Stride climate

Trip Type : Small Group Tour
Yosemite Volunteer Vacation tour

Yosemite Volunteer Vacation

REI Adventures
4.4 . Great
100%
Travel Style: You will have solid amounts of both free time and structured time with some activities and meals included. Mixed
Physical Level: Regular walking or cycling over moderately long, hilly, or bumpy distances. Some public transport or utility vehicles such as safari jeeps. Moderate
Lodging Level: Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels. Value - 3 star
7 days
From: $ 990 $ 141 / day
Checking price

Overview

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 six nights camping out in beautiful Yosemite Valley

Short Description

Spend six nights working with rangers while helping to preserve Yosemite National Park.

Yosemite is one of the world’s most beloved national parks. Its rushing streams, soaring peaks and beautiful meadows entice travelers the world over. On this trip, we pitch in to help preserve an American icon for generations to come. As volunteers in Yosemite Valley, we help rangers renovate trails and restore fragile natural resources. No previous experience necessary, our leaders provide the training we need to complete the work at hand.

Small groups are usually defined as between 10 and 24 travelers, often less. If you're the kind of person who enjoys more intimate experiences and personal service this is a good choice. All else being equal you will pay a premium for this style vs a larger group tour.
Trip Type Small Group Tour
Off the beaten track trips will stretch your comfort zone. They don't always feature tourist highlights, but dive deeper into local life and culture.
Itinerary Focus Off the Beaten Path
Mid-range budget with accommodations ranging from comfortable lodges, guesthouses, and homestays to three star hotels.
Lodging Level Value - 3 star
Flights & Transport Only ground transport
Start City Yosemite Valley
End City Yosemite

Trip Includes

  • All meals from dinner on Day 1 through breakfast on Day 7; 
  • Campground reservations;
  • Volunteer project leadership and support staff;
  • Group tools;
  • Transportation from campground to work sites;
  • Orientation and training;
  • Park entrance fees.

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Itinerary

Day 1: Meet for orientation and enjoy a welcome dinner

Our volunteer vacation begins this afternoon at 2:30 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 2-5:  Working with park rangers, assist in trail maintenance and restoration

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

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.

Day 6: Explore Yosemite National Park on your much deserved rest day

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner

Challenge yourself on a hike up the Mist Trail, relax by the Merced River, or read a book in a peaceful meadow—this day is all yours.

Day 7: Depart Yosemite for home

Meals: Breakfast

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.

Availability

Checking price
Price From $ 990
Price Per Day: $ 141 per day
Check Availability
Checking price
Start DateEnd DateDouble Standard 
May-10-2020May-16-2020$ 990 Reserve
Sep-13-2020Sep-19-2020$ 990 Reserve

Check Current Availability, prices, specials with REI Adventures.

Prices may vary due to local taxes and trip seasonality. Click "Request Info" to inquire directly with the tour operator for the final trip price.

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Stride Featured in

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9 REI Adventures Travel Reviews & Ratings

100%
4.4 out of 5 (100+ reviews)
Excellent 7
Great 1
Average 0
Disappointing 0
Terrible 1
Value
4.4
Guide
4.4
Activities
4.4
Lodging
4.4
Transportation
4.4
Meals
4.4

Yosemite Volunteer Vacation

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Company Reviews

Horrible!

1.0
Details
Value1.0
Guide1.0
Activities1.0
Lodging1.0
Transportation1.0
Meals1.0
We did not do this trip with REI, but did this trip by ourselves and had the group from REI camp next to use. We were there from 7/19-7/22/2018. My girlfriend and I are experienced backpackers. This is some of the things we noticed WRONG! Most of these have to do with the Leave No Trace policy that are strict rules, especially on the PCT. Some are just common courtesy. Some of these things aren’t bad when it is one person, but when thousands do it, it poses real environmental problems. Guides, especially, should not be teaching future backpackers the wrong mentality about leaving our wildernesses as pristine as possible.
LNT = Leave No Trace policy
They camped 15-25 (some tents were closer than others) feet from the water. LNT states it should be at least 100 feet away from water to minimize pollution of water.
They cooked and washed dishes and brushed their teeth 15 feet from water. LNT states it should be at least 100 feet away from water and camp site to minimize water pollution and critters in/near your campsite.
People were putting on sunscreen and then going swimming very shortly after. This clearly pollutes the water.
At one point around 7pm, the two guides left the entire group, with their packs on, and did not come back until around 9pm. What if someone tripped and fell and hit their head while the guides were gone?
While walking down a really narrow steep section from Mt. Eddy, the group was walking uphill and did not slow down or move over for us at all, forcing us to move to the side. The rule of thumb is that people going downhill have the right away because of momentum. People going up should always yield to those coming down.
The entire group hung and and swam right in front of our campsite, even-though they could have very easily gotten into the water and hung out around the water close to their campsite. People obviously go into the back-country to get away from people. Why would these ‘experienced’ guides let 10 people block the view and disturb other people when there was no need. This seemed very rude and selfish.
At one point we heard one guide talking about our bear hanging method (The Piutte or PCT method using a locking stick method), saying it was “Unnecessary”. We don’t know what they did for bear safety but we also heard the same guide telling the clients that bears and other animals were not a concern because she had “guided this for 4 years now and have never had any issues”. This is the wrong mentality. Maybe she simply got lucky for 4 years.
We heard one of the guides, while talking about glass in the area that “if you feel comfortable, you can just throw it in the fire pit. It’s better than it being on the ground or in the water”. This is the wrong mentality. They should inform the guide, and the guide should make a conscious effort to pack it out, versus simply throwing it into a fire pit where a ranger is simply going to spread the ashes away from the pit, later spreading the glass around.

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Outstanding

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
Lightning Will Johnson Just got home from an 11 day expedition around Svalbard aboard the Ocean Nova. Quark Expeditions is a first rate outfit. Outstanding service, food, and exploration. We were able to kayak on 9 different occasions in addition to our shore excursions. The crew was outstanding and did everything they could to make our trip memorable. I rate them 10 out of 10.
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Exceeded our expectations

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We have been on many REI trips, mainly because of the talented local guides. Our guide on this trip, Mike (a first time REI guide) has to be right at the top of the list. He did a great job of making sure that everyone got what they wanted from the adventure. And Mike's birding and wildlife expertise were unsurpassed! Highlight of the trip: The whole package, although kayaking to the penguins, hiking to the cave paintings, and the whole safari really stand out! Also, the accommodations and food far exceeded our expectations!
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Wonderful

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
I arrived in South Africa expecting good things. I left with a whole new view of the country. It is more than wonderful places. It filled with amazing people, flora and fauna. Thanks for sharing it with me. The highlight (in addition to the great people) were the amazing animals in the wild.
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We loved it!

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
We loved the entire itinerary, and the accommodations and food were excellent. Our stay in Sabi Sabi and the safaris there were just amazing...we saw every animal we hoped to see and more! And Gavin was just the best guide we could possibly have had....not only leading us up the mountains on the hikes but also supplementing with his considerable expertise on the safaris. We normally plan and execute our own trips so having Gavin's support and organizational skills was a real luxury. 
We appreciate all the thought and effort REI puts into this adventure to make it as enjoyable as it is. It turns out that the hiking--and the biking--were just amazing...we all enjoyed each expedition and the counterpoints they offered to all the great food and wine we consumed in between!! But the really best part of the entire trip was Gavin, our guide. Others have said it but it bears repeating--Gavin makes this adventure what it is. He is kind, patient, knowledgeable, funny, helpful...!
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The safari was like nothing I have ever experienced

5.0
Details
Value5.0
Guide5.0
Activities5.0
Lodging5.0
Transportation5.0
Meals5.0
The safari was like nothing I have ever experienced. I was grinning the whole time. I am already planning my next REI trip. This is a beautiful trip, I will never forget it. I felt so well cared for and treated individually. Gavin will know what to do in any situation or he will find out. This security allowed me to embrace the all the opportunities from the township visit to the safari. You will come home with a new awareness and appreciation for life.
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Details

Flights & Transport

Only ground transport

Group Size:

Intimate Group - 12 max

Maximum Number of People in Group: 12

Additional Information:

This trip is rated Moderate [3]. 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 daypack weighing approximately 10-15 pounds as well as work in your garden all day moving plants, shoveling soil and pruning trees. Novice volunteers are welcome.

  • Trail Maintenance
  • Restoration

Trip ID#:

YosVolReiAdv

Trip Excludes

  • 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

Meals Included:

3 Breakfasts,2 Lunches and 2 Dinners

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