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Difficulty descriptions are by nature very subjective. The categories below represent generalized distinctions in terrain, level of commitment, time spent at elevation and overall trip duration. Level of commitment refers to the ability to opt out of activities such as peak ascents from a base camp. A committing trip requires a daily mileage to be completed each day.

These trips typically travel on groomed trails at a leisurely pace. You can expect maintained trails, gentle grades and more flexibility in terms of your destination for the day. Hikers will carry mainly the essentials in a light daypack and travel anywhere from 3 to 8 miles depending on the trip or preference.

Moderate- Basecamps
These include hiking, backpacking, or stock-supported trips that take place mostly on maintained trails to get to camp. These trips hike into a set basecamp and then offer optional destinations with varying degrees of challenge. You can expect modest climbs on uneven terrain. Total distances are often 4-7 miles of hiking per day over 3-4 days of hiking.

These trips include on- and off-trail hiking or backpacking or stock-supported trips. The trails can consist of uneven terrain with modest to difficult climbs and some steep passes (gains of 1000-2000’). These trips are typically 3-5 days in duration but can be longer. For backpacking trips, they can include carrying a fully weighted pack (30-42lbs) and travel 6-10 miles per day.

These trips include on- and off-trail hiking, backpacking or stock-supported trips with uneven terrain and steep grades and passes. These trips are more physically and mentally challenging and usually 7-8 days in duration. For backpacking trips, pack weight will consist of (30-40lbs). Because these types of trips have a required mileage to complete each day, the level of commitment is high. Trips in this category spend significant time at higher elevations and often cover 8-12+ miles per day with average gains/losses of 1,500-3,000’ per day. The most successful people on these trips have some prior overnight backcountry experience.

These trips include on- and off-trail hiking or backpacking on uneven terrain with steep grades. These trips travel 10-12+ miles per day and can vary from 8-21 days in length. Given the mileage and duration, there is an increased amount of physical and mental challenge throughout the trip. Pack weights will consist of 35-45lbs depending on the resupply schedule. Because these types of trips have a required mileage to complete each day, the level of commitment to reach your destination is high. The most successful people on these trips have extensive overnight backcountry experience.

Panorama Trail Yosemite Day Hike

About the trip

The Panorama Trail above Yosemite Valley is a true classic! The 8.5-mile trail offers stunning views of Yosemite Valley, Half Dome, Vernal and Nevada Falls, beginning at Glacier Point and ending in Yosemite Valley 3,000 feet below. The first half of the hike sees us traversing the far southeastern rim of Yosemite Valley and across the top of Panorama Cliffs (don’t worry, it’s all on a nicely groomed trail!). We’ll then take lunch atop Nevada Falls before following the “Wild and Scenic” Merced River back down into Yosemite Valley.

About Your Guide

SYMG guides are professional, highly experienced and enjoyable people to be around. All have spent years perfecting their interpretive and mountain skills in and around Yosemite and look forward to not only teaching and guiding you in these spectacular locations, but getting to know you as well. Your guide is there to help you have the most fulfilling day possible in Yosemite. Tell your guide your goals and s/he will do their best to meet your needs in a safe and enjoyable manner. All SYMG guides are professionally trained and hold advanced medical certifications. Gratuities are accepted and appreciated for a job well done.

Equipment: The guide(s) carries a map, water filter, first aid and emergency items. Some guides may also carry binoculars, bird books, and/or other natural history guides for your use.

Your Cost Includes: Your personal guide and trekking poles upon request (from your registration form)

Not Included: Personal gear, lunch, water, trailhead shuttling (this can be arranged at $30 per person including guide), and tips for guides (15-20% of trip cost recommended).

Meals: No meals are provided. Bring snacks & light lunch food, as well as 2 liters of water

Preparation: Hiking and reading literature on the Yosemite area to familiarize yourself with the flora and fauna of the area, as well as the region's natural history.

Itinerary: Meet your guide at 8am at the designated meeting spot. We’ll then shuttle up to Glacier Point, appx 1hr. After taking in the sweeping views from the point itself, we’ll lace up our boots and hit the trail. Expect to return to Yosemite Valley as late as 6pm.

Trip Details


Group size
Up to 10 hikers per guide

Difficulty Rating
All Levels

$495 for 1-6 participants with 1 Private Guide
$70 each additional participant up to 10 people

An additional $30 per person will be charged for the Glacier Point Shuttle service

Dates of trip in 2018
Daily May 1 - October 1. Call for availability in the off-season, 800-231-4575


Hi Ian, We just got the evaluation back from the Williams trip and I just wanted to pass along their comments on their guide Jenny Kane. On our rating scale of 1 - 5, they gave her a 5 ++++ and said "we had the most amazing guide ever, Jenny Kane. She made the whole trip. We all just fell in love with her. She was so knowledgeable and fun to be with. They then went on to say, "If there is any way to let Jenny Kanes employers know how much we enjoyed our experiences with her, we would greatly appreciate it. She just made our trip!"

-- Williams Family - Panorama Trail and Ansel Adams Wilderness Day Hikes, July 2012