Marking Two Decades of Yosemite Facelift: Swapping Trash for Relaxing Spa Indulgence

Yosemite’s annual park-wide cleanup event, Facelift, is celebrating 20 years with expanded programming and partnerships.

Commencing its 20th anniversary this September, Yosemite National Park’s annual park-wide cleanup initiative, known as Yosemite Facelift, is set to commemorate this milestone with an array of extended activities and collaborations. Adding a novel dimension to this voluntourism endeavor, Yosemite gateway partner Rush Creek Lodge & Spa is elevating the experience by enabling Facelift participants to exchange collected trash for indulgent Spa services. From September 4th to October 5th, 2023, lodge guests engaged in the Facelift program will be treated to a revitalizing spa detox encounter, complete with a magnesium foot soak at Rush Creek Spa.

Established in 2003 under the guidance of Ken Yager, President of the Yosemite Climbing Association, Yosemite Facelift has evolved into a transformative week-long event uniting volunteers from around the globe to contribute to the preservation of this cherished national treasure. Originally conceived as a means for climbers to give back to Yosemite after the bustling summer tourist and climbing seasons, Yosemite Facelift instills a sense of stewardship and environmental responsibility among participants.

Celebrating its 20th anniversary, this event is slated to occur in Yosemite Valley from September 20th to 24th, 2023. Volunteer opportunities span from one-hour engagements to larger multi-day projects, accompanied by daily giveaways, guest speakers, music, and celebrations. This initiative has sparked similar cleanups in over 20 additional locations across America, including the 2nd annual Groveland Facelift on September 9th and 10th, 2023. Participation in any Facelift event requires pre-registration at

Volunteers partaking in the Facelift at Rush Creek Lodge & Spa will conclude their day not only fulfilled by their stewardship endeavors but also with the chance to indulge in the innovative Yosemite-inspired Spa. The Rush Creek Spa’s Wellness team will treat guests to a complimentary Detox Experience encompassing a magnesium foot soak in the Spa’s heated outdoor lounge. Access to day-use amenities such as the Granite Waterfall Mineral Hot Tub, Warm Waterfall Coves, Aromatherapy Steam Room, and more is also included. To secure this exclusive wellness treatment, guests can reach out to the Wellness Team at (209) 379-2425.

Throughout its existence, Yosemite Facelift has achieved remarkable success in its mission to keep the park free of litter and waste. In its 16th year, 2019, nearly 3,000 devoted volunteers participated, resulting in the collection of nearly 16,000 pounds of trash, a substantial portion of which was recycled to divert it from landfills. Cumulatively, Yosemite Facelift’s efforts have led to the removal of an impressive 1 million pounds of trash from Yosemite National Park, significantly benefiting the environment.

Ken Yager, the visionary behind Yosemite Facelift, remains dedicated to extending cleanup initiatives to other national parks. Through collaborations with the National Park Service and sponsors like The North Face, 5 Gyres, Patagonia, and Leave No Trace, Yager has launched similar cleanups in South Lake Tahoe, Mammoth Lakes, Rocky Mountain, Joshua Tree, and other locations. He aspires for Yosemite Facelift to inspire communities to engage in environmental stewardship not only within parks but also in their local surroundings, as seen in San Francisco’s Glen Park earlier this year.

Yosemite Facelift continues to uphold its commitment to preserving the natural magnificence of Yosemite National Park and encourages all to join this noble cause. Rush Creek Lodge & Spa is honored to support its participants, fostering a sense of camaraderie and enjoyment while cleaning up the environment. This enduring effort by Yosemite Facelift continues to inspire a global community of volunteers dedicated to safeguarding our invaluable natural heritage.

For additional details and participation in Yosemite Facelift, kindly visit To book the exclusive wellness treatment at Rush Creek Lodge & Spa, participants can contact the Wellness Team at (209) 379-2425.

Debuting at the doorstep of Yosemite in the summer of 2016, Rush Creek offers a contemporary take on the Yosemite experience. The modern mountain lodge boasts 143 guest rooms and extensive amenities, including a Restaurant/Tavern, guided recreation program, and a Yosemite-inspired Spa. Recognized as a Certified B Corporation, Rush Creek adheres to social sustainability and environmental performance standards, boasting a self-funded on-site youth employment program and an array of environmental initiatives.

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Adrienn Sarkany
Adrienn Sarkany
Hello there! I'm a 21-year-old university student majoring in Finnish and Korean Language and Literature. I have a deep passion for art and a profound connection to the natural world. My journey through life has been a colorful one, driven by my love for creativity, music, and the wonders of the great outdoors. As a dedicated student, I've already earned a degree in Classic Cantos, a testament to my appreciation for the timeless beauty of classical music. Beyond the classroom, my artistic spirit thrives through my love for painting and drawing. These creative outlets allow me to express my thoughts and emotions, transforming blank canvases into vibrant stories. My interests go far beyond music and art. Singing, playing the piano, and exploring new melodies are integral parts of my life, providing me with both solace and exhilaration. When I'm not immersed in the world of art and music, I find solace in nature's embrace. My heart is drawn to animals and the serene beauty of the natural world, fueling my desire to protect and preserve our precious environment.


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