Backpacking Yosemite - From Giant Sequoias to the peak of Half Dome - Fri, Jul 13 2018

REGISTRATION & PAYMENT REQUIRED: Once you've reviewed the event details, and decided you'd like to join us, you MUST sign up at the bottom of this page. This is a paid event with payment managed by the trip leader(s) and NOT the AOC. Please read the event description carefully for payment details and instructions.

Backpacking Yosemite - From Giant Sequoias to the peak of Half Dome

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Yosemite National Park   Backpacking: Backpacking Yosemite - From Giant Sequoias to the peak of Half Dome  National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Fri, Jul 13 2018  12:00 pm >> Sun, Jul 22 2018 12:00 pm
Registration Opens: Mon, Mar 19 2018 12:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Sat, Jun 30 2018 12:00 pm
Event Duration:9 Days
Difficulty Rating:D6: Advanced (Exploratory)
Distance:99 Miles
Trip Leader(s):
Mike Pawloski
Email Trip Leader(s)
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Member Cost:$341.51/Person (See Detailed Cost Info Below)

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:6
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 4 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No

Note: This is an "EXPLORATORY" trip. This means that there are parts of this trip, or perhaps the whole trip, that is new to your Trip Leader(s). However, they are confident that this will not be an issue.
This note is here so that you can make an informed decision. When a Trip Leader isn't personally familiar with a trip, there is an increased chance of things not going as planned and you need to be prepared. The Trip Leader may have additional details in the itinerary.


 “It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature I was ever permitted to enter.”

- John Muir

Amongst purveyors of all things outdoors and those seeking beauty and adventure in nature, Yosemite is the crown jewel in these United States.

This will be a rare opportunity to spend nine days exploring this national treasure.     

We will start at Wawona, in the south of Yosemite National Park.  We'll hike a loop that covers Yosemite Valley and the Tuolumne Meadows.  During this loop, we will behold the reverence of giant sequoias and climb the iconic Half Dome, experiencing as much as we can in between.  We will be hiking mostly in the backcountry but will, if and when appropriate, take advantage of some of the park shuttle services to complete our goal.

Multi-day expeditions such as this require not only physical conditioning but mental preparedness and an ability to work together as a team.  You need to have a solid history of D5/D6 backpacks with the club or other extensive backpacking experience.  As such, Trip Leaders will carefully vet registered attendees and reserve the right to remove anyone they feel is not a fit. 


Trip Details: 

Friday, July 13: Plan on arriving at the San Francisco Airport (FSO) before noon.   We will pick up our vehicle and stop at an outfitter in case anyone needs stove fuel or other supplies before making the 4+ hour drive out to the park.  We have a confirmed reservation at Soquel Campground, which is located 21 miles from Yosemite’s South Entrance (45 minute drive). Alternatively, if we get lucky, we'll secure a walk-in camping permit for Wawona Campground, closer to where we pick- up our permits.

Saturday, July 14: Following an early start, we pick-up our wilderness permits at the Wawona Visitor Center at Hill's Studio.  After spending some time basking in the reverence of giant sequoias, we'll start our 26 mile hike to Little Yosemite Valley.  The plan is to stop and spend the night at a campsite TBD.  Hopefully, we can cover 13-15 miles.   

Sunday, July 15: We will start early and continue our hike to Little Yosemite Valley.  Upon arrival, we will set up camp and spend the night.

Monday, July 16:   We'll start early with day packs and climb Half Dome (8,836).  It's an 8.4 mile round trip with 2,779  ft accent.  On our way back we'll turn east and hike to Clouds Rest summit (9,926). There, we will behold a spectacular view of Half Dome.  This will add 8 miles to our day hike with 2,725 ft accent. We'll have to carry all the water we need for the day since there will be no water source. Please note that climbing Half Dome is dependent on weather conditions. We will get back to our campsite at Little Yosemite Valley by nightfall.  [Alternatively,  we get back to the campsite after Half Dome and start 20 mile hike to Tuolumne Meadow through Cloud Rest. This will be a team decision]

Tuesday, July 17: We start early morning on our 18 or 26 mile hike to Tuolumne Meadows. Here, we have two options. Follow the John Muir trail to Tuolumne Meadows, which is 18 miles, or take a detour and go see Merced Lake which makes the trip to Tuolumne Meadows to 26 miles.  [This will be a team desicion]. We will camp somewhere in between for the night. 

Wednesday, July 18:  We'll start early and finish the hike to Tuolumne Meadows. Depending on the time we get there we can do some site seeing.  We'll at some point catch a Yosemite Area Regional Transportation  System (YARTS) shuttle, or some other shuttle, to go back toward Yosemite Valley via Tioga Pass Road. After 14 miles, we disembark at the North Dome Trail and hike 4 miles to North Dome. We set up our camp before North Dome, somewhere with water.  We will enjoy a grand view of the Yosemite Valley that night and the next morning. 

Thursday, July 19: We will start early and use Yosemite Falls Trail to hike down into Yosemite Valley. This is a unique and breathtaking hike.  In the valley, time permitting, we can jump on a shuttle and do some site seeing. We can spend the night in Little Yosemite Valley or somewhere else.  [This will be a team desicion].   

Friday, July 20 and Saturday, July 21:  We start our hike out. Either the same as the previous Saturday and Sunday or a different route.  [This will be a team desicion]. 

Saturday night, July 21: Shower, celebrate and spend the night at park lodging or somewhere else.  [This will be a team desicion].

Sunday, July 22: Drive back to  San Francisco Airport (FSO). It's a 4+ hour drive so please book your flight for later Sunday afternoon to insure we have time to get to the airport. 


Important Item to Note:

Bear Canisters are required!  See the link below and in "Required Items to Bring" for specific Yosemite requirements.


Wilderness Regulations: see the link below



The Trip Leader(s) for this event has (have) elected either to personally collect the funds that event participants are required to pay, or to require participants to pay funds directly to a third party. No funds will be paid to the Atlanta Outdoor Club for this event. Therefore, by registering for this event, you acknowledge and agree to the following: (1) the monies paid by registrants will not be monitored, managed, or otherwise accounted for by the Atlanta Outdoor Club; (2) that the Atlanta Outdoor Club bears no financial responsibility for this event; and (3) you waive any and all claims against the Atlanta Outdoor Club, and hold the Atlanta Outdoor Club harmless for the loss of any monies you paid for this event.

Notwithstanding the foregoing, any paying registrant may request directly from the Trip Leader, prior to the event, a breakdown of funds collected, estimated expenses, and deposits made in anticipation of the event. Following the event, the Trip Leader must complete his or her financial accounting for the event, with supporting documentation, within 30 days of the completion of the event, and a paid registrant may request a breakdown of funds collected, money spent and supporting documentation after that time. If you are unable to obtain requested documentation, please contact the Director of Paid Events.


Required Items to Bring:
  • Bear Canister - See link below for requirements
  • Lightweight work gloves to protect your hands from getting blistered by the cable while climbing Half Dome 
  • Water bottles/dromedary for carrying water
  • Food for 8-9 Days
  • Water Filtration / Purification device, Drops, or Tablets
  • Loose-fitting, light-colored clothing - Temps range from low 90's - upper 50's
  • Bug Spray
  • Broad-brimmed hat
  • Sunscreen
  • Minimal rain gear (rain is rare, but not impossible)
  • Hiking Boots/ Shoes
  • Backpack
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleep Pad
  • Headlamp and spare batteries



Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.
  • Camera
  • GPS, Satellite beascon
  • Hiking Poles
  • Stove
  • Matches/Lighter
  • Change of Clothes and Towel for Flight Home
  • Maps/GPS
  • Harmonicas, cards, etc.

  • Notes:

    * We encourage all members to follow our E tiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

    This event will run rain or shine, and will only be cancelled in the case of truly dangerous conditions (i.e. Fires).

    * We encourage all members to follow our Etiquette Guidelines while participating in AOC events.

    Member Cost:$341.51/Person
    Cost Includes:

    This cost is a worst-case estimate of what each event participant is expected to contribute for shared expenses, assuming event attendance of two participants.  The table below provides a break-down of estimated shared expenses based on the number of event attendees.  Actual shared expenses may vary. 

    Event Attendees Estimated Shared Expense Costs
    2 $341.51
    3 $227.67
    4 $170.75
    5 $136.60
    6 $113.84


    Shared expenses include but are not limited to:

    • Vehicle Rental & Gas

    • Lodging (i.e campsite permits)

    • Park Entry 

    Expect to pay shared expenses via PayPal, Check, or Cash the week of June 18 - June 22.  These payments will likely be going to the Trip Leaders.  Final shared expense payment amounts TBD.

    Not included in the shared expense estimates are the following.  These expenses are incurred individually and not shared:



    •Souveniers, airport parking in Atlanta

    Make a Payment:Although there is a cost for this event, you do not pay through the AOC. Please review the event details carefully for information about how/where to make your payment.

    Cancellation/Partial Attendance:   Please review the AOC cancellation policy.

    In the case that a participant cancels, and they are replaced by a member on the waitlist, then a refund will be issued regardless of drop date. The refund will be issued after the new participant pays.

    If a cancellation is made before June 22, even if the slot is not taken by another participant, then a full refund will be issued.

    For any cancellations made after June 22, where the slot is not taken by a replacement from the waitlist, there will be no refund issued. (This is out of fairness to the other participants in the event, so that they can lock down their budgets and schedule for the month.)