Backpacking: On the Quest for Bighorn Sheep

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 23, 2018 to August 26, 2018

Join a unique Yosemite backpacking trip to explore the stomping grounds of an iconic endangered species: Sierra Nevada bighorn sheep. Scientists have been working to bring bighorn back to Yosemite through restoration and monitoring efforts supported by our donors.

On this one-of-a-kind guided backpacking adventure, you’ll explore rugged bighorn habitat on Mount Gibbs and get an inside look at technology and techniques used to track the sheep. You’ll also have the chance to learn from Yosemite biologist Sarah Stock, one of the experts who is working toward the long-term goal of returning wild sheep to the park.

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

Included with your registration:

  • Three full days of guided backpacking in the Tuolumne Meadows area. Start at 8:30 am on August 24 through 3 pm on August 26 (dependent on the speed of the group), plus an introductory evening meeting (7:30 pm on Thursday, August 23 at Tuolumne Meadows Campground).
  • Park entry (as needed).
  • Shared camping before and after the trip (as needed, August 23 and August 26) 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. The option to upgrade expires 45 days before the program.
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: $389
Naturalist Guide: NPS Wildlife Biologist Sarah Stock and Bighorn Sheep Expert Dr. John Wehausen
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.