Yosemite National Park

Just hearing the words Yosemite National Park conjures superlative images of legendary life-list natural attractions: Half-Dome, El Capitan, Yosemite Falls, Tuolumne Meadows, North Dome, Hetch Hetchy. It also brings to mind black bears, towering sequoias, mule-deer, the High Sierra, world class rock climbing, Ansel Adams, and more black bears.

This is your opportunity to really see the Yosemite backcountry in a way that the vast majority of visitors and crowds never do. Halfway through the trip, we'll visit Yosemite Valley to spend a day in civilization before heading out for a 2nd week in the backcountry and the legendary Half Dome. Is this the year you finally see Yosemite?


The Yosemite National Park Fatpacking Trip will be from August 18-31, 2012. Here is the proposed itinerary.

Our journey will begin in Tuolumne Meadows in the Northeast part of Yosemite NP. We'll start hiking towards Glen Aulin's thundering falls, to May Lake, North Dome, and spectacular Yosemite Falls. After a day in Yosemite Valley, we'll head up to Glacier Point and the deeply beautiful Panorama Trail. We'll spend a day in Little Yosemite Valley summitting Half Dome and then head towards Merced Lake, Vogelsang and into Lyell Canyon on the Pacific Crest Trail / John Muir Trail (they are the same in this area) and finally back to Tuolumne Meadows.


The trails through Yosemite National Park are well groomed with good footing but elevation gain and loss can be dramatic. Most days are under 10 miles, but on days when you hike uphill most of the day, it's challenging. And hiking Half Dome, with thousands of feet in vertical elevation change is a difficult, but immensely rewarding challenge.


Weather is always an important concern when hiking. Expect daytime hiking temperatures in the 70s in the high country and 80s in the valley and nighttime temperatures in the 40s & 50s. However, be prepared for the possibility of day temperatures into the 90s and nighttime temperatures as low as 30. Also be prepared for the possibility of violent afternoon thunderstorms. They may not come, but if they do, they typically bring a lot of lightning, thunder, and hail. They can be dangerous (and beautiful) but are not long lived. Here is the historical weather.

Trip Leaders

Jesse Hardie is a Wilderness First Responder originally from Alpharetta, GA and has led Fatpacking trips to the Florida National Scenic Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park, Redwood National Park, Crater Lake National Park and Yosemite National Park.

Rick Romine lives in Pleasanton, CA and is a Wilderness Medicine Institute certified Wilderness First Responder. A life long outdoor enthusiast, Rick is the founder of the wilderness education site HowToWilderness.com. Rick has been leading backpacking treks and teaching outdoor skills to both youth and adults for over 10 years.

Equipment List

Here is a list of equipment we suggest you bring. The list is extensive and can seem daunting, but please don't let this deter you from the trip. You can rent top notch quality gear for reasonable prices from Traverse Outfitters, Lower Gear or Outdoors Geek. It may also be possible for us to provide some gear for you at a nominal fee if you let us know far ahead of the trip. Unfortunately, we're not in the gear business so the selection of our available inventory is unpredictable. Please feel free to discuss any gear with us before the trip.


We don't believe in austere eating regimens. Backpacking is a rigorous, rewarding activity. You must feed your body in order for it perform. Your body will dictate that you eat often, so it's important to have fuel to feed it. Please check out the sample menus. This list is not comprehensive and may be altered or augmented. If you want to bring personal food, say a 5 pound chocolate cake, go for it. You'll not only hate carrying it through the High Sierra, your body will reject the empty calories and prefer nutritious food.

Note: On this trip, we will resupply food in Yosemite Valley. It is unknown what trail food they will have on-hand, so be prepared for the menus to deviate from the stock meals you see on the website


$1800 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 Reno, NV, personal equipment and any restaurant meals eaten off the trail (except for the buffet breakfast at Curry Village in Yosemite Valley, which is included).

Covered expenses include 2 hotel nights, campground fees, 11+ days of trail meals, ground transportation, National Park permits, insurance, and 2 awesome guides.

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