Program Overview: This Yosemite Field School backpacking course takes you into the rugged terrain of the eastern Sierra Nevada to explore the habitat of an endangered species endemic to these mountains: Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep.
The trip kicks off with a Thursday evening get-together, where you’ll meet your guide and fellow adventurers, and review the route, Leave No Trace ethics, and safety tips.
Over the next three days (Friday to Sunday), you’ll head to the park’s eastern boundary to explore bighorn habitat on and around Mt. Gibbs, a journey that includes several miles of off-trail travel and some scrambling across loose rock. In addition to a long weekend of guided high country hiking, you’ll get to spend time with one of the park biologists who leads Conservancy-supported efforts to restore bighorn populations in and around Yosemite. You’ll also get a firsthand look at the technology and techniques biologists use to track the wild sheep, and might even spot some bighorns in their high-elevation home.
Know Before You Go
- When: Thursday, August 11 (orientation at 7:30 pm) to Sunday, August 14. Depart for backpacking trip on August 13 at 8:30 am, return August 14 at around 3 pm.
- Where: Take the Mono Pass Trail out-and-back to the Mt. Gibbs area.
- Registration includes: Guided backpacking trip, park entry (as needed), bear-proof canister rental, Yosemite Wilderness permit, and two nights of tent camping at a shared campsite before and after the trip (August 11 and 14). There is no discount if you choose not to use the included gate pass or campsite.
- Lodging options: Tent camping (included), or upgrade to Tuolumne Meadows Lodge for an additional fee (August 11 & 14). 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: Prior backpacking experience preferred. Participants must be physically fit.
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.