A recap of my adventures backpacking through Yosemite National Park with Lasting Adventures Guide Service!
WHERE TO BEGIN!?
That’s honestly how I feel trying to recap my recent backpacking trip across Yosemite National Park.
If you know me, and if my trips earlier this year are any evidence…I LOVE HIKING. I love being outdoors in general, but one of my FAVORITE ways to enjoy the outdoors is going hiking. Whether it’s summiting a tall mountain or navigating tricky terrain, I love it all.
The clean, fresh air.
The unplugging from life.
And of course…just being in nature in general.
Earlier this year after deciding I wanted to go to Yosemite for the first time, I came across a company called Lasting Adventures that had some amazing looking guided backpacking trips through the park. I actually had trouble deciding which one I wanted to do because they ALL sounded absolutely incredible…especially for someone who had never been there before.
I knew I wanted the FULL backpacking experience….heavy pack, tents, no bathrooms or showers (😳), food cooked by campfire, etc…and of course lots of hiking.
After talking to the company’s founder, Scott, I decided on the 3 Summits, 3 Sunsets tour. This was a 5 day, 4 night trip that included summiting Mt. Hoffman (our highest summit), Cloud’s Rest (my favorite of the 3), and Half Dome (terrifying).
On to the details of this unforgettable experience!
Aside from the scenery, the guides were truly one of the HIGHLIGHTS of the trip! Maybe it’s because I spent a lot of time talking with both (I was always at the front of the group. HA!), but I loved getting to know them and being able to have conversations with people who have similar interests.
Matt and Will were not only hilarious and great conversationalists, but incredibly professional, knowledgeable of the wildlife and plant life in the park, and very VERY good at what they do. They were friendly, personable, accommodating to the group, and always kept everyone’s safety as the focal point of all their decisions. They lead the group well, created an environment where everyone felt comfortable, and really made sure everyone had an enjoyable (and FUN!) time.
They went above and beyond with answering our questions and also helped all of us learn a lot about conservation efforts and best practices in the park. It was clear through all of their actions and words that they are both very passionate not only about their jobs but about nature in general.
I don’t have any experience with other guides from Lasting Adventures, but if the rest of them are anywhere near as experienced, professional, and personable as Will and Matt, you’re bound to have an AMAZING experience.
My days of campfire cooking as a little kid could NOT compare to the quality of meals on this trip. Shoutout to Matt for planning a KILLER menu. We had a few vegetarians on the trip as well as a gluten-free person. All those accomodations were easily met and everyone’s expectations were totally surpassed. A few highlights of the meals…
- Gluten-free + vegetarian options at every meal
- Lots of fresh food (fruits, veggies, cheeses, meats)…much more than I was expected
- Unique dishes…not typical camping foods at all
- All homemade, hot meals…we only had a “quick” lunch once because we were enroute to another site
- VERY accommodating to tastes preferences and dietary needs
Some of the amazing meals cooked on the trip…
Sweet Potato & Beet Frittata
Quinoa Delight (a sweet breakfast quinoa dish)
Greek Stuffed Pitas with Hummus, Cheese, & Cucumber
3 Cheese Tortellini Mac n’ Cheese with Veggies and Veggie Sausage (cooked ON TOP of a mountain no less!)
Vegetarian Fajita Bowls
Gluten-Free Brownie Skillet (for dessert…I mean COME ON!!!)
Everyone RAVED about the food the entire time. I even suggested the guides come out with a recipe book that people can use on their own adventures! *raises hand to help with that!* 😉
I brought a lot of my own gear but requested a tent, poles, and a bowl/utensils from Lasting Adventures. Other people requested even more than that from packs, tents, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and more. So the company makes it super easy for beginners to go on a trip like this by not making it intimidating to have to go out and invest in a ton of expensive gear. All the gear provided by Lasting Adventures was 100% functional and in good shape. Also a great option for people traveling from far away that don’t want to carry all their gear with them across the country (or world!).
Lasting Adventures as a Company
A little bit about Lasting Adventures…
Lasting Adventures is a non-profit that not only leads backpacking trips, day hikes, and basecamp trips, but also holds summer camps every season to introduce kids to nature, teach them about conservation and environmentalism, and help them discover their own passions for outdoor activities.
I absolutely love that mission because I myself was introduced to the outdoors and spending time in nature at a young age…and it has totally shaped me as a person.
Also, everyone I spoke with from the company, whether through email or on the phone, was amazingly friendly, helpful, and professional.
After this trip, I was inspired to me to buy my own tent and more backpacking gear. I think that’s the ultimate testament to the quality of Lasting Adventures’ trip. They made me want to go back for more and left me feeling capable of backpacking on my own in the future.
I left with more knowledge than I had planned on and the ability to go backpacking independently in the future. This Lasting Adventures trip was the perfect balanced of enjoyment PLUS education.
I also challenged my own limits on the hikes, realizing what my body is capable of physically and pushing past mental barriers on scary parts (like traversing Half Dome in the lead position, in the dark, without a headlamp 🤪). It was a great experience for self-growth.
Overall, an amazing experience and one I will take with me for the the rest of my life.
Definitely check out Lasting Adventures if you’re interested in backpacking, hiking, camping, or just GETTING OUT INTO NATURE. They are the REAL DEAL.
Have you ever gone backpacking?
Have you ever been to Yosemite?
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