Day 1 – Arrival at Trailhead

Day 2 – Lake Ediza

Day 3 – Thousand Island Lake

Day 4 – Marie Lakes

Day 5 – Rest Day with Optional Hike

Day 6 – Donohue Pass

Day 7 – Exit to Tuolumne Meadows

6 Nights Camping
What's Included
  • Experienced Guides
  • Excellent food
  • Tents and community camping equipment
  • Camping fees and permits
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This unforgettable trip routes us through some of the most amazing parts of the California Sierra Mountains – including Yosemite National Park. We’ll camp next to lakes and streams, with dramatic mountain vistas surrounding us. We’ll likely see deer, marmots, and other native Sierra animals while traveling through the backcountry. We will also include a rest day to explore optional day hikes – or just enjoy a book and relax!

Our guides will prepare amazing meals that will leave you ready for the next day’s adventure. You’ll be amazed at what can be prepared at 10,000 feet!
This trip is rated moderate to challenging for its overall length and mileage later in the trip. This trip is designed for women who have traveled in the wilderness before and are comfortable moving through the backcountry with a pack or have a good level of fitness.  Join us on this spectacular womens backpacking adventure!



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Home > Trips: Backpacking
John Muir Trail to Yosemite National Park
Women's Backpacking on the John Muir Trail

Date: August 18 - 24, 2012

Rating: Moderate to Challenging

Cost: $1295

Note: Prices subject to change
until a deposit is made.

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View Day By Day Itinerary

Day 1 ~ Arrival Agnew Meadows; 0 miles; Elevation:  8335’

1:00 PM:  Meet at our camp at Agnew Meadow (see directions below). We’ll have an orientation, organize and weigh packs, go over our hiking route, and answer any last minute questions. We’ll also set our car shuttle for anyone driving their personal vehicles. We’ll plan to stop at the iconic Whoa Nellie Deli in Lee Vining, CA for dinner en route back to our camp after the shuttle.


Day 2 ~ Lake Ediza; 6.9 miles; Elevation:  8335’ – 9300’

We’ll begin our hike at Agnew Meadows on the scenic River Trail. As we pass Olaine Lake, we will head west along Shadow Creek, passing Shadow Lake.  We’ll hike through trees and timber as we continue to climb along Shadow Creek before breaking out of tree line and camping at Legendary Lake Ediza.  From here we will have views of the entire Ritter Mountain Range.


Day 3 ~ Thousand Island Lake; 7.4 miles; Elevation:  9300’ – 9840’

Our destination today is Thousand Island Lake— one of the Eastern Sierras most spectacular sights.  We’ll hike down from Lake Ediza to the John Muir Trail and hike along the granite.  We’ll pass by Garnet Lake, a great place for lunch and maybe even a quick swim for anyone interested.  We’ll continue along the John Muir Trail after lunch, passing by Ruby and Emerald Lake, before arriving at our evening camping spot.  Tonight we will have amazing views of Mt. Davis (12,303’) and Banner Peak (12,936’). 


Day 4 ~ Lower Marie Lakes; 6.0 miles; Elevation:  9,840’ – 10,200’

Today we depart Thousand Island Lakes and start climbing towards Island Pass (10,205’).  Once through Island Pass, we will enter into trees before the trail begins to run a long a stream and we hike along rolling hills.  We begin to see Donohue Pass before southwest to Rodgers Lakes, where we will camp for the evening.  From here you can see the glaciers that hang on the Ritter Range, as well as the border of Yosemite National Park.


Day 5 ~ Rest Day; 0 miles; Elevation:  10,200’

Rest day at Lower Marie Lakes with time to explore, fish, read, and take the famous garbage bag bath! Optional Day hike offered by your guide includes a hike to spectacular Upper Marie Lake. With its hanging glaciers and grassy shoreline, this lake is not to be missed.


Day 6 ~ Lyell Canyon; 9.0 miles; Elevation: 10,200’ – 11,056’ – 9200’

Today is the “high point” of our adventure as we climb the trail over Donohue Pass, cross over into Yosemite and view the magnificent peaks of the Cathedral Range; among them Amelia Earhart Peak (11,982’), Mt. McClure, and Mt. Lyell—at 13,114’ Mt. Lyell is  the highest mountain in Yosemite.  Tonight we’ll camp in scenic Lyell Canyon.  Home to deer, birds, rabbits, and other animals, this is a great place to view wildlife.


Day 7 ~ Tuolumne Meadows; 9.1 miles; Elevation: 9200’– 8775’

Today we will start early hiking from our evening campsite along Lyell Creek and head towards Tuolumne Meadows.  We’ll pass through the meadows and across creeks before arriving back at our vehicles.  We’ll enjoy a celebratory ice cream at the snack stand before saying our goodbyes!