• View of Half Dome and Washington Column in Yosemite Valley

    Yosemite

    National Park California

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    The Tioga Road (Highway 120 through the park) is closed due to snow; it usually reopens in late May or June. You can check on current road conditions by calling 209/372-0200 (press 1 then 1). More »

Drop-in Volunteering and Special Events

Conifer Removal Project
Overview
Throughout the year, we have several special events such as Junior Ranger Day, Earth Day (both in April), Apple Picking Day (mid August), and the Yosemite Facelift (late September), where volunteers can just show up, no application needed. We list these events on this website when we know the dates for each year, as well as on www.volunteer.gov. We also have at least one weekly drop-in volunteer day each week in summer, known as "HaPY."

For all special events and drop in days, the park asks participants to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes, appropriate gear for the weather, and bring sun protection, water, and snacks. The park provides tools and protective equipment.

All participants must sign a volunteer agreement [52 kb PDF]. If you'd like to fill out the in advance, this form will be posted with each special event or drop-in project as they are planned (you can also sign one on the day of the project on-site). Guardians must sign the form for participants under the age of 18.

HaPY (Habitat Protectors of Yosemite)
(Drop-in Volunteering)

We need your help to keep Yosemite's habitat healthy for the plants and animals who live here! By removing invasive plants, restoring oak woodlands, picking up litter, and maintaining food lockers, you can make Yosemite a healthier place for all. Volunteers can participate in the Habitat Protectors of Yosemite (HaPY) program during summer. Visit the HaPY web page to learn more, and the Yosemite Guide for current schedules.
 
Image of Volunteer Vest
Special Events

Earth Day - April
Yosemite has a park-wide celebration of Earth Day, usually on the Saturday on or before Earth Day. The park usually schedules a volunteer project on both the Earth Day celebration date as well as Earth Day itself. Projects include ecological restoration and litter cleanup, and are appropriate for all ages. In the past projects have been two to three hours in duration. Check back as the dates approach for more information.



National Park Week - April
While there may not be specific National Park Week projects, Junior Ranger Day and Earth Day usually fall during National Park Week.

Junior Ranger Day - April
Volunteer to earn your Junior Ranger Badge! As part of the Junior Ranger Day celebration, volunteers will do a restoration or litter project.

Apple Picking Day - August
Historic apple orchards in Yosemite Valley attract bears, leading them to eat non-native foods while increasing human-bear conflicts in parking areas and campgrounds near the orchards. To help decrease the impact of the orchards, volunteers are invited to pick apples, removing the temptations for the bears. Usually scheduled sometime in August or early September, depending on when the apples ripen. Check back in late July for an exact date.

Yosemite Facelift (and National Public Lands Day) - last week in September
In partnership with the Yosemite Climbing Association, the National Park Service puts on this five-day event each September, Wednesday through Sunday including the last Saturday of the month. In 2012 over 1,200 volunteers cleaned up 20,000 pounds of debris from the park. To learn more, visit our partners at the Yosemite Climbing Association.

Did You Know?

Vernal and Nevada Falls

In Yosemite Valley, dropping over 594-foot Nevada Fall and then 317-foot Vernal Fall, the Merced River creates what is known as the “Giant Staircase.” Such exemplary stair-step river morphology is characterized by a large variability in river movement and flow, from quiet pools to the dramatic drops of the waterfalls themselves.