Special Programs

Yosemite Forum

An interactive lecture series designed to bring evolving knowledge of the Sierra Nevada to the public and the park. Sponsored by the Yosemite National Park Division of Resources Management and Science.


Stars Over Yosemite 2023

Programs are cancelled for the 2023 season. We hope to resume them in 2024.


Parsons Memorial Lodge Summer Series 2022

Even at a distance, the Parsons Memorial Lodge continues to be a gathering place for our most creative ideas. Perched near the Sierra crest at an elevation of 8,600 feet, and close to where the bubbling waters of Soda Springs return to the air for the first time in millennia, we are invited to ask questions that are deep, lofty, and difficult. How do we live sustainably on this planet? How can we honor and protect the non-human world of nature? How does nature connect us to sorrow and to joy? How do we nurture hope? The Parsons Memorial Lodge Summer Series invites scientists, poets, philosophers, storytellers, and people like you from far and wide to weigh in on this ongoing conversation.

Masks may be required for entry to Parsons Lodge depending on COVID-19 community levels.

Allow 30 minutes walking time to Parsons Memorial Lodge from the Soda Springs trailhead east of the Tuolumne Meadows Visitor Center. Admission is free.

Saturday, July 23

2:00–3:30 pm

Gifts of Granite, Wisdom from Rivers: Natural History and Poetry of the Sierra Nevada

Authors Steven Nightingale and Richard Nevle discuss their new collection of essays and poems, The Paradise Notebooks. With special guest Deborah Levoy.

Sunday, July 24

2:00–3:30 pm

Out in the Grass: A Collection of Melodies Found in a Meadow

An afternoon of music with locally cultivated singer-songwriter group the White Bark Pine.

Saturday, July 30 (Cancelled)

2:00–3:30 pm

Seeking Yosemite on the Farm: A Journey to Grow Beauty and Cultivate Belonging on the Land

A talk by Crystie Kisler, co-founder of Finnriver, farmer, educator, and community food system activist

Sunday, July 31 (Cancelled)

2:00–3:30 pm

Becoming a Freedom Farmer: The Connection Between Conservation, Food Sovereignty, and Land Stewardship

A talk by Dr. Jasmine Ratliff, Co-Executive Director of National Black Food & Justice Alliance.

Saturday, August 6

2:00–3:30 pm

Regenerating Soil, Regenerating Soul: The Role of Wonder, Awe and Biophilia in Planetary Recovery

A talk by Hannah Gosnell, Professor of Geography, College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University.

Saturday, August 13

2:00–3:30 pm

Alpine Inspiration: A Wellness Retreat in the Meadows

Mindfulness practice with Heather Sullivan, Executive Director and co-founder of Balanced Rock.

Sunday, August 14

2:00–3:30 pm

Improvisation As A Lifestyle: Don’t just spend time preparing for the outcome...
spend time preparing for whatever may come!

An interactive music performance by creativity farmer, multiinstrumentalist, and fashion insultant Joe Craven.

Saturday and Sunday, August 20 & 21

26th Annual Tuolumne Meadows Poetry Festival

Morning workshops and afternoon readings with music featuring poets Ellen Bass, Mai Der Vang, Megan Levad, and musician Shira Kammen

Saturday workshop with Mai Der Vang: 10:00-11:30 am Sunday workshop with Megan Levad: 10:00-11:30am Readings: 2:00-3:3 0pm

This project is made possible by the National Park Service and through the generosity of the Yosemite Conservancy donors and the Friends of Parsons Lodge.


Obata Art Weekend

August 26–28

We are excited to offer the Obata Art Weekend for a second year. The event will be held August 26 through 28to celebrate Chiura Obata's art, impact, and connection to Yosemite. In line with Obata’s philosophy, this event strives to highlight how both art and nature can help sustain us physically and emotionally and grow in understanding and appreciation for ourselves, our neighbors, and natural spaces. The event includes guest speakers, such as Kimi Hill (Family Historian of Obata’s family), artist workshops, demos and other programs. Thanks to Yosemite Conservancy donors for their generous support of this event.


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Annual Yosemite Facelift: September

September 22-26, 2021

In partnership with the Yosemite Climbing Association, the National Park Service puts on this five-day event each September, in celebration of National Public Lands Day. In 2019 over 2,000 volunteers cleaned up 16,429 pounds of debris from the park. The 2020 event was a virtual celebration, challenging participants to Act Local in their own communities. In 2021, the event is modified as follows:

  • All Facelift-related activity takes place outdoors.
  • Volunteers are strongly encouraged to clean on their own or with their household pods, and are asked to avoid large gatherings.
  • No in-person evening programming is offered. Speakers and video will be streamed. For more information, go to www.yosemitefacelift.com.
  • A reservation system is currently in place to visit Yosemite National Park. All event participants must register in advance and will receive an event confirmation. Participants are required to bring a printed or digital copy of the event confirmation and a photo ID to enter Yosemite National Park. If you did not pre-register to attend Facelift, admittance to Yosemite National Park as part of the event will not be allowed. You will be turned away at the park’s entrance gate.

Learn more about the Yosemite Facelift event.

Last updated: January 26, 2023

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