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Yosemite Half Dome Backpacking Trip

From $895 See Rates

Worry-Free Cancellation Policy
Activity
Backpacking
Destination
CaliforniaYosemite National Park
Tour Length
4 days, 3 nights
Accomodations
Backcountry Camping
Guide Type
Guided
Difficulty
Advanced

Summit majestic Half Dome on our Yosemite Half Dome Backpacking Trip, arguably the most iconic feature in Yosemite National Park, on this incredible guided 4-day trip. Half Dome rises 4,800 feet above Yosemite Valley, and is well known for the challenging summit trail that requires hikers to climb the final 400 feet on a 45-degree smooth granite slope using a cable ladder. Half Dome permits are included, and no climbing or mountaineering skills or experience is required.

This trip is typically offered between early June and mid July. Backcountry permits for Yosemite National Park become available 24 weeks in advance of the hiking start date. We will post 2019 trip dates as we acquire the permits, typically between mid December and early February.

Our guide, Tyler, was absolutely amazing. All we had to do was show up ready for the challenge ahead and bring a few items of our own for our backpacking adventure.Sharon

What's Included

Tour Price Includes

  • Meals starting dinner on Day 1 through lunch Day 4
  • Trail snacks
  • Kitchen and group gear (cooking utensils, stove, fuel, water filter, food storage where needed, dish washing necessities)
  • Personal mess kit (bowl, mug, fork, spoon)
  • Bear can – 1 per guest
  • Ticket to Yosemite Theater live film or performance
  • Professional Wilderness First Responder certified guides

Permit & Land Use Fees Include

  • Backcountry camping permits in Yosemite National Park
  • Half Dome permits

Not Included ​​​​​​​

  • Personal insurance and expenses
  • Transportation to and from Yosemite/meetup location
  • Pre- or post-trip lodging
  • Breakfast and lunch Day 1, dinner Day 4
  • Sleeping bag (available to rent from AOA)
  • Sleeping pad (available to rent from AOA)
  • Backpacking pack (available to rent from AOA)
  • Backpacking tent (available to rent from AOA)
  • Trekking poles (complimentary upon request)
  • Gratuities to AOA Guides

Upgrades + Additions

Gear Rental

  • 1-person backpacking tent ($35 per)
  • 2-person backpacking tent ($45 per)
  • 55 to 65 liter backpack with removable daypack option fitted to individual ($40 per)
  • Sleeping bag ($35 per)
  • Inflatable sleeping pad ($35 per, sleeping pads add insulation and are required on AOA trips)
  • Trekking poles (complimentary upon request)

Optional Additions

  • Purchase: 3-liter Camelbak reservoir/bladder ($35 per)
Optional upgrades, additions, and rentals subject to tax (7.95%).

Rates

2018 Rates

  • TOUR PRICE $ 895 pp 895 pp
  • +Permits & Land Fees $ 18 pp* 18 pp

*Subject to change and will be based on actual costs at time of departure

2019 Rates

  • TOUR PRICE $ 945 pp 945 pp
  • +Permits & Land Fees $ 18 pp* 18 pp

*Subject to change and will be based on actual costs at time of departure

Do you have five minutes to save $25? Learn about our 25for5 promotion on our Promos & Discounts page! (Seasonal discounts may apply)

Dates

This trip is typically offered between early June and mid July. Backcountry permits for Yosemite National Park become available 24 weeks in advance of the hiking start date.

We will post 2019 trip dates as we acquire the permits, typically between mid December and early February.

One of many scenic viewpoints while hiking to Half Dome

Meet your Yosemite backpacking guide at North Pines Backpacker’s Campground in Yosemite National Park at 3:00pm for a trip orientation. North Pines Backpacker’s Campground is behind the North Pines Campground and across the footbridge. Your guide will begin with introductions and a brief orientation where all gear will be distributed and everyone will help to set up camp for the night. This time will be used to get acquainted with each other, the equipment, and your incredible surroundings. After getting settled in and eating dinner we will head into Yosemite Valley for a local activity to help get to know the area, this may include watching climbers on the famed walls of El Capitan, checking out the Ansel Adams Gallery, or even attending a film or performance at Yosemite Theater. Afterward, we will head back to camp to hit the sack in preparation for an early start!

Hiking

1-2 miles

Meals

Breakfast and lunch on own, dinner included

Lodging

Camping at North Pines Backpacker’s campground (gear included)

One of many scenic viewpoints while hiking to Half Dome

After breakfast, we will depart for the Yosemite trails either on foot or via the park’s shuttle system depending on the route. Today, we will conquer our first full day of trekking in Yosemite (exact distance and elevations are dependent on permits available). As we hike along, you are sure to enjoy the epic views while your guide shares tips, tricks and interpretation. Tonight, we camp under the stars and let the sounds of the great gray owl and the wind in the trees lull us to sleep.

Hiking

5-8 miles

Meals

All meals included

Lodging

Backcountry Camping (gear included)

Wake in camp to the crisp mountain air and hot coffee brewing. Each morning we fuel up with a well-proportioned breakfast and then head deeper into Yosemite’s backcountry. Depending on our route, this might be the day we summit Half Dome (route changes with each departure). After breaking camp, we head for Little Yosemite Valley, a small glacially carved valley bisected by the Merced River. The views from Little Yosemite Valley and the hike through Yosemite’s wilderness allow a clear picture of the hand that glaciers had in shaping Yosemite. The world-famous naturalist John Muir became fascinated with glaciers when exploring Yosemite and was among the first to propose that Yosemite Valley was formed by the movement of glaciers during the ice-age. On our hike today we’ll get a good look at why Muir formed this theory and come to better understand his love for glaciers and Yosemite, and how this place served as inspiration in developing his love of the Alaskan wilderness. When we make camp, there will be time to swim in the Merced River before settling into a delicious backcountry meal, followed by a relaxing night in Little Yosemite Valley.

Hiking

7-9 miles (Or up to 14 miles if today is summit day)

Meals

All meals included

Lodging

Backcountry Camping (gear included)

A woman summits Half Dome while hiking the cables

If today is summit day, we will be up before the sun and ready to hit the trail at first light! Don’t worry, your guides will greet you with fresh coffee to get the body moving. Just a few hours after we wake, we will summit Half Dome via the famous cables and stand in awe of the incredible view. The celebrating continues after we descend back to camp to enjoy a well-deserved brunch. After fueling up, we pack up camp and head out for the remaining 7 miles of hiking. We end our adventure together at Half Dome Village sometime between 5:00 – 7:00pm.

Hiking

7-9 miles (Or up to 14 miles if today is summit day)

Meals

Breakfast and lunch included, dinner on your own

Lodging

On your own

A woman summits Half Dome while hiking the cables

Nitty Gritty

AOA’s adventures might challenge you, but we don’t want them to surprise you, these Nitty Gritty details can help you decide if this the right trip for you.

Comforts of Home

Cell service & Electricity: While backpacking in Yosemite, it’s unlikely you will have cell phone service, you should expect to be unreachable by phone. There is no electricity available. Bring a portable battery to charge your phone for photos.

Hiking

This backpacking trip requires that you carry all you need and a portion of the group gear on your back during the hikes on days 2 and 4. Expect to carry about 35-50lbs in your backpack. You will only carry a daypack during your summit. Keep in mind that a Half Dome summit is always weather dependent and safety comes first. The hike up Half Dome is not for everyone, particularly those with fear of heights.

Wildfires

Wildfires are a serious threat in Yosemite, and there is always a risk a backcountry trip can be rerouted due to fires.

Bear Safety

Bears in Yosemite have become accustomed to visitors and know that hikers carry food. Because of this, all park visitors must take mandatory precautions to lock up all “smellable” items from hand lotion to snacks in bear-proof cans. This keeps the bears and the visitors safe. It can be a challenge, but our guides will help you make sure your gear and campsite is bearproof.

Trip Ratings

Challenge 4 | Comfort 1 | Solitude 2.5 | Participation 5