Drop-in Volunteering and Special Events

Throughout the year, we have several special events such as Junior Ranger Day, Earth Day (both in April), Apple Picking Day (mid August), and Yosemite Facelift (late September), where volunteers can just show up, no application needed. We list these events on this website when we know the dates for each year.

For all special events and drop-in days, the park asks participants to wear long pants and closed-toe shoes, appropriate gear for the weather, and bring sun protection, water, and snacks. The park provides tools and protective equipment.

All participants must sign a volunteer agreement [42 kb DOCX]. If you'd like to fill out the in advance, this form will be posted with each special event or drop-in project as they are planned (you can also sign one on the day of the project on-site). Guardians must sign the form for participants under the age of 18.

Yosemite Facelift booth and sign-in table in 2015.

Special Events

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service: January 16, 2023

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service calls on everyday people each year to make the third Monday in January "a day on, not a day off." In Yosemite, it can be hard to plan for this event, since weather can be hard to predict at this time of the year. There is no in-person event planned for 2023.

Earth Day: April 22, 2023

Drop-in Litter Cleanup Project: 12 pm - 3 pm

Yosemite has a park-wide celebration of Earth Day, usually on the Saturday on or before Earth Day. The park usually schedules a volunteer project on both the Earth Day celebration date as well as Earth Day itself. Projects include ecological restoration and litter cleanup, and are appropriate for all ages. In the past projects have been two to three hours in duration.

Junior Ranger Day: Date to be determined for 2023

Volunteer to earn your Junior Ranger Badge! As part of the Junior Ranger Day celebration, volunteers can do a restoration or litter project. Junior Ranger Day is often celebrated in conjunction with Earth Day.

Apple Picking Day: July/August (date varies)

Historic apple orchards in Yosemite Valley attract bears, leading them to eat non-native foods while increasing human-bear conflicts in parking areas and campgrounds near the orchards. To help decrease the impact of the orchards, volunteers are invited to pick apples, removing the temptations for the bears. The date of Apple Picking Day every year depends on when the apples ripen - so it may be planned very quickly once this happens. If you are planning a visit in late July or August and would like to find out more about apple picking, please email the Volunteer Office.

Yosemite Facelift and National Public Lands Day: September 20-24, 2023

In partnership with the Yosemite Climbing Association, the National Park Service puts on this five-day event each September, in celebration of National Public Lands Day. In 2019 over 2,000 volunteers cleaned up 16,429 pounds of debris from the park. The 2020 event was a virtual celebration, challenging participants to Act Local in their own communities. In 2021, the event was modified and held partly in-person, with 771 participants.

Learn more about the Yosemite Facelift event.

Volunteers picking up apples in the Curry Village Parking Area apple picking day in 2017.

Last updated: February 24, 2023

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