Project overview: Repair seasonal damage from rockfalls, storms and downed trees to ensure visitors can enjoy safe, high-quality hiking on popular Valley trails.
The backstory: During busy summer months, the trails that trace Yosemite Valley’s floor and walls, such as the Mirror Lake, Mist, Yosemite Falls and Four Mile trails, welcome a near-constant stream of day hikers and sightseers. Seasonal restoration work keeps those beloved trails in top shape and helps protect surrounding habitat.
Since 2005, our donors have helped fund 12 seasons of essential repairs on the Valley’s beloved, much-used trails. National Park Service crew members clear hazards, such as fallen trees and rocks; repair damaged sections; and make sure switchbacks, walls, steps and drainage systems are in sound condition. They also take on major restoration projects. In recent years, for example, donor-supported crews put in new trail tread, built stone walls and improved drainage on the heavily traveled stretch between Happy Isles Road and the start of the Mist/John Muir Trail. Overall, their work helps ensure the Valley’s trails can endure as hiker-friendly routes that minimize erosion, protect surrounding habitat, and encourage people to stay on designated paths.
This year: In 2021, your gifts will support critical work in and around Yosemite Valley to prepare trails for the summer season. The NPS trail experts will prioritize specific tasks for the 2021 season, such as removing branches or repairing railings and switchbacks, based on the severity of seasonal damage. With your help, millions of people will be able to continue enjoying a safe, environmentally sound and spectacularly scenic trail system, whether zigzagging up to Glacier Point or the top of Yosemite Falls, strolling along the Merced River or Tenaya Creek, or heading toward the refreshing spray beside Vernal Fall.
Project partner: Yosemite National Park.