Science in the Field: Tracking Wild Bumblebees in the Sierra Nevada - June 13, 2019 - Atlas Obscura Trips
Photo Credit: Photo by Krzysztof Niewolny
Photo Credit: Photo by Robert Penaloza

Science in the Field: Tracking Wild Bumblebees in the Sierra Nevada

from $980 USD per person for 4 days, 3 nights
  • Max Group Size: 10
  • Moderate
  • Outdoor Expedition

Venturing into the open meadows of the Sierra Nevada, learn firsthand about the plight of the humble bumblebee. Led by expert biologists, we’ll journey deep into the wilderness of Sequoia National Park to conduct research on wild bumblebees. Since the first step to protecting these critical creatures is understanding them, we’re embarking on a wild pollinator expedition to help identify wild bee specimens, track populations, and explore the native wildlife of this peaceful landscape.

  • Citizen science research
  • Hands-on field experience
  • Pollinator conservation
  • Stunning national park views


Itineraries and daily schedules are subject to change. We expect to do everything listed in the itinerary, though the order may be rearranged based on weather or other local conditions.

Additional Info

Arrival & Departure

The Silver City Resort is located roughly 2.5 hours from Fresno, California. We'll meet at the resort restaurant at 6 p.m. for dinner on Thursday, June 13, so travelers flying into Fresno Airport should plan to land by 2 p.m. Travelers driving or carpooling should make arrangements to arrive at the Silver City Resort with enough time to settle in before our welcome dinner. Check-in at the resort begins at 3 p.m. If you would like to carpool, we would be happy to help coordinate this with your fellow travelers in advance.

Our trip concludes the morning of Sunday, June 16. Check-out at the resort is at 12 p.m., but you’re welcome to depart Sequoia at your leisure. If you’re flying out of Fresno, we recommend booking a flight that departs the afternoon or evening of the 16th.

Activity Level

This trip will require some physical activity. Participants should be able to hike between 2 and 5 miles per day, often in unmarked sections of the valley, and sometimes involving bushwhacking. You'll need sturdy hiking boots as well as protective clothing to prevent cuts and scratches to your arms and legs. We will also be spending extended time in the forest after dark with headlamps and flashlights.


We'll be staying at the Silver City Resort in Sequoia National Park. Single travelers will share a 3-bedroom, 1-bath chalet. Single travelers should be prepared to share a room with another traveler of the same gender, depending on the composition of the group. Pairs traveling together will stay in studio rooms, outfitted with queen beds and private bathrooms in the resort's main lodge.

Health & Safety

You will be in close proximity or contact with insects and arthropods. Your researcher-guides are trained in handling these creatures, and they will instruct you in the proper ways to approach the bees and millipedes that we will be observing and tracking. However, this trip is not recommended if you have a severe allergy to bee venom. It is also important that you not touch the bioluminescent millipedes which secrete cyanide.

Note that much of our trip takes place between 6,600 and 7,200 feet, which can make physical activity more demanding. Altitude affects some more than others; if you are sensitive to altitude, we encourage you to arrive a day or two early to acclimate.

Dates and Prices

Jun 13–16, 2019
Trip Price
$980 USD per person
The total cost of this trip is $980. A $500 deposit is required to hold your space. The deposit is non-refundable after three days. The final payment of $480 will be due by April 29. All reservations will be final after this date and subject to our cancellation policy. By submitting your deposit, you agree to the trip's Terms & Conditions. 
  • Three nights of lodging in double-accommodation rooms in a spacious shared chalet, or private studio rooms in the Silver City Mountain Resort for couples traveling together. Single travelers should be prepared to share a room with another traveler of the same gender, depending on the composition of the group.
  • Three dinners, a daily picnic lunch, and additional snacks.
  • Trip leadership and expert insight from three bumblebee biologists.
  • A brand-new headlamp for our after-dark forest excursions.
  • Recommended reading materials, packing list, and pre-trip information packet.
  • A great group of fellow Atlas Obscura outdoor enthusiasts, excited to learn more about bumblebee ecology and conservation.
  • All transportation during the trip. Carpooling with your fellow travelers will be available and can be arranged in advance.
  • If arriving by air, flights to and from Fresno, California, then transport to and from the Silver City Mountain Resort in Mineral King, California.
  • Travel insurance (recommended).
  • Additional meals and drinks outside of Atlas Obscura offerings, including one dinner and all alcoholic beverages with the exception of those listed on the itinerary.
  • If applicable, applying for a U.S. visa.