The Prettiest, Uncrowded Backpacking Trip in Yosemite

Here’s the thing about Yosemite: Most backpackers compete for coveted permits to hike in the park’s core area between Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows, including Half Dome—and ignore much of the best backcountry in the park. This nearly 87-mile hike meanders around the biggest and loneliest chunk of wilderness on the Yosemite map: the vast realm of deep canyons and high peaks north of Tuolumne Meadows. This corner of the park harbors canyons strewn with rock gardens beneath 12,000-foot peaks; three 10,000-foot passes; an alpine lake with a sprawling, sandy beach that looks like it belongs in southern California; the incomparable Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River; and the summit often described as having “the best 360 in Yosemite.”

Watch the video below and read my full story about this trip, “Best of Yosemite, Part 2: Backpacking Remote Northern Yosemite” (which is premium content, requiring a subscription), with many photos from this trip, which is described in much more detail in this e-guide; or see the photos in my story “Backpacking 150 Miles Through Wildest Yosemite” (which is free for anyone to read).


Purchase this e-guide NOW to begin planning this one-of-a-kind backpacking adventure through remotest Yosemite!

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Ready to explore the remotest and most spectacular backcountry in Yosemite? These two hikes of 74 miles and nearly 87 miles wander through the biggest, loneliest, and most remote chunks of wilderness on the Yosemite map, south and north of Tuolumne Meadows.

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Few wilderness backpacking trips in the country measure up, step for step, to a multi-day trek along the incomparable Teton Crest Trail in Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park. Variously 35 to 39 miles, depending on the route you hike, the TCT delivers a consummate backpacking experience.

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What if you could do one thing to make every backpacking trip more enjoyable? Three decades of backpacking have taught me what that one thing is: keeping my pack light.

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