Challenging Hiking Tours

Level 4 of 5

Challenging Hiking Tours (Level 4 of 5)

Challenge yourself to go the extra mile (or two), and you will be rewarded with incomparable views and a greater sense of accomplishment. The added demands of these hiking tours are for adventure travelers who are experienced hikers and/or fitness enthusiasts. Expect to hike up to ten miles with various elevation gains up to 3000 feet. Tours will last approximately seven to eight hours.

Mist Trail/JMT Waterfalls: Vernal and Nevada Falls

Explore Yosemite Valley’s all-year waterfalls and travel on its most storied trail, the JMT. The Mist Trail is famous for soaking its visitors in late spring but is often considered the Valley’s most scenic because it uncovers the most beauty per square mile. This hike is steep but very rewarding. At .9 miles we will uncover our first gem, Vernal Fall. From the bridge we will ascend the giant granite steps to the top of the falls and then proceed to Yosemite’s other year round falls, Nevada. The breathtaking views are just rewards for the steep climb out of the Valley. Some portions of this trail are closed during icy conditions in winter months. If they are not accessible, we will attain other exciting views along the John Muir Trail which remains open throughout the year. We will traverse along this path for various sections of the hike regardless of the status of the other trail.
Distance: 7 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 2000 feet
Time: 6 hours
Water Requirements: 70 ounces
Best time to visit: October-June

Panorama Trail (Glacier Point to Nevada Fall)

Descend to the top of Nevada Fall from Glacier Point and discover 4 of Yosemite’s most prominent waterfalls along the way with up close and personal looks at Nevada and Illilouette Falls.  Exceptional prospects of landscape photography will present themselves throughout the day. We may also seize the opportunity to cool off in a pool on the way back before our final climb back to Glacier Point on this challenging hike.
Distance: 10 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: <2000 feet
Time: 7 hours
Water Requirements: 80 ounces
Best time to visit: June-October

Ostrander Lake

Escape the crowds of Yosemite in summer to discover the tranquil setting of Ostrander Lake. Enjoy a quiet day on a lesser (human) traveled trail with plenty of opportunities for wildlife viewing.
Distance: 12.5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: ~1600 feet (7000′ – 8600′)
Time: 7 hours
Water Requirements: 80 ounces
Best time to visit: July-October

Chilnualna Falls

Explore Southern Yosemite and discover the many cascades of Chilnualna Falls. This hike follows and crosses the creek as we spend the day continuously climbing higher on a trail that leads to the 5 tiered waterfall. Photographic opportunities await as we hop from drop to drop combining for nearly 600 feet of cascades.
Distance: 9 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 2300 feet (4200′ – 6500′)
Time: 7 hours
Water Requirements: 80 ounces
Best time to visit: March-July

Mt. Hoffman & May Lake

Journey to the center of the earth, or at least the center of Yosemite National Park, for spectacular panoramic views of all its landmarks. John Muir was once asked what he would do if he only had 1 day in Yosemite so he suggested to “Go straight to Mount Hoffmann. From the summit nearly all the Yosemite Park is displayed like a map.”The trail gradually leads to May Lake for a breathtaking view of Mt. Hoffman. We continue around the lake and hike through steep rocky terrain. After a brief flat area of trail, we continue to climb with a minor scramble to the top where we will be greeted by several yellow bellied locals.
Distance: 6 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1950 feet (8900’ – 10,850’)
Time: 5-6 hours
Water Requirements: 80 ounces
Best time to visit: June-October

North Dome

Explore Yosemite’s more accessible ‘other’ dome and enjoy a gradual trail that uncovers a spectacular face to face view of Half Dome. This trail allows you to journey into Yosemite’s high country while avoiding Yosemite Valley in the summer months. A short spur trail leads to an interesting arch rock formation that provides excellent photo opportunities.
Distance: 9-10 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: 1000 feet (8100-7540 feet + gain and loss throughout trail)
Time: 7 hours
Water Requirements: 80 ounces
Best time to visit: June-October

Cathedral Lakes

Visit 2 of Yosemite’s pristine sub alpine lakes and witness the effects of the ancient glaciers as they carved their way through the landscape of Yosemite’s High Country. The trail leads to Upper and Lower Cathedral Lakes uncovering magnificent views of Echo, Tressider, and Cathedral Peaks. We then journey to one of Yosemite’s highest mountain passes before we turn around for one last glance at Cathedral Peak.
Distance: 8.5 miles roundtrip
Elevation Gain: <1500 feet (8600’– 9800’ + some gain & loss to the lakes and pass)
Time: ~6 hours
Water Requirements: 80 ounces
Best time to visit: July-October

half dome gallery 6

 from $135 

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