CrossFit in Yosemite

By Steve Yu

In CrossFit, LEO/Mil

November 12, 2008

PDF Article

Steve Yu is a Yosemite National Park Ranger.

As rangers and special agents for the National Park Service, we protect those who visit the park from themselves, others, and the park itself. Of course, we also protect the park from those who visit. Most are just ignorant visitors in need of education, but a few would wantonly despoil our shared national heritage.

On any given day, we can be carrying an injured hiker out from the Vernal Falls trail corridor, wrestling a drunk on the Curry Village pizza deck, raiding a marijuana cultivation site on the steep, brush-choked canyon walls of the Merced river, retrieving a body from the maelstrom at the base of Nevada Falls, heli-rappelling onto the sheer face of El Capitan (pictured), fighting a forest fire in 100-degree weather, hunting poachers on our boundary, extricating victims from the wreckage of a motor-vehicle accident, or searching for a lost hiker in a winter storm.

In many ways, the CrossFit system is tailor-made for National Park Service rangers. The diversity of challenges we face in our environment, the number of hats we wear, and the unpredictability of the call-load all favor the prepared. CrossFit prepares us for these challenges like no other system that I know of. This statement is validated time and again in real-life-out-of-the-gym tests.

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8 Comments on “CrossFit in Yosemite”


wrote …

Steve, great read. No doubt you're a great ranger but also a talented writer. I'll be reaching out to you for tips on my first backpacking trip in the park.

Your FLEO Brother,


wrote …

haha "damn crossfit"


wrote …

Great article!
Went to Yosemite for the first time last summer. It is truly one of the most amazing places I've ever seen.
Glad to hear that the rangers are benefiting from CrossFit. Maybe next time I return I'll join you for a WOD before hiking up the falls =)


wrote …

I didn't have the full perspective of what the Park Rangers do - great read, thanks Steve. Paul


wrote …

Thanks Steve,
I love learning how CrossFit translates to real world improvements for other people. Keep up the great work, and I look forward to reading another one of your articles in the future!



wrote …

Ranger Steve,

Talk about an ill gig. I know it can be harsh but your "workplace" beats four-walls any day. Thanks for sharing.



wrote …


What a great article! It is exciting to hear how CrossFit workouts dramatically impacted the physically challenging job of Yosemite Rangers.

Thank you for writing and submitting your article and for taking care of beautiful Yosemite. There are many sweet memories there for me from the time when my children were growing up. It is a special place.



wrote …

Great article Steve.
It seems like you are training your guys in a very similar way to Rob Shaul at - increased strength and power but not sacrificing being able to move quickly over long distances. His site has got some good information on and is well worth a read

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