100 Miles, 4-Day Stage
After a few course tweaks from the inaugural year, Yosemite Backcountry is on the books for 2020. Without a doubt this trip is on the bucket list of multi-day running adventures.
Yosemite needs no introduction. Her iconic and immense towers of glacially cut granite shock the mind and senses mind into awe and humility. While thousands of visitors flock to the National Park each year, few migrate far from the main valley floor. We'll end up there too, but only after running over a 100 miles of wilderness trails. This run will summit both El Capitan and North Dome, flow with the river down the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne, traverse the Tuolumne Backcountry, and explore a majestic landscape of mountain meadows, granite peaks, and pristine alpine lakes.
Tuesday, Day 1: Meet in Yosemite
We will meet runners at 4pm at the Crane Flat Campground. That evening we will serve dinner and go over routes, risk management, and gear in preparation for the run.
Wednesday, Day 2: Run from Tamarack Flat to Porcupine Flat, 22 Miles, Elevation Gain: 5967′ Loss: 4236′
This run starts right from camp. After an early breakfast, runners will head east following the north rim of the valley before summiting El Cap and North Dome. Here the trail turns due north along Indian Ridge and up the headwaters of Snow Creek. The final miles of trail bring runners directly into Porcupine Flat campground and the awaiting food, drinks, showers, and relaxation. This location will serve as a base camp for the next 3 nights.
Thursday, Day 3: Run the Ten Lakes Basin, 23 Miles, Elevation Gain/Loss +6368′ -5620′
It’s a short shuttle from camp to the May Creek trailhead. The day starts with a climb to May Lake, followed by a trip around the north face of Tuolumne Peak. Then the trail dives deep into the backcountry along the South Fork of Cathedral Peak, before climbing into the Ten Lakes Basin. The last miles of the day are down hill along Yosemite Creek to a waiting shuttle that brings runners back into the Porcupine Flat basecamp.
Friday, Day 4: Run Cathedral Pass and Clouds Rest, 22 Miles, Elevation Gain/Loss +5,353′ -5,645
A quick shuttle and early climb brings runners to the shores of Cathedral Lake. The run continues south along Tresidder Peak via the John Muir Trail through the Sunrise Valley and along the Sunrise Creek before the big climb to the summit of Clouds Rest. From the epic summit views its ridge running and alpine all the way to Tenaya Lake and a mandatory post run swim before dinner.
Saturday, Day 5: Run from Tuolumne Meadows to Yosemite Valley via Vogelsang Pass, 27 Miles, Elevation Gain/Loss +2,701′ -5,262′
The final day of the trip brings runners out of the Tuolumne high country and into the splendor of the Yosemite Valley. We take the scenic route via Vogelsang Pass, some of the remotest alpine granite in the park. After the trail follows Fletcher Creek into Merced Lake and parallels the Merced River through Little Yosemite Valley before the final finish at Glacier Point and the Yosemite Valley. Here runners will be greeted with a final celebratory meal. After dinner we transport runners back to waiting vehicles at Crane Flat Campground and the option to spend one last night with the Aspire Crew.
This trip begins and ends at Crane Flat inside of Yosemite National Park. All inter-trail shuttles will be provided by Aspire. There are numerous public transportation options to Yosemite. For complete travel planning resources see our Yosemite Course Packet.
The accommodations for this trip will be "front country" car camping. The first night will be at Crane Flak Campground and Nights 2-4 will be staged out of a basecamp at Porcupine Flat with a final optional night at Crane Flat Campground on Sunday. Aspire will provide lively camp amenities for a remote but comfortable “glamp” style experience. Runners will need to provide or rent a personal tent, sleeping bag, pad, etc.
Course Info Packet
For details about the trails, complete itinerary information, packing and gear lists, menu and dietary information, safety protocols, and trip policies, please check out the 2019 Yosemite Backcountry Course Packet. This is available via our website at www.AspireAdventureRunning.com
Every year we have at least one runner who due to injury, illness, or personal/familial circumstances can not participate in their registered trip. While registrations can be transferred, Aspire does not issue refunds. See our FAQ’s. We strongly encourage each runner to purchase 3rd party trip insurance that will reimburse the cost of registration in the event that you are unable to participate in the event.
Aspire organizes single and multi-day running adventures in backcountry and wilderness terrain. We pair logistical and emergency support with delicious meals for a unique and memorable running experience. More info about our project is available at: www.AspireAdventureRunning.com
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