49° F
Toggle Menu

Experience Level



4-5 miles/day


4,000 feet

Registration Fee


Program Overview: Over three days we’ll share the multicultural background that contributed to the development of Yosemite National Park. The discussion will include the Indigenous people who have occupied this area for thousands of years, the Euro-Americans who wrestled it away from them and started to commercialize it, the army, including Buffalo Soldiers, who protected it, and the Chinese immigrants who quietly enhanced it.

How many voices do you need to breathe life into a place? How many layers of color do you use to paint a masterpiece? How many stories combine to tell the epic of Yosemite National Park? Join our team of naturalist guides as they speak of the people whose actions defined this park. In this program, we’ll journey throughout the park to hear those voices tell us of their success and hardships. There will be stories to make you smile and laugh; stories to make you angry and uncomfortable; and stories of undaunted courage and triumph.

Start the day with an overview of Indigenous culture in Wawona. See the resources available that supported a thriving community. We’ll identify plants and animals that served as food, medicine, shelter, and more. We’ll discuss the events that led to the persecution of those people and the rise of Euro-American development. Exploring the Yosemite History Center will lead to stories of survival, stewardship, and progress. During our walk we will learn of individuals from all over the world and why they came to Yosemite.

Next we’ll travel to Yosemite Valley. Starting at the Visitor Center, we’ll revisit the first people of this Valley and walk through their village. From there, we’ll head to Cook’s Meadow and you’ll learn about some of the unsung heroes who affected the community. The day will continue to the Ahwahnee Hotel to dive into a historic tour of this National Historic Landmark.

In the evening, learn about something that unites ALL the people of Yosemite, even today: the stars in the sky. All cultures have stories about what it is they see above them. We’ll share some of those stories as we watch for shooting stars, satellites, and even love among the cosmos.

Know Before You Go:

  • Program dates: Friday, September 29 through Sunday, October 1, 10am-4pm each day.
  • Program location: Wawona and Yosemite Valley
  • What’s included: Three full days of guided instruction by a Yosemite Naturalist, 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: Participants can arrive on September 28 after 12pm and depart October 2 by 11am. There are two shared campsites among all the participants. We guarantee tent camping only. If you choose to bring a recreational vehicle, we cannot guarantee you will have a parking spot. Please be prepared to tent camp. A picnic table, bear locker and firepit are provided at each site. Campsites fit 6 people per site.
  • Campground Location: Upper Pines in Yosemite Valley
  • Lodging: Upgrade to Curry Village or Yosemite Valley Lodge for an additional fee. Lodging dates match camping dates. Lodging blocks expire 30 days prior to the program. Details on using our Group Code to book lodging will be emailed to you immediately after you register.
  • Experience level: All levels welcome.

What’s not included:

  • Gear or meals during your program.
  • Camping gear or meals in the shared campsites.
  • Transportation.

View a suggested packing list.