Yosemite Volunteer Vacation

From: $320

per person dbl occ

Dates: May-Sep - see all dates

Total Days: 5

Activity Level: 3

Reserve This Trip

1-800-622-2236

Chat Online

Monday–Friday,
7 AM to 5 PM Pacific Time

Yosemite Volunteer Vacation

Price:

2014

$320

Trip Dates:

2014

  • May 14–18 Sold out
  • Sep 17–21 Sold out

More great trips like this:
Machu Picchu Volunteer Vacation
Torres del Paine Volunteer Vacation

Group Size: 10-20

Activity Level: 3

Activities:

  • Trail Maintenance
  • Restoration

Accommodations:

Camping, 4 nights (bring your own tent)

Trip Highlights

  • Give back to one of America's most popular wildernesses, Yosemite National Park
  • Work with rangers to maintain trails and protect fragile resources
  • Learn about trail building and restoration, park conservation, and tool skills
  • Spend 4 nights camping out in beautiful Yosemite Valley

Help protect one of America's best-known icons: Yosemite National Park. Volunteers in Yosemite Valley help rangers renovate trails and restore fragile natural resources. Our volunteer vacation may take many forms. Among the variety of tasks asked of us, we may repair trails from visitor and water damage, remove rocks or asphalt from trail tread, cut vegetation to clear trails, or move crushed rock to create dry walking surfaces. Training in all aspects of our work is provided, and previous experience isn't required.

May and September are the perfect times to visit Yosemite, with pleasant daytime temperatures and fewer visitors than during the summer months. Enjoy the camaraderie of working with other outdoor enthusiasts and have fun while giving back.

REI is pleased to offer this exciting opportunity in collaboration with Conservation Volunteers International Program, encouraging communities and parks to work together to protect important natural resources and the environment.

Itinerary Summary

  • Day 1 - Meet for orientation and enjoy a welcome dinner.
  • Days 2-4 - Working with park rangers, assist in trail maintenance and restoration.
  • Day 5 - Depart Yosemite for home.

See full itinerary

Trip Itinerary and Details

Important Notice: Day 1 is the day you should plan to arrive at the meeting point for the trip. This may require departing your hometown one or more days in advance and traveling on an overnight flight.

  • Day 1 - Meet for orientation and enjoy a welcome dinner.

    Our volunteer vacation begins this afternoon at 12:30 p.m. at the Yellow Pines Volunteer Campground located in the middle of Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park. An orientation meeting will be conducted to provide volunteers with an overview of the scheduled work projects as well as training in proper tool use and safety. In the evening, we'll enjoy our welcome dinner together. Dinner and campground reservation included.

  • Days 2-4 - Working with park rangers, assist in trail maintenance and restoration.

    We begin the day with breakfast at the campground, prepare a box lunch, and then travel a short distance to the day's work assignment in Yosemite Valley. During these three days, we plan to work from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. with an hour scheduled for lunch. We return to Yellow Pines Campground each evening for dinner and relaxation. All meals included.

  • Day 5 - Depart Yosemite for home.

    The Yosemite National Park Volunteer Project ends with breakfast this morning. Volunteers wishing to stay longer may make reservations at other campgrounds or lodging in the park. Breakfast included.

Note on Itinerary

Although we do our very best to adhere to the schedule above, the itinerary is subject to change for numerous reasons beyond our control, including weather and terrain conditions. Work locations may vary with each volunteer expedition according to the needs of park rangers at the time the expedition takes place.

Air Travel

Please check with us before purchasing your airline tickets to ensure your trip has the necessary minimum number of participants required to operate.

Price Includes

All meals from dinner on Day 1 through lunch breakfast on Day 5; campground reservations; volunteer project leadership and support staff; group tools; transportation from campground to work sites; orientation and training; park entrance fees.

Not Included

Travel expenses/transportation from your home to Yellow Pines Campground, Yosemite National Park; camping gear (volunteers must bring their own tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad); cost of medical immunizations; insurance of any kind (emergency medical and evacuation insurance is mandatory for this trip and can usually be purchased for less than $75 through REI Adventures); excess baggage charges; airport taxes; alcoholic beverages or soft drinks; gratuities and items of a personal nature.

Qualifications

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. Trip members may be novice volunteers in good physical condition. Volunteers should be comfortable hiking up to two miles each day, possibly on mountainous terrain with some steep ascents and uneven trails. To assess your fitness, you should comfortably be able to hike stairs for 2-3 miles with a day pack weighing approximately 10-15 pounds as well as work in your garden all day moving plants, shoveling soil and pruning trees. To maximize your enjoyment of the trip and to avoid sore muscles, we suggest beginning a regular exercise regimen at least three months prior to departure. No previous trail maintenance or restoration experience is required.

Accommodations

During the volunteer project, we have reservations for our group at the Yellow Pines Campground. Tent space, bear boxes for safe food storage, and vault toilets are provided. Volunteers should bring all their camping equipment including tents, sleeping bags and sleeping pads as no camping gear is provided. Within 30 minutes walking distance (10-minute drive) volunteers can visit Yosemite Village for groceries, supplies, souvenirs and telephones. Telephones and showers (small fee) are available at Housekeeping Cabins and at Curry Village. Internet service (small fee) is available at Yosemite Lodge. Mobile telephone reception is generally available while visiting these developed areas of Yosemite Valley.

Food

All meals are included beginning with dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 5. We will enjoy hot breakfasts and dinners prepared and served from a mobile kitchen at our campsite. Each morning, ingredients for lunches will be provided for volunteers to prepare their own box lunches. The kitchen crew prepares excellent camp fare and healthy foods, including both meat and vegetarian selections. Bear boxes for safe food storage are provided in the campground and must be used to store any additional personal food or beverages.

Weather

Average temperatures in May and September range from 47 to 87 degrees Fahrenheit. Days are generally clear and pleasant, although wind or rain can occur year-round; all day rain is unusual. Volunteers can expect to work every day except in unusually severe weather conditions. Please come prepared for all weather possibilities and equipped with good quality raingear.

Single Travelers

Single travelers are most welcome but please remember you must have your own tent as described in the "Accommodations" paragraph above.

General Information

This trip is subject to the booking information set forth in the current REI Adventures Reservation Information. Please read this information carefully and call us if you have any questions. A full gear list and pre-departure information is sent upon sign-up. We highly recommend the purchase of travel insurance through REI Adventures. If coverage is purchased at the time of your initial reservation, the 'Pre-existing Conditions Exclusion' is waived (certain exclusions apply).

We look forward to having you join us for the trip of a lifetime! Why wait? Space is limited, reserve your adventure today.

Yosemite Volunteer Vacation Gear List

The key to staying comfortable while on an active trip is layering. To get maximum comfort with minimum weight, you need versatile layers that mix and match to create the right amount of insulation, ventilation and weather protection. This gear list has been created to help you in choosing your equipment for the trip. Try to bring only what is necessary, as this will help you and the field staff.

Weather

Average temperatures in May and September range from 47-87 degrees Fahrenheit. Days are generally clear and pleasant although wind or rain can occur year-round; all day rain is unusual. Volunteers can expect to work every day except in unusually severe weather conditions. Please come prepared for all weather possibilities and equipped with good quality raingear.

Gear Checklist

Documents
  • Proof of emergency medical and evacuation insurance
Luggage
  • Duffle bag or backpack
  • Medium daypack approx. 1,200-2,000 cu. in. (20-30 liters ) to carry your lunch, water bottles or hydration pack, equipment, extra clothing to our work sites
  • Luggage tags
Camping Gear
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag rated to 40°F or warmer (optional liner to increase warmth)
  • Sleeping pad and (optional) pillow
  • Plate
  • Cup (for hot and cold drinks)
  • Cutlery
Outerwear
  • Rain jacket, waterproof and breathable (ponchos not recommended)
  • Rain pants, waterproof and breathable, side-zip pants are highly recommended
Clothing
  • Midweight fleece jacket or wool sweater
  • Midweight thermal underwear top and bottom, synthetic or wool
  • Hiking pants, lightweight, synthetic and loose-fitting. Zip-off legs are great. No jeans!
  • Long-sleeve shirt(s)
  • T-shirts, synthetic
  • Underwear
  • Hiking socks (minimum of 2 pair)
  • Liner socks, synthetic (minimum of 2 pair)
Clothing Accessories
  • Sun hat
  • Wool or fleece hat
  • Bandana
  • Wool or fleece gloves for warmth
  • Leather gloves for work, one pair
  • Safety goggles (or similar eye protection)
Footwear
  • Sturdy hiking boots, waterproof, lightweight, broken in, aggressive tread
  • Comfortable shoes for travel and eveningwear
Travel Accessories
  • Two (2) one-quart water bottles or hydration system
  • Flashlight and spare batteries/bulb or headlamp and spare batteries/bulb
  • Sunglasses and retainer strap
  • Sunblock (minimum SPF 25) and lip balm
  • Toiletry kit with biodegradable soaps
  • Toothbrush and toothpaste
  • Towel
  • Toilet paper (one roll) in Ziploc bag
  • Personal medications
  • Insect repellent
  • Rain cover or large plastic bag for your daypack
  • Earplugs
  • Small, non-breakable/reusable containers (e.g. Tupperware) to pack daily lunches in
Optional Field Gear
  • Camera and spare batteries
  • Small binoculars
  • Watch with alarm or travel clock
  • Travel pillow
  • Small thermos
  • Folding camp chair
  • Knee pads for kneeling while working
  • Spare contact lenses or glasses
  • Baby Wipes or hand sanitizer gel
  • Reading and writing materials

Things to Consider

  • Please remember to always pack essential items such as your passport, money, eyewear, a change of clothing, hiking boots and medications in your carry-on baggage, in case your luggage is delayed
  • Wind chill can be a significant feature of this trip. Air temperatures can be relatively warm, but when the wind is constant you can be robbed of body heat quickly. Adequate wind/raingear is very important.
  • Cotton is wonderful in warm weather. However, once it becomes wet, it will drain your body heat. Bring wool or synthetics such as Capilene, MTS and Thermax.
  • Always test your layers before a trip. Your outer layer should fit easily over the inside ones without binding and bunching up.
  • Make sure boots are broken in. Bring moleskin for foot treatment. Thin liner socks worn under regular hiking socks may minimize the risk of blisters. The liner sock should be synthetic, not cotton.
  • Proper footwear is essential for your safety. Your hiking boots will protect your feet should you drop a stone or tool on them. While tennis shoes, FiveFingers shoes, and similar lightweight footwear may be worn in camp, these lightweight shoes are not acceptable while working.
  • Nights may be on the chilly side (with temperatures in the 40s F.) so dress in layers; be sure to bring enough clothes that will keep you warm at night and in the early morning.
  • You may also want to bring a cooking source if you would like to make something hot for yourself to drink after dinner (remember you will not be able to carry fuel aboard aircraft, but it is readily available in the valley camp and grocery stores).

Feel free to give us a call at (800) 622-2236 should you have any questions regarding the gear list. The staff at our stores and Direct Sales (800-426-4840) will also be happy to help you with gear questions. Or check out www.rei.com/learn. The Expert Advice section on our "Learn" page has great information to help you prepare for your trip.

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
REI AdventuresYosemite Volunteer Vacation
 
4.9

(based on 13 reviews)

100%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Group camaraderie (13)
  • Guides (12)
  • Activity level (9)
  • Food (9)
  • Exceeded expectations (8)

Cons

    Best Uses

        • Reviewer Profile:
        • Casual adventurer (10)
        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
        • Destination (11), Good value (11), Commitment to sustainability (8), I liked the itinerary (7), Travel with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts (7)

      Reviewed by 13 customers

      Sort by

      Displaying reviews 1-10

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      (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Can't wait to do this again!

      By JB8

      from Hoboken, NJ

      About Me Avid Adventurer

      See all my reviews

      Site Member

      Pros

      • Activity Level
      • Food
      • Fun Volunteer Experience
      • Group Camaraderie
      • Guides

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about REI Adventures Yosemite Volunteer Vacation:

          We had an excellent group and had a fun time both working during the days and activities in the evenings. The trip leaders were excellent and the food was outstanding!
          Even though we were volunteers it never felt like 'work'. Hikers were very thankful that we were improving the trails. Overall another amazing trip! A lot of fun!

          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
          • Active Adventures, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Recommended by a Friend, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
          • Why did you choose this trip?:
          • I had done the other REI/CVIP volunteer trips to Machu Picchu and Torres del Paine and decided to do Yosemite this year. It was another great adventure! All of the volunteer trips are outstanding and I would highly recommend to anyone considering them.
          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
          • You can't go wrong with a trip to Yosemite, the scenery is spectacular! The group was awesome and we had great trip leaders!
          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
          • Although the day time temps were pleasant it became quite chilly in the evening which is fine while sleeping but first thing in morning it's nice to have an extra warm layer. Big thanks to Dale for bringing/sharing extra blankets!! : )

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Great experience!

          By JackAbby

          from San Francisco, CA

          About Me Casual Adventurer

          Site Member

          Pros

          • Accommodations
          • Exceeded Expectations
          • Food
          • Group Camaraderie
          • Guides

          Cons

            Best Uses

              Comments about REI Adventures Yosemite Volunteer Vacation:

              I didn't know what to expect but was up for anything. Working with the park's crew was a wonderful experience and I learned alot on what it takes to maintain the beautiful trails in Yosemite. Thanks CVIP for the opportunity.

              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
              • Active Adventures, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
              • Why did you choose this trip?:
              • I've always wanted to do trail maintenance at Yosemite National Park but didn't know how to start the process. CVIP/REI made it easy. The September 2013 Yosemite Volunteer Vacation was a great experience and I would take this trip again.
              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
              • Awesome team leaders (Paul and Ed) and volunteering with like-minded outdoor enthusiasts made the experience more memorable.
              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
              • Be flexible and open-minded with the schedule. And don't forget to have fun and enjoy the view.

              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              High Adventure with my wife

              By High Adventure with Harold

              from Houston, Clear Lake near NASA, Texas

              About Me Casual Adventurer, Love To Share With Others, Trip Leader Since "73, Want To Summit

              Pros

              • Accommodations
              • Activity Level
              • Exceeded Expectations
              • Food
              • Group Camaraderie
              • Guides
              • Once in a Lifetime Experience
              • Quality Equipment Provided
              • Well Organized Itinerary

              Cons

                Best Uses

                  Comments about REI Adventures Yosemite Volunteer Vacation:

                  Our camp location was the best! I first looked through the trees and thought I was seeing the sky, little did I realize we were camping at the base of a huge cliff as high as the sky. The whole team was great, the food was great, and the fellowship was wonderful. There is something about sitting around a campfire at the end of a hard day and just talking or telling stories.

                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                  • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Motion-greg, My Wife Sheryl
                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                  • My wife, Sheryl, found the info online and I could see the gleam in her eye. So, I knew we were going.
                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                  • Everything was a highlight. But the one thing I did not expect was the great leaders and how much they helped. They truly communicated with the whole team all the time. Dale's campfires were the best. Paul's conversations about our son were most helpful. The team was all on the same page. I wished I had gotten to know everyone. It was interesting that everyone I met I wanted to know better.
                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                  • Read what is required before you go. I did not bring work boots and should have.

                  (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                   
                  5.0

                  Great working vacation

                  By Mari

                  from Campbell, CA

                  Pros

                  • Activity Level
                  • Exceeded Expectations
                  • Food
                  • Group Camaraderie
                  • Guides

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                      Comments about REI Adventures Yosemite Volunteer Vacation:

                      Trip was fantastic. Leaders are fantastic and made us all feel welcome. Very well organized and food was great.

                      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                       
                      5.0

                      Definitely do this again!

                      By Melissa the daydreamer

                      from Parsippany, NJ

                      About Me Avid Adventurer

                      Site Member

                      Pros

                      • Exceeded Expectations
                      • Fun
                      • Group Camaraderie
                      • Guides
                      • Safety First

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about REI Adventures Yosemite Volunteer Vacation:

                          The entire trip was awesome. We had a good time while really making a difference. Everyone hiking by really appreciated our work and it leaves you with a good feeling you can't get from just any vacation. I feel in love with doing trail work on this trip and I will definitely be back to do more. We did a lot more work and physical labor than I expected us to do but it all paid off in the end. The Conversation Volunteer International Program leaders did an awesome job of keeping everyone informed when problems did arise. They also keep it fun and made sure everyone was safe at all times.

                          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                          • Active Adventures, Destination, Good Value, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts

                          (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          Fantastic way to see a National treasure

                          By KarenPB

                          from Silver Spring, MD

                          About Me Casual Adventurer

                          See all my reviews

                          Pros

                          • Accommodations
                          • Activity Level
                          • Exceeded Expectations
                          • Food
                          • Group Camaraderie
                          • Guides
                          • Well Organized Itinerary

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about REI Adventures Yosemite Volunteer Vacation:

                              The trip leaders were fantastic...they really helped facilitate a really nice group coming together and bonding.

                              The food was very good and plentiful and the cook crew was wonderful.

                              Yosemite itself is just spectacular and this is a great way to give back and see a park that may be on your list of travel destinations. One of the projects we worked on - we got to build a fence...nice to know when I go back to the park it will be there.

                              • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                              • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary
                              • Why did you choose this trip?:
                              • I had gone on the Torres del Paine trip in December of 2012 and loved that volunteer vacation and learning about Conservation VIP. I have never been to Yosemite and thought this would be a wonderful way to see a park I had always wanted to see.
                              • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                              • Getting to meet another great group of people and
                              • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                              • Pack only what you need to....however be mindful that you are travelling in a shoulder season and while it does not rain often in Yosemite, however it is probably a good idea to bring the rain gear in case it does and it does get cool at night.

                              (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              5.0

                              I WILL BE BACK

                              By Dale

                              from Mount Shasta CA.

                              About Me Casual Adventurer

                              Pros

                              • Activity Level
                              • Food
                              • Group Camaraderie
                              • Guides
                              • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                              • Quality Equipment Provided
                              • Well Organized Itinerary

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                  Comments about REI Adventures Yosemite Volunteer Vacation:

                                  This is a great way of being part of maintaining trails created over 100 years ago and for future use. That 600 LB. boulder will be there there forever. When your Great Grand kids walk by it they can say my Great Grand Parents put that boulder there. The group leaders are very helping. The camp sites are away from the tourist. The volunteers are always interesting. And I got see a Bobcat and a Coyote in the wild. And the food is always good and lot of it.

                                  • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                  • Active Adventures, All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Destination, Good Value, I Liked the Itinerary, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                  • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                  • This was my third trip with REI to Yosemite. I had a great time on my first two trips and I will be back again.
                                  • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                  • Helping move 600 lb. boulders and 75 foot logs down a hill using just manual labor with a winch to help identify a trail. The food is outstanding too.
                                  • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                  • Read all the information that is send so you know what is expected. Check the weather forecast. After 4 PM your free to see the Park. You might want to spend one or two days before or after the trip to enjoy more of the Park.

                                  (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  Vacation Guilt-Free w/ a Volunteer Trip!

                                  By Chris24 Robin

                                  from San Clemente, CA

                                  About Me Casual Adventurer

                                  Pros

                                  • Food
                                  • Group Camaraderie
                                  • Guides

                                  Cons

                                  • Yosemite Park Staff Rude

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about REI Adventures Yosemite Volunteer Vacation:

                                    Great things about this trip: the group-setting, the sense of accomplishment, the food, and the location of course!

                                    Not so great things: not much, to be 100% honest. The Yosemite park staff weren't nearly as friendly as I'd expected (especially towards volunteers!) Oh, and I wasn't totally prepared for the cold temperatures at night (could have bought a warmer sleeping bag than was recommended). Would have liked a little more time for sightseeing, but you do have a few hours each day, so that's a minor quibble.

                                    • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                    • All the Details Planned for Me, Commitment to Sustainability, Good Value
                                    • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                    • I wanted to give back rather than just 'go on vacation' and take-take-take. This trip left me feeling absolutely spectacular about the small difference my work made to the environment, while allowing me to enjoy the absolute wonder of such a beautiful place.
                                    • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                    • It's hit or miss on this, but I managed to get in with a GREAT group of folks! It made all the difference in the world, too.
                                    • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                    • Double-check the list of 'required' items prior to purchasing. There were some last-minute changes that could have saved me a few bucks. Also, plan for a variety of weather. And shop around...you don't HAVE to buy from REI, but they do have a nice selection. : )

                                    (8 of 8 customers found this review helpful)

                                     
                                    5.0

                                    A great week in an amazing place

                                    By ashek

                                    from Atlanta, GA

                                    About Me Casual Adventurer

                                    Pros

                                    • Activity Level
                                    • Exceeded Expectations
                                    • Food
                                    • Group Camaraderie
                                    • Guides
                                    • Once in a Lifetime Experience
                                    • Well Organized Itinerary

                                    Cons

                                      Best Uses

                                        Comments about REI Adventures Yosemite Volunteer Vacation:

                                        •Spending time with my sons and giving back by volunteering.
                                        •Meeting great group of people
                                        •Seeing one the most beautiful national parks in the world
                                        •Learning from Professionals about Yosemite
                                        •Being part of a volunteer organization that helps to build and repair some of the greatest trails in the world.

                                        • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                        • All the Details Planned for Me, Destination, Good Value, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                        • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                        • My son was graduating from College and my wife and I wanted to give him a present that he will always remember. We love camping & hiking so this was perfect adventure to sign up for, it gave him a chance to travel to west and see one of the most beautiful national parks in the world while we had an opportunity to be with others, work on Trails and learn from a highly professional leader. Great experience and it exceeded our expectations, we absolutely loved it.
                                        • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                        • There are many highlights for this trip specially working on some of the greatest trails, but the thing that I will always remember is, my son and I every morning around 6:00 Am took a less than 5 minutes walk from the camp site to the Merced River sat on a log wood or sometimes on a bench on the shore of the river. While we drank our coffee we talked, watched the water, and listened to the nature sounds and birds while we could see the great Yosemite Falls from the far. It was one of the most amazing peaceful experiences that I have ever had.
                                        • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                        • If you have a choice make sure to select a different trail to work on every day, that way you get a chance to see more.
                                          Also if you get a chance before your event starts drive to where Sentinel Dome hike starts, it is only a 2.2 miles moderate hike. We did that and it was very helpful since we got a chance to see a 360 view of valley and it gave us a sense on where everything is before we got started.

                                        (6 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

                                         
                                        5.0

                                        Inspiring Yosemite Experience

                                        By mattjqueen

                                        from Seattle, WA

                                        About Me Casual Adventurer

                                        Pros

                                        • Educational
                                        • Exceeded Expectations
                                        • Group Camaraderie
                                        • Guides

                                        Cons

                                        • Camping

                                        Best Uses

                                          Comments about REI Adventures Yosemite Volunteer Vacation:

                                          I like cities, architecture, good food, and museums -- so i was a bit reluctant to go on a volunteer (camping) vacation. After the first hour of restoring trails i was hooked. There is something for absolutely anybody to do. You can pause and guide hikers around work sites (hikers are from all around the world and fun to talk to). There is light work to do like digging small holes for rock paths and collecting twigs/leaves for ground cover. Or, you can move 200 lb granite stones for retaining walls, and use hand winches for dragging fallen trees into place.

                                          While i planned to go through the motions and see what happened, i ended up giving it my all. I had a blast, learned a ton, and haven't been that proud of myself in quite a while. I really felt like i helped out with something great, and you will too.

                                          • Why Did You Choose to Travel with REI Adventures?:
                                          • Destination, Good Value, Travel with Like-minded Outdoor Enthusiasts
                                          • Why did you choose this trip?:
                                          • My wife signed me up.
                                          • What was the highlight of your trip?:
                                          • Learning the restoration techniques from the trail crew. Every third hiker thanks you for being an awesome volunteer and making the trail system better. You feel like a hero. Met fun people and enjoyed amazing scenery -- daily.
                                          • What would be your advice to potential travelers?:
                                          • Bring a bike -- they are the best way to get around the valley. Bring a set of light weight clothes just for working in -- it can get hot and dusty depending on which sites you are working on. Bring a durable day pack that can hold at least 4 water bottles, a rain jacket, and some lunch. Don't overdo it on items like handy wipes, Band-Aids, etc. -- the guides bring a lot.

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