Program Overview: This Yosemite Field School backpacking course takes you into the rugged terrain of the Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep near Mount Lewis, Mount Gibbs, Mono and Parker Pass. You will camp both nights in a stunningly beautiful spot at Summit Lake just outside of the park near Mono Pass where the ambitious can get an early start to watch the sunrise over Mono Lake.
After setting up our base camp, the group will take excursions to where the sheep lead us. Sometimes there are sheep visible right from camp, other times they are a short hike away and there are occasions where scrambling over scree slopes are necessary to view them. Spotting scopes will help us to get a closer view of the animals without scaring them away. While it is possible that we could not see sheep on this trip, we always seem to find them with the aid of John Wehausen who has been studying these animals for more than 40 years and extra help from the radio telemetry devices that he brings along to help locate the collared sheep. John knows a lot about these animals and where they like to spend their time.
This will be a small group trip with ample time to relax and learn about the unique adaptations of Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep, their history, struggles and successes and the ecosystem in which they reside.
Know Before You Go:
- Program dates: Thursday, August 24 evening meeting 7:30pm-9pm. Start hike Friday, August 25 at 8:30am and exit Sunday, August 27 by 4pm.
- Program location: Take the Mono Pass Trail and set up camp at a lake for two nights What’s included: An evening meeting, and three full days of guided instruction by Bighorn Sheep Biologist John Wehausen and Park Wildlife Biologist Sarah Stock, 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 August 24 after 12pm and must depart August 25. After the backpack, participants can arrive on August 27 after 12pm and depart, August 28 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: Experience hiking at high elevations is recommended. This is a physically demanding backpack trip traveling at high elevations and sometimes off trail on rocky terrain. Must be physically fit and have good balance to attend.
What’s not included:
- Gear or meals during your program.
- Camping gear or meals in the shared campsites.
View a suggested packing list including gear rental options.