An Iconic Landscape

In the heart of California’s Sierra Nevada mountain range, Yosemite National Park is home to one of the world’s most striking and beloved landscapes. Towering granite domes, gushing waterfalls, and diverse forest and meadow habitats provide the perfect setting for endless exploration and exciting, hands-on environmental science research. This summer, you can avoid the crowds and see a side of Yosemite National Park that many will never encounter.

 

Yosemite Science Expedition

Dates: June 23 - July 6, 2019
Ages: For students entering 10th, 11th, and 12th grade, or who have just graduated high school

Immerse yourself in backpacking, in environmental science, and in the wonder of exploring a national park on this exceptional two-week experience.

  • Embark on a 9-day backpacking expedition through Yosemite National Park.

  • Design and conduct your own science investigation.

  • Discover what it means to be a field scientist.

  • Learn, or improve, your backpacking skills.

  • Travel over peaks and mountain passes in the Yosemite Wilderness.

  • Form new friendships.

  • Hike 5-10 miles each day to a new campsite, carrying everything you need in a large backpack that weighs 40-50 lbs.

  • Strengthen your leadership skills.

  • Present your science investigations to National Park staff, NatureBridge educators, your family, and peers.

Students have used their NatureBridge summer backpacking experience and research for high school capstone projects, college entrance essays, and job resumes. This challenging and fun adventure will likely be one of your most meaningful and rewarding experiences. No backpacking experience is necessary and financial aid is available.

Cost: $2,690
Financial aid is available! Click here to learn more!

 

Yosemite Science Adventure

Dates: July 13 - 20, 2019
Ages: For students entering 10th, 11th, and 12th grade, or who have just graduated high school

Experience the best that Yosemite National Park has to offer on this one-week excursion. During this program, you will:

  • Spend five days backpacking through the Yosemite Wilderness, arriving at a new campsite each afternoon.

  • Experience what it’s like to be a field scientist by conducting ecological research.

  • Learn the basics of backcountry travel.

  • Hike about 5 miles a day, carrying everything you need in a backpack weighing 40-50 lbs.

  • Form new friendships.

This backpacking trip is perfect for all experience levels, including those who are new to backpacking and those who already love backpacking but have only have a week to spare this summer! Students have used their NatureBridge summer backpacking experience and research for high school capstone projects, college entrance essays, and job resumes. This challenging and fun adventure will likely be one of your most meaningful and rewarding experiences. No backpacking experience is necessary and financial aid is available.

Cost: $1,605
Financial aid is available! Click here for more information.

 

NEW! Yosemite Science Adventure: Middle School!

Dates: July 7 - July 13, 2019
Ages: For students entering 8th or 9th grade

Experience the best that Yosemite National Park has to offer on this one-week excursion. During this program, you will:

  • Spend four days backpacking through the Yosemite Wilderness, arriving at a new campsite each afternoon.

  • Experience what it’s like to be a field scientist by conducting ecological research.

  • Learn the basics of backcountry travel.

  • Hike about 5 miles a day, carrying everything you need in a backpack weighing 35-45 lbs.

  • Form new friendships.

This backpacking trip is perfect for all experience levels, including those who are new to backpacking and those who already love backpacking but have only have a week to spare this summer! This challenging and fun adventure will likely be one of your most meaningful and rewarding experiences. No backpacking experience is necessary and financial aid is available.

Cost: $1,550
Financial aid is available! Click here for more information.

 
 empowering backpacking program for teenage girls

Armstrong Scholars Program

Dates: July 14-27, 2019
Ages: 15-18

Inspired by and in memory of former NatureBridge environmental science educator Joie Armstrong, the Armstrong Scholars program brings together young women, ages 15 to 18, for a truly empowering summer backpacking adventure in the High Sierra. The Armstrong Scholars Program has its own application process, click the "Learn more" button to be re-directed to the Armstrong Scholars website.

The 2019 Armstrong Scholars application is now available and is due by 8 a.m. on Friday, April 5, 2019. Please click “Learn More” to be directed to the Armstrong Scholars website.

 

Fees and Financial Aid

(For NatureBridge science backpacking programs only. Please refer to the Armstrong Scholars webpage for scholarship information.)

Enrollment & Tuition
Fees include all meals, lodging, and educational experiences. 

Financial Aid
NatureBridge is committed to making our programs financially accessible to all students. We are pleased to offer financial aid for families who qualify. To apply for financial aid, download and complete our financial aid application. Instructions for financial aid applicants are included on the financial aid application form. Financial aid decisions are based on the family's demonstrated need and the student's commitment to participating in one of our summer backpacking trips. 

 

Our Campus in Yosemite

Our Crane Flat campus is nestled in the forest on the northwest side of Yosemite National Park. The campus includes a cozy dining hall, a large dorm with bunk beds divided into male and female sections, a bathhouse, and a spacious outdoor area for group activities. The campus also has several trails that lead to local points of interest, like the famous Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias.

 

 students play games in dorm area at crane flat campus in yosemite national park
 

Getting Here

 

We can’t wait to see you this summer!

Yosemite National Park is in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California. It is your responsibility to get to and from Yosemite at the beginning and end of the course. Travel options are listed below. Please refer to the program-specific student packets under “Getting Prepared” for exact arrival/departure times.

Plane

We offer a shuttle service, for a fee, to and from Fresno Yosemite International Airport on the first and last day of each session. Please review the student packet for your program before buying airline tickets to ensure that the arrival and departure times coordinate with our shuttle service. You can purchase this shuttle service while registering for the program on our online registration page.

Car

If you’re planning to drive, indicate this on your Eventbrite registration, or email Katie Draude, Summer Programs Manager, at kdraude@naturebridge.org so that we can help you arrange carpooling with other participants.

Map and Directions

Google Map of NatureBridge in Yosemite National Park. Route to Crane Flat Campus.

When you arrive at the park

Present your gate pass (you will receive this via email prior to your trip) at the park entrance to waive the park entrance fee. Tell the rangers at the gate that you are going to NatureBridge’s Crane Flat Campus (not Yosemite Valley), and they will direct you. Our Crane Flat Campus is on Highway 120, about one mile East of the Crane Flat gas station.

 

Getting Prepared: Information for Registered Participants

Ready, set, go!

Unless you are an experienced backpacker, the thought of living in the wilderness for over a week can be a little daunting. Rest assured that our environmental science educators have a great deal of experience leading wilderness expeditions and will be able to help you live happily and comfortably in the backcountry.

It is important that you arrive physically and emotionally prepared for the challenge. Our student packets will help you to prepare with a complete packing list and guidelines for buying or renting the right equipment and clothing.

Summer 2019 Student Packets:
Preparing for the Yosemite Science Expedition
Preparing for the Yosemite Science Adventure
Preparing for the Yosemite Science Adventure: Middle School

Registered Student Paperwork and Information

Registered participants must complete the NatureBridge Participant Registration Form, NatureBridge Medical Exam, and the Student Contract.

After completing your paperwork, please submit it via email to Katie Draude, Summer Programs Manager, at kdraude@naturebridge.org.

NatureBridge Participant Registration form and NatureBridge Medical Exam: Participating students must visit a physician prior to the course to discuss the course and ascertain that their health is well-aligned with the demands of the course. This form must be signed by both a physician and the parent or guardian of the participant.

NatureBridge Student Contract: Participating students must read and sign this contract prior to the course.

Preparing for the Yosemite Science Expedition, Preparing for the Yosemite Science Adventure, and Preparing for the Yosemite Science Adventure: Middle School! Student Packets: These packets contains detailed travel information, a packing list, and helpful tips for preparing for the trip.