Dine and Discover: Exploring Yosemite Wildlife

During a weekend of guided hikes in Yosemite, visitors get an up-close look at spring life in the park, including wildflowers in bloom, on a Yosemite Conservancy Outdoor Adventure.
September 15, 2017 to September 17, 2017

Yosemite is a hub for biodiversity, providing a protected home for more than 400 vertebrate species. On this wildlife-focused weekend, you’ll have the unique chance to learn from a team of National Park Service experts as you visit varied habitats to observe some of the park’s most fascinating creatures.

On Friday evening, stroll through Yosemite Valley to search for western pond turtles and California red-legged frogs, then watch the park’s bear team in action during a nighttime prowl. On Saturday, head to Ackerson Meadow, Yosemite’s newest protected area, to soak up beautiful scenery while keeping an eye out for reptiles, amphibians and mammals; as dusk falls, look for nocturnal bats and owls. End your weekend with a Sunday in one of Yosemite's magnificent giant sequoia groves, listening to the drumbeat of woodpeckers, watching for flocks of migrating songbirds, and learning about the many species that make their homes among the towering trees.    

Included with your registration:

  • An evening presentation with food and refreshments (Friday, Sept. 15, 4 pm–10 pm) and two full days of wildlife-focused experiences with rangers (Saturday, Sept. 16, 1 pm–10 pm in Ackerson Meadow, and Sunday, Sept. 17, 9 am–4 pm in a sequoia grove).
  • Park entry (as needed)
  • Three nights of camping (as needed, Sept. 15, 16 and 17) at Upper Pines Campground in Yosemite Valley
  • Note: There is no discount if you choose not to use our gate pass or campsites. Information about upgrading your accommodations to stay at Yosemite Valley Lodge will be emailed to you after you sign up.


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

April 21–April 22   Sierra Tree Mortality — Death of the Ponderosa Pine
May 5–May 7   Spring Feathers and Flowers
June 2–June 3   Geology Underfoot with Greg Stock
Aug. 6   Full Moon Hike to Taft Point
Sept. 15–Sept. 17   Exploring Yosemite Wildlife
Sept. 29–Oct. 1   American Indian Food Preparation and Acorns
Oct 6   Full Moon Hike to Taft Point


Experience Level: Any
Hiking: Moderate; 1–3 miles on Friday and Saturday, 3–6 miles on Sunday
Elevation: 4,000 feet 
Registration price: $289
Yosemite Wildlife Experts: Sarah Stock, Terrestrial Ecologist; Stephanie Eyes, Wildlife Biologist; Breeanne “Breezy” Jackson, Research Ecologist; Ninette Daniele, Wildlife Biologist; Molly Thompson, Wildlife Biologist

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.

Stephanie Eyes, Yosemite Wildlife Biologist

Stephanie Eyes

Stephanie Eyes is a wildlife biologist in Yosemite, overseeing the park's owl- and carnivore-monitoring programs. She has been a National Park Service employee since 2014 and previously worked in Yosemite for the US Geological Survey. Eyes received her M.S. degree from Humboldt State University studying the effects of fire severity on Yosemite’s spotted owls. While finishing her Master’s, Stephanie worked for the US Forest Service monitoring the Pacific fisher population south of the park. Her previous experience includes monitoring reintroduced bald eagles at Channel Islands National Park and observing migrating raptors in southwestern Wyoming.