A hiker high above Yosemite Valley on Half Dome, Yosemite National Park.

Mark Fenton high above Yosemite Valley on Half Dome in Yosemite National Park.

Looking for a magnificent, first backpacking trip in Yosemite that hits all the famous highlights and is beginner-friendly? This 37.2-mile loop from Yosemite Valley in the core of the park is the one for you. You’ll hike the Mist Trail past 317-foot Vernal Fall and 594-foot Nevada Fall, ascend the cable route up Half Dome and tag the equally spectacular (but much less busy) summit of Clouds Rest, walk a section of the world-famous John Muir Trail, and get an iconic view of the Cathedral Range from your campsite on the edge of the alpine meadows at Sunrise. Besides the main route, this e-guide describes alternate itineraries beginning and ending at various trailheads ringing this core area of the park, including routes that begin and end at Tuolumne Meadows and stunning Tenaya Lake.

See my blog post “Ask Me: Where to Backpack First Time in Yosemite” (which is free for anyone to read) for a short description, with photos, of the primary route described in much greater detail this e-guide. See all of my stories about Yosemite National Park, or scroll down to Yosemite on my All National Park Trips page.

Purchase this e-guide NOW to begin planning this perfect first Yosemite backpacking adventure!

Back to E-Guides

Add These Expert E-Guides to Your Order!

$11.95

Backpackers on the summit ridge of Clouds Rest in Yosemite. Looking for the complete Yosemite backpacking trip? This 65-mile hike south of Tuolumne Meadows hits iconic, must-see features in…

Add to cart

$14.95

Todd Arndt backpacking the South Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon. If there’s an archetypal Grand Canyon trek, backpacking rim to rim is it. Traversing the…

Add to cart

$11.95

Todd Arndt backpacking in Yosemite's Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River. When you’re ready to explore as deeply into the Yosemite backcountry as one can go,…

Add to cart