Dine and Discover: American Indian Food Preparation and Acorn Basketry

Dine and Discover: American Indian Food Preparation and Acorn Basketry

Revered cultural icon Julia Parker leads visitors on a journey through American-Indian traditions and history in Yosemite Valley.
September 21, 2018 to September 23, 2018

Often described as a “national treasure” for ensuring the legacy of the Miwok-Paiute people in Yosemite, Julia Parker worked as a cultural demonstrator in the park for more than 60 years. This is a rare opportunity to join the recently retired Julia and her daughter Lucy for a three-day journey through American-Indian traditions in Yosemite Valley.

As Julia and Lucy share stories passed down through generations, you’ll see Yosemite through the lens of the people who lived in the Valley for thousands of years before white settlers arrived. Discover their deep understanding of Yosemite’s native plants and natural resources, and learn how to prepare a traditional Miwok meal by gathering and grinding acorns and weaving your own acorn basket with a dogbane handle. 

All materials will be provided for this one-of-a-kind program.

Read “Q&A with a Yosemite Insider” in Yosemite Conservancy magazine to learn more about Julia Parker and her important cultural contributions. Also explore Julia’s story through her DVD, Grandmother’s Prayer, or book, Scrape the Willow Until it Sings.


Included with your registration:

  • Two and a half day workshop with the Parker family starting at 9 am until about 4 pm on Saturday, ending a little earlier on Sunday. With a partial program on Friday late-afternoon.
  • Park entry (as needed).
  • Three nights of shared camping (as needed, arrive Sept 20 departing 24) at Upper Pines Campground.Tent camping only .
  • There is no discount if you choose not to use our gate pass or campsites.
  • Note: Information about upgrading your accommodations to stay at Yosemite Valley Lodge will be emailed to you after you sign up. The option to upgrade expires 45 days before the program.


Interested in our Dine and Discover programs?  Here are our options:

May 4–6   Spring Feathers and Flowers
June 27   Full Moon Hike to Taft Point - Trip 1
Sept. 14–16   Exploring Yosemite Wildlife
Sept. 21–23   American Indian Food Preparation and Acorns

Experience level: Any
Hiking: Easy
Elevation: 4,000 feet
Registration price: $429
Naturalist Guides: Julia Parker, Lucy Parker and Ursula Jones
View a suggested packing list
Julia Parker, Yosemite Conservancy expert guide and basket weaver

Julia Parker

Julia Parker has lived and worked in Yosemite for over fifty years where she is the park’s longest-tenured employee. As a “living legend”, Julia has dedicated her life to preserving and communicating traditional American Indian cultural history, inspiring visitors to be responsible environmental stewards. She has studied under master weavers and currently demonstrates basket weaving techniques at the Yosemite Museum. Her handiwork is highly sought after and several of her baskets are displayed in prominent museums and collections all over the world.

Lucy Parker, Yosemite Conservancy expert guide and basket weaver

Lucy Parker

Lucy Parker is descended from a long line of Yosemite cultural interpreters. Brought up in a traditional cradle basket, Lucy worked in the park as an Indian cultural demonstrator for many seasons. She has also performed living history at Bodie State Park, and demonstrated traditions of the Paiute people at the Lee Vining Visitor Center.