As part of the oldest and largest state conservation-corps program in the country, young adults (ages 18–25) have restored trails and developed life skills in Yosemite since 1976. In addition to comprehensive training in dry-stone masonry techniques, youth learn about ecology, resource management, sustainability, wilderness survival training and career development. Participants spend their summers immersed in the outdoors, while learning valuable life skills and preparing for careers in the National Park Service or related fields.
Conservancy donors have been supporting CCC crews continuously since 1997, funding transformative projects on thousands of miles of trails all over Yosemite, from Isberg Pass on the park’s southeastern edge to the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River to Benson Lake.
In recent years, CCC crews have improved trails between the popular Vogelsang and Merced High Sierra Camps; cleared and repaired backcountry trails in the remote TilTill Valley; constructed steps on the switchbacks around Bunnell Point; restored sections of the iconic Pacific Crest Trail; and rehabilitated trails affected by the 2013 Rim Fire and other major wildfires. In 2014 alone, the two donor-supported CCC crews completed work on approximately 140 miles of trails, built 11 water bars to improve drainage, and constructed nearly 500 square feet of multi-tiered rock walls.
In 2016, Yosemite’s CCC crews are working in Matterhorn Canyon, on trails along the Lyell Fork of the Merced River, and near Isberg Pass, Post Peak Pass and Red Peak Pass. If you see a CCC crew on the trails, be sure to say hello and take a look at their work!