Glacier Expedition: Backpack to Mt. Lyell

Glacier Expedition: Backpack to Mt. Lyell

Challenge yourself on a backpacking trip to Yosemite’s remote Lyell Glacier with a knowledgeable guide, and experience the thrill of climbing a living glacier.
August 2, 2018 to August 5, 2018

This program has been cancelled.

Explore the past, present and future of what was once Yosemite’s largest glacier during this unforgettable adventure with our resident naturalist, Pete Devine. Enjoy a rare opportunity to backpack to Lyell Glacier, located on the slopes of Yosemite’s highest peak. Your reward for climbing steep rock and braving strong wind and sun at high elevation will be to set foot on a glacier corpse! Research funded by Conservancy donors shows that this ice body has recently ceased its centuries of motion, and therefore is no longer considered a glacier. 

For a preview of Yosemite’s glaciers and glacier corpses, view Yosemite Nature Notes: Glaciers. Learn more about Lyell Glacier in a front page article with Pete Devine, featured in the San Francisco Chronicle

Included with your registration:

  • Three full days of guided backpacking out of Tuolumne Meadows. Starting at 8 am on August 3 through around 5 pm on August 5 (dependent on the speed of the group), plus an introductory evening meeting (7:30 pm on Thursday, August 2 at Tuolumne Meadows Campground).
  • Park entry (as needed).
  • Shared camping before and after the trip (as needed, August 2 and August 5) at Tuolumne Meadows Campground.
  • Bear canister rental (as needed) and wilderness permits.
  • There is no discount if you choose not to use our gate pass or campsites.
  • Information about upgrading your accommodations to stay at Tuolumne Meadows Lodge will be emailed to you after you sign up. The option to upgrade expires 45 days before the program.
Experience level: Recommended for athletic, advanced backpackers only. No technical ice travel (crampons and ice axes not needed).
Hiking: Very challenging. Trek includes off-trail hiking at high elevation and covers a total of 25 miles (about 10 miles to/from basecamp, plus a five-mile round-trip day hike). The group will hike to the ice field, but will not summit Mt. Lyell.
Elevation: 8,600 feet–12,500 feet
Registration price: $299
Naturalist-Guide: Pete Devine
View a suggested packing list