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Yosemite: Tuolumne River to Glen AulinYosemite National Park

  • August 6–9
  • August 27–30
Trip Overview

Traversing through Yosemite National Park's Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River is the perfect adventure meant to push you out of your comfort zone and show you what backpacking is all about. This amazing, advanced trip offers some of the best waterfalls, climbs and swimming holes in Yosemite and is also one of the least traveled so you can enjoy much of it in perfect backcountry solitude.

Experience breathtaking views of Tuolumne Meadows and the Tuolumne River, repeated swims in the refreshing, clear blue waters of the Tuolumne River and more waterfalls than you can imagine!  Enjoy it all, in pure backcountry solitude, on this 4-day challenging, yet highly rewarding, trek through the Yosemite High Country.


Participants will be carrying their own gear, 35 - 45lbs, 7 to 11 miles each day over moderate to strenuous terrain at elevation drops and gains of up to 4,000 ft in a day. We recommend doing numerous day hikes and training with a 35 - 45lb pack prior to your trip. Individuals should be superior physical condition. A training regime can be supplied, at request. Also, please make sure your hiking boots are broken in before the trip.  

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 White Wolf Campground parking lot, off of Tioga Pass (HWY 120) at 9AM (MAP for meet up location)

Trip orientation and gear discussion, pack checks

Hike 9 miles, including major descent into Pate Valley

Make camp at Pate Valley along the Tuolumne River

Lunch and Dinner provided

Day 2

Break camp
Gradual, but strenuous climb out of Pate Valley along the Tuolumne River

11 miles to the base of the Waterwheel Falls to camp

Enjoy wonderful swimming holes along the way and at camp

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner provided

Day 3

Break camp

Early strenuous morning climb past the Waterwheel, California Falls and Tuolumne Falls

9 miles to the Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp

Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner provided

Day 4

Break camp

Hike 6 miles on moderately flat terrain to Tuolumne Meadows

Return to cars late afternoon / early evening

Breakfast provided

Packing List


Lightweight 2 person, 3-season tent (rentals available)

Backpacking pack - minimum 60L or 3700cu. in. (rentals available)

Lightweight, compressible sleeping bag rated 15 to 25 degrees (rentals available)

Lightweight sleeping pad - inflatable recommended (rentals available)

Headlamp (with fresh batteries)

Bowl, Cup, Spork

Sturdy hiking boots that are broken in

3L Water Bladder and 1L Bottle

SunscreenSun hat, Sunglasses

Hiking pants/shorts, lightweight, quick dry

Wool or synthetic hiking specific socks, liner socks

Waterproof rain gear (Rain jacket + pack cover recommended, poncho at minimum)

Seasonally: baselayers, fleece, down jacket, beanie, gloves

Optional (but recommended):


Insect Repellant

Trekking poles

Ear plugs

Small pack towel


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

Do NOT bring:


Full wallet

Full set of keys (especially rental sets)

Full sized toothpaste, deodorant, sunscreen, etc. 

$615 per person


Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner Meals (Vegetarian, Vegan and Gluten Free available)

Group cooking gear

Bear canisters

Water filtration systems

Group first aid kit

Wilderness Permits

Expert certified guides 

Not Included:

Transportation to and from the park

Park entrance fees

Personal backpacking gear (see list below: all rentable at Sports Basement)

Insurance of any kind

Guide gratuities