Yosemite National Park has some of the most spectacular scenery in the world, and superb weather most of the year. With over 800 miles of trails, it’s no wonder that the park has become a must-visit destination for backpackers from all over the world. The Yosemite Mountaineering School & Guide Service makes it easy and safe to explore Yosemite’s seemingly endless trails. Daily scheduled group trips and custom designed backpacking expeditions are available and can be tailored to your group’s unique interests and abilities.

Our highly experienced guides will take care of everything — from obtaining the required permits to ensuring you’re well equipped with the appropriate tents, food supplies, water and clothing. Each trip is more than just a journey from Point A to Point B: it’s also an opportunity to learn lifelong skills like map and compass usage, food storage techniques, wilderness safety and stream crossing.

Please Note: Our minimum age for our group backpacking trips is 14 years old.

Guided Backpacking Trips

The Yosemite Mountaineering School & Guide Service offers a limited supply of backpacking and camping gear, which can be rented by the day. No reservations are accepted for gear, so we strongly recommend bringing your own. Please call 209.372.8344 for more information. 

Equipment Rentals

Rental Rate

Sleeping Bag (Limited availability in winter) $25.00 per day
Sleeping Pad $8.00 per day
Overnight Pack $20.00 per day
Day Pack $5.00 per day

Guided Backpacking Trips

We require reservations and advanced deposits for all Yosemite backpacking trips.

Reservation Information

Reservations & Deposit If you have questions, or are ready to make a reservation, you can reach us at 209-372-8344 or email us at Deposit payment is due over the phone at the time your reservation is made.
Trip Size & Age Requirements Backpacking trips are limited to a maximum of seven people aged 14 and older.
Private Trips  Private backpacking expeditions are open to all ages and abilities.
After Making Your Phone Reservation

After you've made your trip reservation please fill out our Trip Registration & Medical Questionnaire. Each participant is required to fill out a form.

 Mailing Address Yosemite Mountaineering School
PO Box 306
Yosemite, CA 95389

Guided Backpacking Trips

Below is a list of items you will need to bring with you for your backpacking trip. Please gather your equipment early so you don’t forget anything.

Cotton clothing should be avoided! Choose wool or synthetic materials like polyester, polypropylene, Capilene, and nylon.

For rent or purchase
  • Mountain Hardwear internal frame backpack
  • Mountain Hardwear 3-season (+15 °F)
  • Synthetic sleeping bag
  • Mountain Hardwear sleeping pad
  • Bear Canister
  • Sunblock Lotion & Lip Balm
  • Sunglasses (UV-A, UV-B, and IR block)
  • Headlamp, spare bulb and batteries
  • Blister kit with extra moleskin
  • 2 large, heavy-duty garbage bags
  • Medium weight, broken-in hiking boots or shoes (waterproof preferred)
  • Lightweight camp shoes or sandals to practice Leave No Trace (LNT) in camp
  • 2 or 3 pair polypropylene liner socks
  • 3 pair wool or synthetic hiking socks
  • 2 1-liter water bottles or 70+ oz Camelback
  • Spoon, bowl, and insulated mug
  • Personal medications
  • Toilet paper


Optional Items 
  • Bandana
  • Insect repellent (before August 1)
  • Disinfecting hand wipes
  • Waterproof (breathable is preferable) pants and jacket
  • Insulating jacket
  • Insulating pants
  • Light long underwear
  • T-shirt
  • Turtleneck, zip-type is good
  • Underwear
  • Shorts
  • Sun hat or visor
  • Winter hat or balaclava
  • Warm mittens or gloves

You can bring any of the items you want but remember that you have to carry them yourself. You’ll also need room in your pack for some of the group gear (Mountain Hardwear tent, 9” x 12” bear can, fuel, stove, etc...) so don’t overdo it. Optional items include: backpack rain cover, swimsuit, lighter or matches, small towel, Camp Suds-type biodegradable soap, mosquito head net, lightweight daypack (for trips with layover days), first aid kit, GPS, compass, map, guidebook, camera and film, hiking poles, gaiters, binoculars, fishing tackle and current license, small pocket knife, paper and pen, art supplies, reading material, special food and drink.

For your convenience, the Mountaineering School rents Mountain Hardwear sleeping bags and pads and backpacks that are perfect for your trip. Let us know in advance what you need. If you rent gear from other sources please be sure it is adequate for your trip and in good working order. Call us if you have any questions.

Guided Backpacking Trips

A full payment (100%) deposit is required to book a reservation, except big wall climbs where a 50% deposit is required. If reservation is cancelled at least 14 days or more in advance of the scheduled activity, the full deposit will be refunded. For a cancellation of less than 14 days notice, deposit will be forfeited. For a no-show with no warning, the full deposit will be forfeited.

Activities cancelled by YMS will be fully refunded. There will be no refunds due to weather or snow conditions. Once a climbing outing has started, the maximum refund is one half of that day’s fees. YMS will not accept reservations earlier than one year and one day before any YMS outing.

Guided Backpacking Trips