• Rainbow over Half Dome

    Yosemite

    National Park California

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  • Road Closures Due to El Portal Fire

    The Big Oak Flat Road between Crane Flat and the El Portal Road is temporarily closed. There is no access to Yosemite Valley via the Big Oak Flat Road or Highway 120. Tioga Road is open and accessible via Big Oak Flat and Tioga Pass Entrances. More »

  • Campground Closures Due to Fire

    Crane Flat, Bridalveil Creek, and Yosemite Creek Campgrounds are temporarily closed. More »

  • Yosemite National Park is Open

    Yosemite Valley, Glacier Point, and Wawona/Mariposa Grove areas are open and accessible via Highways 140 and 41. Tioga Road is not accessible via Highways 140 and 41 due to a fire.

Group Volunteering

Group of volunteers
Overview
Your group--whether it's a scout troop, a family, a church, a school, a group of coworkers, or a class reunion--can come to volunteer together! (If you don't have your own group, you can join one of our partner groups). Most of our group work takes place between May and October, with some work in March and April, and more limited options in fall and winter. Work projects vary depending upon the time of year, age of the participants, special skills, and group size (most projects are designed for 5 to 25 people). Past projects have included:
  • Vegetation restoration: planting and watering native plants, removing invasive plant species, building fences to protect meadows, thinning conifers for fuel reduction, GPS mapping of invasive plants…
  • Wildlife protection: harvesting apples, installing food lockers, inventorying frogs…
  • Campground maintenance: cleaning out fire pits, picking up litter, installing signs, repairing and installing picnic tables…
  • Building and trail maintenance: painting, carpentry work, trail construction, fuel reduction (removal of built up vegetation or thinning of young trees), firewood stacking, building boardwalks and ramps…
  • And more!

Projects are assigned to qualified groups in the order requested after the catalog is released.

 
Volunteer work week group

Peak Season Group Projects (May through October)
Planning over 200 projects and assigning groups to them is a huge task! To manage the work, the Yosemite Volunteer Program Office posts a catalog of projects [1 MB PDF] online. It will contain program policies, project descriptions, dates for planned projects, and a project request form. In order to assign projects fairly, we ask that groups wait until the catalog is posted to schedule a group volunteer project during this peak season. This year the catalog will be posted by January 22, and we will begin accepting project requests on January 24 at 8 am. If you would like to be notified when the catalog is posted online, please email us with your name, group name, email, and phone number.

Weekend dates are popular, and fill fast. If your group will volunteer for more than three full days or during the off-season, you may schedule your project before the catalog is posted.

Off-season Projects
Groups are welcome to volunteer all year, however, project options are more limited November through April due to winter weather, limited staffing, and limited campsites during March and April. We do not post a catalog, but instead design custom projects on request. Just fill out the current Group Project Request Form [124 kb PDF] or [52 kb DOC] and submit as directed on the form.

Alternative Spring Breaks
Each year, Yosemite hosts a few college and secondary school groups volunteering during their spring breaks. February to April can be a challenging time to plan projects in Yosemite, as much of the park is difficult to access due to snow, plants are dormant, and the ground in most of the park may be covered in snow. Specific work may not be planned until the last minute. The park can provide campsites, but lodging options are limited. Please contact us at 209/379-1850 to discuss options.

Partner-Organized Projects
Individual volunteers may become part of a group organized by one of the many partners of the park. While the National Park Service leads the projects, the partners organize the individuals, their food, and their cooking equipment. Most partner projects last a week, and provide a great way for individual volunteers to serve short-term. Learn more about volunteering with our partners.

Did You Know?

El Portal Boulder Bar

At the east end of El Portal, just west of Yosemite National Park’s boundary, changing river gradients, glacial history, and powerful floods have created a boulder bar with boulders much larger than typically found in such deposits. This is no ordinary boulder bar, however, for it contains massive boulders over a meter in diameter and weighing many tons.