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Experience Level



4-5 miles/day


8,600 - 9,500 feet

Registration Fee


If you enjoy watercolor painting and backpacking, this is the trip for you! On this three-day, two-night backpacking trip, you will learn to bring your art into the wilderness and paint on location, recording your experience in the mountains with watercolor. Join one of our naturalist guides and our guest instructor Nikki Frumkin for a weekend adventure to scenic Cathedral Lakes, where we’ll explore and capture the energy and movement of Yosemite’s high peaks. You will learn how to minimize your impact on your surroundings and apply a Leave No Trace backpacker’s mindset to create a wilderness-friendly, portable art supply kit.

As you learn, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of Cathedral Lake, where we’ll camp for two nights. Stunning views of Cathedral Lakes and Peak will inspire your art. By the time you hop off the trail, you’ll have the skills to plan your next wilderness adventure and the inspiration to add to your art journal! The mountains inspire big feelings and emotions, and Nikki is excited to help you explore them through watercolor.

Some drawing and painting experience is helpful for this art retreat, but all levels are welcome. If you’re not sure if this workshop is the right fit for you, get in touch, we’re happy to help!

Know Before You Go:

  • Experience level: Participants must be physically fit and have an interest in watercolor painting. All participants under the age of 18 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • When: Friday July 1, 2022 through Sunday July 3, 2022, with an introductory meeting on Thursday, June 30 at 6:00 pm.
  • Where: White Wolf Campground and Cathedral Lakes.
  • Registration includes: three-day backpacking adventure, park entry (as needed), wilderness permit, bear canister rental, and two nights of tent camping before and after the trip (June 30 and July 3) at White Wolf Campground.
    • Please note: There is no discount if you do not use the included gate pass, campsites, wilderness permit or bear canister. We are unable to offer accommodation upgrades for this program, and camping consists of unassigned, shared tent sites for registered participants only. We cannot adjust the dates.

COVID-19: We have implemented special safety measures to keep art class participants and instructors safe during the ongoing pandemic. Please review our COVID-19 procedures for details.

View the supply list and a suggested packing list for this backpacking trip / art retreat combo.