37.0 Miles Strenuous
This trip in Yosemite National Park is a strenuous 37 mile one-way backpacking route from Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley, crossing Half Dome on the way.
This trip took 5 days and 4 nights to complete with 5000 feet of elevation gain and 9000 feet total of descent and starts on the Glen Aulin Trail and meets up with the Sunrise Trail which leads to Sunrise Lakes and Clouds Rest. After making it to Clouds Rest, hike back to the Half Dome Trail and then down to Yosemite Valley on the Mist Trail.
Red Tape: Overnight trips anywhere in Yosemite require a wilderness permit. The NPS website has plenty of helpful information on how to secure a permit.
It can be a bit of a lottery, so it’s good to be flexible and make
reservations well in advance. Additionally, hiking Half Dome now
requires a permit 7 days per week. There is a lottery system for day
hikers, but it’s also possible to secure a permit when reserving the backpacking permit.
Once all permits are secured, it’s a good idea to reserve bus tickets
from Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows. There is only one shuttle per
day and it fills up! Information can be found on the DNC website. In the summer, it’s also possible to take YARTS.
We did not have this option (weekday service hadn’t begun in June) so I
didn’t really research it, but I do know YARTS is slightly cheaper than
the DNC tour bus.
For more trip details, check out this NorCal Hiker blog post.