Backpacking: On the Quest for Bighorn Sheep

A guided Yosemite backpacking trip in the backcountry brings visitors inside the rugged alpine habitat of endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep.
August 24, 2017 to August 27, 2017

Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are making a comeback from the brink of extinction! Join a unique Yosemite backpacking trip to explore their stomping grounds in Mount Gibbs. Once absent from Yosemite, endangered Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep are again roaming the park’s high peaks, thanks to restoration and monitoring efforts supported by our donors. Here’s your chance to discover the bighorn’s remarkable story and rugged habitat firsthand, on a one-of-a-kind guided backpacking adventure!

From base camp near Mono Pass, explore a herd’s stomping grounds on Mt. Gibbs, you use special scopes to spot and zoom in on sheep, and  learn about bighorn conservation from one of the experts who has helped bring the species back from the brink, Yosemite biologist Sarah Stock.

Learn more about how our donors have helped bring bighorns back to Yosemite and watch a Yosemite Nature Notes about these wild animals. 

Included with your registration:

  • An introductory evening meeting (7:30 pm on Thursday, Aug. 24 at Tuolumne Meadows Campground) and three full days of guided backpacking in the Tuolumne Meadows area. (Start at 8:30 am on Friday, Aug. 25 and returning about 3 pm on Sunday, Aug. 27 (depending on group pace)
  • Park entry (as needed)
  • Camping before and after the trip (as needed, Aug. 24 and Aug. 27) at Tuolumne Meadows Campground
  • Bear canister rental (as needed) and wilderness permits
  • There is no discount if you choose not to use our gate pass or campsites. 
  • Note: Information about upgrading your accommodations to stay at Tuolumne Lodge will be emailed to you after you sign up.
Experience level: Intermediate; previous backpacking experience preferred and must be physically fit
Hiking: Moderate, set up base camp near Mono Pass at 10,599 feet elevation and three and half miles in and out. On Saturday, hike about three miles, with some scrambling required.
Elevation: 9,700 feet–12,000 feet
Registration price: $369
Naturalist Guide: Yosemite Wildlife Biologist Sarah Stock
View a suggested backpacking packing list

Sarah Stock

Sarah Stock is a wildlife biologist at Yosemite National Park where she studies songbird population dynamics, great gray owl conservation and bat ecology. Before moving to Yosemite Valley, Sarah was a migratory field biologist working with endangered species in Alaska, the Mariana Islands, Hawaii and the Big Sur Ornithology Lab. She earned her Master’s degree at the University of Idaho and has authored many technical reports and peer-reviewed publications on western landbird status, ecology and management.

Read an Expert Insider article from Yosemite Conservancy Magazine featuring Sarah Stock's important work on songbird populations in Yosemite.