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Outdoor and Custom Adventures & Art Programs

COVID-19 Safety Procedures: Participant Agreement

Note: This is a preview of our Participant Agreement, provided here for informational purposes. When you register for a Yosemite Conservancy Outdoor Adventure, Custom Adventure or Art Program, you will be asked to review and sign this agreement. You can also view and download this information in PDF format.

After careful consideration, we at the Yosemite Conservancy (the “Conservancy”) have decided to offer select modified group activities in the park during the 2021 season. We look forward to helping visitors connect with Yosemite and creating opportunities for people to enjoy the invaluable benefits associated with enriching outdoor experiences. We also recognize the risks associated with group activities at this time, and we are taking extra precautions to keep participants and instructors safe

If you are considering participating in one of the Conservancy’s Outdoor Adventure, Custom Adventure or Art programs (each a “Program”), please read the following information thoroughly. Participating in our Programs involves traveling to Yosemite, participating in a group experience, and hiking on trails with other visitors, among other activities which inherently put you at potential risk for contracting COVID-19, and we cannot guarantee that anyone who visits Yosemite or participates in a Program will not be exposed to COVID-19. We are implementing strict protocols, developed in consultation with medical experts and in accordance with local, state and federal guidelines and guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (“CDC”), to mitigate that risk.  However, it will be the responsibility of all participants to cooperate with these protocols and guidelines.

Before Your Trip: Preparing to Participate

  • Before you participate in a Conservancy Program, we request that you seriously consider your own COVID-19 health risk factors and consult with your physician.
  • All participants must sign this Participant Agreement (the “Agreement”), under which you agree to follow all of the safety procedures required by the Conservancy, including reporting any COVID-19 symptoms (as outlined by the CDC) at the start of the Program and each day during the duration of the Program.
  • We request that you limit your travel and interactions with individuals outside your household or vector group* before your trip to Yosemite.
  • If, at any point within 14 days before the start of the Program, you experience any COVID-19 or flu-like symptoms, or if you have been in close contact with anyone who has recently tested positive for COVID-19 or has COVID-19 symptoms, you must cancel your registration for the Program. If you need to cancel, you will receive a full refund. This includes health care workers who have been working directly with COVID-19 patients while wearing PPE.
  • All participants will need to bring their own face masks or cloth face coverings, as well as hand sanitizer (at least 60% alcohol) or a hand-washing set-up that conforms to Leave No Trace principles.

During Your Trip: In-Park Program Procedures

Safety Education: At the beginning of your Program, your naturalist guide will address the group on key safety procedures, including:

  • How to maintain a physical distance of at least 6 feet throughout the trip, including when hiking on a trail with others, standing in a circle to listen to a guide, or pausing for water and snack breaks.
  • How to keep hands clean in a wilderness setting. Your guide will confirm that each participant has adequate hand sanitizer or a hand-washing set-up that conforms to Leave No Trace principles.

Health Checks: Guides will check in with participants at the start of the Program and on a regular basis throughout the trip to ensure everyone is staying healthy.

  • At the start of the Program, your guide will ask if you have any flu-like or other COVID-19 symptoms. For the safety of the group, please answer truthfully.
  • If you answer yes to any of the following screening questions you will be asked to leave the Program.
    • Have you had any of the following symptoms in the last 14 days? fever or chills, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing, fatigue, muscle or body aches, headache, new loss of taste or smell, sore throat, congestion or runny nose, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea
  • In the last 14 days have you been in close physical contact (6 ft or closer for a cumulative total of 15 minutes) with:
    • Anyone who is known to have laboratory-confirmed COVID-19? OR
    • Anyone who has any symptoms consistent with COVID-19?
    • Are you self-isolating or self-quarantining because you may have been exposed to a person with COVID-19 or are worried that you may be sick with COVID-19?
    • Are you currently waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test due to having been potentially exposed or exhibit symptoms?

Physical Distancing and Facial Coverings: Guides and participants must practice physical distancing and be prepared to wear a facial covering when maintaining a safe distance is not possible. This applies to all participants, including those who have been vaccinated.

  • Stay at least 6 feet away from your guide and from fellow participants, unless the other participants are members of your family, household or other vector group. Learning is different in a physically distant environment. At times it may be hard to hear your guide, but the need for physical distancing remains.
  • Give other hikers at least a 6-foot gap when you encounter them along the trail. If you need to step off the trail to allow another hiker or group to pass, use caution and find a safe footing, and try to be gentle on trailside vegetation. Do not hike parallel to the existing trail.
  • Guides and participants must wear a mask or cloth facial covering whenever they cannot be at least 6 feet from fellow group members or other hikers. Masks and facial coverings will not be provided for participants; please bring your own.

Hygiene: Guides and participants must adhere to hygiene procedures to keep hands clean, avoid coughing or sneezing on others, and limit contact with shared surfaces and objects.

  • Maintaining proper hand hygiene can be challenging in a wilderness setting. Bring adequate hand sanitizer and/or a portable set-up to clean your hands for the duration of your trip. Participants are responsible for providing their own hand sanitizer or hand-washing equipment.
  • All participants must adhere to the following personal hygiene behaviors:
    • Cough and sneeze into a bent elbow or disposable tissue (and throw away any used tissue in designated receptacles) and wash your hands after coughing or sneezing.
    • If you touch a shared surface, wash your hands or use hand sanitizer soon after.
    • Do your best not to touch public surfaces while traveling to and within the park.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
  • Do not share snacks, cameras, field guides, binoculars, and other supplies with anyone outside your family, household or other vector group, including your guide and fellow participants. For example, it is okay NOT to help someone pick up their dropped hat or adjust their trekking poles. If you do touch a shared surface or object, keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth, and wash or sanitize your hands as soon as you can.

We look forward to welcoming visitors to Yosemite for safe, enriching outdoor experiences in 2021. We are taking extensive measures to keep our participants and guides safe, and we can’t wait to see you in the park!

I have read, reviewed, and understand the above-described safety procedures (including the Company’s health checks, physical distancing, face covering, and hygiene requirements), and agree to follow them while I am on a Yosemite Conservancy Program.  I understand and agree that, if I choose to participate in a Program, I do so knowingly and voluntarily, assuming all associated risks, known and unknown.   To the extent allowed by law, this Agreement waives claims against the Conservancy for COVID-19 exposure that may result from my voluntary decision to participate in a Program.


* For purposes of this Agreement, a “vector group” refers to a group of individuals who have been in proximity with one another prior to the start of their Yosemite Conservancy program, such as housemates or friends who have mutually agreed to interact with each other without maintaining physical distance.

Information last updated August 18, 2021.