point overlook presents us with one last spectacular vista before we return along a quieter trail. This versatile hike can be customized to be a Gentle, Moderate, or Intermediate Hiking Tour based on your group’s needs.
Distance: 8 miles, roundtrip
Elevation Gain: ~1300 feet (7200′ at trailhead-8122 feet at Sentinel Dome-7503 feet at Taft Point)
Time: ~6  hours
Water Requirements: 70 ounces
Best time to visit: June-October

Dewey Point & Crocker Points

Explore the trails of Yosemite Valley’s South Rim and discover breathtaking scenery over three thousand feet above the valley floor. This interpretive hike meanders through lush meadows with countless wildflowers to striking vistas with awe-inspiring views of the glacier carved Yosemite Valley and the high country ranges.
Distance: ~9 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 500 feet
Time: 6 hours
Water Requirements: 70 ounces
Best time to visit: June-October

Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

Visit Galen Clark’s beloved giant sequoias and spend a day learning about fire ecology in the national park. The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and Yosemite Valley were the first protected wild lands in the world. Explore the trails to the lower and upper groves for an exceptional experience witnessing some of the largest and oldest living organisms in the world. We will discuss the unique ecological roles of these trees as well as the history and natural world of Yosemite National Park. In the lower grove we will visit the famous Grizzly Giant and California Tunnel Tree. From there, we will also explore the upper grove to see some new growth sequoias that offer a promising future for the species. You will also visit a replica of former guardian Galen Clark’s cabin along with the tree named after him as well as Wawona Point.
Distance: ~6 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: ~ 1200 feet (start at 5600 feet at trailhead and descend to 6810 feet in Grove)
Time: 6 hours
Water Requirements: 70 ounces
Best time to visit: September-July

Tuolumne Grove & Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias Combo (Requires driving to both groves separately)

Enjoy a pleasant day hiking on a gentle paths in two of Yosemite’s Giant Sequoia groves while we visit some of the largest living organisms in the world. The trail follows two roads that are only accessible by foot as we explore Yosemite’s northern groves of about 45 mature Giant Sequoias. We will discuss the unique ecological roles of these trees as well as the history and natural world of Yosemite National Park.  After visiting the first grove, we will  take a short drive to the next for more opportunities to photograph some of the most impressive giants of Yosemite.
Distance: ~7 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: ~ 500 feet (start at 6200 feet at trailhead and descend to 5700 feet in Grove)
Time: 6 hours
Water Requirements: 60 ounces
Best time to visit: October-April

May Lake & Raisin Lake

Discover 2 pristine Yosemite lakes with magnificent views of Mt. Hoffman and other high country mountain ranges throughout this hike. The trail gradually leads to May Lake which sits directly below Mt. Hoffman’s summit. Then it’s off to the tranquility of Raisin Lake. This hike is 6 miles roundtrip with an elevation gain of 1000 feet. Swimming opportunities will present themselves at May Lake on the return.
Distance: 6 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1000 feet
Time: 6 hours
Water Requirements: 60 ounces
Best time to visit: June-October

Gaylor Lakes

At Tioga Pass sits a trailhead to one of Yosemite’s most unique hikes, yet it stays undiscovered by the average hiker. A steep early climb offers sweeping vistas of some of Yosemite’s tallest summits and an opportunity to climb the 11,000′ Gaylor Peak. From there you will descend to the Gaylor Lakes and explore an old mine site on the Yosemite National Park boundary before the return to explore more lakes on a cross-country route.
Distance: ~4 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: ~1500 feet (9950-11,000 feet + losing & regaining elevation at the lakes)
Time: 5 hours
Water Requirements: 60 ounces
Best time to visit: July-October

Yosemite Challenging Hike Descriptions

Challenging Hiking Tours: (Level 4 of 5)

Challenge yourself to go the extra mile (or two), and you will be rewarded with incomparable views and a greater sense of accomplishment. The added demands of these hiking tours are for adventure travelers who are experienced hikers and/or fitness enthusiasts. Expect to hike up to ten miles with various elevation gains up to 3000 feet. Tours will last approximately seven to eight hours.

BOOK HIKE
Mist Trail/JMT Waterfalls: Vernal and Nevada Falls

Explore Yosemite Valley’s all-year waterfalls and travel on its most storied trail, the JMT. The Mist Trail is famous for soaking its visitors in late spring but is often considered the Valley’s most scenic because it uncovers the most beauty per square mile. This hike is steep but very rewarding. At .9 miles we will uncover our first gem, Vernal Fall. From the bridge we will ascend the giant granite steps to the top of the falls and then proceed to Yosemite’s other year round falls, Nevada. The breathtaking views are just rewards for the steep climb out of the Valley. Some portions of this trail are closed during icy conditions in winter months. If they are not accessible, we will attain other exciting views along the John Muir Trail which remains open throughout the year. We will traverse along this path for various sections of the hike regardless of the status of the other trail.
Distance: 7 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 2000 feet
Time: 6 hours
Water Requirements: 70 ounces
Best time to visit: October-June

Panorama Trail (Glacier Point to Nevada Fall)

Descend to the top of Nevada Fall from Glacier Point and discover 4 of Yosemite’s most prominent waterfalls along the way with up close and personal looks at Nevada and Illilouette Falls.  Exceptional prospects of landscape photography will present themselves throughout the day. We may also seize the opportunity to cool off in a pool on the way back before our final climb back to Glacier Point on this challenging hike.
Distance: 10 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: <2000 feet
Time: 7 hours
Water Requirements: 80 ounces
Best time to visit: June-October

Ostrander Lake

Escape the crowds of Yosemite in summer to discover the tranquil setting of Ostrander Lake. Enjoy a quiet day on a lesser (human) traveled trail with plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing.
Distance: 12.5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: ~1600 feet (7000′ – 8600′)
Time: 7 hours
Water Requirements: 80 ounces
Best time to visit: July-October

Chilnualna Falls

Explore Southern Yosemite and discover the many cascades of Chilnualna Falls. This hike follows and crosses the creek as we spend the day continuously climbing higher on a trail that leads to the 5 tiered waterfall. Photographic opportunities await as we hop from drop to drop combining for nearly 600 feet of cascades.
Distance: 9 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 2300 feet (4200′ – 6500′)
Time: 7 hours
Water Requirements: 80 ounces
Best time to visit: March-July

Mt. Hoffman & May Lake

Journey to the center of the earth, or at least the center of Yosemite National Park, for spectacular panoramic views of all its landmarks. John Muir was once asked what he would do if he only had 1 day in Yosemite so he suggested to “Go straight to Mount Hoffmann. From the summit nearly all the Yosemite Park is displayed like a map.”The trail gradually leads to May Lake for a breathtaking view of Mt. Hoffman. We continue around the lake and hike through steep rocky terrain. After a brief flat area of trail, we continue to climb with a minor scramble to the top where we will be greeted by several yellow bellied locals.
Distance: 6 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1950 feet (8900’ – 10,850’)
Time: 5-6 hours
Water Requirements: 80 ounces
Best time to visit: June-October

North Dome

Explore Yosemite’s more accessible ‘other’ dome and enjoy a gradual trail that uncovers a spectacular face to face view of Half Dome. This trail allows you to journey into Yosemite’s high country while avoiding Yosemite Valley in the summer months. A short spur trail leads to an interesting arch rock formation that provides excellent photo opportunities.
Distance: 9-10 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1000 feet (8100-7540 feet + gain and loss throughout trail)
Time: 7 hours
Water Requirements: 80 ounces
Best time to visit: June-October

Cathedral Lakes

Visit 2 of Yosemite’s pristine sub alpine lakes and witness the effects of the ancient glaciers as they carved their way through the landscape of Yosemite’s High Country. The trail leads to Upper and Lower Cathedral Lakes uncovering magnificent views of Echo, Tressider, and Cathedral Peaks. We then journey to one of Yosemite’s highest mountain passes before we turn around for one last glance at Cathedral Peak.
Distance: 8.5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: <1500 feet (8600’– 9800’ + some gain & loss to the lakes and pass)
Time: ~6 hours
Water Requirements: 80 ounces
Best time to visit: July-October

Yosemite Strenuous Hike Descriptions

Strenuous Hiking Tours: (Level 5 of 5)

Embark on a journey of self discovery during this experience that will test your personal boundaries in some of the most demanding terrain in Yosemite. Panoramic views are as incomparable as the sense of achievement you will feel upon completion of these über hikes. Typical Strenuous Hikes would include trails to Waterwheel Falls, El Capitan, Clouds Rest, & Half Dome summit attempts. These advanced tours encounter steep elevation gains and are for adventure travelers with extensive hiking experience and/or physical training. Each participant must seriously train for these tours. Expect to hike over fifteen miles with elevation gains of 3000 to 5000 feet. Tours will last seven to ten hours with the Half Dome Hike potentially lasting longer.

BOOK HIKE
Half Dome 

Embark on a journey of self discovery where panoramic views are as incomparable as the sense of achievement you will feel upon completion of this epic adventure. Hike to the top of Half Dome, Yosemite’s most recognized landmark, and reward yourself with breathtaking views and a true sense of fulfillment.

Distance: 16.5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 4842 feet (4000-8842 feet)
Time: 10-12+ hours
Water Requirements: 120 ounces + 20 ounces of sports drink or electrolyte mix
Best time to visit: May-October

Upper Yosemite Fall

Ascend Yosemite’s tallest waterfall and feel the rush of 2400 gallons of water per second as it leaps and crashes onto a ledge 1430 feet below and falls twice more before it finally feeds into the Merced River. From the Valley, we will first visit the base of the lower fall. Then we will hike along the famous switchbacks of the North Rim Wall and gain 3000 feet over the next 3.5 miles. Views of the Valley Floor are incomparable, and we will witness the face of Half Dome from several different perspectives. This trail has two very steep sections where we will gain 1000 feet in its first mile. After reaching the top of the Falls, we will have the option to complete the journey to Yosemite Point at 6,936 feet above sea level.

Distance: 8-10 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 3000 feet
Time: 7 hours
Water Requirements: 100 ounces
Best time to visit: October-June

El Capitan and Eagle Peak

You don’t have to be a rock climber to reach the peak of Yosemite’s most imposing and the world’s largest block of granite. Best of all, you do not need a permit. This strenuous all day hike does not require pulling yourself up cables either. As a bonus, you can take a spur trail to the top of Eagle Peak, the highest of the 3 Brothers. On top of both peaks, you will have grandiose views of Yosemite Valley where you will gaze at Half Dome and other Valley highlights including Nevada and Yosemite Falls. There are 3 different approaches for this hike and we will choose our trailhead based on time of year.

Distance: 17/20/16 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: ~4500/2000/2000 feet (Summit of El Capitan 7569 feet)
Time: 9-11 hours
Water Requirements: 120 ounces + 20 ounces of sports drink or electrolyte mix
Best time to visit: March-November

4 Mile Trail (Valley to Glacier Point)

Journey through time and follow in the footsteps of Yosemite’s earliest visitors along the 4 Mile Trail that leads from Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point. Today’s trail is closer to 5 Miles and is filled with views of Sentinel Rock and western end of the valley that will leave you breathless. The hike gains over 3000 feet as we make our way up the challenging switchbacks with views of Half Dome, the Tenaya Canyon, and the high mountain peaks of the Eastern Border of the park.

Distance: 9.6 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 3200 feet (4000-7214 feet)
Time: ~8 hours
Water Requirements: 100 ounces
Best time to visit: March-June

Clouds Rest

Reach for the clouds from a less traveled trail and summit one of Yosemite’s most impressive peaks. Starting from Tenaya Lake, you will be rewarded by several high country vistas and will appreciate avoiding the valley crowds. Make your way up the ridge on the final ascent and enjoy the views nearly 6000’ above Yosemite Valley as you stand above Half Dome at 9926’.
Distance: ~15 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: ~2500 feet (8120-9927 feet) big dropoff after 1st ascent
Time: 7-9 hours
Water Requirements: 120 ounces + 20 ounces of sports drink or or electrolyte mix
Best time to visit: July-October

Glen Aulin Waterfalls

Drop down into the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River to discover a series of lesser known but no less dramatic waterfalls in Yosemite National Park. Tuolumne Fall is first followed by White Cascade and on to Glen Aulin. Beyond Glen Aulin, we may explore farther down canyon  to California and LeConte Fall. This is some of the most breathtaking scenery in all of Yosemite.
Distance: 11-15 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: ~1000 feet (8600-7900 feet at Glen Aulin)
Time: 10-12 hours
Water Requirements: 120 ounces + 20 ounces of sports drink or or electrolyte mix
Best time to visit: July-October

Mt. Dana

Reach the summit of the second tallest peak in Yosemite National Park while ascending an ancient volcanic mountain. You will only hike 6 miles and gain 3000 feet on this hike but don’t let that fool you as you climb from 10,000 to 13,000 feet in only 3 miles. You will hike through talus as you gain the summit and will take extra caution on the descent. Depending how you feel when we reach the summit, we may choose to extend the hike by reaching the 12,773 foot summit of Mt. Gibbs as well for an extra 1000 feet of gain along with 4 additional miles of hiking for a 10 mile roundtrip.
Distance: 6 or 10 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 3100 feet or 4000 feet (9941-13,061 feet) big dropoff after 1st ascent
Time: 7 hours (12 hours with Mt. Gibbs)
Water Requirements: 120 ounces + 20 ounces of sports drink or or electrolyte mix
Best time to visit: July-September

Vogelsang Lake

Visit the lake where the birds go to sing and enjoy one of the most spectacular high country lakes in all of Yosemite. No summer trip to Yosemite is compete without a visit to the high country. Vogelsang is one of many alpine lakes and will tempt you to take a swim in its inviting waters surrounded by majestic peaks.
Distance: 14 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1500 feet (8600-10,100 feet)
Time: 10 hours
Water Requirements: 120 ounces + 20 ounces of sports drink or or electrolyte mix
Best time to visit: July-September

Ten Lakes Pass

Follow the creek from Grant Lakes (the headwaters of Yosemite Falls) to the Ten Lakes Pass for jaw-dropping scenery and incredible adventures. Gaze into the amazing landscape in every direction as we identify many of the highest peaks in the park. On the return trip, we hike to Grant Lakes and take a dip into the water that follows a path to Yosemite Falls and all the way down into the Valley.
Distance: 15 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 2200 feet (7600-9600 feet)
Time: 10 hours
Water Requirements: 120 ounces + 20 ounces of sports drink or or electrolyte mix
Best time to visit: July-October

Pohono Trail from Inspiration Point to Dewey Point

Step back through history on this steep climb from Tunnel View up onto the South Rim. Discover views of Yosemite seen on the first visit to Yosemite Valley from non natives as we make our first stop at Inspiration Point. Continue along the Pohono Trail for more tantalizing vistas at Stanford, Crocker, & Dewey Points before we make our long journey back to the trailhead.
Distance: 10.5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: ~3000 feet (4374-7200 feet with gains & losses on trail)
Time: 10 hours
Water Requirements: 120 ounces + 20 ounces of sports drink or or electrolyte mix
Best time to visit: September-July