7 Best Yosemite Park Backpacking Ideas: The Ultimate Guide

Anyone who has ever been to Yosemite National Park will tell you that it is a special and unique place. With its dramatic waterfalls, soaring mountains, and lush forests, the park is a popular destination for hikers and backpackers of all levels of experience. If you’re looking for some ideas on where to go for Yosemite park backpacking, look no further!

In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the best trails in the park for a backpacking trip. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced hiker, there’s something for everyone in Yosemite. So get your hiking boots ready and pack your camping gear – let’s explore some of the best trails!

Planning Your Trip

yosemite national park entrance

If you’re planning a trip to Yosemite National Park or Yosemite Park backpacking, the first thing you’ll need to do is figure out where you want to go. The park has over 800 miles of trails, so it can be tough to decide which ones to choose.

The best way to start is by figuring out what kind of terrain you want to hike. Yosemite is divided into four main regions: the high country, the valley, Tuolumne Meadows, and Glacier Point. Each region offers its own unique set of trails and scenery.

For beginner hikers

yosemite el capitan
El Capitan

If you’re a beginner or if you want to focus on sightseeing rather than hiking, we recommend checking out the trails in the valley. The valley is home to some of the most famous landmarks in Yosemite, including Half Dome and El Capitan. There are also a number of easy trails in the valley that are perfect for families or first-time hikers.

For experienced hikers

tuolumne meadows
Tuolumne Meadows

If you’re more experienced or if you’re looking for a challenge, we recommend checking out the high country of Tuolumne Meadows. The high country is home to some of the most rugged and scenic trails in Yosemite Park backpacking. Tuolumne Meadows offers expansive meadows, rushing rivers, and towering peaks.

Once you’ve decided what kind of terrain you want to hike, you can start planning your trip. The best way to do this is by using the park’s official website. The website has a wealth of resources that will help you plan your trip, including maps, trail descriptions, and permit information.

If you’re planning on hiking in the high country, you’ll need to obtain a backcountry permit. Backcountry permits are required for all overnight stays in Yosemite’s backcountry and can be obtained from the park’s backcountry office.

If you’re not sure where to start, we recommend checking out the park’s official website Yosemite National Park for more information.

What to Take With You

california camping tips backpack

Once you’ve decided where you’re going Yosemite Park backpacking and what kind of terrain you’ll be hiking, it’s time to start packing! When packing for a backpacking trip, the most important thing is to pack light. You’ll be carrying everything on your back, so every extra pound will make a big difference.

That said, there are a few essential items that you’ll need to bring with you, regardless of where you’re going or what kind of terrain you’ll be hiking.

  • First and foremost, you’ll need a good backpack. Choose one that’s comfortable and has enough space for all your gear.
  • Next, you’ll need some basic camping gear, including a tent, a sleeping bag, and a camping stove.
  • If you’re going backpacking in the winter, you’ll also need to pack some cold weather gear, including a warm coat, boots, hats, and gloves.
  • Finally, don’t forget to pack plenty of water and snacks – you’ll need them for both the hike and the campfire!

For a more detailed list of what to take with you, we recommend checking out this article: What to Take on Your First Backpacking Trip (article: REI Co-op Journal)

The Best Routes for a Yosemite Park Backpacking

best routes yosemite park backpacking

Now that you know where you’re going and what to take with you, it’s time to start planning your route.

  • If you’re backpacking in the valley, we recommend starting at the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center. From there, you can hike up to Half Dome or El Capitan, or explore one of the many other trails in the valley.
  • If you’re hiking in the high country, we recommend starting at Tuolumne Meadows and hiking up to one of the park’s many peaks, including Half Dome, Mount Whitney, or Mount Lyell.
  • Finally, if you’re backpacking in Tuolumne Meadows, we recommend starting at Glen Aulin and hiking to one of the many lakes in the area, including Tenaya Lake or Tuolumne Meadows.

For more information on backpacking routes through Yosemite National Park, we recommend checking out this article: Best Backpacking Trails in Yosemite (article: The Adventure Junkies)

Hiking and camping Tips

hiking camping tips

Now that you know where to go and what to take with you, it’s time for some hiking and camping tips!

When hiking in Yosemite National Park, always be prepared for the unexpected. Weather can change quickly in the mountains, so make sure to pack plenty of warm clothes and rain gear.

Also, be aware of bears and other wildlife in the area. Make sure to store your food and garbage properly, and never approach or feed any animals.

Finally, always remember to leave no trace when camping. That means packing out everything you bring in, including trash and food waste.

What to Do if You Get Lost in the Park

map compas

If you get lost while hiking in Yosemite National Park, don’t panic. Instead, stay calm and try to retrace your steps. If that doesn’t work, stop and make yourself visible to rescuers by building a fire or waving your arms.

Finally, always remember to carry a map and compass with you when hiking, so you can find your way back if you do get lost.

Fun things to See and Do in Yosemite National Park

mariposa grove
Mariposa Grove

In addition to hiking and camping, there are plenty of other fun things to do in Yosemite National Park.

One of the most popular activities is sightseeing. Some of the best places to go sightseeing in Yosemite include Glacier Point, Tunnel View, and Mariposa Grove.

Yosemite Park Backpacking Video

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If you’re looking for something a little more adventurous, you can go whitewater rafting on the Merced River, rock climbing in Yosemite Valley, or skiing and snowboarding in the high country.

Finally, if you’re looking to relax after a long day of hiking and camping, you can visit one of the park’s many restaurants or cafes, or take a swim in one of its many lakes and rivers.

That’s it for our guide to backpacking in Yosemite National Park! We hope you found it helpful and that you have a great trip!

More ideas in our guide to California

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Hi, I'm Carol Ortiz. I'm a travel blogger and a bookworm, from Phoenix, Arizona.
I love to read, write, and travel - in that order! I've always been an avid reader, it's my escape and my hobby. When I'm not reading or writing, I'm probably up into some adventure, while travelling.

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