Backpack to Half Dome: Two Nights via Clouds Rest – Trip 1

Backpack to Half Dome: Two Nights via Clouds Rest – Trip 1

Join our expert guides on a Yosemite challenge unlike any other: Backpack to Half Dome two nights via Clouds Rest along a classic Yosemite wilderness route.
July 19, 2018 to July 22, 2018

Join us for a Yosemite challenge unlike any other: Backpack to Half Dome via Clouds Rest along a classic Yosemite wilderness route. Enjoy a two-night adventure with veteran Yosemite naturalist Pete Devine, who’ll share his expertise on the trail. The trip begins with a Thursday-evening get-together in Yosemite Valley, where you’ll review the route, safety tips and Leave No Trace ethics; we’ll camp in Yosemite Valley. On Friday morning, we’ll take the Tuolumne Meadows bus to Sunrise Lake Trailhead, and hike a few miles before setting up camp for the night. On Saturday, we’ll ascend to the summit of Clouds Rest, where you can bask in the magnificent 360-degree view. We’ll descend the other side of Clouds Rest and camp near a creek below. On Sunday, we’ll start very early to take advantage of the option to climb Half Dome and marvel at the Valley from far above, or choose to spend your day exploring the area and relaxing at camp. For both the Clouds Rest and Half Dome climbs, you’ll leave your backpack safely on the trailside below and hike up with only a day pack, leaving you free to focus on the experience without extra weight on your shoulders! We’ll descend to Yosemite Valley Sunday afternoon, where your cars will be waiting, and have the option to camp here for the night. Throughout the weekend, your leader will share stories about the park’s fascinating history, wildlife, flora and geology, and you’ll have ample opportunities for fantastic photography.

Preview the wonders of Half Dome before you experience it in person: Yosemite Nature Notes: Half Dome.


Interested in other Half Dome trips and dates? Choose from the following:


Included with your registration:

  • Three full days of guided backpacking from Sunrise Lakes Trailhead near Tuolumne Meadows. Start at 8 am on July 20, through 5 pm on July 22 (dependent on the speed of the group), plus an introductory evening meeting (7:30 pm on Thursday, July 19, at Upper Pines Campground).
  • Park entry (as needed).
  • Shared camping before and after the trip (as needed, July 19 and July 22) at Upper Pines Campground.
  • Half Dome permit, wilderness permits and bear-canister rental.
  • There is no discount if you choose not to use our gate pass, campsites or bear-canister rental.
  • There is no upgraded lodging option for this program.
Experience level: Must have previous backpacking experience and be very physically fit.
Hiking: Challenging, with altitude, ascending and descending mountain trails; it will be a 22-mile through hike from near Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley. On Friday, we’ll hike 4 miles with a steep 1,000-foot elevation gain. Saturday will be 6.6 miles with gradual 800-foot elevation gain to summit Clouds Rest. Sunday optional early-morning ascent of the exposed cable route to the summit of Half Dome. This will be the biggest day hiking at 10.8 miles with 1,000-foot elevation gain and 4,800-foot descent from Half Dome to Yosemite Valley.
Elevation: Friday starting at 8,150 feet. Reaching 9,926 feet midday on Saturday at the Clouds Rest summit, then dropping down to camp at 7,800 feet. Reaching 8,842 feet at the Half Dome summit on Sunday. The same day, we’ll hike to Yosemite Valley, descending to 4,000-foot elevation.
Registration price: $389
View a suggested packing list
Pete Devine, Yosemite Conservancy Guide

Pete Devine

Pete Devine is the Resident Naturalist for the Conservancy. Pete has lived in Yosemite for about 20 years, has hiked most of its trails, and explained Yosemite to thousands of park visitors. He has studied the Lyell Glacier, added to the park’s bird studies and trained rangers in history, geology and biology. You may have seen Pete’s work in the ‘Yosemite Frazil Ice’ video.