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!
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.
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.
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').
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.
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.
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.
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 grand iconic dining room of the Majestic Ahwahnee Hotel.
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.
On this trans-Sierra hiking adventure, MT Sobek offers travelers memorable exclusivity: the trip is fully mule-supported.
You get full immersion in the Sierra's wilderness by lodging at our well-equipped camps for six nights straight.
MT Sobek is the only company offering this experience, ending in San Francisco.
Our expert guides and trip leaders are truly the key to our trips' success. Many are locals who live in-country year-round; others have made it their second home—all are passionate, enthusiastic and endlessly knowledgeable. Meet a few of the guides that might be on your trip.
Strenuous trekking through Yosemite's gorgeous landscapes at high altitudes, sprinkled with scenic drives and relaxation.
Full-service hotel to kick off the adventure, followed by MT Sobek camps at altitudes up to 10,000' with spellbinding views and stargazing.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
We offer this trip on a private basis with seasonal departure dates that offer great flexibility (pending availability). Click below to request dates and an MT Sobek Regional Specialist will be in touch to help organize your private adventure.
"This trip exceeded every expectation! I learned a tremendous amount about Yosemite and High Sierra flora, fauna and ecology. I was challenged to stretch and grow physically, mentally and emotionally. Our guides were amazing with their boundless energy and enthusiasm for their job!"
MT Sobek Guest, Yosemite Grand Traverse
"Traveling with MT Sobek is like gaining a new set of close friends that have shared an incredible experience together."
MT Sobek Guest