Backpacking Eagle Peak | Yosemite National Park

John Muir considered the view from Eagle Peak "the most comprehensive view of all the views" from the north wall. Standing at an elevation of 7783 ft and is the highest of The Three Brothers. I have been to Yosemite National Park multiple times within the past couple of years. I can not get enough of it. I want to explore more and more each time I go. I continue to try new perspectives and angles that still give you that awe-inspiring view throughout the valley but something that is unique and have not seen much before. 

 Eagle peak at sunset yosemite national park california

Eagle peak has been on my to-do list for quite some time and since Tioga pass road was still closed at the time(late April 2018), we were limited to where we could hike. I have so many backpacking trips in mind for the summer so we wanted to start out with a bang.  We were ready for our first backpacking trip of the year.

 Sunrise over half dome at eagle peak yosemite national park california

We woke up bright and early at our Upper Pines campground and made our way over for some coffee and then wait until the wilderness center to open. We received three different answers on what time it opened including the pamphlet you get when you enter the park. 8 am is when it opens, at least in April it does.

 our tent view camping eagle peak sunrise yosemite national park california backpacking

After receiving our backcountry permit, we parked at the trailhead parking near Yosemite Village and then took the 15-minute shuttle over to camp 4. Camp 4 is the start of the trailhead that takes you up to Upper Yosemite Falls. If you have not hiked up to Upper Yosemite Falls, I highly recommend it but only do it once. It is an extremely busy trail including 2600 feet of elevation gain in 3.2 miles. One way. If you go during the middle of the day, there will be hundreds of people all over the place. If you know me, I tend to avoid the crowds. So start early to beat the crowd.

 half dome from eagle peak during sunset yosemite national park california

As we were hiking up the trail, we decided to skip on Yosemite Falls and continue on to eagle peak. I used the Gaia GPS app on my cell phone to track our hike and it rang in at 5.8 miles however the signs say 6.2 miles to the peak. It took us 6 hours and 15 mins with a total of 2500 feet of elevation gain. A snail's pace I know but we took our time and we had plenty of time to enjoy the sunset, relax, set up camp, cook up some dinner, took some photos and enjoyed the panoramic views all by ourselves.

 upper yosemite falls with half dome in the backround hiking trail backpacking yosemite national park california

I woke up before dusk to get some photos, made breakfast, and then made our break back down to the valley. We started right around 6:30 am. We made it to the Yosemite Falls trail junction around 8 am. We hike the extra quarter mile to the overlook of the falls and somehow, someway, we were the only 2 people up there for about 30 mins all by ourselves. It was absolutely incredible to enjoy the highest waterfall in North America in solitude. 

 top of upper yosemite falls overlooking yosemite valley yosemite national park california hiking 

The rest of the hike down was a knee buster but all in all, not too bad of hike down. Well worth the soreness and an experience to remember.

 Overlooking upper yosemite falls from the overlook with the valley in view panorama yosemite national park california

Tips:

1. Round trip hike is about 12.4 miles if you include Yosemite Falls. Skip the falls on the way up and hit it on the way down before it gets too warm and gets overcrowded.

2. Get your permit the day prior so you can start on the trail early in the morning. 

3. Since we did this trip during the spring, we had plenty of water options along the way but if you go during the summer or fall, be sure to have enough water or replenish when you have the opportunity to do so. Bring water purifying tablets with you.

4. Look for established campsites. Bring a lighter if you would like a make a campfire but check with the ranger to make sure there are no fire bans during your trip.

5. If you are staying more than 1 night, make a trip to El Capitan or Yosemite point for a day hike.

6. Do not forget bug spray.

 our tent and campsite camping yosemite valley dusk sunrise rei yosemite national park california