Opener
Donate

Yosemite National Park is beyond awesome!

Join our volunteer trip to give back to this iconic UNESCO World Heritage site.

Experience this “temple of nature” with other like-minded volunteers and work alongside expert National Park Service trail crew to help renovate trails and restore fragile natural resources. See the sights. Hear the sounds. Feel the love as you travel with PURPOSE!

Yosemite Volunteer Dates

Next trip available in 2021

We can notify you when signup is available 

Notify Me
or call 1-925-817-9962

Yosemite Volunteer Trip – Details

Work with National Park Service trail crew to help improve and maintain trails in Yosemite Valley. Restore fragile natural resources damaged by visitor use, while enjoying vistas of the incredible granite walls. Yosemite Valley is 4,000 feet above sea level, which can pose a challenge for some, though past volunteers were a wide range of ages and abilities. No prior trail maintenance or restoration experience is required. We train you in all aspects of the work. As always, your education and safety are priorities. Tasks vary, but you should be able to hike up to two miles a day on mountainous terrain with some steep ascents and uneven trails, move soil or rock with a shovel, pull unwanted vegetation, and carry stones.

You may: use a pick or shovel to contour trail tread to shed water, cut and move vegetative plugs or branches to camouflage abandoned trails and slow running water, remove rocks or abandoned asphalt from the trail tread with rock bars, clip vegetation with a lopper or hand saw to improve trail safety, and/or move crushed rock or stone to create a dry walking surface.

Yosemite Valley is a wonderful place to volunteer. Conservation Volunteers International Program, in cooperation with REI Adventures, is pleased to offer this exciting opportunity to protect a national treasure.

What follows is a general description of activities you can expect on the Yosemite itinerary. Please note, however, that every trip is unique. Because local conditions and the Park’s needs continually evolve, detailed plans are often finalized or revised after the group arrives and the trip leaders review the conditions at the site in light of the capabilities and special interests of the volunteers. As volunteers successfully complete conservation and restoration activities, new activities or areas can be targeted on subsequent days, which may result in a modified Yosemite itinerary.

Day 1: We meet for orientation at 2:30 p.m. at the Yellow Pine Volunteer Campground in the middle of Yosemite Valley. Here, you’ll get an overview of scheduled projects, as well as training in proper tool use. We stay in the Yellow Pine Campground the entire trip. Hot breakfasts and dinners (including meat and vegetarian options) are prepared and served from a mobile kitchen at our campsite.

Days 2 – 5: We begin the day with breakfast, then prepare our own box lunches from the ingredients provided. We then travel a short distance to the day’s project in Yosemite Valley. We work from 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. with an hour off for lunch. We return to camp for dinner and relaxation.

Day 6: On this rest day, trip participants are free to explore Yosemite or relax in the campground.

Day 7: The project ends after breakfast this morning. You may stay longer by making reservations at other campgrounds or lodging in the park.

Note: Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule above, the itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control, including weather and terrain conditions. Work locations may vary with each volunteer expedition according to the needs of park rangers at the time the expedition takes place.

$990 for seven days
(Note: Your trip expense may be tax-deductible. Please see our Frequently Asked Questions page and consult your tax advisor for details.)

Price includes:

  • all meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 7
  • campground reservations
  • project leadership and support staff
  • group tools
  • transportation to and from worksites
  • orientation and training
  • park entrance fees

Price does not include:

  • transportation to/from Yellow Pine Campground, Yosemite National Park
  • camping gear (you must bring your own tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad)
  • cost of medical immunizations
  • insurance (emergency medical and evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip and can usually be purchased for $25 through REI Adventures)
  • excess baggage charges
  • airport taxes
  • alcoholic beverages or soft drinks
  • gratuities and personal items
Submit your review
1
2
3
4
5
Submit
     
Cancel

Create your own review

ConservationVIP
Average rating:  
 37 reviews
by Doreen111 on ConservationVIP
Fun and very Rewarding!

If you are looking for a fun, rewarding and active vacation, where you can make a positive impact with a bunch of other like minded volunteers, then this is the adventure for you. We worked hard four days with one day off where we were allowed free time to explore. Excellent meals are provided, hot breakfasts and dinners with fixings for you to take a packed lunch. The leaders had a great sense of humor and were informative about the area. They were also very safety minded, regarding trail tools used, ensuring everyone kept hydrated and what you should/not do around wildlife. In the evenings after dinner, many took hikes out to see the full moon reflecting off El Capitan and to see the many dazzling stars in the night sky. If you're wondering what could have been tweaked to make this trip better, to be honest, I can't think of one needed change. The leaders were great, the amount of work load was fine, the food was amazing. From the moment we all (volunteers, leaders, cooks) arrived, we were like old friends reconnecting, enjoying each other's company with lots of fun and laughter. This is an adventure I won't quickly forget and know that it can't be recreated, so I am languishing in the wonderful memories of the moment. I highly recommend. If the beauty of Yosemite is calling, sign up and experience its magic.

Why did you choose this trip? Within driving distance. To experience Yosemite, to explore and to give back.

What would your advice be to potential travelers? Come with an open and curious mind, this is an adventure, enjoy the experience.

What was the highlight of your trip? Trail maintenance, doing something that will last for years which will allow others to continue to enjoy the amazing beauty of this park.

About Me Casual Adventurer

✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.

by Matt O on ConservationVIP
Excellent experience , highly recommend this trip

Wow ...this was a wow trip....we had more laughs , morning , noon and night ....the people were so fun and work was rewarding ....it was simple trail maintenance....filling in erosion locations and building up existing trail borders ...meaning we followed instructions of some great leader and the Yosemite conservation corp people .

Each day we reviewed our work and were able to realize the benefits of our efforts .

Evening were fun , the food was excellent and the “ group camp fire talk “ was alway interesting and informative....and dare I say funny ! We laughed so much , so many times ....that alone was worth the price of admission ....I haven’t laughed that much in years .

Sure their were tears, “ in every life , “ a little rain must fall “.....tears of stories told , stories that were close to the heart ....it was a very safe environment to be yourself and express life’s trials and tribulations...we were strangers who became friends and supported each other .

The group was comprised of people from many parts of the US ....the variety of people , allowed our differences to be a asset and of value , the points of views , of our fellow volunteers , widened my horizons .

Everyone one in the group was open and helpful . We watched out for each other and brought spontaneity and fun to the experience . Sure ....the trip was well planned , safe and enjoyable . Yet, everyday held surprises , like , a full moon hike , a swim in the river , a shopping adventure ... a new learning adventure in camping and the skills of camping .

I had not camped in 40 years , but I am so proud of myself, to have camped for a week and learned new skills . I wish I was still there !

Wow...it was a fun trip and I am better for having stepped outside my comfort zone and made the effort to go to Yosemite and join other like minded people in a life experience , that I will cherish for a life time .

Become a volunteer, it will enrich your life in unexpected ways .

Matt O

Why did you choose this trip? It was winter , raining A LOT ...and i needed something to look forward to for sept .i wanted to learn how to camp , and I achieved my goal .

What would your advice be to potential travelers? Be positive and go with a open heart and a helping hand ..

What was the highlight of your trip? The Hiking was excellent , all the laughs and the beauty of Yosemite . I now carry with me this experience and hold it close to my heart and “ lean on it “ ,during tough times as a example of how good life can be . Our guides were ED , .Dale the silverback , and Shelly ....wow they were fun and safe ! I learned so much from them , they were mentors and shining examples of healthy human beings ,  .... we had fun !

About Me Avid Adventurer

✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.

by sun shine on ConservationVIP

If you like an active vacation, conservancy/volunteering, and meeting like-minded people in one of the greatest parks in the world, I recommend this trip. We worked with professional organizations such as the CCC and NPS and learned skills to help prepare the park for the tourist season. We worked 4 days and also had time to hike or visit in the valley after work and on our day off. Food was catered so no meal prep or doing camp chores! The food was delicious. We had sun and rain but enjoyed all of it, the beautiful park, working with CCC and NPS and being with like-minded individuals of all ages and background. We had two great leaders who took care of everything, safety, coordination, logistics and ensuring everyone had a good experience.

Why did you choose this trip? I like active vacations, camping and conservancy volunteering

What would your advice be to potential travelers? Use the REI guidance for packing and fitness; break in your equipment/boots and be prepared for changes in weather.

What was the highlight of your trip? Impressive spring scenery and exploding waterfalls, wild flowers; work and group.

About Me Avid Adventurer

✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.

 

by cookebe on ConservationVIP
A trip I will remember forever!

I just came back a couple weeks ago from the September 2018 Yosemite Volunteer Vacation, and it was an absolutely amazing experience! The Yosemite trail crew that we worked with were so talented and so knowledgeable and so passionate about what they do. It was an honor getting to work with them! We ended up getting to work in a different area of the park every day, so that was perfect for those in the group who had never been to Yosemite so that we could explore different parts of the park. There was a decent amount of free time in the evenings to do whatever- swim (or bathe!) in the river next to the campground, go into the Village, go for a hike, take a trip to the real showers, etc. The volunteer campground has to be one of the best in Yosemite. It was very private and well tucked away under the pines right next to the river. We were so spoiled with the home-cooked meals that were prepared and served right there at the campsite as well. The two guides from CVIP were great and were very knowledgeable about the park, the experience, and their organization. Definitely a trip that I will look into taking again!

 Why did you choose this trip? To go to Yosemite (I had never been before) and to give back through volunteering

What would your advice be to potential travelers? Either bring your own car or rent a car from a nearby city to have for the week. Yosemite is huge, and if you want to see all you can see in a week’s time, a car really helps.

What was the highlight of your trip? Working with the Yosemite trail crew and climbing Half Dome!

About Me Avid Adventurer

by Marcyb453 on ConservationVIP
Once in a Lifetime Trip

I went on this trip in May of 2018, and I couldn't have asked for a better experience. We did trailwork with the CCC that felt meaningful and impactful, and everyone was incredibly welcoming and friendly. The work was physical but not too difficult, and it was great to be able to actually see the difference we were making. The food is without a doubt the best food I've ever had while camping- the camp cooks are truly amazing and the meals were always filling, creative, and delicious. They made multiple options for different diets as well! We had plenty of free time for hikes/adventures/shopping on our own. A small group of us decided to do the 4 Mile Trail to the Panorama Trail, where we got to see Glacier Point as well as Nevada Falls and Vernal Falls. I wasn't familiar with Yosemite before this trip, and had no idea what to expect. I was blown away by the views, the perfect weather, and the overall experience. The trip is well-organized, and ConservationVIP made the whole experience unforgettable and wonderful.

Why did you choose this trip? I had never been to Yosemite before, and the opportunity to do volunteer work that helped to maintain the park was important to me.

What would your advice be to potential travelers? Pack long pants for doing trailwork! Bring layers to handle different temperatures and weather!

What was the highlight of your trip? The 4 Mile to Glacier Point to Panorama Trail hike was definitely my highlight, especially because it felt like we had earned the day off.

About Me Casual Adventurer

✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.

by DeerKate on ConservationVIP
Incredible Yosemite experience

I just returned from this trip and really had a very positive experience all around. It was a great opportunity to spend a week camping in Yosemite while giving back to the park by helping to maintain the trails. We worked with Conservation VIP as well as members of the California Conservation Corps (CCC) and staff from the National Parks Service (NPS) and it was interesting to learn about all of the groups and the work that they do. We learned a lot about what goes into trail maintenance. The work level was very reasonable.

Our group got along very well from right off the bat. We shared bottles of wine over dinner and got to know each other in just a matter of days. We had great conversations around the campfire every evening.

Our Conservation VIP Guides, Paul, Kelly, and Dale were so well organized and communicated the plans and expectations very well. Safety was paramount. They checked in with us on a regular basis to make sure everything was going okay, that we were comfortable, and they were great resources for our many questions. I felt like we were in very good hands all week. It would have been nice to know more about Conservation VIP prior to the trip.

On our free day, I joined three other members of our group on a long and challenging hike around Yosemite, which was an amazing way to round out our time there. Also, in the evenings after our work and in the mornings before our work, I had time to run, hike, and walk through the park. I felt like I got to see a lot of the Yosemite Valley while we were there.

The one suggestion I would make is to modify the gear list for this trip. I think there should be more of an emphasis on cold weather clothing. I personally packed too many shorts and t-shirts. We found out that shorts are not even permitted to be worn when working on the trails, so that would have been helpful to know in advance. I was very cold in the early mornings and later evenings, despite my many layers, and wished I had brought a jacket and gloves with me instead of shorts that I could not even wear.

Why did you choose this trip? I wanted to see Yosemite, to camp, and to do a service trip. The dates of this trip fit my schedule perfectly, so it was a no brainer for me to sign up.

 What would your advice be to potential travelers? As always, go into a trip like this with an open mind, be flexible, and willing to compromise as you will be working within a group. Read the gear list carefully and show up prepared. Ask questions if you have them.

What was the highlight of your trip? The highlights for me were camping in the Yosemite Valley, seeing/photographing wildlife, and working alongside some great people.

About Me Avid Adventurer

✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.

by Moe12 on ConservationVIP
The best time!

Sept 2017 - I was part of a fantastic group that spent a week in Yosemite who cleaned up a neglected trail and made it our own. We named it 'The CVIP' trail. This trip exceeded my expectations - Yosemite is stunning, the CVIP group leaders and NPS Trail Crew were experienced, nice, helpful, and fun. The group was the best. We all got a long so well and came from different circumstances - and had a blast together.

Why did you choose this trip? I was looking for a fun vacation with a purpose.

What would your advice be to potential travelers? Come with an open mind, have fun, and enjoy your surroundings.

What was the highlight of your trip? Admiring the trail we cleared after 4 long days of working on it. Also, going on a beautiful hike on the Mist Trail.

 About Me Casual Adventurer

✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.

by Sister on ConservationVIP

Went on this trip two weeks ago. It was fabulous. Yosemite was spectacular, our guides knowledgeable and fun. The team was a great mix of of backgrounds and interests all wanting to give back. The work was hard but no one was asked to do more than they were comfortable with doing. I would highly recommend this to anyone wanting a fun and rewarding experience in one of our most beautiful National Parks I came away feeling really lucky to have had such a great experience. I would do it again in a minute !

Why did you choose this trip? My sister discribed what she was going to do, I was intrigued and wanted to join her. I wait listed and luckily a spot opened up so I could go

 What would your advice be to potential travelers? Pay attention to gear list and recommendations, they know what they are doing

About Me Casual Adventurer

✔ Yes, I recommend this trip.

 

Page 1 of 5:
«
 
 
1
2
3
4
5
 
»
 

 

About Yosemite National Park

One of the first wilderness parks in the United States, Yosemite is famous for its granite cliffs and waterfalls, giant sequoia groves and spectacular vistas and hikes. It is home to hundreds of wildlife species and over a thousand plant species. Yosemite National Park displays the grandeur and glory of nature’s finest work.

“It is by far the grandest of all the special temples of Nature
I was ever permitted to enter.” —John Muir

In 2007, Conservation Volunteers International Program supported the creation of a “Sister Park” partnership between Yosemite National Park in California and Torres del Paine National Park in Patagonia, Chile. Sister parks encourage parks, communities and volunteers to work together to protect important natural resources and environments.

Discover Alternate Ways to contribute

GET INVOLVED
RSS
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram