Due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, this project was postponed to 2021.

Project goal: Improve trails in the Hetch Hetchy area and the Yosemite Wilderness while providing young adults with hands-on experience, employment and education.

Why this work matters: Yosemite’s 800-mile trail network offers endless opportunities for day hikers and backpackers to experience the wonders of the Sierra Nevada. Keeping those trails in good shape, however, requires regular restoration work.

For decades, with support from our donors, Yosemite has partnered with the California Conservation Corps (CCC) to engage young adults (ages 18–25) in much-needed trail projects, as they spend a season working with and learning from world-class National Park Service crews.

During five months of living and working in the park, corpsmembers improve dozens of miles of hiking terrain, starting in more developed frontcountry areas and then moving into the wilderness. They clear brush and fallen logs; repair damage, such as rain-carved ruts and failing tread; and construct rock walls, steps and drainage features — all while building teamwork and deep connections to the natural world.

CCC crews play a key role in ensuring Yosemite’s trails can provide safe, enjoyable hiking experiences. Their work also helps prevent erosion, protect trailside vegetation, and encourage people to stay on designated routes, so they don’t inadvertently trample plants and soil. Along the way, corpsmembers hone restoration skills; learn about environmental science, geology and park history; and gain valuable experience that can help them in future careers.

The CCC Tuolumne crew members (up to 15 young adults) focus on trails in and around Yosemite Valley and in the northern Yosemite Wilderness, and complete skill-building and educational seminars.

Project partners: Yosemite National Park and California Conservation Corps.

Dave Kari

Trails Supervisor, Yosemite National Park

Project Notes

The time spent maintaining and building trails in the Yosemite backcountry fosters a sense of stewardship and provides knowledge and skills for these youth to succeed in the future.