Outbound Collective logo

Madera County, California

Looking for the best backpacking in Madera County? We've got you covered with the top trails, trips, hiking, backpacking, camping and more around Madera County. The detailed guides, photos, and reviews are all submitted by the Outbound community.

Top Backpacking Spots in and near Madera County

  • Bass Lake, California

    Camp at Greys Mountain Campground

    / 5293 ft gain
    From Greys Mountain Campground, Sierra National Forest is your oyster! Enjoy hiking, swimming, fishing, mountain biking, boating, paddle boarding, kayaking, canoeing, and more. Each site is equipped with a picnic table and a fire ring. The campground has vault toilets and (sometimes) potable wate...
    Read more
  • Madera County, California

    Backpack to Lower Merced Pass Lake

    4.0
    23 mi / 880 ft gain
    LMPL (let's be honest, the full name is a mouthful) is situated just below the crest of Merced Pass, and can be accessed by hiking south from Yosemite Valley, or north from Chiquito Pass. This is a stunning and much less crowded spot to camp, or a great way to access some of the less climbed moun...
    Read more
  • Yosemite National Park, California

    Backpack to Crescent Lake

    20 mi / 4100 ft gain
    Crescent Lake is another beautiful spot a long the Beuna Vista loop. Starting at the Chilnualna Trailhead in Wawona, you start your journey climbing about 4.6 miles and 2,300 feet to the top of Chilnualna Falls (always a good place to rest). Beyond the falls, continue a long the trail and always ...
    Read more
  • Yosemite National Park, California

    Buena Vista Lake via Chilnualna Falls Trailhead

    24.64 mi / 5453 ft gain
    Hiking and camping at Buena Vista Lake is a beautiful way to see the south side of Yosemite… the name says it all. With beautiful 360 degree views from Buena Vista Peak you get to look at the backside of Half Dome, up to Clouds Rest and all the domes and peaks in-between. You can reach the trail...
    Read more
  • Yosemite National Park, California

    Backpack to Johnson Lake

    24 mi / 4500 ft gain
    Your trek begins at the Chilnualna Falls trailhead in Wawona near the South Gate in Yosemite. The first suggestion I have is to check the weather in the area to make sure you won't be slowed down by rain or snow. It's about 12 miles from the trailhead to the lake and if you are a swift hiker and ...
    Read more
  • Mariposa County, California

    Hike to Alder Creek Falls

    10 mi / 1000 ft gain
    The trail leads from the parking area across the Mosquito Creek road and heads uphill north through an open pine forest with manzanita growing on dry slopes. The trail provides access to Alder Creek Falls a hidden gem within Yosemite's Wawona wilderness. I did the trail towards the end of Februar...
    Read more
  • Mariposa County, California

    Backpack to Lower Ottoway Lake

    32 mi / 2400 ft gain
    The hike begins at Mono Meadows trailhead along Glacier Point Road, first descending 2.8 steep miles to Illilouette Creek. Above the Illilouette Junction, take in views of the Valley's granite domes before beginning the post-burn forested slog. The trail covers an additional 10 miles of relativel...
    Read more
  • YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, California

    Nordic Ski and Snowshoe to Glacier Point

    5.0
    21 mi
    Known for its breathtaking vistas, towering granite faces, and thundering waterfalls, Yosemite National Park truly is one of the world’s most astounding landscapes. Though the park covers nearly 1200 square miles, the vast majority of the ~4 million annual visitors spend almost all their time ar...
    Read more
  • YOSEMITE NATIONAL PARK, California

    Dewey Point via McGurk Meadow Trailhead

    5.0
    7.51 mi / 300 ft gain
    Before you start, be sure to visit the Yosemite Valley Visitor Center and grab an overnight permit. More info on this at nps.gov. This trail meanders through beautiful, dense meadows full of wildlife - watch for bears! When you're not hiking among the wildflowers and babbling brooks, you're enc...
    Read more
  • Yosemite National Park, California

    Winter Backpack to Sentinel Dome in Yosemite

    5.0
    19.23 mi / 860 ft gain
    The goal for our weekend was to do some winter camping in the Yosemite backcountry; we decided on Sentinel Dome as our destination. The trail is a cakewalk during the summer, but winter turns it into a 10 mile uphill grind from the car. Most people opt to head for the ski hut at Glacier Point, bu...
    Read more
  • Mariposa County, California

    Sentinel Dome and Taft Point Loop

    5.0
    5.17 mi / 1076 ft gain
    SENTINEL DOME & TAFT POINT TRAILHEAD: About an hour drive from Yosemite Valley campgrounds. This trailhead is an intersection of the starting point of the Taft Point trail and Sentinel Dome trail. It is a short walk (and visible) from the parking lot. In doing both trails, it would be an esti...
    Read more
  • Mariposa County, California

    Backpack to Clouds Rest from Glacier Point

    4.0
    23.85 mi / 6942 ft gain
    Start from Glacier Point around 7,200 feet leaving on the Panoramic Trail. Head down 2 miles to Illilouette Falls (5,800 feet). Once you cross the bridge at Illilouette Falls you go up Panorama Point and head back down to Nevada Falls (5,971 feet). Once you reach Nevada Falls fill up on as much w...
    Read more
  • Lakeshore, California

    Hike to George Lake

    5.0
    9.2 mi / 1050 ft gain
    The hike to George Lake starts out about 4 miles after you turn off 168 onto Kaiser Pass Rd. You'll want to park at the parking lot right before Badger Flat Campground. The parking lot is easy to notice and it is located on the right hand side of the road, two pit toilets and bear lockers are loc...
    Read more
  • 37.732842,-119.557782

    Panorama Trail

    4.8
    16.87 mi / 3200 ft gain
    The Panorama Trail is an outstanding hike that takes you from the Yosemite Valley floor up to Glacier Point. Or you can hike it downhill going from Glacier Point to Yosemite Valley. You can camp and make it an overnight trip or do it as a day trip by leaving a car at one end and taking a park sh...
    Read more
  • Mariposa County, California

    Little Yosemite Valley Campsite and Half Dome

    4.6
    13.88 mi / 4800 ft gain
    First things first. You will need to get a wilderness pass by entering the lottery for Half Dome access. If you don't get a pass via lottery just go to the Yosemite Valley visitor center, tell the clerk you are backpacking to Little Yosemite Valley and that you would like to hike up Half Dome. Th...
    Read more
  • Yosemite Valley, California

    Thru-Hike the John Muir Trail

    5.0
    203.17 mi / 44944 ft gain
    To thru hike the JMT is probably one of the sickest trips to do! It's not a heavy commitment like the PCT or AT but it's also no week long vacation from work, backpacking the woods of your local forests either. There's a sweet spot in thru hiking and I believe this trail gives the full taste. You...
    Read more