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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.

Glacier Point and Mariposa Grove Day Trip

About the trip

We will be spending the day hiking and sightseeing within Yosemite National Park. Yosemite is steeped in history, being the former home of some of America’s foremost conservationists including John Muir and Ansel Adams and is one of America’s first National Parks. On this outing, We’ll visit the famous lookout Glacier Point, looming high above Yosemite Valley and directly across from the iconic Half Dome. We’ll then set out on a short hike to the top of Sentinel Dome, with 360 degree views of the Sierra High Country and Yosemite Falls. For those looking for more hiking, there may also be time for a visit to Taft Point. In the afternoon we’ll visit the impressive groves of Giant Sequoia Trees. The Big Trees are the largest living things on earth, as measured by volume, and never disappoint whether you are seeing them for the first time or the 100th time. Plan on seeing the 1800-year old Grizzly Giant, one of the largest trees in the park and certainly the most famous. We offer a variety of hiking options to any of Yosemite’s iconic destinations, all catered to your personal interests and abilities.

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: Guide.

Not Included: Transportation, Personal gear, lunch and water, tips for guides.

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: Your guide will meet you at your hotel or other designated location in the Yosemite area. You'll provide your own transportation for the day, if applicable. Your guide will ask you about your personal interests, experience, and level of fitness to customize the day to your preferences. A typical itinerary would be:

Trip Details

9am-5pm (8 hours)

Group size
Up to 10 hikers per guide

Difficulty Rating
All levels

$425 for 1-4 participants with 1 Private Guide
$95 for each additional participant up to 10 people

Dates of trip in 2020
Daily May 1 - October 1. Call for availability in the off-season, 800-231-4575.


Tony and I had a great trip to the U.S. and loved visiting California.

One of our highlights has to be the magnificent Yosemite and in particular our day's hike with you. Thank you for making that a special day and sharing your love of the place and its people and history. It was all amazing!

I'm keen to plan more hikes but this time a little closer to home in Europe!

-Rita and Tony A. Yosemite Day Hike

Ian: Just a quick note to tell you how much Kevin and I enjoyed the guiding that Laura did for us last week. We had a great time! Laura was a pleasure to be with -- friendly, very knowledgeable, patient with all our questions, quick to show us everything she could, etc. Kevin and I both want you to know what a great job she did and how much we appreciate her efforts. You obviously have built a very good business in the Yosemite guiding and we can see why. Thanks again., Bill

-- William Scott, Hingham, Mass.