March to Restore Hetch Hetchy Valley

March to Restore Hetch Hetchy Valley

In the spirit of John Muir, Restore Hetch Hetchy is organizing Muirs March to Restore Hetch Hetchy Valley. From August 1 to 7, three groups of backpackers will complete a guided 7day, 45mile trip across Yosemite National Park via separate routes starting at Yosemites Tuolumne Meadows. The Muirs March trips will culminate at a rally with other Hetch Hetchy activists on top of O Dam, all part of a national campaign to remove OShaughnessy Dam and restore Hetch Hetchy Valley .

Surrounded by dramatic cliffs and waterfalls, Hetch Hetchy Valley was once lush with grassy meadows and tall trees fed by the waters of the Tuolumne River that snaked through the valley floor. Despite protections granted by the valleys location inside a national park, Congress granted permission in 1913 for a dam to be built at one end of Hetch Hetchy, flooding the wilderness valley under 300 feet of water to create a reservoir for San Franciscos municipal water supply.

The construction of O Dam did not go unopposed, however. Naturalist John Muir, founder of the Sierra Club and an instrumental figure in the establishment of Yosemites wilderness as a national park, led the fight against dam proponents. Today, Restore Hetch Hetchy, a nonprofit group that advocates for the restoration of Hetch Hetchy, continues to raise awareness about what Muir once called a second Yosemite and highlight other solutions for those depending the Tuolumne Rivers waters.

Less than 100 miles away on Highway 41 North, Yosemite National Park is a natural destination for Fresno backpackers. Space in Muirs March is limited to 30 backpackers, but there are still slots available. Participants must raise a minimum of $1913 to support the campaign. The event is open to backpackers of all levels, although preparatory training and conditioning is recommended. Muirs March trip guides will be professionals and trained Wilderness First Responders, and breakfasts and dinners will be provided throughout the trip.