4 (Saturday) 12:00 am - 6 (Monday) 11:59 pm
Yosemite National Park
Rising nearly 5,000 feet above Yosemite Valley and 8,800 feet above sea level, Half Dome is one of the most challenging and rewarding summits in Yosemite National Park. Join us
Rising nearly 5,000 feet above Yosemite Valley and 8,800 feet above sea level, Half Dome is one of the most challenging and rewarding summits in Yosemite National Park. Join us on a 3-day backpacking adventure to check this iconic climb off your bucket list!
Learn from our experienced guides how to pack your bag, read a map, cook in the backcountry, hike safely in bear country and minimize your impact. Join our supportive community of Shoestring Warriors and take back your weekend!
Photos by Triptographer Mike Struna
Highlights For This Adventure
- Experience many of Yosemite’s icons, including Glacier Point, Panorama Trail, Little Yosemite Valley, Half Dome and the Mist Trail
Included With Every Shoestring Adventure
- Experienced Wilderness First Responder/CPR Certified trip leaders
- A supportive community of Shoestring Warriors
- Gourmet backcountry meals
- Our Triptographer will tag along to document the trip, so you can stay in the moment
- Edited photos 3 weeks after your trip ends
- Shoestring Warrior Adventure Kit with curated souvenirs
- Wilderness permits, including Half Dome permits
- One-way shuttle from Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point
Shoestring Adventures operates with special use permits. A portion of your ticket goes toward protecting and preserving this park for future generations.
- Day 1: Meet in Yosemite Valley at noon. Ride the shuttle from Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point (elevation 7,200-ft). Descend from Glacier Point and set up camp along Illilouette Creek. Total: 3.7-miles
- Day 2: After a hearty breakfast, we will gradually climb out of the Illilouette Valley to the Panorama Trail, bringing us to the top of Nevada Fall before we descend to our wilderness campsite in Little Yosemite Valley (elevation 6,100-ft). Total: 5.5-miles
- Half Dome: We’ll swap our backpacks for lighter day packs, and decide as a group whether to hike 3.5-miles to summit Half Dome (elevation 8,842-ft) at sunset on Day 2 or sunrise on Day 3. Total: 7-miles
- Day 3: Hike down the Mist Trail, passing Nevada and Vernal Falls, to Happy Isles trailhead. We plan to return to Yosemite Valley between 3-6pm. Total: 4-miles
Total: Approx. 20-miles
Schedule subject to change due to weather, camper ability/injury, natural events or park restrictions. Shoestring Warriors should be in good physical shape, but we will hike at an easy pace and take breaks as needed.
Trip Level: Strenuous
This adventure will challenge the most experienced of hikers. Advanced training on long-distance hikes with a pack is required.
- Activity: 5-8 hours most days
- Distances: Hike up to 12 miles most days
- Surfaces: mountainous, exposed terrain with steep ascents/descents and uneven trails
- Elevation change: up to 4,000 ft/day
- Altitude: up to 14,000 ft.
- Backpack Weight: 30-40 pounds
The approach to Half Dome is steep and difficult. The last 400 vertical feet (130 meters) up the eastern slope are so sheer that Yosemite staff have installed cables for you to cling to as you pull yourself up. Click here for tips on climbing the cables.
Meet Our Team
Trip Leader Graham has a Master’s degree in Recreation Management at California State University-Northridge and a Bachelor’s degree in Nutrition, Health, and Exercise from the University of Nebraska. He has a collective of 7 years working for Outward Bound and various other collegiate outdoor recreation programs. He is a certified Wilderness First Responder, has taken his Avalanche 1 course and is working towards his AMGA Single Pitch Instructor Certification. He is an avid climber, surfer, backpacker and backcountry skier. He is absolutely stoked to live on the West coast where he can share his outdoor passions with others. LEARN MORE
Growing up in a family of artists on the east coast, Triptographer Mike Struna was always taught to appreciate the beauty around him. After moving out to Los Angeles, the mini adventures grew to include the many natural wonders in and around California. His desire to capture moments in nature led to photographing desert landscapes at night. Using long exposure photography, Mike captures surreal night time landscapes lit by natural and artificial light sources. LEARN MORE
First Time Shoestring Warrior?
Before your trip, you will receive a Welcome Kit with a customized package list, introductions to your fellow campers, weather forecast and everything else you need to know to prepare.
Provided by Shoestring Adventures
- group first aid kit
- group cooking gear
- stoves and fuel
- group bathroom trowel
Required Gear (provided at no additional cost if you don’t have your own)
- backpack (60 liters or more) with rain cover
- sleeping bag
- sleeping pad
- headlamp and spare batteries
- tents (2 and 3-person tents will be shared with 1-2 other campers)
- bear canister
- day pack for Half Dome summit
- non-slip gloves to grip the Half Dome cables
- camp shoes
- insulating layer
- rain shell
- hiking pants or shorts
- hiking shirt
- hiking boots or shoes (broken in)
- hiking socks
- long underwear/pajamas
Required Personal Items
- backpacking cup, bowl, utensils
- ID & health insurance card
- water bladder or bottles with minimum 3L capacity
- SPF chapstick and sunblock
- unscented baby wipes
- small towel
- comb/hair band
- bug repellant
- hand sanitizer
- prescription medications
- personal bathroom kit: toilet paper, ziplock bags, personal wipes, hand sanitizer
- camera and accessories
- trekking poles (highly recommended for balance and to help reduce strain on knees)
- small pillow
- small multi-tool
- camp chair
Transportation to Yosemite National Park is not included. While you are responsible for getting to and from Shoestring Adventures locations, we will help coordinate carpools for Shoestring Warriors leaving from Los Angeles. Passengers are expected to contribute to their driver for gas and wear & tear. Shuttle from Yosemite Valley to Glacier point is included.
Traveling from out of town? San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Reno/Tahoe International Airports are approximately 5 hours drive to Yosemite Valley. Click here for a complete list of airports. You will need to rent a car to get from the airport to the park.
Typical late spring to summer climate in Yosemite Valley is warm to hot, with occasional rain (usually as afternoon thundershowers, especially at the higher elevations) with average daytime temperatures in the 80’s and nighttime temperatures in the 50’s. We will attempt to avoid afternoon thundershowers by getting an early start. If storm clouds are present, we will not attempt to summit Half Dome for your safety.
Even if you manage to avoid getting struck by lightning, the rain from a thunderstorm will make the granite surface of the cable route even more slippery and dangerous than it already is. No refunds will be given if we cannot summit Half Dome due to unsafe weather conditions.
Health & Safety
Supporting the health and safety of participants is among our top priorities. All Shoestring Adventures trip leaders hold Wilderness First Responder/CPR, Leave No Trace and Food Handling certifications. In remote destinations, we carry a DeLorme inReach Explorer Satellite Messenger to contact authorities in case of emergency.
On the trail, we encourage campers to stay together, wear sun protection and stay hydrated. We minimize risk by keeping groups together while hiking, encouraging everyone to drink water and apply sunscreen, and making sure we’re prepared with gear appropriate to weather and our activities.
- Transportation is not included.
- Alcoholic beverages
- Tips for trip leader and photographer
- Meal at local restaurant
- $35 park entrance fee
Registration and Payment
We don’t want finances to be a barrier to the outdoors. To request a custom payment plan, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
To protect your investment, we recommend that you purchase travel insurance.
Please read our FAQ for more information and our cancellation policy.
- Member Pre-sale: $535 (Begins 5/4)
- Early Bird: $595 (Begins 5/11)
- Regular: $650 (After 7/6)