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Experience Level



4-5 miles


1,500-2,000 ft

Registration Fee


Program Overview: Celebrate spring in the Sierra Nevada on a guided day hike just outside Yosemite Valley! On this one-day adventure, you’ll get to see the brilliant wildflowers that bloom early in the Merced River Canyon, west of the park along Hwy. 140.

As you stroll in the canyon, your naturalist guide will lead you on less-traveled routes to view sumptuous displays of vibrant orange poppies and deep blue lupine painting the slopes above the Merced River. As you walk and take in the spring scenery, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to practice identifying a variety of plant species, and to ask questions about what you’re seeing. If you have a mobile device, you can also practice using citizen science apps to research and record your observations of flora and wildlife.

For a sneak peek at spring blooms, check out the “Wildflowers” episode of Yosemite Nature Notes, and don’t miss our lead naturalist’s quick videos about lupine and snow plants.

Know Before You Go

  • When: Sunday, March 27, from 9 am to around 5 pm
  • Where: El Portal and Merced River Canyon
  • Registration includes: Guided day hike, park entry (as needed), and two nights of tent camping at a shared campsite in Yosemite Valley (March 26 and 27). There is no discount if you choose not to use the included gate pass or campsite.
  • Lodging: Tent camping (included), or upgrade to Curry Village for an additional fee. Camping and lodging dates cannot be adjusted. The upgrade option expires 30 days before the program. Lodging information will be sent immediately after registering.
  • Experience level: No experience necessary!

View a suggested packing list.

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