Yosemite Mariposa abounds with creatures great and small. From oak-studded foothills to 13,000-foot granite peaks, the animals enjoy a pristine sweep of unmatched beauty where they feed and play freely. Some prefer the dense cover of forest, while others splash in the crystal clear waters of Yosemite’s many lakes and rivers. And of course, there’s the cute and chubby marmot, who’s fond of sunbathing out in the open on a warm slab of granite!
For kids, spotting these fantastic beasts in-person is a once-in-a-lifetime thrill, and the perfect way to learn about the amazing biodiversity of our planet. To make these observations sporting, we’ve put together a game called Beast Mode Yosemite. Whether you’re on foot or in a car, whether you’re day-tripping or enjoying an extended edu-tourism stay, BMY opens up fun yet educational door into the wilderness of Yosemite Mariposa. The excitement on your child’s face when seeing an animal in its natural habitat is unmistakable, and having cute little hiking boots on the ground is something you both will remember for years to come.
The rules are simple. You get Base Camp Points for spotting a specific Yosemite Mariposa animal. The harder to find, the more points.
Beast Booster Points. You get one extra point for each distinct thing you can list about the beast, i.e. what it looks like, where you see it (habitat) and what it’s doing. Maximum of three points. Teaches the art of observation!
Mystery Beasts. Mystery Beasts are those you spot but aren’t sure how to identify. Describe them and try to unlock the mystery later in camp or at your hotel.
Winner. Whoever gets the most points. The game-ending is up to you. Play for a set period of time (i.e. a few hours, a day, or your entire trip); until someone reaches X number of points (i.e. 10 points); or even cooperation mode where everyone combines their points. How about a prize for the winners? Summer burgers & ice cream or winter cinnamon rolls & hot chocolate sound nice! Click here for a printable game card.
Click here to download a PDF of Beast Mode Yosemite
NatureBridge’s Crane Flat campus will serve as your base camp for exploring one of the country’s most iconic national parks. Relax under a canopy of tall trees, go on educational hikes led by our experienced educators and explore the grandeur Yosemite has to offer.
The rolling foothills radiate a vibrant green as billowing cumulus clouds roll through deep blue skies. This lush winter landscape provides the animals — and those who come to see them — room to roam in a peaceful Gold Country paradise where the historic legacy of precious metals is matched only by today’s precious wildlife.
Grab a sled, or just a warm coat and enjoy some snow sliding fun at Goat Meadow Snow Play Area. Just outside Yosemite on Highway 41, this is an excellent area for sledding, snow angels, XC skiing, snowshoeing and more.