10 Ways to Find Your Park in Yosemite

10 Ways to Find Your Park in Yosemite

Looking for a first, favorite or fresh way to experience Yosemite? Try one (or more!) of these 10 tips for deepening your connection with the park.

We've been counting down to this week's big public lands milestone with 10 ways to Find Your Park in Yosemite, based on this original 99-item list. In case you missed our recent social media posts leading up to the National Park Service's 100th birthday on August 25, here's our top 10 list!

Credit: Alicia Martinez


10. Mail a postcard ... or go paper- and postage-free with a virtual version!  Browse our seasonal selection of free Yosemite wallpapers for desktop and mobile, and share your favorite view with a friend.

Credit: Keith Walklet

9. Go climbing. If you're heading for one of Yosemite's granite walls, keep an eye out for approach trails restored by volunteer and staff crews, with support from our donors.

Prefer to keep your feet on the ground? Don't miss the Ask a Climber program near El Capitan Meadow, which runs through mid-October. 


Credit: Josh Helling

8. Have a picnic. August is National Picnic Month - what better way to celebrate! Thanks to our donors and volunteers for supporting projects to improve picnic areas throughout the park, including at Tenaya Lake's East Beach (pictured), at the Tuolumne Grove trailhead, and near Swinging Bridge. 

Credit: Janet Stanley-White


7. Recreate a historic photo. Here's one of our favorites - tourists tipping their hats atop Sentinel Dome, in 1915. Send us your historic shots (original or recreated), and explore our website to learn about grants to help preserve park history. 

Credit: Nancy Robbins


6. Bee pollinator friendly! Yosemite is a haven for bees, birds, butterflies and other pollinators, which play a critical role in healthy ecosystems (and in our food system). You can help protect pollinators by staying on trails, leaving flowers where you find them, and supporting habitat restoration in the park.


Credit: Keith Walklet

5. Earn a Junior Ranger badge. Yosemite's Junior Ranger activities, part of the Youth in Yosemite Programs our donors support, is a great way to learn about nature and stewardship, whether you're a kid or a slightly less junior kid at heart! Check out the Yosemite Guide (available online and in the park) for a current schedule of ranger-led nature walks and talks.


Credit: Yosemite Conservancy

4. Be a citizen scientist. Back in May, 55 volunteers recorded more than 600 observations of 250+ different species during the Yosemite BloomBlitz (check out our blog post about the day). Here are a few ways you can get involved in citizen science:

- Join the annual Yosemite bird and butterfly counts.

- Use the iNaturalist app to record your own observations wherever you are, from the Sierra backcountry to your own backyard.

- Keep an eye out for ranger- and naturalist-led evening walks featuring special echolocation recording software to learn about and listen to Yosemite's bat species.

Credit: NPS/Caitlin Lee-Roney


3. Be bear aware! Drive slowly, and use bear-proof lockers and canisters to store your food. If you see a bear, keep your distance, and report the sighting to Yosemite's wildlife team. Thanks to our donors for supporting efforts to protect Yosemite's bears, including through bear-proof food lockers and tracking technology!

Credit: Yosemite Conservancy


2. Stand on a mountaintop. Yosemite's peaks and domes offer unparalleled views of stunning Sierra scenery. Join us for a naturalist-led group adventure in the high country, or take a look at some of our ideas for bagging a peak during a customized day hike or backpacking trek.


Credit: Yosemite Conservancy

1. Be part of your park! Volunteer, explore, donate, participate in a ranger- or naturalist-led program, learn to be a "Leave No Trace" ace ... however you choose to get involved, thank you! Today, and every day, our thanks go out to the rangers, trail and wilderness crews, researchers, youth groups and others who are working hard to preserve our public lands in Yosemite and beyond.


The official 100th birthday party might be over, but that doesn't mean you have to stop celebrating! See the full list of ways to Find Your Park all year at findyourpark.com, and be sure to read our special NPS Centennial guest post from Yosemite Conservancy President Frank Dean.


Yosemite Insider