Program Overview: On this guided overnight trip, you’ll get to experience a natural treasure — Yosemite’s night skies — during the largest meteor shower of the year!
After meeting up with your trip leader and fellow adventurers, you’ll hike about a mile from the May Lake Trailhead. You’ll set up camp at a spot with a clear view of the sky, at an elevation where it won’t get too cold to sleep outside under the stars. As night falls, your naturalist will use a laser pointer to single out specific stars and constellations, and you’ll get to search the sky for distant planets and meteors — all from the comfort of your sleeping bag. The program curriculum focuses on astronomy (including but not limited to star science, constellations, planetary science, perception of light/how light travels, meteors, meteorites, etc.), as well as story/lore/mythology rooted in cultures both locally and across the world. Watch for the bright meteors of the Perseids shower as debris from the comet known as Swift-Tuttle blazes into Earth’s atmosphere. The Perseids peak in mid-August, coinciding with the new moon cycle — this is the perfect timing for this one-night adventure!
Pack your sleeping gear, a tent (just in case!), and simple meals, such as premade sandwiches, and prepare to be dazzled by what you can see in just one night out in the mountains.
Know Before You Go:
- Program dates: Hike begins Friday, August 11 at 4pm and concludes Saturday, August 12 at 10am.
- Program location: May Lake
- What’s included: One evening and morning of guided instruction by a Yosemite Naturalist, Aug 12 is a free day to explore the park on your own after the program, 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 arrive after their trip on August 12 after 12pm and depart August 13 by 11am. There are three 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: White Wolf
- Lodging: Upgrade to Tuolumne Meadows 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 will be emailed to you immediately after you register.
- Experience level: All levels welcome, must be physically fit to walk at elevation with a backpack.
What’s not included:
- Gear or meals during your program.
- Camping gear or meals in the shared campsites.