Yosemite National Park

Bass Lake and Yosemite National Park

Price: $150


Let’s spend the weekend at Bass Lake and Yosemite National Park! It’s no wonder Sunset Magazine named Bass Lake as one of “The West’s Best Lakes.” Some think of Bass Lake, the pine-trimmed reservoir about a half-hour’s drive south of Yosemite National Park’s south entrance, as a smaller version of Lake Tahoe. But the little lake with the big alpine feel has an appealing difference from its high-country cousin: Bass Lake’s elevation is only 3,400 feet, so its surface waters become blissfully warm, hovering around 75°F in the summer. Bass Lake is a very popular area known for its variety of fish, as well as the bald and golden eagles that make their home here.


Located on a hillside overlooking Bass Lake, known as the mini Tahoe south of Yosemite, Forks Campground has huge Ponderosa Pines that create a majestic setting for a fantastic camping experience. The camp lies at an elevation of 3,400 feet and offers 30 campsites, a few with limited lake views, while others are adjacent to the creek. Each site has a picnic table, pedestal grill, stone fire ring, food storage locker, and paved parking spur. Forks Campground also provides flush toilets and drinking water.

The campground is within walking distance from the nearly 5-mile-long lake where you can enjoy the beach, fishing, water skiing, wakeboarding, wave runners, and it also has sheltered coves for swimming as well as SUP, kayaking, and pedal boating. Dozens of trails lead into the surrounding Sierra National Forest, so there is plenty of exploring by foot or mountain bike. Nearby hiking trails include Willow Creek, Goat Mountain, Spring Cove, and Way-of-the-Mono Interpretive Trail. The campground is located about 20-miles south of Yosemite National Park.

Adventure People reserves the option to modify trip itineraries at the discretion of your tour director as necessary due to weather, conditions, illness, injury, group dynamics, or other unforeseen incidents.


  • Meet up with Adventure People you traveled with in the past or experience Adventure People for the very first time!
  • Explore the Yosemite Valley, a glacial valley that is 7.5 miles long and approximately 3000-35,000 feet deep, surrounded by high granite summits such as Half Dome and El Capitan, and densely forested with pines.
  • Take a hike in the Land of Giants — the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias.
  • Learn why Bass Lake is one of California’s premier kayaking destinations.
  • Unwind each night around the campfire roasting marshmallows and sipping your favorite beverage.
  • Whether traveling solo or in a group, you’ll quickly forge new friendships with other like-minded Adventure People!


The safety and well-being of our travelers, trip leaders, and suppliers remain our priority.  We have chosen to implement ATTA’s COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines, developed in collaboration with Cleveland Clinic, across all travel club trips. For our scheduled trips, we will require a negative COVID test or proof of vaccination, once they are widely available. If you cannot obtain a test locally, you can purchase one by mail for $109 from Everlywell (receive 25% off with this link https://bit.ly/2MdtOLf). If we have to cancel a tour, you will receive a full credit or refund, your choice. For more information about traveling during a pandemic, please refer to our COVID-19 Travel Resources.

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Day 1: Arrive at Forks Campground

We kick off the weekend by arriving at our campground any time after 2 pm and checking in with your trip leader. If you arrive early, there are many options to keep you occupied. This evening, we’ll get to know your fellow Adventure People as we sit around the campfire with your drink of choice.

Day 2: Yosemite Valley

This morning, we’ll plan on an early start for a full day of exploration in the iconic Yosemite Valley. First protected in 1864, Yosemite National Park is best known for its waterfalls, but within its nearly 1,200 miles, you can find deep valleys, grand meadows, ancient giant sequoias, a vast wilderness area, and much more.

From Glacier Point, we’ll turn right on Wawona Rd and continue down Yosemite Valley where we’ll go through a mile-long tunnel. Immediately after exiting the tunnel, we’ll stop at a vista overlook with spectacular views of Bridalveil Falls, Half Dome, Clouds Rest, and El Capitan before continuing on to the Yosemite Chapel, which is the oldest building still in use in Yosemite Valley, dating from 1879 for a spectacular view of Yosemite Falls from outside the chapel. From Yosemite Chapel we’ll continue to Sentinel Bridge, one of the best-known photo locations in Yosemite – Half Dome over the Merced.

Our hike today starts at Lower Yosemite Falls (shuttle stop #6) where we’ll head west along the bicycle path until you see signs for the Valley Loop Trail. This trail follows many of the Valley’s first east-west trails and wagon roads. It offers a rare opportunity in Yosemite Valley: to hike on a fairly level trail with some solitude. While some of the trail passes near roads, much of it takes you through meadows, talus slopes at the base of the granite cliffs, and near the Merced River.

From the Lower Yosemite Falls area, we’ll head west along the base of the Three Brothers rock formation, past Camp 4, eventually working our way through Yosemite Valley to El Capitan. We’ll continue west past El Capitan toward Bridalveil Fall. While most of the trail is flat, there are some hilly sections throughout the hike.

If you prefer to do a shorter hike, you can do the half loop crossing the Merced River at El Capitan Bridge and continue by heading east back toward Yosemite Village.

Yosemite Valley Loop Trail (moderate)
Elevation Gain: Mostly Level
Full Loop – 11.5 mi (5-7 hours)
Half Loop – 7.2 mi (2.5-3.5 hours)

Estimated drive-time: 1.5 hours each way

Note: There is a $35 vehicle pass required to enter the park (not included). You can purchase this pass in advance at https://www.recreation.gov/sitepass/74296.

Day 3: Bass Lake

This morning, we’ll hit the lake for some Stand-up Paddle Boarding (SUP) or kayaking. Long considered the hidden jewel of the Sierra National Forest, Bass Lake is one of California’s premier kayaking destinations. The lake is surrounded by a tall pine forest along the western shore and is intermixed with oak and pine treed and waterfront homes along the eastern shore. It provides outstanding paddling opportunities in the early hours of the morning, before speedboaters and jet skiers rev up their motors at which time, paddling can become more challenging.

This afternoon, we’ll explore one of the local trails near Bass Lake and visit Angel Falls via Willow Creek Trail, a 3.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail that features a waterfall and is rated as moderate.

Angel Falls via Willow Creek Trail (moderate)
3.1 miles (1.5 – 2 hrs) Loop
Elevation Gain: 606 ft

Day 4: Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias

After breakfast and packing up camp, we’ll head to another part of the park, the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. These nearly 2,000 year-old trees provided the impetus for the creation of Yosemite National Park. The Native American stepped here first, followed by adventurers such as Galen Clark, John Muir, Teddy Roosevelt… and now you. Mariposa Grove has just reopened following a three-year renovation to save the lives of the trees.

Our hike today will begin at the Mariposa Grove Arrival area and will follow the Mariposa Grove Trail to Wawona Point. This wide and relatively smooth trail follows a route that people have used to access the grove for generations. See famous sequoias such as the Bachelor and Three Graces, the Faithful Couple, and the Clothespin Tree along this somewhat strenuous route to the upper reaches of the grove. Continue to historic Wawona Point, an overlook with incredible panoramic views.

After our hike, we’ll say goodbye to our new friends until the next adventure!

Mariposa Grove Trail to Wawona Point (strenuous)
7 miles out & back (4-6 hours)
Elevation Gain: 1,200 ft

Estimated drive-time: 30 minutes

Trip Leader
3-nights camping at Forks Campground w/ flush toilets
Full-Day Hiking in Yosemite Valley
Kayaking or SUP Rentals at Bass Lake
Hiking at Bass Lake
Full-Day Hiking in Mariposa Grove of Sequoias
Vehicle Parking Fees (2 cars per campsite)
New adventurous friends and unforgettable stories!

Transportation to the campground
Beverages and Meals
National Park Vehicle Pass
Travel Insurance
Personal Expenses

Directions to Forks Campground:

From Fresno, take Highway 41 north through Oakhurst. Turn right on Forest Road 222 (toward Bass Lake), keep right for 3.5 miles to the Bass Lake campground office. After registering continue approximately 1 1/4 miles to the Forks Campground.

Check-in: 2pm
Check-out: 12pm

Our planned hikes on this trip are moderate with the exception of our last day, which is rated strenuous. There is, of course, the option of doing a less strenuous hike on that day.

What do you bring on a camping and hiking weekend?

Camping Gear: For a complete list, please visit our Car Camping Checklist.

  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleeping Pad or Air Mattress
  • Pillow
  • Camp Chair
  • Cookware
  • Water
  • Food
  • Cooler
  • Remember to pack snacks for your adventures! Trail mix, energy bars, however you fuel, pack it so you don’t bonk mid-adventure.

For Hiking:

  • Synthetic Shirt
  • Hiking Pants/ Shorts
  • Hiking Shoes
  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Trekking Poles
  • Wool Socks

World Nomads is our trusted travel insurance provider. Receive a no-hassle online quote in less than 2 minutes.

Nothing like a good kayaking or hiking adventure — planned or unplanned! If getting off the grid to explore changing landscapes sounds like your ideal adventure, then don’t forget to pack your travel insurance.

Make sure you’re covered in case of an accident!


Leashed pets are allowed at the campsite (no more than 2 per site) and on most fully paved roads, sidewalks, and bicycle paths in the park, unless there is a sign that specifically forbids them, as on the trail to Vernal Fall. Pets are not allowed on the unpaved trails in Yosemite.

Each campsite allows for one vehicle and a second at $10 per day, so carpooling will be required to join this trip. Here’s a link to the carpool signup https://www.prepatrip.com/t/4kixdb.

We have 2 campsites that allow for one 25 ft max RV in each. Please message us at the time of booking if you would like to bring your RV.

Adjacent to our campground is The Forks Resort that has a restaurant offering breakfast, lunch, dinner, beer, wine, and cocktails.  They are known for their World Famous Forks Burger. On the other side of the lake are other restaurants and a market.

On average, the weather is perfect in May! High’s in the mid-low 70’s and low’s in the 40’s at night. May is also the best time to view waterfalls, roaring from freshly melted snow.

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Adventure People reserves the right to modify trip itineraries at the discretion of your tour director as necessary due to weather, conditions, illness, injury, group dynamics, safety, or other unforeseen incidents. Additionally, any travel times listed are approximations only and subject to vary.


Our camping trips require payment in full in order to reserve your spot. Should you need to cancel, all cancellations must be advised in writing. We calculate your refund on the day we received written notice of cancellation. The applicable cancellation fees shall be determined with reference to the date on which the request to cancel is received by Adventure People. All refunds will be processed within a few days of your cancellation. Cancellation of a tour Product or failure to join a tour Product will result in retention of funds by Adventure People, as follows:

30+ days prior to start date: 50% of the trip price shall be held by Adventure People
14 days prior to start date: 100% of the trip price shall be held by Adventure People

No exceptions will be granted to our Cancellation Policy.

We reserve the right to cancel trips with inadequate participant attendance, in which case all money paid to Adventure People will be fully refunded. Adventure People CANNOT be held responsible for any personal expenses, such as airline tickets due to changes in itineraries or tour cancellations.

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May 13 - 16 2021



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