Yosemite is a world-renowned rock-climbing destination, with approximately 100,000 climbers coming each year to test their skills on famed granite monoliths, such as El Capitan and Cathedral Rocks.

Despite climbing’s growing popularity, many parts of the park have little in the way of established approach or descent trails, leaving climbers to use the path of “least resistance” to get to their destinations. This results in an informal network of severely eroded trails and the unintentional destruction of surrounding vegetation and habitat.

This project brings together local youth groups, climbing organizations and park partners to create clearly delineated climber access trails and restore surrounding habitat. In 2014, this project also engaged young volunteers as “Yosemite climbing steward” interns who acted as ambassadors to the climbing community and encouraged proactive stewardship. Over the course of the season, park staff, volunteers and interns completed restoration projects on access trails at Daff and Puppy Domes in Tuolumne Meadows, and at the base of El Capitan.

Your support is opening up life-changing opportunities for youth, while helping build new trails and protecting fragile habitat.

Partnering with professional climber/educator Ron Kauk, Sacred Rok nonprofit foundation and Yosemite National Park.

Jesse McGahey

Climbing Ranger

Project Notes

We are at a critical juncture concerning the amounts of vegetation and soil loss at many climbing areas. This project will build a durable yet low-profile trail system that will both protect our fragile forest resources and improve the visitor experience for climbers.