Backpacking Yosemite: Ten Lakes
Yosemite High Country


July 16–18 August 13–15 September 10–12

Trip Overview

Join us on this moderate but breathtaking route to the spectacular Ten Lakes basin in Yosemite's high country - a perfect introduction for bold first time backpackers or intermediates. This route is perfect for those looking to discover the solitude of the Yosemite backcountry by getting away from the Valley crowds. (check out updated COVID-19 trip safety precautions)

Difficulty Rating: Difficult

Participants will be carrying their own gear as well as group gear (35 - 45 lbs total), roughly 6 miles each day over moderate to strenuous terrain with  elevation drops and gains of up to 4,000 ft in a day at an altitude as high as 9,000 ft. While the route is not particularly difficult, the high altitude can make this trip extra challenging without proper conditioning. We recommend doing numerous day hikes and training with a 35 - 45 lb pack prior to your trip. Individuals should be in good physical condition. (see training recommendations)

Trip Itinerary

Although we'll always do our best to adhere to this schedule, it is often dictated by factors outside of our control and is therefore subject to change. We will run this trip rain or shine.

Day 1

Meet at Yosemite Creek Trailhead parking lot at 9 am 

Trip orientation and gear discussion

Hike 6 miles on a gradual (but at times steep) ascent, and then descend to one of the amazing Ten Lakes

Enjoy a trailside lunch

Make camp along a majestic lake

Enjoy a delicious, hot dinner

Day 2

Enjoy a delicious, hot breakfast

No official hiking - rest day if needed (napping, sunbathing, and relaxing)

Optional day hikes to nearby peaks and lakes

Enjoy a trailside lunch

Take in spectacular views of the basin

Enjoy a delicious, hot dinner

Day 3

Enjoy a delicious, hot breakfast

Break camp

Hike 6 miles on a steep ascent, then gradual descent to Yosemite Creek Trailhead parking lot 

Enjoy a trailside lunch

Packing List


Lightweight 2 Person, 3-Season Tent (rentals available)

Backpacking Pack - minimum 60L (rentals available)

Lightweight, Compressible Sleeping Bag rated 15 to 25 degrees (rentals available)

Lightweight Sleeping Pad - inflatable recommended (rentals available)

Headlamp with fresh batteries (rentals available)

Mess Kit (bowl, insulated cup, and spork)

Sturdy Hiking Boots that are broken in

2-3L Water Bladder and 1L Bottle

SunscreenSun HatSunglasses

Hiking Pants/Shorts (lightweight, quick dry)

Wool or Synthetic Hiking Tops (quick dry)

Wool or Synthetic Hiking SocksLiner Socks

Waterproof Rain Jacket and Pack Cover (poncho at minimum)

Seasonal Layers: BaselayersFleece/Down JacketBeanieGloves 

Optional (but recommended):

Trekking Poles (rentals available)

Lightweight Day Pack

Insect Repellant

Small Pack Towel


Ear Plugs


Luxury Item (small book/kindle, deck of cards, etc.)

Guide Gratuities (optional)

Do NOT bring:


Full Wallet and Set of Keys 

Full sized Toothpaste, Deodorant, Sunscreen, etc. (Please only bring small packages of these things or re-package them yourself.)