I live and work in a national park where thousands of people come every year looking for a wilderness experience. People ask all the time what is there to do here in Yosemite National Park? The park offers many activities such as backpacking, hiking, climbing, an art gallery, museums, restaurants, and programs. Hiking is by for the best idea for people interested in a wilderness experience.
Being a backpacker I think there are many easy to moderate level backpacking trips people should research and do while here in the park. The one I enjoyed the most is to a high camp called Glen Aulin. This trip is approximately 12 miles round trip without any day hikes. A day hike out to Waterwheel Falls is an additional 6 miles round trip. When planning your trip you should be aware that all people going on backpacking trips must get the proper permits from the wilderness center. Glen Aulin permits should be accessible from Tuolumne Meadows wilderness permit center. And that water levels tend to be very high during the beginning of summer and very low by the end of summer. For the first day, I recommend hiking to Glen Aulin’s backpacking camp and setting up a base camp. The next morning I would do a day hike to Waterwheel Falls. Then spend one more night at the base camp. The next day would be for hiking back to your car. A wonderful 3 day, two night trip into the wilderness for beginner backpackers.
A few points to remember:
Wilderness permits are required.
Water levels are better at the beginning or middle of summer. (IE. I did this trip in the middle of June)