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California Yosemite Grand Traverse Trekking

Incredible Sky-High Trails in the Sierra Nevada

 

Explore the legendary high points of the Sierra Nevada carrying nothing but a daypack. With pack mules hauling your gear, enjoy the awesome scenery on this trans-Sierra trek through Yosemite National Park and the Ansel Adams Wilderness. Start off in southern Yosemite, far from the crowded Valley floor, then hike the high country to emerge near the majestic Cathedral Lakes in Tuolumne Meadows. Along the way walk sections of the John Muir Trail and cap the trip with a summit hike to Cloud's Rest.

  • Explore the dazzling high points of Yosemite, Ansel Adams Wilderness, and Tuolumne Meadows

  • Cross Post Peak Pass, walk sections of the John Muir Trail, and summit the Cloud's Rest

  • End your classic California experience in beautiful San Francisco - City by the Bay!

Contact an Expert

Arrive:

Fresno, California

Depart:

San Francisco, California

Price: from $5,795

Duration:

8 Days

Departures:

See Dates

Group Size:

6 - 11 Guests

Min Age:

16 yrs

Activity:

Level 4

You will be hiking 6 - 11 miles per day on rocky terrain and established trails with some steep and/or exposed sections. Stream crossings are possible. This trip visits elevations between 7,200\' and 10,005\'. Previous experience recommended.
Learn more here.

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

  • Arrive in Fresno

    Day 1

    Arrive in Fresno, California, and check in on your own at the DoubleTree by Hilton near the Fresno air terminal. Meet the guides at 6:00pm for a summary of the trip. Get a good night's sleep in preparation for upcoming days of hiking.

    Accommodation: DoubleTree by Hilton

    Conveniently located in near a variety of entertainment and dining options, this DoubleTree is clean, modern, and offers all the amenities necessary to rest and recharge on an MT Sobek adventure. With several national parks within driving distance, the hotel boasts a fitness center, heated pool, atrium, in-house restaurant, bar, and café. Each room features a flat screen HDTV, comfortable bedding, electronics dock, and room service from 6am-10pm.

    Meals: Dinner

  • Explore Knoblock Meadows

    Day 2

    After breakfast take a scenic van ride to the trailhead, at about 7,100 feet in elevation. Get acquainted with the pack animals and their guides. Loading these horses is really an art form; put what you need for the day into a small backpack, and the packers will strap the rest of the gear onto the animals using the unique diamond-hitch system. After 6 miles of hiking, reach Knoblock Meadows (8,200') where the guides prepare dinner in the mountain twilight. Today ends with stargazing beneath the high mountain peaks.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Yosemite

    We supply all camping and commissary gear, including tents and sleeping pads. For singles we use REI Half Dome Plus Two-person tents which is 34 ½ square feet and 10 sq. foot vestibule and is 6 lbs. For doubles, we use REI Taj 3 tents (3-person). If folks want to bring their own tent they can, but it must be within the limits above (6 lbs. for double/ singles).

    Activity: 4-5 hours/6 miles hiking with 1,800' elevation gain and 300' elevation loss

    Transportation: 3-hour scenic transfer

    Meals: Lunch, Dinner

  • Climb Isberg Pass & Camp at Lake 10K

    Day 3

    Spend today in the heart of the Ansel Adams Wilderness, established in 1964 as part of the original Wilderness Act, and renamed in 1984 for the famed nature photographer. Today's hike is hard but rewarding, climbing the switchbacks over Isberg Pass (10,500') and crossing into Yosemite National Park itself. Camp at Lake 10K, so named because of its elevation (10,005'). Take a dip in the frigid waters of the lake, or else just sit back and enjoy the views of Isberg (10,996'), Long Mountain (11,502'), and Forester Peak (12,057').

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Yosemite

    We supply all camping and commissary gear, including tents and sleeping pads. For singles we use REI Half Dome Plus Two-person tents which is 34 ½ square feet and 10 sq. foot vestibule and is 6 lbs. For doubles, we use REI Taj 3 tents (3-person). If folks want to bring their own tent they can, but it must be within the limits above (6 lbs. for double/ singles).

    Activity: 5-6 hours/8 miles hiking with 2,300' elevation gain and 800' elevation loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Descend to the Triple Fork of Merced River Camp

    Day 4

    After yesterday's climb, today's downhill trek comes as a welcome relief. Hike through the creek drainages that eventually form the mighty scenic Merced River, which, along with the Tuolumne River, drains Yosemite National Park. Along the way take in majestic views of the north-south running Clark Range, named after Galen Clark who discovered the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias and was known as the "Guardian of Yosemite" for 21 years in the mid-1800s. Camp at 7,400 feet on the shores of the Triple Fork of the Merced River.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Yosemite

    We supply all camping and commissary gear, including tents and sleeping pads. For singles we use REI Half Dome Plus Two-person tents which is 34 ½ square feet and 10 sq. foot vestibule and is 6 lbs. For doubles, we use REI Taj 3 tents (3-person). If folks want to bring their own tent they can, but it must be within the limits above (6 lbs. for double/ singles).

    Activity: 4-5 hours/6.8 miles hiking with 150' elevation gain and 2,500' elevation loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Reach Sunrise Creek

    Day 5

    Today make a westerly turn and begin trekking in the direction of Cloud's Rest, a peak with visual prominence in the Yosemite Valley. 10.5 miles of gradual ups and downs leads to the Sunrise Creek area (7,200'). Enjoy dinner here and turn in early to get ready for the big climb tomorrow.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Yosemite

    We supply all camping and commissary gear, including tents and sleeping pads. For singles we use REI Half Dome Plus Two-person tents which is 34 ½ square feet and 10 sq. foot vestibule and is 6 lbs. For doubles, we use REI Taj 3 tents (3-person). If folks want to bring their own tent they can, but it must be within the limits above (6 lbs. for double/ singles).

    Activity: 6 hours/10.5 miles hiking with 1,500' elevation gain and 1,400' elevation loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Cloud's Rest

    Day 6

    Before the sun rises, be up and hiking towards Cloud's Rest (9,926'), a narrow, almost razor-like, ridge of rock formed by eroding glaciers. The route is difficult but well-maintained, and completely doable for hardy hikers. Take in unparalleled 360-degree panoramic views from the top. Travel back to basecamp for a relaxing afternoon.

    Accommodation: MT Sobek Camp-Yosemite

    We supply all camping and commissary gear, including tents and sleeping pads. For singles we use REI Half Dome Plus Two-person tents which is 34 ½ square feet and 10 sq. foot vestibule and is 6 lbs. For doubles, we use REI Taj 3 tents (3-person). If folks want to bring their own tent they can, but it must be within the limits above (6 lbs. for double/ singles).

    Activity: 5-6 hours/7.5 miles hiking with 1,900' elevation gain and 2,700' elevation loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Hike a Portion of the John Muir Trail

    Day 7

    Our last day of hiking, we connect with the famous Mist Trail of Yosemite, hiking past Nevada and Vernal Falls on our way back to Yosemite Valley for the night. Meet up with our gear in the Valley on our way to a night in the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. Tonight, enjoy a special farewell dinner at the Mountain Room.

    Accommodation: Yosemite Valley Lodge-Yosemite Valley, California

    The traditional-style Yosemite Valley Lodge is perfectly located in an idyllic spot near Yosemite Falls. Its guestrooms are comfortable and well-appointed, and its bright dining area is surrounded by a grove of trees. As you swim in the hotel pool, you can feel completely at home in the heart of nature!

    Activity: 4-5 hours/10 miles hiking with 3,200' elevation loss

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

  • Farewell Yosemite - on to San Francisco

    Day 8

    After coffee and a quick snack, we'll have an early start. Meet your shuttle driver at 8:00am for our drive back across the Central Valley of California to San Francisco. Stop along the way for a late breakfast/early lunch, arriving at San Francisco International Airport at approximately 2:00pm. For those of you staying on in San Francisco we can also arrange a drop-off after the airport to Fisherman's Wharf.

    Transportation: 6-hour private van transfer

    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

California Yosemite Grand Traverse Trekking

Download Detailed Itinerary

Click here to download the Detailed Itinerary.

What to Expect

 

Why take this trip with us?

Reason #01

On this trans-Sierra hiking adventure, MT Sobek offers travelers memorable exclusivity: the trip is fully mule-supported.

Reason #02

You get full immersion in the Sierra's wilderness by lodging at our well-equipped camps for six nights straight.

Reason #03

MT Sobek is the only company offering this experience, ending in San Francisco.

Meet your guides

Alex Kendrall

Alex Kendrall

Alex grew up in Concord, New Hampshire exploring the mountains of New England. It was here that his spirit and passion for adventure began. Alex's passion for shared wilderness experiences has culminated in a degree in Outdoor Education and certifications from the American Mountain Guiding Association (AMGA). Moving to California was the culmination of a dream come true, where he is able to combine his passion for climbing with a career in guiding. He has a tremendous amount of experience in the backcountry and great leadership qualities which endear him to MT Sobek travelers.

Sierra Zacks

Sierra Zacks

Sierra was born and raised on the entrance road to Joshua Tree National Park and spent her early years hiking, rock climbing, and horseback riding in the park and the nearby high Sierra. She went on to graduate from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in Ecology and Plant Biology. During this period, she worked UC Santa Cruz's Adventure Outings Department where she led climbing, backpacking, and river trips. She now spends her summers in the High Sierra leading trips and exploring the beautiful landscape. In her free time you can find her rock climbing, botanizing, or birdwatching in the mountains.

Fred Ackerman

Fred Ackerman

Fred enjoyed his first backpacking trip in college, walking 20+ miles in inappropriate footwear and spent a few cold nights in front of the fire without a sleeping bag, and caught the bug from there. Soon, he was spending most of his free time and some not-so-free time plotting and executing adventures to the endless wild places of California. Fred is now an EMT with a certification in wilderness medicine. He's hiked and climbed thousands of miles around the Sierra including a solo 200+ mile hike of the Sierra High Route. Fred's familiarity of the High Sierra and deep passion for the backcountry consistently endears him to MT Sobek hikers.

Activities

Strenuous trekking through Yosemite's gorgeous landscapes at high altitudes, sprinkled with scenic drives and relaxation.

Lodging

Full-service hotel to kick off the adventure, followed by MT Sobek camps at altitudes up to 10,000' with spellbinding views and stargazing.

Climate

Camping between 8000-10,000' there can be snow year round on the ground. Average temperatures are 70°F-80°F in the daytime & 40°F- 50°F at night.

FAQ

What gear should I bring and what do you provide?

If you have your own tent, sleeping bag and pad, we encourage you to bring it for fit and familiarity. However, we can provide state of the art gear free of charge at your request.

What are the toilet procedures?

We provide a comfortable wilderness toilet experience, including toilet paper and hand sanitizer. Certain "Leave No Trace" practices apply, and your guide will go over the proper etiquette and method as part of the camp orientation.

How should I train for my Yosemite trip?

The best training for hiking is to hike. Work up to hiking similar distances with your daypack loaded with the same weight you will be carrying on your day hikes.

How is water supplied on the trip?

We supply water filters on this trip. Water in the Sierra is renowned for its cleanliness, but we still take precautions. As a trip participant you are responsible for filtering your own daily water.

What can I expect from my guide?

Our professional mountain guides are there to facilitate a seamless and memorable trip for you. All guides are trained in wilderness medicine at the professional level and are experienced backcountry folks.

What are my duties while camping?

You are only responsible for setting up and taking down your own tent, packing your personal gear, and filtering your water. Our guides are always available to assist. You can relax and enjoy the backcountry.

Go Private

Go Private

Gather your favorite travel companions to share an MT Sobek adventure on an easy-to-book Private Trip.

Choose from the selection of dates below for your group or if your preferred date is not available, we'll create a departure just for you.

Call or email us to get the ball rolling.

Call for Private Trip Pricing

1.888.831.7526

Make Your Own Dates in These Months

Price Includes

  • Expertise and services of our experienced adventure guides
  • All accommodations as noted in the itinerary
  • All breakfasts, almost all lunches and dinners as noted in the itinerary
  • Snacks and water between meals
  • Additional regional guides and experts on many trips
  • Comprehensive Trip Planner with detailed pre-trip information
  • Private guided tours at historic sites, museums, wineries and other select attractions as noted in the itinerary
  • Special events and other select attractions as mentioned in the itinerary
  • All gratuities at hotels and restaurants
  • Equipment and experienced guides for activities as described in the itinerary
  • Park and other entry fees (unless otherwise noted)
  • Fares for trains, ferries and other modes of travel as listed in the itinerary
  • Select transfers as mentioned in the itinerary
  • Baggage transfers and porterage

Price Does Not Include

  • International airfare, airport taxes, and excess baggage fees
  • Alcoholic beverages (MT Sobek provides wine at select events)
  • Gratuities for MT Sobek guides and guide-drivers
  • Travel Protection Program
  • Personal expenses

Contact An Expert

800-974-0300

Need help picking your next adventure? Call us to answer your questions.

Go Custom

Create Your Very Own Adventure

Dreaming of an adventure designed exclusively for you? With insider access and decades of experience, our travel experts create custom tailored adventures that are perfect for families, couples, and large groups. MT Sobek's custom adventures are designed to our exacting standards and led by our award-winning adventure guides.