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Yosemite National Park

July 26-30, 2023 (Wednesday thru Sunday)


Online lottery registration is now closed. You may register for the waitlist.

Explore Yosemite National Park with the San Diego Sierra Club. Yosemite is home to fabulous granite faces, majestic domes, striking peaks standing above expansive green meadows and beautiful, glacier-filled lakes, and rushing streams with spectacular waterfalls. We will be offering five backpacking trips of varying degrees of difficulty. Participants must provide their own backpacking gear and meals.

Due to the fact that the Tuolumne Meadows campground is closed for 2023, we are not able to offer a buscamp with day hikes option this year.

We will travel in a chartered, air-conditioned bus up to Yosemite National Park, camping at Pine Glen Campground in Mammoth Lakes on Wednesday night. On Thursday, the bus will drive into Yosemite NP and drop off each of the backpacking groups to their trailheads, with pickup and the drive home on Sunday.

Registration is by lottery. The lottery is now closed. You may register for the waitlist.. Upon acceptance, participants will receive confirmation and information about a virtual pre-trip meeting. During the pre-trip meeting, you will meet your leaders and have an opportunity to ask questions.

For questions about the Yosemite Bus Trip, contact the Trip Coordinator, Alice Fichandler, at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

For questions about the Registration or Payment, contact the Registration Coordinator, Karen Nelson, at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Yosemite Bus Trip Waitlist

Visit our Trip Rating System to determine which Backpacking Trip or Day Hike is right for you.

Please, read our RESERVATION & REFUND POLICY before you sign up for the trip.

Cost: $275.
Lottery Registration is now open. The lottery to choose trip participants will be Saturday, June 17, 2023.
** Pre-trip Meeting: Zoom Meeting Link to be sent to attendees.

Departure: Wednesday, July 26, 2023
Return: Sunday, July 30, 2023
Trip Rating: A variety of difficulty from easy to strenuous. Please see individual backpacking trips below.

Trip  1

Tamarack Creek to Porcupine Creek Backpack
: Mike Fry, Assistant Leader: Jim Greenstein

Trip Rating – M7C
Event Capacity: 9 Total (2 leaders, 7 participants)
Total Backpack miles: 21 miles
Total Dayhike miles:15-20 (optional) 

Moderate backpack along the north rim of Yosemite Valley.  Total length is 21.1 miles with 3 short optional day hikes: El Capitan, Eagle Peak, and Yosemite Falls.  The first 5.4 miles is downhill along Tamarack Creek and a remnant of the historic Old Big Oak Flat Road, the original road to Yosemite Valley. After our first night's camp at Cascade Creek, we will begin to see the familiar views across the valley.  This is our longest day: 7.1 miles and 2100' of gain.  We climb to the top of El Capitan, and hike as close as we dare to the top of the famous wall. Our second camp is close to Eagle Peak, one of the Three Brothers.  We can bag the 7,779' summit for an extra 1/2 mile and 429' gain. Our 3rd day is 5.5 miles.  We cross Yosemite Creek, quite close to the falls.  Another short day hike leads to a viewing spot wet with spray from the falls.  We continue east, past Yosemite Point and Lost Arrow Spire.  We may see climbers just reaching the top.  Our last camp is at Lehamite Creek. The next morning, we hike 3.1 miles and +1150' to meet the bus.

Trip 2

Yosemite Creek Backpack
Leader: PJ Jeffery, Assistant Leaders: Bonnie Ferri and Tanya Ingorvate
Trip Rating: M7C
Event Capacity: 11 Total (6 leaders/guests, 5 participants)
Total Backpack miles: 13
Total Dayhike miles: 15 (optional)

On Thursday we will backpack 6 miles (+300'/-1650') from the Lukens Lake TH through a fairly open forest, past large boulders which are remnants from the glaciers that moved through this area thousands of years ago. After about 2.6 miles, the trail turns to run along Yosemite Creek, passing small pools of water and water-polished slabs of granite on the way to our campsite near the junction with Eagle Rock Creek. Our Friday dayhike  (9 miles +-2000') will take us to the top of El Capitan for some awesome views. If we have time and energy, we can make a detour to Eagle Peak on the way back (1 mile +/-200'). On Saturday, we will hike to the top of Yosemite Falls for great views and soaking in the water. We can then continue on the short, but steep trail to Yosemite Point. (6 miles +-2650') On Sunday we will get an early start and head back the way we came, stopping at the bathrooms at Yosemite Creek Campground before hiking the final 1.5 miles to the Ten Lakes Basin TH. (If necessary, we might move closer to the trailhead on Saturday afternoon.)  (7 miles  +1400'/-2700') 

Trip 3

20 Lakes Basin – Swimmers Paradise Backpack
Leader: Michael Taylor, Assistant Leader: Margaret Elizondo
Trip Rating: M7C
Event Capacity: 12 Total (2 leaders, 10 participants)
Total Backpack miles: 10-14
Total Dayhike miles: 14-18

The 20 Lakes Basin, just east of Yosemite National Park along the Tioga Pass Road, is a paradise for those who relish alpine lakes, where we can swim in the brisk waters and enjoy the endless views. We will be backpacking in for 5-7 miles, to find the perfect lake to set up our basecamp. From there we will have day hikes to take in as many of the lakes as possible, as well as the Lundy Canyon waterfalls. There will be plenty of time for swimming and relaxing. Participants should be comfortable backpacking and camping at 10,000 foot elevation, as well as traversing uneven and rough terrain at times.

Trip 4

Young Lakes and Glen Aulin Backpack
Leader: Monica Elrod, Assistant Leader: Lynn Nebus
Trip Rating: M9D
Event Capacity: 10 Total (2 Leaders, 8 participants)
Total Backpack miles: 22
Total Dayhike miles: 7-10

This trip begins with a climb to one of Yosemite’s beautiful alpine lake regions and finishes with an easy meander past many waterfalls along the Tuolumne River. Day 1: a 7-mile 1900' climb into beautiful Young Lakes. Day 2: descend 2500' over 9 miles, along the PCT. We'll stop along the way as needed, ending up at White Cascade in the forested Glen Aulin area. Day 3: Day hiking along the Tuolumne River past California Falls, LeConte Falls, and Waterwheel Falls. There will be swimming! Day 4: return along the PCT to catch the bus at the Soda Springs Trailhead.

Trip 5

Parker / Koip / Donohue Pass Loop Backpack
Leader: KH Chong, Assistant Leader: Dave Sommer
Trip Rating: H13C
Event Capacity: 9 Total (3 leaders/guest, 6 participants)
Total Backpack miles: 36
Total Dayhike miles: 8

Day 1 of this backpack starts at Mono/Parker Pass trailhead with a 6 mile climb up over Parker Pass at 11000’. We will set up camp with a view of the next day’s endeavor. Day 2 will be an immediate climb up to Koip Pass (12240’) via the top of the Switchbacks. Views on the Switchbacks will be breathtaking! It will also be challenging with the snow this year. With the steep gradient of the terrain, it may be acrophobic to some. There is an opportunity to climb Koip Peak (12972’) just off the Pass. We will then continue with a 3000’ descent to camp at either Gem or Waugh Lake. It will be a long 10+ mile backpack day. Time permitting and if the soul is willing, we will do exploratory walks around the lake. Swimming and R&R will be alternative options. On Day 3 we will break camp early and continue our journey up to Donohue Pass (11000’) 7 miles away. After lunch at the Pass, we will generally be descending 6 miles to find our final night campsite next to the Lyell Fork of the Tuolumne River. Mount Lyell, Simmons and Parsons Peak may be seen to the west along the way, No plans other than R&R at the end of day 3. Day 4 will be a 7 mile backpack to exit at Tuolumne Meadows.

Explore, enjoy and protect the planet