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Yosemite National Park, CA

Jul 28 - Aug 5, 2018 -- $1400 ★★★★

This is the trip to Half Dome!

Important Notes

This is our proposed itinerary only. We have to fax (yes, really) our application for backcountry permits exactly 168 days in advance at midnight in order to hopefully secure the itinerary we'd like. Because competition is stiff, we may end up having to alter the itinerary, whether that's changing our route or moving the trip a few days earlier or later. We apologize for this but there is extremely high demand for the limited access to Half Dome.

The 2017 High Sierra snow pack was historically deep. Since the highest point on our trek is around 9000', we don't expect any snow issues in 2018, but be prepared for the possibility anyway.


Yosemite National Park is a beautiful Sierra wonderland with towering mountains, thundering waterfalls and rugged pulchritude. The amazing views in this wilderness are inescapable. We will be hiking a scenic loop that culminates in the iconic Glacier Point. We'll also ascend Sentinel Dome and walk through the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. The rest of the trip will be a little quieter as it will run through the Illilouette and Bridal Veil section of the park.

Yosemite National Park is also a land of giant Sequoia trees. On our trip, we will walk among immense and rare giant sequoias in one of the few remaining groves (Mariposa) where old growth redwoods have been preserved. Whether it's the Grizzly Giant, Faithful Couple or any of the Tunnel Trees, these leviathans are centuries or even millennia old and can grow more than 300' tall.

Our journey will begin in the Mariposa Grove in the Wawona section of the park. We will day-hike among the giant sequoias as a warm-up before heading over to Bridalveil Creek deep within the park. We'll do a grand loop up Bridalveil Creek to Turner Meadow. We'll then pass by various lakes: Grouse, Crescent, Johnson, Royal Arch and Buena Vista, camping at some. We'll head to the Illilouette River and finally out to Glacier Point and Sentinel Dome before ending our journey where we began.

Come walk through the Sierra and see why everyone visits Yosemite. You may even see black bears, big horn sheep, yellow bellied marmots, mule deer, pika, short tailed-weasels and possibly even mountain lions, so why not join us this summer?


Weather is always an important concern when hiking. Expect daytime hiking temperatures well into the 70s and nighttime temperatures in the 40s & 50s. However, be prepared for the possibility of day temperatures in the 80s and as low as 30 plus violent afternoon thunderstorms. Here is the anticipated weather.

Trip Leaders

Rick Romine
Julie Quibodeaux


$1400 per person double occupancy. Here, double occupancy means that you will share a room with another participant during the 2 hotel nights. You will also be responsible for transportation to and from Oakland, CA (OAK), personal equipment, restaurant meals eaten off the trail and any gratuities for guides.

Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, 7 days of trail meals, ground transportation, National Park permits, Satellite Phone, insurance, and 2 awesome guides.

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Saturday, July 28, 2018

Fly, bus or drive into Oakland, CA (OAK). Some time between Noon - 3PM is the ideal time to arrive, but if you can save a substantial amount on trip costs by arriving a few hours earlier or later, you may do that.

Take the free airport shuttle to our hotel (TBD)

Equipment shakedown. We go through your pack and examine everything you brought.

Trail mix distribution

"Before" body composition measurements taken

Go to REI Berkely, 1338 San Pablo Ave, Berkeley, CA 94702, (510) 527-4140, for last minute or forgotten equipment. It's a half hour away, unfortunately.

Go out for a group welcome dinner (not included in trip cost)

Sunday, July 29, 2018

Second set of "before" measurements taken

Free breakfast in Hotel

Cars may be left at Hotel. However, the hotel may charge you a fee and assumes no responsibility for your car's security and will have you sign a document saying so.

All the items that you won't bring on the trail will be set aside and placed in storage

Shuttle to Yosemite National Park, Yosemite Vallety Entrance (about 4.5 hours)

Park our vehicle for the week.

Have lunch

Take Park Shuttle to stop #6

Day-hike about 1.0 miles on the Lower Yosemite Fall Trail

Day-hike about 1.0 miles on the Cook's Meadow Loop

Head to the Visitor's Center, pick up backcountry permit and rent extra bear canisters if necessary

Pack food in extra bear canisters if necessary

At 5PM, board the YARTS shuttle bus towards Mammoth

Arrive at Tuolumne Meadows at 6:45PM

Camp at the Tuolumne Backpacker's Campground, elevation 8600'

Miles today: 2.0 miles. Total to Date: 2.0 Miles

Possible Bailout: Yosemite Valley

Monday, July 30, 2018

Begin Hiking at Wilderness Permit Station near Puppy Dome, elevation 8700'.

Hike 1.4 miles to the Pacific Crest Trail / John Muir Trail

Hike 4.7 miles along Lyell Canyon to Ireland Creek

Camp at Ireland Creek dispersed camping, elevation 8900'

Miles today: 6.1. Total miles: 8.1

Possible bailout: Tuolumne Meadows.

Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Hike 2.8 difficult uphill miles to Ireland Lake Trail.

Optional Day-Hike 3.0 round trip miles to Ireland Lake, elevation 10,735'.

Hike 3.5 miles to Vogelsang High Country Campsite.

Camp at Vogelsang, elevation 10,100'.

Miles today: 6.3/9.3. Total miles: 14.4/17.4

Possible bailout: Tuolumne Meadow.

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Hike 4.2 miles to Babcock Lake Spur.

Hike 0.3 miles to Babcock Lake for lunch

Hike 0.3 miles back to main trail

Hike 1.6 miles footbridge

Hike 1.0 miles 2nd footbridge

Hike 1.0 miles Merced Lake

Camp at Merced Lake, elevation 7300'.

Miles today: 8.4. Total miles: 22.8/25.8

Possible bailout: At least a day away

Thursday, August 2, 2018

Hike 1.6 miles to footbridge

Hike 6.7 miles to Little Yosemite Valley.

Camp at Little Yosemite Valley, elevation 6200'

Miles today: 8.3. Total miles: 31.1/34.1

Possible bailout: Yosemite Valley

Friday, August 3, 2018

Wake up at the crack of dawn

Day Hike 3.5 difficult uphill miles to the summit of Half Dome, elevation 8842'

Day Hike 3.5 miles back to Little Yosemite Valley

Camp at Little Yosemite Valley, elevation 6200'

Miles today: 7.0. Total miles: 38.1/41.1

Possible bailout: Yosemite Valley

Saturday, August 4, 2018

Hike 3.6 miles to Yosemite Valley

End of hiking

Miles today: 3.6. Total miles: 41.7/44.7

Possible bailout: Yosemite Valley.

Shuttle back to Oakland. Check into local hotel (TBD)

Your stuff will be transported here shortly after we arrive and check in

After measurements taken

Go out to celebratory dinner (not included in trip cost) and awards Ceremony

This is the official end of the trip. You are welcome to spend the night at the hotel, however if you drove and would like to get on the road or if you flew and would like to schedule a late flight (or a red-eye if this is a West Coast trip) you can definitely do so.

Sunday, August 5, 2018

Free hotel breakfast

Free airport shuttle

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