• Expedition: Jun 14-19, 2015
  • Lee Vining and Coleville High Schools
  • Yosemite National Park: Lyell Canyon

Students from the Eastern Sierra Nevada mountains adventured into Yosemite's highcountry for a week of challenge, meadow restoration, laughter, and learning about national Wilderness.

In the students' own words...


Today was the first day of our adventure. The hike to base camp wasn’t overly long (just shy of 6 miles, I believe) and it wasn’t that difficult. On the way up, much of the group was talking in silly accents, which was quite funny. I also learned that I really shouldn’t try to run in sticky mud. It could cause one to trip and fall…most likely into more mud. The river here in Lyell Canyon is beautiful, however. The water is beautiful and crystal clear, and also quite cold. While John looked for a place to set up camp, we stopped by the river and put our feet in. Long story short, my feet were quite numb when we got out, and I doubt I was the only one. Once we set up camp, we learned how to use the gravity water filters. It’s REALLY interesting. I can’t wait to see what tomorrow has in store!

Group Packing Out

Getting all geared up for their wilderness expedition.

Group Parking Lot

The "before" picture. So clean!

Group Tuolumne River

First sight of the Tuolumne River, which the group would walk along and camp by for the following four days.

Group Lyell Canyon

Lyell Canyon: the living's easy.


Today, we helped a park ranger eradicate some of the nasty, intrusive dandelions that plague numerous parts of Yosemite. In addition, these putrid plants blend in well with the native dandelions of the park, making our job, as well as the park rangers’ increasingly difficult! Before we departed the Lyell Canyon trailhead, they gave us these handy-dandy serrated shovels to pull the dandelions out from the depths of the grass and also nifty gloves to protect our hands. Now, you may be thinking, what makes these cute little dandelions so bad? Well, let me tell you that this wonderful ranger named Heather spends her entire adult life fighting to keep invasive species like dandelions from growing and spread their seedly evilness to other areas of the park, thus taking precious resources from the native plants. After we hiked six miles round trip farther up Lyell Canyon, Heather shared with us how we can apply for an internship with the park and that was really great!

Group Grass

Break time!

Group with Heather

Learning about invasive species from Ranger Heather.

Group Dandelion Picking

Eradicating invasive dandelions from the meadow to restore habitat for native species.


For today’s adventure, we had to do the challenge hike. We had the choice to either hike to Ireland Lake or Potter Point. After contemplating these two choices for a night, we decided we’d make up our mind at the trailhead. After hiking for about two miles, we got to the point where we could go to Ireland Lake or Potter Point. Finally, we made up our mind and went to Potter Point. After talking about reasons why we wanted to go…it was because we wanted to find Harry Potter. Once we began our journey up the mountain, we found it harder than we thought it’d be. Finally after two hours we reached the top. The view was the most rewarding feeling ever because we had made it to the top.

Group Trail Potter Point

High-ho! High-ho! It's off to Potter Point we go!

Banner 2

Triumphant on top of Potter Point!

Berlin Karli Potter Point

"This is awesome!"


This was my last day on any WildLink expedition I will ever go on. I have gone on three. I have hiked many miles over my time here and summited many mountains. I can’t ever repay the people that made this possible for me. I know my life is forever changed because of WildLink. I will miss it.

Let Me Live

Like the slaughter of mountains
for the prospect of coal
Like the poison of rivers
for the drilling of oil
Like the forest that is no more for its trees
we’re not bold enough to say
Let me live
Let me stand tall like my brothers and for centuries have
Let me grow and wave
without darkness in hand
Let me grow and branch out
without fear of the man
And with beauty and shade, with peace to be made
Let theirs be the things to say
Let Me Live.

Janina Rebecca

Two of their fearless leaders.

Group Cascade

One of many beautiful cascades on the Tuolumne River.

Ranger Clif

Learning about stock use and wilderness from Ranger Clif.

WildLink is a proud partner of the National Park Service, National Forest Service, and Nature Bridge.