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Caltech Y-Hike Yosemite
Pre-orientation TRIP












Y-Hike 2024 General Information

The Y-Hike Pre-Orientation Trip is a great way to begin your Caltech Adventure!

On the Y-Hike, organized and led by current Caltech students, you will camp, and hike in one of the most spectacular places in the world – Yosemite National Park. Whether climbing the mist trail to Vernal and Nevada falls; taking in the expansive views from Glacier Point or Upper Yosemite Falls; admiring the reflection of Half Dome in the Merced River; or marveling at the size of a giant sequoia or the face of El Capitan - Yosemite never seems to disappoint.

And, while hiking in Yosemite can be challenging, there are many options, and our groups typically have a range of experience levels - so everyone from the novice to the seasoned outdoor enthusiast is welcome to join in on the Y-Hike.  The Y-Hike is a great way to meet other students.


                Dates:        Wednesday, September 18th - Saturday, September 21st

               Cost:           $250

               Deadline:   July 26th (but spaces are limited and spaces may fill before this date)


Please complete the registration form to sign up. Remember, spaces are limited and applicants are accepted on a first come first served basis, so sign up early.

You should get an on-screen indication that we have received your form once you have submitted it.  We will send you a confirmation email indicating your status as a trip participant by mid August with additional information you will need to prepare for the trip and instructions for making payments. If you have any

questions, feel free to contact the Caltech Y: or (626) 395-6163.


















Friday, July 26th is the deadline for applications to the Y-Hike, but spaces are limited and applicants accepted on a first come first serve basis… so make sure to sign-up early.  Priority will be given to new students. You will receive a confirmation via email.


Thursday, September 12th - there will be a brief Orientation on Zoom to help you prepare for the trip. We will introduce trip leaders, review important reminders, and review the itinerary and what to expect in Yosemite.  More details to come.

Tuesday, September 17th - there will be an early packing session for Backpackers who are local (in the Caltech area) only - time to be announced - so we can get on the road quicker on Wednesday.  Backpackers who aren't local will be asked to arrive early Wednesday morning at 7:00AM if possible to pack.

Wednesday, September 18th, 9:00AM is our meet time - at the Caltech Y (#128 [Section A4] on the Map) – 505 S. Wilson Avenue - to depart for Yosemite. Please plan to arrive packed and ready to go. It will take us some time to pull gear you have requested and load vehicles and we will want to be on the road as soon as we can.


Note: Meals while camping will be provided, but we will make fast food stops while traveling to and from Yosemite, and there are places where you can purchase snacks if you want them in Yosemite, and those will be your responsibility.


Saturday, September 21st / Sunday, September 22nd - End of Trip. We are planning to return late Saturday evening (with a stop for dinner – your responsibility), but then to serve a breakfast at the Y to celebrate the official end our trip on Sunday morning before Orientation activities begin.  





















When should I arrive on campus?  It is essential that arrive on time so we can load and get on the road.  If you think arriving on time could prove difficult, you might want to think about spending the night before in the area. It is unlikely that we will be able to wait for late arrivals. If you have not checked in, you can request space - in advance - at the Caltech Y for storing the items you won't need while on the trip.

How difficult will the treks be?  We will be hiking a wide variety of trails, and availing ourselves of a range of park amenities but groups will typically form according to preferred difficulty with leaders available at each level.  Hiking in the high sierras is not a walk in the park, but routes will be selected to provide more moderate and more difficult treks based on the sign ups.  Easier routes will likely still present some challenge while those selecting strenuous will be reminded that our focus is on getting to know one another while appreciating an amazing setting… not just checking off peaks.  Informal groups may also form for those interested in more mellow hikes and activities around the valley.

Who are the Y-Hike leaders?  Most of our leaders are current Caltech students who have participated on the Y-Hike, or one of our other outdoor adventures, at one point themselves… however from time to time we also have alumni, staff, and/or other students who have some experience as well.  Our leaders are not professional guides, but have outdoor experience.  The Y-Hike, like other Y programs, is student-led.


What equipment will I need?  The Y will have all the group equipment (tents, stoves, etc.) you need and can also provide you with a sleeping bag and sleeping pad if you don’t have your own.  See the packing list for a complete list of recommendations for personal attire and gear.  Packing and Equipment List Here 


What is the Caltech Y anyway?  The Caltech Y is an independent, student-driven, non-profit organization affiliated with Caltech.  We were founded in 1916 as a student club, affiliated with the YMCA, to provide programs planned by, and for, students… and to promote leadership development and self-discovery.  While the Caltech Y has added a staff and Board of Directors, the spirit of our founding remains – student-led opportunities that enrich student life and challenge students to be engaged citizens of the world. 

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Join us in Yosemite!

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