Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River, Yosemite National Park.

Backpacking 150 Miles Through Wildest Yosemite

In Backpacking, National Park Adventures   |   Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,   |   2 Comments

By Michael Lanza

In early evening on a bluebird September day, deep in the wilderness of northern Yosemite National Park, my friend Todd Arndt and I—with legs feeling a little weary—reached our fourth pass of that day. We had hit the home stretch of the 23-mile, second day of a four-day, 86-mile hike; only a steep, quad-melting, 1,500-foot descent stood between us and soothing our very tired feet in the cool sand and cold water at Benson Lake (possibly the most unbelievable mountain lake I’ve ever seen).

Just beyond the pass, we strolled past quiet tarns where a few parties of backpackers were camped.

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2 Responses to Backpacking 150 Miles Through Wildest Yosemite

  1. Craig Reynolds   |  January 16, 2017 at 9:13 am

    Great articles! On the Yosemite trips, if you could only choose one of the options, would you recommend the north or the south?


    • Michael Lanza   |  January 16, 2017 at 9:22 am

      Thanks, Craig. Honestly, both trips certainly have lots to recommend them. I suggest you decide based on how long and difficult a trip you want to take; the North Yosemite hike is longer and, I think, more difficult. If choosing between them based on character and specific highlights, the hike south of Tuolumne does hit Clouds Rest and Half Dome, which are spectacular and also, in the case of Half Dome, much busier; while North Yosemite is more remote.

      I’d also suggest that, given the challenge of just getting a backcountry permit in Yosemite, if you’re interested in both, submit a permit reservation application that lists both as separate alternatives, in hopes of getting one of them.

      See my “10 Tips For Getting a Hard-to-Get National Park Backcountry Permit:”

      Good luck.

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