Yosemite Field Trip | Outdoor Education

School & Group Environmental Science at Yosemite

Immersed in deep valleys, grand meadows, and ancient sequoias, students study human impacts on nature, build confidence, and form new connections with each other and the natural world.

Yosemite 150th anniversary


On October 1, 2015, the park will commemorate the 125th anniversary of the establishment of Yosemite National Park. Find out more about Yosemite's history and commemorative events on the Yosemite anniversary website.


NatureBridge at Yosemite
P.O. Box 487
Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
209-379-9510 (fax)


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Bay Area to Curry Village (pdf)

Bay Area to Crane Flat (pdf)

Los Angeles Area to Curry Village (pdf)

Los Angleles Area to Crane Flat (pdf)

Driving in Yosemite

Please follow NatureBridge and National Park Service directions. GPS does not work correctly in the Park.

Areas of Study

In our classroom, students have the unique opportunity to observe, experience, and personally connect with nature in Yosemite National Park. Your program can focus on two to four areas of study, depending on your classroom's needs and the length of your program. In addition to the standard programming offered, there are day- and backpacking-trip options available for an additional cost.

For more information about the guiding principles of a NatureBridge program, read our Core Education Framework and letter from our Education Director. A field journal can also be provided upon request to be used as a teaching tool during your program.

There are five areas of study to choose from:

Life Science & Ecology

"Will we see a bear?” This is often one of the first questions a student asks his or her environmental educator, and it opens the door to exploring the connections between Yosemite’s diverse environments and the organisms that live here. Discover how organisms are fit for their environment by examining adaptations alongside abiotic and biotic cycles. Find the ways that organisms depend on and affect each other, and ultimately, see how everything is connected.

Watershed Studies

"Where does the water come from?” After a moment of awe at the base of 2,400 foot Yosemite Falls, students start to wonder about the source of the water cascading down the cliff. Yosemite’s rivers, creeks, and waterfalls create a dynamic place to study the science of water.

Earth Science & Geology

"What happened to the other half of Half Dome?” Standing in Yosemite Valley, the charismatic feature of Half Dome draws students into the story of Yosemite Valley’s formation. The story leads us to take a closer look at the crystalline igneous rocks that form the Valley, to learn about the rock cycle, to discover the powers of plate tectonics, and to grasp the mighty forces of erosion by water and ice.

Cultural History

Students explore Yosemite’s rich cultural history by learning about the American Indians of this region, pioneer history, and how Yosemite played a pivotal role in what has become known as America’s best idea: our national parks. Groups can opt to visit the Indian Museum and learn from an Indian Cultural Demonstrator or focus on how the actions of settlers, explorers, activists, and politicians together resulted in the creation of Yosemite National Park.

Current Environmental Issues

Climate change is a critical issue in our world, especially in our national parks. In Yosemite, students study topics such as climate and weather patterns, the greenhouse effect, the carbon cycle, and possible consequences of global climate change. Students learn what climate change is, how it may affect Yosemite, and how actions at home can impact our natural world.

“The amazing environmental instructors brought learning to life and their love and passion were passed on to students.” —Teacher, Millikan Middle School, Sherman Oaks, California

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Need-based scholarships are available. Find more funding ideas and download a scholarship application in the Funding Ideas drawer of the Plan Your Program page of our website.  


A Proud Partner of the National Park Service