2011 Facelift Results

The 8th annual Facelift went very well and Yosemite appears to be getting cleaner every year. The areas that we have been cleaning regularly for the past 8 events have significantly less trash than in previous years. When the Facelift was started we would typically gather over 30,000 lbs of small trash from heavy use areas alone. This year, despite the large turnout, we were only able to find 4,295 lbs of small trash which is by far the least yet.

Each year we are increasing our yield from special projects. This is most likely due to increased efficiency and better organization. Most of our weight this year came from asphalt which was measured by the yard with the weight calculated using the weight of a yard of loose asphalt. The estimated weight for special projects was 411,447 pounds.  Over 95% of the 415,742 pounds of debris gathered was recycled. We are making a difference!


Here is what we accomplished and the changes we have noticed.




When we started the Facelift we would find years of accumulated trash alongside every mile of the roads in the Park with huge amounts of trash at each turnout. This year we found very little trash alongside the roads except at the turnouts which continues to be a problem. Most of the turnout trash consists of toilet paper, cigarette butts, cans, plastic bottles, and fast food trash.


We cleaned these areas:

-         Highway 120 from Tioga Pass to Crane Flat

-         Highway 120 from the Park entrance to Crane Flat

-         Highway 120 from Crane Flat to the Highway 120/140 intersection

-         Highway 140 from El Portal to Pohono Bridge

-         All paved, roads, service roads, and pedestrian/bike paths on the Valley floor including the Valley Loop

-         Highway 41 to Chinquapin

-         Chinquapin to Glacier Point



River Corridor-


The river areas are cleaner than they used to be. Most of the trash we found this year was in the high use areas and also downstream from the rafting areas. We find a lot of flip flops, hats, bottles, and cans lost by the river rafters. Most of the beach trash consists of micro-trash, cigarette butts, and the occasional bigger items.


The river was cleaned from Happy Isles to Pohono Bridge with some intermittent spots cleaned upstream and downstream.




Campgrounds that were cleaned in the Valley were:

-North Pines

-Lower Pines

-Upper Pines

-Backpackers Camp

-Camp 4

-Yellow Pines

Crane Flat and Tamarack Flat campgrounds were cleaned.

Tuolumne Campground was also cleaned.



Lodging, Housing, and commercial areas-


-Yosemite Village

-Yosemite Lodge

-Ahwahnee Hotel

-Housekeeping Camp

-Curry Village

-Huff House


-New Curry Village Housing


-Yosemite Village warehouse and housing area

-Crane Flat gas station

-Tuolumne Lodge

-Tuolumne Gas Station and Store




Tuolumne area:

- Glen Aulin

- Lyell Canyon

-Cathedral Lakes

-The Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne


Crane Flat area:

-Tuolumne Grove

-Tamarack Flat Campground to the Valley Floor via Big Oak Flat Road.

-Big Oak Flat Road to the top of El Capitan


Yosemite Valley area:


-Top of El Capitan to the top of Yosemite Falls

- Inspiration Point

-Valley Loop Trail

-Upper Yosemite Falls Trail an up Yosemite Creek to Highway 120

-The Snow Creek Trail and over to the top of Yosemite Falls

-The Four Mile Trail

-The Panorama Trail

- The Mist Trail to the top of Nevada Falls

-The John Muir Trail from Happy Isles to Nevada Falls

-The Half Dome Trail from Nevada Falls to the summit


Climbing areas-


-The approach to Snake Dike

-The base of El Capitan

-The base of Half Dome

-Glacier Point

-Manure Pile

-Swan Slab


-Cookie Cliff

-Washington Column


Special Projects-


We continue to work on special projects which include removal of old infrastructure, cleaning of old dumpsites, removal of non-indigenous species, and new this year, trail repair. By far, the bulk of the hundreds of thousands of pounds of weight collected by Facelifters are from special projects.


-Climber trail at Pat and Jack Pinnacle was repaired

-Climber trail at Reeds Pinnacle was repaired

-140 yards (20 dump truck loads) of asphalt was removed from old asphalt batch plant dump site at Cathedral Beach. This site has been a three year project so far with several more to go before being completed

-Old water distribution shed was removed from Tioga Pass

-Doghouse Meadow asphalt cleanup. This cleanup is in its second year.




-1345 unique volunteers

- 1895 + volunteer days

-8680 volunteer hours

-75+ sponsors





-2,400 people engaged in the Youth Program booth

-A couple was married at the Facelift

-Honeymooning couple from Great Britain spent a day cleaning asphalt from Cathedral Beach dumpsite

-Two Facelift participants rescue a woman who slipped off Half Dome cables and assisted terrified onlookers off the cables during a thunder shower.           

-The raffles were great.

-The evening programs were filled to capacity for every show.

-Despite some frantic scrambling and program changes due to heavy hail storms and thunder showers, the Facelift went very smoothly.


Thanks to all who helped make this the best Facelift to date and I hope to see you next year.


Ken Yager