Wilderness Backpacking Trip
During a backpacking adventure from Treks and Tracks, you can experience California’s or Washington’s wilderness without the hassle of organizing a trip yourself. The company provides the gear, while you enjoy the great outdoors and learn real backcountry skills, such as how to find edible plants and honor leave-no-trace principles. Two-day backpacking trips are available in Point Reyes and Shi Shi Beach. The fourth option, the Summit Half Dome and Practical Wilderness Survival course, takes you to Yosemite for 3 days of hands-on survival training. Each trip includes:
- Tents and backpacks
- Sleeping bags and pads
- One dinner and one breakfast (one breakfast per day)
- Water purification systems
- First-aid kit
- Detailed list of what to bring
What to Expect
- You’ll hike 3–6 miles in a day depending on the trip.
- Hiking during this trip is considered moderate or strenuous—you should be in good shape.
- Your backpack will weigh 30–40 pounds (weight varies based on what you bring).
Half Dome in Yosemite
One of the most challenging 3-day backpacking trips in the US as well as Yosemite’s toughest, summiting Half Dome is no small feat. This excursion has two potential routes to the top: Glacier Point or Tuolumne Meadows. A trek through Glacier Point takes you past stunning falls, while Tuolumne Meadows includes a summit of Cloud’s Rest. Which path you take depends on availability.
- Long days of hiking: You’ll hit a max of 7 miles in one day on the Glacier Point route or up to 12 miles in a day on the Tuolumne Meadows hike.
- Half Dome stands at a towering 8,800 feet above sea level and was first summited in 1875.
Just an hour’s drive north of San Francisco, Point Reyes National Seashore holds some of the Bay Area’s most unspoiled views of the Pacific Ocean. No experience is needed for this hike, which is suitable for hikers 14 or older.
- Migrating whales are often visible from the shore.
- Views of Little Yosemite Valley await you at the top of the mountain.
Shi Shi Beach
On this expedition, you’ll head to Olympic National Park on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula. It’s a 5.5-mile trek to the campground through coastal rain forests that culminates with your arrival at Shi Shi Beach. Then you’ll spend a night on the beach, listening to the sound of crashing waves as you gaze up at the stars.
- Whale sightings are common in this area.
- Hoodoos are striking rock formations that can be seen rising from the sea along the coastline.
Practical Wilderness Survival
Could you survive in the wilderness if you had to? This 3-day course teaches you the basics of backcountry survival in the Yosemite wilderness, where a large fraction of America’s search-and-rescue missions take place. Here’s a sampling of what the course covers:
- Survival psychology: how to remain clearheaded and minimize stress in survival situations
- Basic foraging skills and how to collect and treat water for drinking
- How to start a fire using friction or flint