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The Best Backpacking in Yosemite

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

Top backpacking spots in and near Yosemite

  • Mariposa County, California

    Hike to May Lake

    4.0
    3 mi / 500 ft gain
    May Lake is a stunning, serene subalpine lake that rests at the base of Mt. Hoffmann. The May Lake turnoff is located four miles past Tenaya Lake. From the turnoff, it's 1.8 miles to the trailhead parking lot. During summer time, I will recommend getting to the parking area early to get a spot ...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Hike to Mt. Hoffman

    6 mi / 2140 ft gain
    The May Lake trailhead is at the end of a 2 mile unpaved road leading north from Tioga Road. The trailhead has pit toilets and bear lockers. (Please be sure to store any food, garbage, scented items, and empty coolers in these lockers while hiking!) After hiking an easy 1.3 miles, you'll arrive ...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    May Lake to Glen Aulin Trail

    22.51 mi / 3261 ft gain
    May Lake to Glen Aulin Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a lake located near Yosemite Valley, California.
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  • Mariposa County, California

    May Lake High Sierra Camp from Tioga Pass Road

    6.57 mi / 1040 ft gain
    May Lake High Sierra Camp from Tioga Pass Road Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a lake located near Yosemite Valley, California.
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Tenaya Lake to May Lake to Mount Hoffman

    13.77 mi / 2992 ft gain
    Tenaya Lake to May Lake to Mount Hoffman Trail is a loop trail that takes you by a lake located near Yosemite Valley, California.
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Sunrise Lakes Trail

    9.5 mi / 2303 ft gain
    Sunrise Lakes Trail is an out-and-back trail that takes you by a lake located near Yosemite Valley, California.
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Sunrise Lakes to Clouds Rest

    4.7
    18.93 mi / 1775 ft gain
    Start out at the Tenaya Lake Trailhead, where you can head directly onto the trail for Clouds Rest or you can branch off after 2.7 miles to Sunrise Lakes. This allows you to break up the hike, spend a night relaxing and help you have an early start back on the trail. Once re-connected to the Clo...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    John Muir Trail: Tenaya Lake to Reds Meadow

    59.44 mi / 10902 ft gain
    John Muir Trail: Tenaya Lake to Reds Meadow is a point-to-point trail where you may see local wildlife located near Yosemite Valley, California.
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Hike to Tuolumne Peak Plateau

    11.7 mi / 1800 ft gain
    The most direct route begins at Murphy Creek trailhead, on the north side of Tioga Road near Tenaya Lake. Walk north on Murphy Creek trail for 2.5 miles with minimal elevation gain. Polly Dome Lakes are a great side trip via the social trail on the right side of the trail before the first junctio...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Backpack to North Dome in Yosemite

    5.0
    8.8 mi
    To stay overnight in Yosemite without a reserved campsite requires a "Wilderness Permit" to camp, but you can camp anywhere. However, any fires need to be in pre-made fire pits (so rangers can know where to check for fires) Day 1 - Hike in from the Porcupine Trailhead off of Tioga Road in to vie...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Porcupine Creek Trail to Indian Ridge Natural Arch to North Dome

    10.04 mi / 2089 ft gain
    Porcupine Creek Trail to Indian Ridge Natural Arch to North Dome is an out-and-back trail where you may see beautiful wildflowers located near Yosemite Valley, California.
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  • Wawona, California

    Ten Lakes Trailhead to Tenaya Lake

    19.29 mi / 4439 ft gain
    Ten Lakes Trailhead to Tenaya Lake is a point-to-point trail that takes you through a nice forest located near Yosemite Valley, California.
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  • Mariposa County, California

    10 Lakes Basin in Yosemite

    5.0
    13.38 mi / 2200 ft gain
    Beginning at the Ten Lakes trailhead, the trail to the lakes is a moderately strenuous uphill grind to Ten Lakes pass, followed by a quick downhill into the lake basin. We met a woman at the top who made sure we didn’t miss the short side trail to a vista point on the pass that offered a sweeping...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    Grant Lake via Ten Lakes Trailhead

    4.0
    12.24 mi / 2000 ft gain
    The trail begins at the Ten Lakes trailhead (7600 ft) right beside Yosemite Creek. The first 4 miles start you on the ascent through the wooded forest, however there are portions of the trail that will take you through granite rock valleys marked with only cairns so keep your eyes peeled througho...
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  • Mariposa County, California

    John Muir Trail: Camping at Lower Cathedral Lake

    5.0
    Make the .75 miles detour off of the John Muir Trail to reach this spot and you won't regret it. Lower Cathedral Lake is typically less populated than nearby Upper Lake and has some of the mot beautiful scenery on the JMT. Sunrise and sunset with the reflection of Cathedral Peak on the glassy wat...
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  • Yosemite Valley, California

    Hike to Basket Dome

    9.45 mi
    Getting There Starting in Yosemite Valley, head to the Snow Creek trailhead just past Muir Meadows. Start the hike early in the morning, since it gets pretty hot in the summer and the last part of the hike is in the sun. The Trail You'll hike more than 140 switchbacks to reach the top of Ba...
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