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Ava Williams

Ava Williams

Why did you come to Yosemite?

I came to Yosemite to explore the Sierra Nevada mountain range and gain more experience in the outdoor recreation industry! Born and raised in Boulder, Colorado, the Rocky Mountains have given me the opportunity to make outdoor resources part of my daily life, teaching me the importance of conservation and environmental stewardship. Striving to empower others through outdoor experiences, I joined the Recreation Team here at Evergreen Lodge. Yosemite has it all - big mountains, incredible climbing, and the largest tree species in the world! I am beyond excited to explore all that Yosemite has to offer this season while helping educate our guests about the National Park, preservation, and where to recreate in the Sierras. 

What are your Hobbies?

In my free time, I love to hike, backpack, do yoga, and read. During my time in Yosemite, I am hoping to eventually add climbing to this list!

Favorite hike/trail here in Yosemite?

My favorite trail here in Yosemite is the Mist Trail.

Your craziest hiking story?

My craziest hiking story? A few summers ago I was camping in the Sangre De Cristo Mountains of New Mexico with my family. I decided to go on a quick hike, while the rest of my family stayed behind to set up camp and settle in for the afternoon. On an out and back trail, I jogged down about 5 miles to a beautiful little alpine lake, enjoying the peace and quiet and crisp mountain air. At around 4pm I began to make my way up the trail, back to my campsite. With a hungry belly and now cold, I was jogging and ready to be home! To my surprise the trail I was walking on just stopped. Confused, I doubled back and realized there were several different trails leading from the lake. I was scared and began to worry. Where did I come from?? Was this the right trail? Several hours later..

I had traversed every single trail coming from the lake, was completely lost, and then it began to rain. Tuckered out, wet, I sat down under a tree and did some deep breathing reminding myself of what trail markers I saw. They were much harder to find in the rain and rolling thunder. I would try the original trail again. Walking down this path for the 7th time, I decided I would walk past where the trail seemed to stop and continue on a half-mile further. To my relief, I found the next section of the trail was taking me up familiar switchbacks!  I was able to make it home for a very laten and wet dinner at around 9pm.

Favorite Hiking Meal /Food?

My favorite hiking meal is salami and good cheese!

Dream Vacation?

My dream vacation is skiing the alps and having a warm cider and jacuzzi awaiting me.

Sebastien ” Seb” Evans

Sebastien ” Seb” Evans

Why did you come to Yosemite?

I first came to the Yosemite area to work on forestry conservation in the surrounding national forests.

What are your Hobbies?

I love hiking, climbing, mountain biking,  and any excuse to be outside

Favorite hike/trail here in Yosemite?

Wapama Falls

Your craziest hiking story?

Spent 13 hours in Tenaya canyon moving less than a mile an hour due to the difficult terrain. 

Favorite Hiking Meal /Food?

Beef Jerky 

Vacation?

Antarctica

Madeline “Maddie” Spivey

Madeline “Maddie” Spivey

Why did you come to Yosemite?

I grew up hearing stories of the John Muir Trail and camping in Yosemite Valley from my dad. My dad used to be a pretty adventurous guy. When I “grew up” I learned that the outdoors is where I thrive and I feel the most alive. Yosemite was the place that I felt the most connected to growing up and still is today. It keeps me connected to my dad and pushes me every day to do harder and bigger hikes that I never thought I could accomplish.

What are your Hobbies?

I am an Art Student full-time. So painting is my biggest hobby. I also love paddleboarding, yoga, and hiking, of course!

Favorite hike/trail here in Yosemite?

I really enjoy Wapama Falls every time I go. It’s a nice, easy hike, great for kiddos. BUT I do also love the Mist Trail, all the way up to Nevada Falls! In my opinion, it’s one of the most beautiful spots in the park. I’m just a waterfall girl, if there’s a waterfall, I’ll be there!

Your craziest hiking story?

Right before I came to Evergreen Lodge in 2020, I went on a road trip with my best friend of 15 years and my older sister. We were very antsy in the car, so we stopped off at the Big Baldy Trailhead in Sequoia National Park, just to stretch our legs. We were about 50 feet from the top of this hike, a beautiful lookout into the rest of the park, and we turned a corner and found a bear cub, 10 feet in front of us. We all stopped in disbelief, then quickly gathered ourselves and turned back around. Where there's a baby bear, there’s a  Mama Bear too. So we let them enjoy the view, and we quickly hiked back down to the car. 

Favorite Hiking Meal /Food?

Smacos! These are an Adirondack delicacy. You put all of the ingredients for a very fancy s’more into a tortilla, sprinkle it with cinnamon and sugar, and wrap it in tin foil. We always cook them over a campfire, because everything tastes better cooked over a campfire. My favorite Smaco ingredients are bananas, strawberries, mini chocolate chips, mini marshmallows, and honey!

Dream Vacation?

Definitely Catalina Island off the coast of Los Angeles. The Trans-Catalina Trail is one hike that I am determined to do in the next few years! It’s a tough hike, but the views of the ocean the entire way seems like a beautiful adventure.

Allie S Guide Photo
Allison “Allie” Schneider

Allison “Allie” Schneider

Why did you come to Yosemite?

I came to Yosemite to explore one of our most iconic national parks and share my love of nature with others.

What are your hobbies?

I love trying new things, bonus points if it’s outside! You’ll most often catch me hiking, trail running, practicing yoga or archery, or with my nose in a book.

Favorite hike/trail here in Yosemite?

My favorite hike so far here in Yosemite is the Young Lakes Loop Trail and Ragged Peak in the high country. It can be a long day, but the view is so worth it.

What’s your craziest hiking story?

When I was studying and teaching in Costa Rica, a friend and I backpacked through Nicaragua for a few weeks. Our first stop was in the city of León, where we met some fellow travelers talking about “volcano boarding” on nearby Cerro Negro, so of course, we had to give that a try!  After a couple of hours of driving through herds of cattle, we made it to the base of the volcano where we hitched our boards (a homemade kind of plywood sled) onto our backs and hiked probably the hottest hike of my life to date to the top. The trail was gravelly and unstable, the kind where every step forward was countered by a half-slide back, the air smelled like sulfur, and the sun was unrelenting, but we were determined. Hours later, getting to the top was a relief — though you can’t stick around long because the volcano is one of the most active in Nicaragua and due for an eruption! Following an investigation of the smoking caldera, we donned our neon jumpsuits and safety goggles and took turns hitting the slope. Let me tell you, after all that, putting the fear of an eruption behind you and sliding down a volcano at speeds up to 60 mph is a rush.

Tell us about your go-to favorite hiking meal/trail snack?

On a day hike, I love to bring fresh fruit. It’s a sweet snack that’s also super hydrating!

What is your dream vacation?

My dream vacation would be to spend a year backpacking through South America.

Madeleine F Guide Photo in Yosemite
Madeleine Friedenbach

Madeleine Friedenbach

Why did you come to Yosemite?

I wanted to experience living in such a stunning landscape, and where better than Yosemite!

What are your hobbies?

I love hiking, backpacking, seeing live music, skiing, road trips, and knitting.

Favorite hike/trail here in Yosemite?

At the moment, Dewey Point (but it's changing all the time!).

What's your craziest hiking story?

I tried summiting a mountain (Mount Signal in Colorado) that I thought would be a lot easier than it ended up being. I was by myself, didn’t bring enough food or water, and got lost on the way back down. I ended up being insanely lucky that I ran into someone on a dirt bike who gave me a lift back to the main road after I broke down crying in front of him. Moral of the story: BE PREPARED FOR ANYTHING. And don’t lose your map.

Tell us about your go-to favorite hiking meal/trail snack?

Apples, Chex mix, and chocolate!

What is your dream vacation?

I would love to try living out of my backpack and traveling around southeastern Asia.

Lori Zocklein

Lori Zocklein

Naturalist Guide

Why did you come to Yosemite?

LZ:  I came to Yosemite in May 2016.

What are your hobbies?

LZ: I love hiking, woodworking, cooking and playing with my cat Cheeseburger.

What is your favorite hike/trail in Yosemite?

LZ: I love hiking on the abandoned Big Oak Flat Stagecoach Road after a big snowstorm.

Tell us your craziest hiking story.

LZ: I was hiking to Wapama Falls at Hetch Hetchy and a black bear walked out of the bushes onto the trail about 5 ft in front of me. I started walking backward slowly while making eye contact and talking to the bear in a calm voice saying “hey bear”. After about 5 minutes of this, the bear lost interest and wandered back into the forest. It was terrifying.

What's your favorite hiking meal or trail snack?

LZ: Blueberry banana pancakes with honey peanut butter spread in the middle, eaten like a sandwich.

And what is your dream vacation?

LZ: Spending 10 days with only my favorite people in the Wilderness hiking, swimming, and cooking good food.

Michelle “Meesh” Ramos

Michelle “Meesh” Ramos

Naturalist Guide

Why did you come to Yosemite?

MR:  For the past few years I’ve worked in sleep away camps and after-school programs in Florida. In the summer of 2018, I wanted to challenge myself, and experience something new. So I flew to the mountains! And I’m not quite ready to leave!

What are your hobbies?

MR: I truly enjoy the arts. Whether it's drawing, painting, crafting, singing, and more. Something that I continue to fall in love with more and more is hiking and camping. Especially since being in Yosemite it’s quickly growing into an obsession!

What is your favorite hike/trail in Yosemite?

MR: A very tough question! So I will be choosing two, haha! Glen Aulin has a special place in my heart. It was my first backpacking experience in Yosemite and it did not disappoint! I was accompanied by my good friend, the adventure queen Maure Buckley! My second is Clouds Rest. The diversity in plant life and beautiful scenery was breathtaking! I’d like to do it again and catch the sunrise!

Tell us your craziest hiking story.

MR: What immediately comes to mind is my hike “almost” to the top of El Capitan. My boyfriend and I had been planning to hike to the top of El Cap for weeks and we were hoping to do this hike before he had to go back to Michigan for school. Luckily the weather had cleared up and so we took the opportunity! The hike began pretty well! The weather was perfect, we were super excited and having a blast! About 2 hours in I began to feel a bit sick but I didn’t say anything. As we got higher in elevation we began to see snow, which for me was pretty exciting since I’m from Florida and I never really have had the chance to experience it. We continued on and the snow is getting deeper and deeper, but we could still see the trail. This hike, by the way, was super tough for me! But, my boyfriend, Lance did a great job of motivating me. After hiking for hours we are sinking to our thighs in the snow we can’t tell where the trail is. We check the map on our phone and it seems that we were going the right way but we weren't too confident. It dawns on me that we are not going to be able to finish the hike, it was starting to get dark, our phones are dying, and it’s starting to get really cold. I was so disappointed I start crying haha! As we hike down altitude sickness hits me! I was soooooo embarrassed! I sickly made my way down the mountain with Lance who was so caring during this whole thing. Finally were about a mile from the car and we look up. The sky is shining with stars, it was unforgettable. We made a deal to try it again this summer. I can’t wait!

What's your favorite hiking meal or trail snack?

MR: My favorite trail snack is definitely Guac squeeze packets accompanied with crackers, cheese, and salami! My meal is hands down rotisserie chicken with alfredo pasta and avocado! Delicious!

And what is your dream vacation?

MR: My dream vacation would be to head to Chile and do some hiking and camping in Torres Del Paine National Park! There is an animal called a Guanaco that I really want to see!

Kiana “Kiki” Newman

Kiana “Kiki” Newman

Naturalist Guide


Although Kiki has a true affinity for water, she is truly at home in the mountains. You'll find her running up the highest peaks on her time off and absorbing everything Yosemite has to offer.

Why did you come to Yosemite? 

I came to work in Yosemite after falling in love with it the first time I visited while leading a group of college students on a camping trip in the park. I have lived here for 4 years now because this place is unlike any other I’ve ever been to (my favorite place in the world!) and I want to share it with and help other people love it just as much as I do!

What are your Hobbies? 

I love trail running, rock climbing, and surfing and in my downtime I enjoy reading, cooking, painting, and photography.

Favorite hike/trail here in Yosemite? 

My favorite hike is hands-down Mt. Dana!

Your craziest hiking story? 

I was hiking Matterhorn peak with a friend in the Eastern Sierras and we were hiking about 3 miles back in the dark with headlamps. While checking the sides of the trail for wild animals I caught a glimpse of glowing eyes staring at us from the bushes and a mountain lion came out from hiding and approached us. My friend and I immediately started to make loud noises, yelling, and waving our hands over our heads at the mountain lion and it crept back into the brush. We started walking briskly back down the trail, constantly checking behind us and realized that the mountain lion was stalking us along the trail and continued to for about a mile back to our car. Definitely the craziest hiking experience I’ve ever had!

Favorite Hiking Meal /Food? 

My favorite hiking snack is sour patch kids and cheez-its with guacamole!

Dream Vacation? 

My dream vacation is a surfing trip to Indonesia.

Bryann “Bry” Lentz

Bryann “Bry” Lentz

Evergreen Lodge Recreation Manager


With an extreme passion for the outdoors and epic adventures, it's no surprise that Bry has found herself in Yosemite. With a degree in Adventure Education and a thirst for adventure, you can find Bry exploring Yosemite if she's not at work helping you make the most of your Yosemite experience.

Why did you come to Yosemite?

BL: I came to Yosemite to pursue my dream career in the field of Adventure Education. I currently hold a Bachelors of Science in Recreation/Sports Management and a masters degree in Adventure Education. So I came to Yosemite to work and play in a magical and inspiring outdoor playground.

What are your hobbies?

BL: My hobbies include hiking, snowboarding, backpacking, softball, basketball, trail running, hiking with my dog Jake, hanging with my friends, fitness, and living a well-balanced healthy lifestyle. Basically, if it involves moving I'll probably enjoy it.

What is your favorite hike/trail in Yosemite?

BL: My favorite hike in Yosemite thus far was from the valley floor to Clouds Rest. This hike pushed me more mentally than physically and I did it in one day. It provided me the opportunity to see the valley from a whole different perspective.  And another trail I can't get enough of is the Four-Mile Trail-- it's perfect for trail-running!

Tell us your craziest hiking story.

BL: During graduate school at Prescott College, we did a canoe trip down the Black Canyon, in Lake Mead National Recreation Area. When we arrived at our sleeping destination a couple of the Teaching Assistants decided to go on a hike, and of course, I was game. While hiking we stumbled across a ladder. We went up the ladder to find a hot spring pool in a side canyon. The canyon walls were about 6-9 feet apart filled with highly mineralized water at about 105 degrees. We soaked together in the hot springs-- a pleasant surprise after a long canoe trip down the Black Canyon. We shared many great stories, that will last a lifetime. I will never forget the beauty of that day and the feeling I felt in my heart.

What's your favorite hiking meal or trail snack?

BL: I have to go with a vegetable green curry made with my pocket rocket and my favorite hiking snack would have to be an English muffin with coconut oil, peanut butter and a bit of honey sandwich.

And what is your dream vacation?

BL: My dream vacation would be snowboarding all through the Swiss Alps.