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Yosemite Hiking Adventure

 July 11-15 Ages 9-11  

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Camp drop off is at 9 am on Monday and pick up is 4pm on Friday. Drop off and pick up is at Julius Kahn Playground, Presidio Park, Address: 3395 - 3699 W Pacific Ave., San Francisco, CA 94118
Day 1: Monday — Drive to Yosemite National Park

This morning we spend some time on introductions and ice-breaker games to bring us together as a group. After our introductions, we pack up and head to Yosemite - one of the country's first national parks and a scenic gem in our own backyard. Blessed with spectacular glacier-carved valleys, towering rock domes and gushing waterfalls, Yosemite is a scenic wilderness everyone should explore in their lifetime. We spend the rest of the week discovering the park's highlights as well as little-seen corners of the region.

Upon arrival to our campsite in Hogdon Meadows, we learn about properly setting up camp, helping prepare dinner, and for first-time campers - how to stay comfortable in the outdoors. Hogdon Meadows will be our home for the entire week.

Lesson- Camp set up, Leave No Trace
Camping Location: Hogdon Meadows Campground Group site

Day 2: Tuesday — Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias & Yosemite Valley

Today's adventure is a visit to the gentle giants in the Tuolumne Grove that claim ages of over one thousand years. Through the cool and peaceful stillness of the grove, we walk among the Sequoia Gigantea that have chosen only a few spots in California in which to grow. We learn about how the seeds are challenged to find their way out of the tough tight cones to make more sequoias and how they depend on fire. In the afternoon, we'll head to Yosemite Valley. A stop at Artist's Point gives us our first glimpse of the valley, and we gaze up at the iconic Half Dome. Yosemite Falls and Bridalveil Fall sprinkle us with their tumbling cascades, and the monolith El Captain shows off its sheer granite face, frequently decorated with rock climbers. We'll take short hikes in the valley for photo ops, and perhaps a dip in the Merced River if there's time!

Lesson- Giant Sequoia Ecology
Camping Location: Hogdon Meadows Campground

Day 3: Wednesday — Hetch Hetchy/Wapama Falls Hike

Hetch Hetchy Reservoir is one of the scenic gems of Yosemite, and beneath its sparkling waters lay a history of environmental controversy. As we hike through a 500-foot tunnel, past pine trees and fragrant wildflowers, we learn more about how this now-underwater valley once rivaled Yosemite Valley with its beauty. Through discussion and fun debate, we also unravel the difference and the motivations between conservation and preservation, using Hetch Hetchy as the center of our dialog. We stop at inviting swimming holes along the way, with our destination being one of the most powerful and picturesque waterfalls in the park, Wapama Falls.

Lesson- History of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir & O'shaughnessy dam
Camping Location: Hogdon Meadows Campground

Day 4: Thursday — Sentinel Dome Hike

Today we'll do a spectacular hike to the top of Sentinel Dome, high above Yosemite Valley, the centerpiece of the national park. We'll start our day with an amazing hike to the top of Sentinel Dome, which John Muir described as one of his favorite Yosemite hikes. Along the way, we'll stop for lunch, take photos of the breath-taking scenery and get lessons on the area's natural history. This evening, we'll celebrate our final night together with a barbecue dinner and stories around the campfire!

Lesson- Natural History of Yosemite Valley
Camping Location: Hogdon Meadows Campground

Day 5: Friday — Drive Back to San Francisco

This morning we pack up camp, say goodbye to the Yosemite and the Sierra, and head back to the Bay area. On the journey, we recount our adventures over the last week and enjoy the new friends we've made.

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