Camping & Hiking Exploration, Yosemite National Park
Camping & Hiking Exploration, Yosemite National Park
Camping & Hiking Exploration, Yosemite National Park

Camping & Hiking Exploration, Yosemite National Park

Camping & Hiking Exploration, Yosemite National Park

Yosemite is unique to the world.  It’s one of our first National Parks, and some say the most spectacular.  The soaring glacial-cut granite walls and serene grassy meadows stand in stark contrast to the towering waterfalls pouring from the high country into the meandering Merced River.  We will camp and day hike enjoying as much of Yosemite Valley as possible.  Opportunities abound to enhance our cultural and historical appreciation of this extraordinary National Park.

“I had an amazing time, I was able to escape from the routine and clutter back at school and do one of my favorite activities, camping. My favorite moment was looking out at the entire valley from Yosemite Falls and Tunnel view.”

“This was my first time in Yosemite and it definitely surpassed my expectations. My favorite part of the trip was laying in the meadow looking up at the clouds sweeping over El Capitan.”


Camping & Hiking Exploration, Yosemite National Park

Pre-Trip Meeting

Pre-Trip Meetings are required and are held the Monday, the week of your trip, from 6-7:30pm in the AMC rooms, right outside the ARC. You will meet the leaders and other trip members, as well as cover all details such as weather, menu, safety issues, and clothing requirements. You will also be issued all of your equipment at this time (sleeping bags, pad, tent, etc.).

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Day 1: This trip departs no later than 9am on Thursday morning taking a good 10 hours through L.A. and the Central Valley by van to arrive in Yosemite Valley.  We will be staying in two adjacent reserved campsites within Yosemite Valley—along with hundreds of other campers.  The campsites are within close proximity to restrooms with running water.  Each campsite contains a picnic table and fire pit.  Because of limited tent space, you will be expected to share a tent with one or two people of the same gender.

Day 2:  Friday, up early and enjoying a big breakfast. With a trail lunch packed, we will make an energetic attempt on both Vernal and Nevada Falls.  With magnificent views of the Valley and roaring water at our side, this will be a great day for adventure.  Return to our campsites and enjoy a delicious Dutch oven dinner and dessert before reflecting upon our day around the campfire.

Day 3:  Saturday, after another hearty breakfast, pack up our trail lunch and secure camp.  We will take off for the day to hike around the Valley familiarizing ourselves with Mirror Lake, Royal Arches, Ahwanee Hotel, Yosemite Village (with Visitor Center & Ansel Adams Gallery), Lower Yosemite Falls, Camp 4, Stoneman Meadow, Glacier Point and of course. . . Half Dome & El Capitan.  Enjoy another great dinner and campfire as this will be our last night camping together. 

Day 4:  Sunday, pack up and depart after breakfast.  We will make a quick stop to day hike around the giant Sequoia trees in Wawona near the Park exit. We hope to return to SDSU before 9pm on Sunday evening.

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Camping & Hiking Exploration, Yosemite National Park

Packing List

We are limited on space, and the less stuff you bring, the less you have to carry around. Ask yourself…What would I want in the coldest weather or the hottest weather? Pack to be prepared for both!

Things that should be packed inside your personal day pack and kept with you inside the van:

  • Small day pack
  • Money for road meals
  • A warm layer
  • Headlamp
  • Travel size pillow
  • Water
  • Snack food
  • Camera


  • Sunglasses w/retainer strap
  • Personal stuff- extra contact lenses, chap-stick, sunscreen, baby wipes, baby powder, ear plugs, hand lotion, medications you usually take…
  • 2 durable crush proof one liter water bottles or a hydration pack
  • Toilet paper in a Ziploc bag
  • Small, light weight fast drying camp towel


  • Wide brimmed shade hat
  • Beanie/ stocking cap
  • Bandana
  • Cotton or synthetic blend hiking shirt (breathable layer)
  • Cotton or synthetic camp shirt (a clean shirt to wear at camp)
  • Synthetic Long Sleeve Top(s) – Polypro, Capilene, or polyester.
  • Fleece jacket or sweatshirt
  • Sports bra
  • Windbreaker
  • Nylon shorts
  • Light weight long pants/ cotton or synthetic hiking pants
  • Rain Pants (Aztec Adventures can provide this if you don’t have your own!)
  • Sweatpants
  • Underwear
  • Synthetic long underwear (top & bottom)
  • Bathing suit
  • Gloves
FEET: No Flip Flops!!!!
  • Tennis shoes with good ankle support
  • Hiking Socks
  • Hiking Shoes/ Boots

Personal Equipment Provided by Aztec Adventures:

  • 20˚ sleeping bag and Thermarest sleeping pad
  • Ground Tarp
  • Tent with rain fly (sleeps 2-3)
  • Head lamp
  • Camp chair
  • Rain gear (if you don’t have your own)
  • Coffee mug, bowl, and utensils
  • Pack Bag: to hold all of the above items PLUS your personal gear and clothes

Group Equipment that Aztec Adventures will provide:

  • Expedition First Aid Kit Ground Tarp
  • Stoves, fuel and all cooking gear-pots, pans, utensils, spice kit etc.
  • Repair kit for tents, stoves, packs, etc.
  • Water bags -2+ gallon bags for camp use
  • Breakfast, lunch, dinner, and desserts
  • Satellite Phone
Camping & Hiking Exploration, Yosemite National Park

Physical Challenge

RATING 2 out of 3

Hiking in Yosemite is strenuous on the legs. The trail conditions, while maintained, are very steep, exposed and slippery due to spray from the waterfalls. We could be hiking for the better part of six hours a day. Staying well hydrated, taking your time, resting when necessary (but not for too long), and keeping your energy level high is essential. Trip members should be in good physical condition for hiking on very steep terrain and capable of carrying a daypack of approximately 10-15 pounds filled with water, lunch and other essentials (covered at pre-trip meeting). From now until the trip begins, we highly encourage you to get in shape. Locally speaking, if you can comfortably hike up and down Cowles Mountain with a 15 pound pack in a matter of a couple of hours—consider yourself prepared for the hiking portion of this trip.

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Camping & Hiking Exploration, Yosemite National Park

Risks/ Hazards/ Safety

There are numerous risks and hazards associated Yosemite National Park. Wildlife includes: Black Bears and other animals (raccoons, squirrels, deer, and chipmunks). It is required to store all of our food and personal toiletries in the large steel boxes provided in each campsite, when not in use, to prevent animals from becoming habituated to humans and/or causing harm or injury. While trails are well maintained, they can still be slippery and rugged. We will be hiking up hill and downhill which always results in exposure to cliff faces and other large drop offs. Not dressing appropriately can result in hypothermia; not drinking enough water results in dehydration and not being in adequate physical condition can result in sore muscles. Trip members must make a conscious effort to be safe. One person’s disdain for safety will always result in more hardship for the group. If we do have an accident or injury that requires medical attention beyond the scope of our leader’s experience, the trip is immediately over without refund. Our leaders are trained to administer first aid in an outdoor environment; however, while they may be able to treat injuries they cannot always prevent them.

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Camping & Hiking Exploration, Yosemite National Park

Hygiene & Comfort

We will be staying in two adjacent reserved campsites within Yosemite Valley—along with hundreds of other campers. The campsites are within very close proximity to restrooms with running water, however there are NO showers. Each campsite will also have plenty of space for our tents and each contains a picnic table and campfire pit. You will have the option to share a tent with one or two people or sleep out under the cover of the stars.  Light weight tents, warm synthetic sleeping bags, foam pads and ground tarps will be provided to ensure a comfortable night’s sleep. The ground consists of soft soil.  An important note worth mentioning is the constant chance of a thundershower anywhere in the high Sierras. No matter what the weather report says, if there are clouds before 10am, you can anticipate a thundershower.

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