There’s lots to experience in the vast Yosemite National Park, home to nearly 1,200 square miles of Sierra Nevada wilderness. Yosemite Conservancy, the park’s main philanthropic partner, has many outdoor adventures planned this year to help visitors make the most of the place.
And, registration fees for the trips support Yosemite. The nonprofit conservancy has donated $125 million to the park for more than 640 completed projects, including restoring trails and habitat, educational programs, and protecting vulnerable wildlife.
“I can’t say enough about the caliber of the education that will come from going out with a conservancy naturalist,” said Adonia Ripple, the conservancy’s director of Yosemite operations. “Even someone who feels like they know the park quite well can be greatly enriched by this local knowledge and unique way to connect to the park.”
Below is a list of some of the Yosemite Conservancy adventures planned for 2019.
▪ Watercolor Weekend: Capture Valley Scenery: Paint Yosemite scenery while sharpening watercolor techniques during this three-day workshop led by professional artist Steve Curl. (Friday, June 14 to Sunday, June 16. $329)
▪ Dine and Discover: Full Moon Hike to Taft Point: Admire sweeping views in a bright granite moonscape during an evening introduction to a remarkable viewpoint above Yosemite Valley. (Saturday, June 15. $99)
▪ Intro to Backpacking: Yosemite Valley’s South Rim: Learn the basics of backpacking during a 9-mile hike along the Pohono Trail, which follows the rim above Yosemite Valley, with breathtaking views from many points. (Friday, June 21 to Sunday, June 23. $279)
▪ Overnight Under the Milky Way: Experience Yosemite under the stars during an easy one-night, 3-mile guided backpacking trip up Ostrander Lake Trail off Glacier Point Road. (Thursday, July 4 to Friday, July 5. $129)
▪ Women’s Backpack: Yosemite Creek and Eagle Peak: Explore Yosemite’s high country during a two-night, women-only guided backpacking trip. (Thursday, July 18 to Sunday, July 21. $299)
▪ Backpack to a former glacier: August 1, 2019 to August 4, 2019 This challenging backpacking adventure goes to Mount Lyell, once home to Lyell Glacier. Researchers say the ice body has recently ceased its centuries of motion and therefore is no longer considered a glacier. (Thursday, Aug. 1 to Sunday, Aug. 4. $299)
▪ Bighorn Sheep Backpack: A High Sierra backpacking adventure that explores the mountain habitat of endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep and explains how Yosemite is working to restore the population. (Thursday, Aug. 22 to Sunday, Aug. 25. $389).
▪ Yosemite Miwok-Paiute Basketry Workshop: Learn traditional basket-weaving techniques from a Yosemite legend, Julia Parker, during a three-day workshop. (Friday, Sept. 27 to Sunday, Sept. 29. $429)
▪ Yosemite With Your Dog: Share a Yosemite adventure with your canine companion and fellow dog lovers. (Sunday, Oct. 13. $99)
▪ Autumn Light Photography: Three full days of guided outdoor photography in Yosemite Valley and surrounding areas, led by two professional photographers. (Thursday, Oct. 17 to Sunday, Oct. 20. $449)
A full list of Yosemite Conservancy outdoor adventures can be found online at yosemiteconservancy.org/outdoor-adventures.