In order to preserve the natural and aesthetic value of the Yosemite Wilderness, groups of eight people or more should be aware of the following information.
Group Size Limits
Cross-country use is defined to be travel more than one-quarter mile from an established trail or road. (This includes any peak climbing.)
If you want to travel in groups larger than any of the limits, you must split into sub-groups and comply with all of the following:
If you would like to obtain a permit for a large group, please consider the following tips.
Although many organized groups publish their trip schedule before reservation requests are accepted, the National Park Service cannot guarantee the availability of any trailhead or date. Trip participants should be informed that adjustments may have to be made due to quota limitations.
There is also a group site at the Hetch Hetchy backpackers' campground.
In addition to normal Leave No Trace principles, please also consider these points for large groups.
Campsite Selection: Take care and time in selecting a proper and adequate campsite. Concentrate use on existing and well established sites devoid of vegetation. Camp at least 200 feet from any water source or trail. Do not improve, expand, or build any installations in the campsite.There are campsites in the Yosemite Wilderness that are particularly good spots for groups. Find your own spots beforehand or ask a park ranger about campsites or how to find one when you pick up your permit.
Noise/Seclusion: Wilderness areas are valued and protected for their opportunities for solitude and natural quiet, so please respect other visitors’ Wilderness experience. Camp out of sight and sound of other users. Do not spread out, but keep your impact to a small area. Keep voices low and avoid activities that may result in excessive noise.
Water Quality Protection/Human Waste: Water quality protection and sanitation have become increasingly important as Wilderness use grows. Groups must be particularly aware of proper waste disposal due to their concentrated use. Group leaders should carry small plastic trowels, and all participants must be told how to properly dispose of human waste. Small cat holes, six inches deep, should be dug a minimum of 100 feet from any water source or stream bed for each use. Holes should be naturalized after use. Toilet paper must be packed out with all other trash. Please help protect water quality by ensuring all members of your group understand these procedures.You can also protect water quality by doing all washing, and dumping all waste water, away from campsites and at least 100 feet from any water source. Never wash anything directly in rivers, lakes, or streams. All drinking water should be treated with a giardia-rated filter, iodine, or by boiling.
Campfires: If you plan to have a campfire, find an existing campfire ring. Build a small warming fire, not a large bonfire that wastes scare firewood. We strongly encourage the use of stoves for cooking.
Trash: All trash must be packed out. Many groups make projects of picking up extra trash, we hope you will too. We will happily supply extra trash bags.
Did You Know?
For over 40 years, NatureBridge has served over 40,000 youth and adults annually through a unique variety of environmental education programs at their national park campuses in California and Washington, including their Yosemite National Park campus.