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“Outstanding experience.”

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Yosemite High Sierra Camps
Certificate of Excellence
Lake Forest, Ca.
Level Contributor
23 reviews
17 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Outstanding experience.”
Reviewed 20 August 2013

We just returned from our first experience with the High Sierra Camps. We'd return in a heartbeat. We actually won our spots in the lottery, but we heard that is a difficult thing to do. We stayed in Curry Village the first night, then took a bus to Tuolumne Meadows to start. Night one we stayed at the Vogelsang camp. So pretty. It's right next to a pretty lake. No showers here. But otherwise great. The food was amazing and the staff very helpful. Breakfast and dinner was included but we bought a sack lunch for the trail. Night two was Merced Lake. Another great camp. Day three we hiked back into the valley.

I didn't feel concerned about the sanitary conditions as other reviews commented on. They have well posted signs to wash your hands and hand sanitizers at each restroom stall. Not sure what else they could do about the mice and the Hantavirus. They had a sign in each tent. Mice could get in through the door jam, but we didn't see any or any droppings.

Overall, we loved it and will put in for the lottery every year.

Room Tip: Four beds per room. If you're in a group bigger or smaller they'll put you with other travel...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled with friends
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Helpful?
6 Thank Jenn2181
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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126 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
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English first
Simi Valley, California
Level Contributor
6 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 21 July 2013

We just finished the Vogalsang, Merced Lake and Sunrise portion of the High Sierra Camp Loop in Yosemite with our 10 year old daughter and it was fabulous. When I was in my 20's I used to back-pack but thought I had to give it up due to back problems with herniated disks, but this option allowed me to once again experience the backcountry. Because meals and tent cabins with cots and wool blankets are provided, I really only needed water and clothes so I did the 29 miles with water bottles in a fanny-pack and my husband carried my change of clothes/shoes. Although we hike a lot in the National Parks I was concerned about such a long hike with my daughter. She did great and enjoyed the experience. We happened to spend 3 nights at Merced Lake which was a good idea because it allowed us to explore the area and swim in the swimming hole near the camp, which was my daughter's favorite part. There is a natural rock slope to the river that leads to the swimming hole and she could kind of slide into it. If we had to do over I would bring a little inflatable to make the "slide" a little more fun. The food was incredible - homemade soup, fresh salad, entrée and dessert each night for dinner. Better than food anywhere else in the park. Staff were helpful, especially at Merced where Mike the Camp Manager gave interesting talks about the history of the area, animals and plants each night after dinner.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
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Helpful?
9 Thank PepeLePugh3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
California
Level Contributor
46 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 53 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 January 2013

These camps are the best experience you can have in the High Sierra's. Each of the 5 camps are a 1-day hike apart and each have different views and amenities. Common among them is the traditional canvas tent cabin which will will likely share with others. There is also a rustic kitchen which serves fabulous dinners and breakfasts. There are no phones, no electricity, no roads ... all supplies are brought in by mules.

The person who rated these a "1" ("Dirty, unhealthy conditions”) must have been expecting the Awahnee at 10,000 feet! Pay no attention to that review. Obviously there is going to be dirt in the wilderness where there no vacuum cleaners and water is precious.

If you love the outdoors and unmatched views, stimulating smells of the forest and fresh air this is the place for you. To make reservations you need to enter a lottery in November of the year prior to the time you want to visit. You'll hear back in January and the probability of getting an extended hike is low - they are THAT popular!

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
15 Thank Traveler-396
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
PA
Level Contributor
9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 November 2012

The Yosemite High Sierra Camps offer lodging, food, bathrooms, and showers in camps located a day's hike apart. These camps offer the chance to hike one of the most spectacular places in the world without having to schlep tents, sleeping bags, cooking gear and meals. The camps have tents with comfortable beds with linens, blankets, and pillow, fireplaces, and shelves to hang gear. Meals were ample and gourmet delicious, with vegetarian options - all lovingly prepared and presented by staff. Camp staff were very friendly and entertaining, and helpful answering questions. Meals were eaten communally and we met people from all over the US. Evening programs around the campfire with Park Rangers were fun and informative. Daytime vistas and terrain were extraordinary, nighttime star gazing extraordinary. Trip of a lifetime!

  • Stayed July 2012, travelled with friends
    • Value
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Helpful?
7 Thank GraniasGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
Reviewed 16 September 2012

I know this is in the wilderness but it should be clean. I cannot blame the workers but I think the stress on not using water makes it almost impossible to keep the camps clean. There have been problems with the spread of GI problems due to poor sanitation. Who knows why no one was warned about the hantavirus! I worry that the health of the visitors was not a high priority. The sites are beautiful but don't go unless you are willing to take risks with your health. I cannot imagine exposing my children to such risk. It is very sad. The camps could be a great experience and kept clean. The lack of cleanliness trumps everything. Our national parks should not offer people to stay in places which health departments would not approve if they were private hotels or motels.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank katiekmd
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Fullerton, California
Level Contributor
7 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
Reviewed 14 September 2012

We were a three-generation group of seven who thoroughly enjoyed our four nights (August, 2012) in Yosemite’s High Sierra camps. At Tuolumne Meadows, we were a group of ten (three of us chose to spend the next three nights at Yosemite Lodge), and had a good experience. There were lots of tasty selections for dinner and breakfast, the bathrooms were clean, the tent cabins were comfortable, and a Ranger led a lively campfire discussion.

The next three days at remote High Sierra camps featured breathtaking scenery with great photo opportunities. Glen Aulin (GA) had a view of a spectacular waterfall, May Lake (ML) featured the beautiful alpine lake, and Sunrise (SR) had a wonderful meadow. At all of these remote High Sierra camps, the tent cabins were comfortable and supplied with fire wood and wood burning stoves to make it easier to get started on the cold mornings. And we enjoyed the unique ways that we were called to meals (triangle at GA, conch shell at ML, and vuvuzela at SR).

The staffs at all of the camps were friendly and hard-working, but we most appreciated the dinner entertainment at ML (discussion of Yosemite’s history with a focus on education) and SD (dramatic performance of an appropriate Shel Silverstein poem). We were somewhat disappointed that two of the camps (GA and SR) ran out of hot chocolate, particularly since we had four kids between the ages of 8 and 15. But our group included one person with a vegetarian diet and one with a non-dairy diet, who were very well taken care, both in quality and quantity of food. On the day that omelets with cheese were served at ML, the person with the non-dairy request was served what appeared to be a six-egg omelet, and I enjoyed it very much!

Aside from the missing hot chocolate, there were two issues: no showers and Hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS). There are never showers at GA because of environmental concerns, but shower facilities may normally be used at ML and SR subject to water availability. This year, they were not available. We think that the staff did its best to make guests aware of possible exposure to HPS. When we were at Yosemite, it was communicated that it had been contracted by a few people staying in Curry Village. About three weeks after our trip, we received an email from DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, the park's concessioner who operates the High Sierra Camps letting us know that another person had contracted HPS, apparently at a High Sierra Camp. We were given more information about the seriousness of the disease and some resources, which is about all that could be done.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
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Helpful?
4 Thank Looper_321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Worthington, Ohio
Level Contributor
59 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 August 2012

We have been to the Yosemite High Sierra Camps twice. It is a wonderful experience to be so close to nature and for anyone who wants anywhere from a moderate to a tough hike through the wilderness.

Staff of High Sierra camps are very hospitable and very able to help out guests. The FOOD is gourmet...which is excellent after a gruelling day hike from camp to camp. The accomodations are ample -- this is by no means your national chain hotel. This is roughing it out in the woods but at say, 10,120 above sea level, you will be impressed that the beds are comfortable, wool blankets are provided, a table, a chair, matches and some wood fire log. Community toilet/shower facilities are provided.

This is definitely an experience one should have at least once during their lifetime.

  • Stayed August 2012, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Rosa G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Yosemite High Sierra Camps

Property: Yosemite High Sierra Camps
Address: Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park, CA
Region: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 24 Speciality Lodging in Yosemite National Park
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Yosemite High Sierra Camps have been a popular destination in Yosemite National Park since they were first established. Because of the demand, we’ve created a lottery system for reservations. Applications are accepted in September and October for the following year. We email winners in the spring. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Yosemite High Sierra Camps Hotel Yosemite National Park

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