California: Mountains and Coast Camping - Trip Preparation & Destination Information

California: Mountains and Coast Camping - Trip Preparation & Destination Information

About California - Camping


California has several bucket-list national parks and this trip is a bucket-list experience, visiting Yosemite, Kings Canyon, Sequoia, and Big Sur.


One of the most amazing aspects of visiting Yosemite is learning about its glacial history. Your Guide will lead you through this history, noting evidence such as sheered domes, mountains of moraine, massive boulders perched in impossible positions, and other unique features. You’ll also learn about Yosemite’s wildlife, Native American history, and early settler history. 


Kings Canyon National Park has some of the largest trees in the world, deep valleys, and impressive rock formations, and some claim it to rival Yosemite. Kings Canyon is also home to Redwood Canyon, the largest remaining grove of sequoia trees in the world.


Big Sur is one of the longest stretches of undeveloped coastline in the U.S. Its preservation of rugged mountains and forests that meet the ocean make it a uniquely magnificent wonder and a must-see for those going through California.


For camping itineraries, please note, this is a participatory camping trip, where all travelers will assist in setting up camp and cooking meals. Guides will teach you the best methods for quick set up and take down of tents and will lead the cooking, providing clear instructions and oversight. If you’ve never set up camp or cooked outdoors before, this is the perfect opportunity to learn under expert supervision!


Closest Major City: Fresno, CA 

Time Zone: Pacific Daylight Time (GMT-7)

Emergency Number: 911

Outlet: Type A


Packing List

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Fun Facts

  • Yosemite’s granite rock formations glow like fire at sunset. Sunlight plays amazing tricks at Yosemite—illuminating El Capitan and Half Dome in brilliant reds and oranges. Horsetail Fall is famous for appearing to be on fire when it reflects the orange glow of sunset in mid to late February.
  • At 2,425 feet, Yosemite Falls is one of the tallest on the planet but did you know, it’s actually made up of three separate falls? Upper Yosemite Fall, the middle cascades, and Lower Yosemite Fall make up Yosemite Falls, which can be seen from numerous places around Yosemite Valley. 
  • Yosemite is famous for its giant sequoia trees, which are estimated to be approximately 3,000 years old. They can grow to be about 30 feet in diameter and more than 250 feet tall.
  • President Theodore Roosevelt and John Muir took a camping trip in the park in 1903. During this camping trip, Muir convinced Roosevelt that the park needed to be expanded to include those lands that were still in the state’s possession. At the end of the camping trip, Roosevelt signed a law that brought Yosemite Valley and Mariposa Grove under the jurisdiction of the federal government, thus expanding the national park.
  • Sequoia National Park was the first park created to protect a living organism.
  • Sequoia is home to the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states. Towering 14,494 feet, Mount Whitney lies on the eastern border of Sequoia National Park and Inyo National Forest.
  • State parks in Big Sur grew out of the original residents' desire to protect and preserve the land they admired.
  • Unlike Yosemite, which is managed by a single federal entity, about one-quarter of the land in Big Sur is privately owned and the remainder is managed by a conglomeration of federal, state, local, and private agencies.


Tipping Suggestions: Tips provide supplemental income, and, while not mandatory, are greatly appreciated. If the local teams have added to the experience, please reward them.

Guides USD $8-10 per day
Drivers USD $3-4 per person/per day



Will I get access to water that is safe to drink? Water will be available at campsites and some trailheads.


Do you recommend travel insurance? While not required, we highly recommend all travelers get travel insurance for their trip to protect themselves from the unknown! Check out travel insurance options from our partner,, or from a provider of your choice.


How much should I pack? As we will be using shared transfers and spaces throughout our tour, we recommend all Travelers pack as lightly as possible. Please take a look at our luggage restrictions below.


Will we have an experienced Guide? Your tour will be led by a trained, experienced professional with a solid guiding background, years of personal wilderness and hiking experience, medical certifications, and a passion for leading people into breathtaking landscapes. Important note: Guides work daily shifts from 5 am to 9 pm. During off hours (9 pm to 5 am) the Guides’ time is their own, and they are free to sleep, rest, take personal time, postpone guest requests until the next morning, and any other legal, reasonable activity people engage in when not working. We ask all guests to respect the Guides’ off-duty hours by not waking or asking anything of them unless there is a true emergency. Also, state law requires that employees receive an uninterrupted 10-minute break every four working hours, so Guides are required to take four 10-minute breaks between 5 am and 9 pm.


Do you provide any gear? We provide top-of-the-line tents, sleeping pads, stoves, cookware, bowls, cups, and utensils. All our Guides carry company-issued first aid kits, satellite phones (for emergencies only), and epinephrine kits (for allergic emergencies).


What tents will we be using? Typically, tents will be 4-person camping tents, double occupancy.


What about food? We provide a diversity of foods containing the necessary nutrition for sustained energy output. Meals are made from staples that travel well in the backcountry - rice, pasta, lentils, beans, couscous, oatmeal, granola, etc. Meals are also supplemented with trail foods such as crackers, cheese, granola, energy bars, fresh and/or dried fruit, and energy drink mixes. We regularly accommodate vegan, vegetarian, kosher, and non-gluten diets and will make adjustments for food allergies. In addition to your personal belongings, you will be responsible for carrying a portion of the food. 

Important note: It’s critical that you include your dietary needs in your traveler form - it’s too late once you’ve arrived!


Will I have access to Wi-Fi? No, Wi-Fi in the parks is unreliable and not guaranteed. Take this time to unplug and enjoy nature and adventure with your fellow Travelers. 


What facilities are available? Please be aware that not all campsites have shower facilities. If that is the case, your Guide will take the group to a place to shower. Please have cash or spare change on hand as you may need to purchase shower tokens.

Luggage Restrictions

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