june 8 (Friday) - 10 (Sunday)
Yosemite National Park
Join us for a 3-day backpacking adventure along the north shore of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, a 13.8-mile round trip journey featuring Tueeulala, Wapama and Rancheria Falls and the
Join us for a 3-day backpacking adventure along the north shore of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir, a 13.8-mile round trip journey featuring Tueeulala, Wapama and Rancheria Falls and the best springtime wildflower show in the park. This adventure has been added to our 2018 line-up upon special request from Shoestring Warriors Curtis & Allison.
Hetch Hetchy was once a majestic glacier carved valley rivaling the scenic beauty of Yosemite Valley. But in 1913, the United States allowed San Francisco to build a dam to provide water and power for the city. The controversy over the dam sparked our nation’s conservation movement, and no such intrusions in our parks have been allowed since. While we’ll never know what once was, we can still enjoy the awe inspiring beauty that remains.
Join our supportive community of Shoestring Warriors and take back your weekend!
Highlights For This Adventure
- Explore Hetch Hetchy’s north shore with two of North America’s tallest waterfalls, Wapama and Rancheria Falls
- Experience the best springtime wildflower show in Yosemite, featuring lupine, buttercups, monkey flowers and columbines
- Pitch your tent beside Rancheria Creek and stargaze far away from city lights
- Learn essential backcountry skills in a judgement-free learning environment
Included With Every Shoestring Adventure
- Learn from our Wilderness First Responder/CPR certified trip leaders, no matter your level of experience
- Connect with our community of like-minded people through Meetups and happy hours
- Join our free Ambassador-led group hikes to train for your adventure
- Borrow gear at no cost if you don’t have your own
- Enjoy gourmet camp meals—everything tastes better outdoors
- Get professional photos to remember your adventure from our Triptographers
- Get your Shoestring Warrior Adventure Kit with curated souvenirs
- Leave the planning to us—permits and campground reservations included
Shoestring Adventures operates with special use permits. A portion of your ticket goes toward protecting and preserving this park for future generations.
- Day 1: Depart from the campground at 9am. Our journey begins from O’Shaughnessy Dam on a gentle trail lined with oak trees and wildflowers, while Kolana Rock towers 2,000 feet on the other side of Hetch Hetchy reservoir. We’ll pass under 800-foot Tueeulala Falls, the first of three waterfalls on this trail. Around 2.5-miles, we’ll feel the spray and thunder of 1,000-foot Wapama Falls. From there, we’ll begin to climb above the lake, around Hetch Hetchy Dome and over Tiltill Creek, until we reach Rancheria Creek cascading into the reservoir over Rancheria Falls. We’ll set up camp here, then prepare a delicious backcountry dinner. (Total: 6.9-miles, 800-feet elevation gain)
- Day 2: Over coffee and breakfast, we’ll decide how to spend our free day: explore the scenic Tiltill Valley, climb LeConte Point for a birds eye view of Hetch Hetchy reservoir, relax by Rancheria Creek, or all of the above? We’ll end the day with another delicious backcountry dinner.
- Day 3: After a power breakfast, we’ll break down camp and hike out 6.9-miles toward O’Shaughnessy Dam, where our journey began. We’ll meet up for a victory lunch at a local restaurant before returning home.
Total: Approx. 13.8 miles minimum
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.
Hetch Hetchy Valley Flora & Fauna
California newts aka “water dogs”, black bears, bats, lupine, wallflower, buttercups, monkey flowers, columbines, gray pine, incense cedar, California black oak and manzanita
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
Triptographer Lindsey is a professional photographer, artist, and barista, uprooted Southern California surfer at heart, and avid outdoorswoman. When not behind her camera or slinging lattes, she is usually behind a book or a map, plotting her next adventure. She also really loves mac n cheese.
While previous backpacking experience is not required, Shoestring Warriors must be physically fit and prepared to hike up to 7-miles. Check out our upcoming schedule of community hikes to train with us!
First Time Shoestring Warrior?
After registration, 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 for our trip.
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
- 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.
Traveling from out of town? San Francisco, Oakland, San Jose and Reno/Tahoe International Airports are approximately 4 hours drive from Yosemite Big Oak Flat Entrance Station. 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.
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
- 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.
- Member Pre-sale: $395
- Early Bird: $440 (Begins March 16)
- Regular: $485 (Begins May 11)