This is a great early season Yosemite backpacking tour that takes you through the lower elevation and historical Hetchy Hetchy area in Yosemite National Park. If you've got the urge to get out in the wilderness before the higher trailheads are open, this is the trip for you.

Hetch Hetchy Valley was a beautiful glacier-carved valley on par with neighboring Yosemite Valley until congress passed the Raker Act in 1913 which allowed the construction of O'Shaunessy Dam and the flooding of the valley to supply water to the city of San Fransisco. John Muir spend his last days lobbying against the flooding of Hetch Hetchy and had this to say: "One may as well dam for water-tanks the people's cathedrals and churches, for no holier temple has ever been consecrated by the heart of man."

We begin by spending the evening at a backpackers campground near Hetch Hetchy resevoir, The next day we hike across the dam and along Hetch Hetchy on the Wapama Falls trail with outstanding views of not only Wapama Falls but also Tueeulala Falls. We make our way to Rancheria Falls where we set up our base camp near the roaring falls. We then spend a full day going deeper into the Yosemite wilderness up to Tilltill Valley and beyond before breaking camp on the last day and heading back along the lake.

A great trip for beginners since the mileage is low but also for more experienced backpackers looking for something new.

Along the way we enjoy grand views, whispering pine forests, great food and good company. A great way to see the Yosemite wilderness!

Food, Equipment & Lodging

We provide breakfast lunch, dinner and snacks prepared by your guide and backcountry chef from the time we meet till we part ways. We like to call our food "backcountry gourmet" which includes vegetables as well as freshly baked goods.

To make your trip easier for you we provide most of the gear you will need at no extra cost. We provide high quality backpacks, sleeping bags and pad, trekking poles, headlamp and eating utensils if needed. We also provide tents, all group cooking gear, first aid kit and water purification for the group. Our guides carry emergency two-way satellite communications devices at all times.

This is a backpacking trip in which everyone carries their own gear and a share of the group gear and supplies.




Very good physical conditioning is required. Previous hiking experience is required. No Previous backpacking experience required. 


2017 DATES
October 19-22

2018 DATES

April 19-22
May 25-28
October 4-7
October 18-21


Custom dates available April through May & September through November



COST: $625


  • Breakfast, lunch, snacks and dinner prepared by your guide while in the field
  • Professional local mountain guides certified in emergency wilderness medicine, food handling & Leave No Trace Principles & trained in local natural history.
  • Backpacks, sleeping bag and pad, trekking poles and eating utensils if needed
  • Tents, all group camping gear and permits
  • One night camping in Hetch Hetchy with dinner the night before the hike begins