Backpack Yosemite's South Rim

18 miles 2800 ft gain  - Point-to-Point Trail

Added by Breanne McNitt

Be captivated by breath-taking views along the entire South Rim of Yosemite Valley as you pass Stanford, Crocker, Dewey, Taft, and Glacier Point on this beautiful one night, two day backpacking trip.

Step 1: Get Wilderness Permit from the Wilderness Office the day before! Permits are free and required.

This trail is a Point-to-Point trail so make sure you have a shuttle situation figured out (or you can always hitch hike).  The best option is to get dropped off at Tunnel View so that you don't have to find parking or find a way to get your car after the hike.

I would also suggest starting in the later afternoon for the first day of this hike.  The first day doesn't involve too many miles (around 5 miles), the temperatures will be cooler, and getting to Dewey Point right at sunset is a perfect end to the first day of hiking!  From Tunnel view, you can find the trail head in the little parking lot on the opposite side of the road from herds of people.  Head up the Pohono Trail, and follow signs to Inspiration Point as you quickly gain elevation up to the Rim.  After Inspiration Point the trail heads into a dense forest as it continues to switchback up to the rim.  There are a lot of downed trees in this section of the trail so be prepared to step over logs and take small detours to get around the bigger trees.

Once you get up on the rim you will soon reach Standford Point.  This marks just about 4 miles on the trail and to get to the point itself it is just a slight off trail walk.  You will definitely want to take the extra time to experience Standford Point (and all the other points too)!

From Standford Point continue on the Pohono Trail to Crocker Point and then Dewey Point.  You can camp at either of these points (they are about 0.5 miles apart).  We slept at Dewey Point, and had a perfect camp spot right on the rim, however Dewey Point can get pretty busy, so if you want to be away from everyone spending the night at Crocker Point is also incredible!

Wake up for sunrise. 

Day 2 will take you away from the rim before you get to Taft Point.  When we hiked this section of the trail it snowed on us the whole day and we were in the clouds (and yes this was during the first weekend in June!).  So be prepared for anything.  However being up in the clouds all day was unreal.

It is just over 8 miles from Dewey to Glacier Point.  You will start by heading away from the rim and into beautiful forests and meadows and across a couple rivers/creeks.  There are lots of downed trees in this section of the trail as well so again be ready for that.  After a few miles through the forest, you will pop out at Taft Point.  After looking over the edge there, get back on the trail towards Glacier Point.  You will soon get to a junction where I would suggest staying left so you can walk along the rim below Sentinel Dome (way better than hiking through the Taft/Sentinel Parking lot).  You are almost to the end of the Pohono Trail and will finish off this trail by dropping down a bit to Glacier Point.  There is a gift shop, bathrooms, and water refill at Glacier Point so this makes for a nice lunch stop before you head down 4-Mile Trail to the Valley.

So after spending some time relaxing at Glacier Point, find signs for 4-Mile Trail (which is actually closer to 5 miles long) and then follow this trail.  It's all downhill and lots of switchbacks until you are down on the Valley Floor.   

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Did this a backpacking trip a couple days ago. With a little twist starting from the Valley to Glacier point and then working our way to DeweyPoint to camp for the night. The elevation gain from the Valley up to Glacier point is killer specially if carrying a heavy backpack. Might be a better idea to do it starting from Tunnel View as this post says. Non the less the views are incredible ! Breathtaking and so peaceful. Not much water along the way so pack plenty.

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