Print-Friendly Version
Add this event to your calendar (Outlook, iCalendar)
Add REGISTRATION REMINDER to your calendar

REGISTRATION 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.

San Francisco - Yosemite

The Basics:
Event Type:Backpacking
Event Location: Yosemite Nat'l Park, California; San Francisco, Wine Country   Backpacking: San Francisco - Yosemite   National Weather Service Forecast
Date(s) & Time:Thu, Jul 7 2011  8:00 am >> Thu, Jul 21 2011 11:00 pm
Registration Opens: Sun, Feb 6 2011 3:00 pm
Registration Cut Off: Fri, Jul 1 2011 12:00 pm
Event Duration:14 Days 15 Hours
Difficulty Rating:D5: Difficult
Trip Leader(s):
Grant Brown
Email Trip Leader(s)
You must be logged in to get the Trip Leader contact information.
Member Cost:None

Participant Info:
Who's Invited: Members Only, 21 And Older Only
Maximum Group Size:10
Minimum Group Size:2
Number Registered So Far: 9 / 0 (To see who's signed up, log in to the Member Area)
Are Dogs Permitted: No


* INTERESTED?  Call the trip leaders.  There is still room for a backpacker.
* Additional required night at Curry Village Tent-cabin on 7/17.
  (Item #2, under Costs)

This trip has been inspired by John Muir and Ken Burns' National Park documentary. "No temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite. Every rock in its walls seems to glow with life. Some lean back in majestic repose; others, absolutely sheer or nearly so for thousands of feet, advance beyond their companions in thoughtful attitudes giving welcome to storms and calms alike, seemingly aware, yet heedless, of everything going on about them." -John Muir

The trip is intended for those who have experienced at least one multi-night long distance backpacking trip.  However, the trip leaders will post training events with the intention of providing those with limited backpacking experience the opportunities to learn and increase their wilderness skills such that they will feel assured in their abilities to accomplish this trip if desired.  As much as schedules permit leading up to the trip, we will train and learn together.  The culminating event being an incredible trip into the greatest national park in this world!  Here are some of the skills/knowledge items that we will work on together:

  • --Multi-day, long distance backpacking
  • --Lightweight backpacking
  • --Be a lightweight gourmet trail cook!
  • --Conditioning/skills for middle-altitude hiking and camping with wide range temperature variation
  • --The Buddy System for back saving
  • --Not just a hiking pole:  the duel purposes of things
  • --Feet nice and neat

For three days, we'll explore the main valley of Yosemite with day hikes; then we'll backpack for four nights/five days from the main valley to Tuolumne Meadows.   

Prior and subsequent to the time in Yosemite, we'll have time in San Francisco, the time there is open, however participants are welcome to join the group for all and/or any activities.

The backpack trip consists of approximately 30 miles.   Day trips in the valley are additional mileage as noted.

Those who have questions about your abilities and/or any details about the trip are encouraged to talk to the co-leaders Grant Brown, and/or Kristi Eide; call prior to 8pm. 

More details:


7/7: Atlanta to San Francisco; stay in a hotel or hostel downtown. 2 nights

7/8: Trip leaders are planning a Wine Country Bus Tour.  Others are welecome to join the tour or do other activites around San Francisco.  Bus tours depart from Union Sq area.

7/9: San Francisco/Yosemite:  stay in camp ground 3 nights at Curry Village, tent-cabins:   Dining options:  

Day Hike Valley:  Upper Yosemite Fall Trail. 7 miles. Strenuous. 4-7 hours. Ascent 2700.

7/11: Day Hike Valley: Sentinel Dome.  Specific route will be determined. 

7/12: Day Hike Valley:  Mariposa Grove; and Inspiration Point depending on available time.  Mariposa Grove:  Take busride to Wawona.  Inspiration Point:  2.4 m round trip.  Short but taxing hike leads you to where Ansel Adams photographed "Clearing Winter Storm".

07/13 Backpacking day 1. Entry Trailhead: Happy Isles [elevation 4250]/Mist Trail/John Muir Trail/Clouds Rest Trail Junction [elevation 7100] - 6.5 mi.  elevation gain = 3000'

7/14 Backpacking day 2. Day hike up Half Dome [elevation 8842].  5 miles roundtrip.  elevation gain/loss = 1800'

7/15 Backpacking day 3. Clouds Rest Trial Intersection/Clouds Rest/Sunrise Lakes [elevation 9200].  8 miles.  elevation gain = 2900' loss to Sunrise = 800' 

7/16 Backpacking day 4. Sunrise Lakes/Upper Cathedral Lake [elevation 9500].  7 miles.  elevation gain = 300'

7/17 Backpacking day 5. 8 a.m. start - Lower Cathedral Lake/Tuolumne Meadow Visitor's Center [elevation 8750].  6 miles.  elevation loss = 750'.  Exit Trail-head/Take hiker bus to Yosemite Valley at 1:30pm.

Go back to Curry Village and stay the last night in the tent cabin with beds, relax; showers nearby.

7/18: Yosemite/San Francisco

7/19 and later:  Participants can depart to Atlanta; some will be in San Francisco through 7/21.

Required Items to Bring:
Review Events Checklist for Backpacking.

Due to storage limitations, we will need to limit our gear to the backpack, and possibly a small day pack.  Trip leaders are investigating locker options near the trailhead.

During the backpacking portion of the trip, you'll need five breakfasts, five lunches and four dinners, plus snacks.  Closer to the trip we will review this list together.

We will discuss required items and the sharing of items within the group as we strive to pack lightly.
Recommended Items to Bring:
Use our Event Checklists to make sure you have everything you need.

Prior to the trip, we'll review required items with the group to ensure everyone has needed equipment.

How to Get There:
Event Directions:Grant's itinerary:

Participants are responsible for their booking to, and lodging in, San Francisco, prior and following the trip to Yosemite Natl Park. Ideally everyone will stay at the same hostels or in nearby hotels, so we can all do things together.  Note the dates of the activities. The reservation dates for the backcountry permit are July 13 - 17, and if that is all that you attend, due to your schedule, that is fine; this is a sort of a la carte trip.  

For backpacking you will need to be in Yosemite Valley on July 12, to depart the morning of July 13; and you could potentially leave Yosemite Valley on July 18, and catch a late flight back that night to Atlanta. Please contact the trip leaders if you have questions or need further input on scheduling.  You are responsible for getting yourself to Yosemite Valley.  Trip leaders have booked their transportation on the train/bus, and others are encouraged to do so.  Alternatively you could reserve a rental car to be split with others, but you'll need to work that out.

* Travel to/from Atlanta to San Francisco by air. Some have these reservations:
Depart AirTran #325 Atlanta:  July 7, 8:55am.  Arrive SFO 11:20am.  ||  Depart AirTran #328 San Francisco (SFO), 10:30pm PDT Arrive: Atlanta (ATL), 6:15am EDT(+1 day)

In San Francisco (July 7 - 9) Trip leaders are staying in USA Hostel in Union Square; participants are encouraged to stay in the same hostel or area so we can do things together.
USA Hostels San Francisco, 711 Post St.;

7/9: San Francisco/Yosemite.  $75 round trip European style travel via train and bus:  trip leaders have booked the following and participants are encouraged to do the same as soon as possible:

* Travel to Yosemite by train/bus (San Francisco to Merced to Yosemite): To make reservations, go to   Select dropdown menu (from) San Francisco - Shopping Center (SFS); and (to) Yosemite - Curry Village (YOC)

+ Depart Fisherman's Wharf (bus) 6:50a | Arrive Emeryville 7:30a
+ Depart Emeryville (train) 7:40a | Arrive Merced 10:31a
+ Depart Merced (bus) 10:50a | Arrive Yosemite Lodge 2:45p

Shuttle buses will be used within the Park


1) The backcountry permit for ten people is $55.00, to be divided among participants, if fewer than ten people, go we'll divide it up among the number who go.  
2) Tent-cabin on 7/17 at Curry Village:  $63/person, assuming two to a cabin. 
3) Backpacker camp fee on 7/12:  $5/person
4) Park Entrance fee $10/person.  $20/car.
5) Hiker Bus from Tuolumne to Yosemite:  $14.50/person.
6) Train/bus from San Fran to Yosemite round trip $72/person.  (You must make your reservation)
7) Optional: if you are attending the day hiking events, we have tent-cabins reserved July 9, 10, 11.  Price will be: $188/person assuming two to a tent.  Payable to trip leader in June.
8) Expect to be eating from the dining options at Yosemite Valley, so you'll need money for that.

More info on the cabins. Five cabins are reserved for four nights July 9, 10, 11 (optional) prior to backpacking; and July 17 (required) for the night that we come off the backcountry trail.  Per night a per cabin is $126. With two hikers in each cabin, the individual cost will be $65.00 per night.  Each tent-cabin has two single beds. The tent-cabin is charged the full amount if there is one or two people in it, so hopefully we can keep the group at a even number. The good thing is that we'll be sleeping in a bed for some of the trip! Bathrooms, showers, and food storage lockers are located nearby.  We will try to arrange to share tent-cabins with like gender - females with females and males with males.

You might think you can camp anywhere at Yosemite, but that is certainly not the case.  The camp sites designed for RV's is booked up six months in advance, in the wee hours of the morning.  The tent-cabins were the only options and the cheapest options for us.  They have a lovely tradition and we look forward to being in the central location of Curry Village.

Trip leaders advise participants to make transportation reservations as soon as possible.  Copy of airline ticket is to be emailed to trip leaders by April 15 in proof of commitment and payment of the Curry Village tent-cabin July17 night.

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

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