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Experience Level



1-3 miles/day


8,800 - 9,400 ft.

Registration Fee


On this backpack and paint retreat, you’ll combine watercolor and drawing with Yosemite’s wilderness as your muse. Slow down and use watercolor to meditate on your surroundings, filling your very own sketchbook with landscapes and specimen studies. With guidance from artist Cheyenne Sukalski, you’ll explore how to mix paints, create compositions, simplify landscapes, and more. As you learn how to draw and paint outside, you’ll find yourself beginning to see Yosemite in a whole new way.

As you learn, you’ll enjoy breathtaking views of May Lake, where we’ll camp for two nights. Stunning views of May Lake, the Cathedral Range and Mt. Hoffman will inspire your art. Cheyenne will share her love of the outdoors, help you build confidence to create art in wilderness settings, and share tips on practicing “Leave No Trace”! This class is for anyone who wants to explore sketching and painting outdoors — some drawing, painting, and backpacking 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!


  • Program dates:  August 20th through August 24th
  • Program location: Trailhead starts along Hwy 120 part way to Tuolumne Meadows, take the May Lake Trail north of Hwy 120 to wilderness camp overnight (August 21 & 22).
  • What’s included: An evening meeting (August 20), three full days of progressive learning and painting en plein air with artist Cheyenne Sukalski (August 21- 23), park entry (as needed), and shared tent camping (camping dates cannot be altered). There is no discount if you choose not to use the included gate pass or campsite.
  • Camping dates: After the backpack, participants can arrive on August 20th after 12pm and depart August 24th by 11am. There are two shared campsites among all the participants. Please be prepared to tent camp. A picnic table, bear locker and firepit are provided at each site. Campsites fit 6 people and 2 cars per site, with overflow parking nearby. Please note:
    • There is no discount if you choose not to use the included gate pass.
    • We can’t allow unregistered friends or family of participants on this trip. Backcountry permits and lodging arrangements for unregistered friends and family are the responsibility of participants.
  • Campground Location: Crane Flat Campground (August 20th and 24th only)
  • Experience level: All levels welcome, must be physically fit to walk at high elevation with a backpack.  Please be prepared to walk 1-3 miles/day.

What’s not included:

  • Gear or meals
  • Transportation

View the supplies list.
View travel tips.
View sample itinerary.