Backpack to Half Dome: Two-Night Summit Challenge – Trip 2

Backpack to Half Dome: Two-Night Summit Challenge – Trip 2

Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash. Enjoy a two-night backpack adventure, as you summit Half Dome with an expert naturalist guide.
August 1, 2019 to August 4, 2019

Whether you are looking to tackle Half Dome for the first time, or you want the thrill of standing on the summit with new friends, this is an unforgettable experience that is sure to top your list of things to do in Yosemite! Enjoy a two-night backpacking adventure with an experienced naturalist, who will share insider stories and tips for the trail. The trip kicks off with a Thursday-evening get-together in Yosemite Valley, followed by a Friday-morning backpack to Little Yosemite Valley, where you will camp for two nights at a comfortable site that includes bear-proof food lockers and restrooms. On Saturday, leave your backpack at camp, and hike to the Half Dome cables carrying only a daypack. Make your ascent, savoring your time at the summit before the heat, crowds and afternoon thunderstorms. On Sunday morning, pack up camp, and enjoy a leisurely hike down the John Muir Trail, returning to Yosemite Valley in time to enjoy a well-deserved cold beverage, as you recount your amazing adventure with a group of new friends.

Included with your registration:

  • Three full days of guided backpacking from Yosemite Valley. Start at 8 am on August 2, through 4 pm or earlier on August 4 (dependent on the speed of the group), plus an introductory evening meeting (7:30 pm on Thursday, August 1, at Upper Pines Campground).
  • Park entry (as needed).
  • Shared camping before and after the trip (as needed, Thursday, August 1, and Sunday, August 4) at Upper Pines Campground.
  • Half Dome and Wilderness permits.

Note: There is no discount if you choose not to use our gate pass, campsites or bear-canister rental. Information about upgrading your accommodations to stay at Curry Village will be emailed to you after you sign up. The option to upgrade expires 45 days before the program.

Experience Level: Advanced. Participants must have prior backpacking experience and be physically fit.
Hiking: Very strenuous. 17 miles round-trip, including the exposed cable route and 9 miles with full backpack.
Elevation Range: 4,000 feet–8,800 feet.
Registration price: $329
View a suggested backpacking packing list.
Jon-Paul Salonen

Jon-Paul Salonen

Jon-Paul Salonen grew up in the Sierra foothills and fell in love with Yosemite and High Sierra as an adolescent, and has now been exploring and delighting in the Sierra for over 20 years. Well accustomed to recreational group camping with family and friends (he is a proud father of two fabulous, nature-loving daughters), he has led backpacking trips and has assisted with leading several day-trips each summer over the past five years. Jon-Paul is a registered Wilderness First Responder, Leave No Trace advocate and member of the Mariposa Search and Rescue. He is also a registered yoga instructor, holistic health educator, gourmet cook and loves to make merriment in the mountains!