Rock Climbing

Rock Climbing

Born to Rock

Since the late 1960's, the Yosemite Mountaineering School & Guide Service has guided tens of thousands of climbers—from novices through experts. Our guides are the only ones authorized to lead and teach climbing at Yosemite National Park. They’re passionate climbers, patient teachers and know Yosemite's cliffs better than anyone. Every guide is a wilderness First Responder or holds a Wilderness EMT certification.


Reservations are recommended. Call the Mountaineering School to reserve your place 209.372.8344 or email us at

Climbing classes are generally seven and a half hours long and meet daily at 8:30 am at the Mountaineering School in Curry Village or in Tuolumne Meadows. Classes are designed to be taken sequentially and guides recommend a multi-day approach: with each class building upon what was learned the day before.

Class size is limited to six students per instructor, and the minimum age for a non-parental supervised climbing lessons is 12. Children 10 and 11 years old can join the regular classes with a supervising adult. Children under 10 can participate in a private lesson with an adult.

Reservations are recommended for all classes—including custom classes and private lessons. Call 209.372.8344 to make your reservation or learn more.

Lesson Options


Welcome to the Rock


This introduction to rock climbing class is designed to be everyone’s first outdoor climbing lesson. Learn the basics, do a bunch of climbing and rappelling, up to 60 feet high. “Go Climb a Rock” with the Yosemite Mountaineering School! The maximum ratio for this class is 6 students per instructor.


Crack Climbing


This is our second class, with more information and a variety of climbing techniques. Learn crack climbing, basic protection, and simple anchors. You will stay busy climbing, rappelling, and belaying. This class is a great way to bridge the outdoor gap for climbers who have extensive indoor climbing gym experience. The maximum ratio for this class is 6 students per instructor.



The third class in our series should be required for all climbers, especially anyone aspiring to someday climb on their own. This class is also valuable for helping you evaluate your partners’ technical abilities. This is an intensive anchoring class covering top-rope and more advanced anchors, with more advanced climbing techniques covered as well. Strong anchoring skills are fundamental to climbing safety. The maximum ratio for this class is 6 students per instructor.


Leading/Multi-Pitch Climbing


This introduction to leading and multi-pitch climbing is a great introduction to the demands of technical decision making. We will cover multi-pitch climbing and rappelling techniques. The leading instruction includes orchestrating the pitch, protection for the leader, protection for the follower, anchors, aid moves, and leading strategies. This is an essential class for anyone starting to climb on their own. The maximum ratio for this class is 4 students per instructor, so it costs a bit more.

Prerequisite: Anchoring Class or Equivalent Knowledge



This class is for climbers with experience who want to increase their safety options and emergency systems. All climbers should take a self- rescue class, and practice it before it is truly needed. This class is important for all of your climbing partners too. Learn versatile, state of the art techniques on how to avoid accidents, or respond to worst case scenarios.

Prerequisite: Anchoring Class or Equivalent Knowledge

Big Wall Climbing Seminar


This two day seminar covers the techniques of state-of-the-art Big Wall Climbing. Instruction covers: chocks and other non-destructive placements, pitons, hooks, copperheads, bolts, big wall anchors, haulbag handling and packing, aid climbing and big wall techniques including leading, pendulums, ascending, hauling, hanging belays, bivouacs.
Lodging and meals are not included. The maximum number of students per instructor is four.

Prerequisite: Anchoring Class or Equivalent Knowledge

Group Class Rates

Beginning & Intermediate: Classes are based on 2 participants. We will combine individuals to form groups. Private rates apply if there are less than two participants on a given day.

Advanced: Classes are based on 3 participants. We will combine individuals to form groups. Private rates apply if there are less than three participants on a given day.

All of our guided climbs are private lessons, taught by the professional guides from the Yosemite Mountaineering School. Whether this is your first time climbing or are a seasoned expert, you'll learn Yosemite-specific techniques to help you get more from your climbing experience—and stay safer. With ample time for one-on-one instruction, you'll learn as you climb. Reservations are suggested as far in advance as possible. Prices are based on the length of the climb in the number of climbers in your group.

Reserve your guided climb by calling us at 209.372.8344.

Guided Climbs Rates



(1 person)

Price each
(2 people)

Price each
(3 people) 

3/4 Day (standard)





Full Day





Extreme Day





Grade V

3 days




Half Dome

5 days




El Capitan

6 days




*Big Wall rates may fluctuate depending on route.


Take a guided tour with our spectacular rock climbing guides!


The Yosemite Mountaineering School rents camping gear, climbing gear and backpacking equipment on a first-come first-served basis. No reservations are accepted. Call 209.372.8344 for more information.

Equipment Rentals

Sleeping Bag $25.00 per day
Sleeping Pad $8.00 per day
Overnight Pack $20.00 per day
Day Pack $5.00 per day
Alpine Ice Axe $10.00 per day
Crampons $12.00 per day

Climbing Helmets:

Climbing helmet rentals are free with Yosemite Mountaineering School climbing program reservations

ADA Features:

With advance notice, any visitors with special needs who want to experience climbing in Yosemite can be paired with a specially trained instructor who can accommodate most needs.

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.