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Experience Level



4-5 miles/day


5,000 feet

Registration Fee


Program Overview: Dive into the botanical beauty of northwestern Yosemite during a two-day guided program with a knowledgeable naturalist guide. In this lesser-known (and underrated!) area of the park, you’ll learn about wildflowers and wetlands, otherwise known as meadow hydrology and ecology.

Your guide will point out spring blooms along the edges of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and help you identify diverse plants, from tall trees to colorful wildflowers to water-loving grasses. You’ll also explore the important role wetlands play in natural landscapes, and hear from Yosemite National Park Hydrologist Catherine Fong who will join the group on Friday, May 17 in Ackerson Meadow. Fong is leading efforts to restore the area to its former glory as a healthy meadow ecosystem and biodiversity hotspot. She will share the latest research and conservation efforts amid the ongoing restoration of this important meadow habitat.

Ackerson Meadow became a part of Yosemite National Park in 2016 thanks to our Yosemite Conservancy donors. Now, we are working with the National Park Service to fund the restoration of this extensive meadow system previously used for logging and cattle-grazing. Ackerson Meadow the largest wetland restoration project in Yosemite’s history and is home to a wide variety of flora and at-risk fauna, from beavers and songbirds, to monkey flower and grey owls.

Know Before You Go:

  • Program dates: Friday, May 17 through Saturday, May 18, 9am-5pm each day
  • Program location: Hetch Hetchy
  • What’s included: Two full days of guided instruction by a Yosemite Naturalist and NPS Hydrologist, one free day to explore on your own, 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 May 16 after 12pm and must depart May 20 by 11am. This is a walk in Group Site, parking is a short walk away. We guarantee tent camping only. Sleeping in recreational vehicles is not permited. Please be prepared to tent camp. Multiple picnic tables, bear lockers and fire pits are available.
  • Lodging: Upgrade to Evergreen 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.
  • Campground Location: Hetch Hetchy Group Sites (walk-in campground)
  • Experience level: All levels welcome.

*This two-day program includes four nights to camp. Make the most your trip by enjoying an extra free day, May 19th, to explore on your own.

What’s not included:

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

View a suggested packing list.