• Activities:

    Backpacking

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

  • Trail Type:

    Out-and-Back

  • RT Distance:

    8.8 Miles

Forest
Lake
Scenic

Get the best views of Half Dome in the valley. Amazing backcountry camping with the wilderness permit. Check out Yosemite's only natural arch formation. 3 day, 2 night backpacking trip.

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 views of half dome (possible day hike if thats all you have time for). Find a place to camp for the night - there's fire pit located at the top of the ridge with awesome views for an overnight stay.

Day 2 - Embark on your hike to top of North Dome, which should take a few hours. Take some time to enjoy the best views of Half Dome in the valley. In the afternoon begin the hike back towards the trailhead to get some water from stream. Along the way, take a 0.5-mile detour to Indian Rock (pictured) to check out a really cool rock structure. Make camp in woods for for the night. Note, there are plenty of fire rings off the trailhead - they take some searching for but look for clearings and then search around them.

Day 3 - Make your way back to car, pack up your gear, and drive 7-miles north to Tenaya Lake for a COLD "shower" after two days in the woods. Then head home.

Pack List

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad
  • Backpacking Stove
  • Backpacking Cooking Utensils
  • Layers
  • Food
  • Bear Cans (rent at trailhead)
  • Water
  • Water Filter
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Reviews

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I highly recommend this backpacking trip for beginners. There is very little elevation gain, abundant water through the summer in Lehamite creek, and fires are typically allowed even when restrictions start below 6000'. The views of Half Dome are rad!

over 1 year ago
over 1 year ago

This has been one of my favorite backpacking trips! With how crazy busy the valley gets, you're able to experience Yosemite in a much quieter way. I would definitely recommend this!

almost 2 years ago
almost 2 years ago

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