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“A great "Camping" trip” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sequoia High Sierra Camp

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Sequoia High Sierra Camp
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65745 Big Meadow Rd (FS 13S11), Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA   |  
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Dallas, Tx
Level Contributor
12 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“A great "Camping" trip”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 6, 2011

After long drive down single lane bumpy dirt road we arrived at the Marvin Pass Trailhead and then hiked up about 1 mile carrying our clothes and gear. When we arrived at the Sequoia High Sierra Camp (SHSC) we sat down in comfortable chairs with great views and were offered cold drinks. SHSC is owned/run by Burr and Suzanne Hughes (Suzanne was gone while we were there). It was midweek before Labor Day and we were one of only two couples. Our "tent" had concrete floors, king bed, down comforters, nice sheets, wool blankets, etc. Dinner served in the comfortable main building was very good. The chief is Fidgeir Heigason from Iceland and he was very attentive to various food issues (my gluten problem and the other couples aversion to beef or pork). Dinner was followed by conversation around a campfire. The nights were very cold but it quickly became nice and warm under our blankets. One must hike up (or down) to the bath/shower house (hot showers, flush toilets, electricity) from the tents and this is a bit tiring at 8,000 feet. Excellent breakfast and then a packed lunch for a day of hiking the national park/wilderness. We choose a hike to the top of Mitchell Peak (10,365 feet). This is 3.2 miles each way with a 2,000 foot elevation. Listed as a moderate to difficult hike in various guidebooks, we found it a very tough climb for us on day #1 at this altitude (we are in our 60’s). Last part of climb is a “scramble" over steep granitite boulders which was tough and for us at the end of a tiring hike but we made it and were rewarded with great vistas of the Western divide, the Jennie Lakes Wilderness, Kings Canyon. The only people we saw the entire day were the other couple. Then back to camp in time for another excellent meal and chatting around the campfire. There were only two couple and two staff (Burr and Fidgeir) so things may be very different when all the tents are occupied but we found it to be a delightful couple of days and very much enjoyed our stay. Don’t expect Four Seasons accommodations or service but this is probably about as elegant as you might find in a true rustic camp setting.

  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Michael E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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59 reviews from our community

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Menlo Park, California
Level Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 20 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 2011

Just spent 3 nights at Sequoia High Sierra Camp (SHSC) and WOW, are we glad we made this the centerpiece of our trip to Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks. Assuming you are going to read the many other reviews posted, I'll start by saying that anything positive you read, I agree with wholeheartedly, so I'll try not to be repetitive.

And to think that I was almost swayed by some of the negative comments people wrote. Yes, honestly, some of those remarks made me pause and wonder "is it really worth the money?" and "am I going to be disappointed?" Well, it was MORE than the worth the money, and all our expectations were exceeded.

SHSC is a wonderful mix of camping and comfort. Yes, it's cold at night. Hey, you're at 8,000 feet. What do you expect? It's a short hike in, and you don't need to bring much, but you do get to carry your own backpack to your tent.

Burr and Suzanne have an incredible vision, and they are very hospitable, but please don't expect Four Seasons rump-kissing. (personally, that being greeted every five steps by every single employee at the Four Seasons makes me nuts...) That would be missing the point.

SHSC provides a VERY luxurious back-drop (by traditional camping standards), and you get to make it your own. And if you need something, all you have to do is ask. They are very gracious. We are vegetarians and neglected to tell them in advance, and when I realized at our first dinner that they were serving a set menu (and guests were talking about the fabulous lamb served the night before...) I quietly excused myself from the table during the salad course and quickly mentioned to one of the staff, and no one batted an eyelash, and we had a fabulous meal. After dinner, Suzanne was so kind in asking us specific questions about our preferences, and we enjoyed one amazing meal after another throughout our stay.

Value at $500/night double occupancy? You bet!! That includes 3 fabulous meals a day. Heck, the Marriott down in Visalia is $200/nt., and no food. A decent room in Hawaii is +$400/nt. and no food. Yes, you are paying to be somewhere VERY unique, and at $250 per person a day, I think they have priced themselves quite fairly. Do people think this is easy to set-up a luxury camp where they have done this? Fair to say, that people come with different expectations.

Another reviewer commented about the young foreigners hired as staff. Most U.S. college students head back to school long before the SHSC season ends, so hiring young people from overseas who can commit to the full season up there makes complete sense.

Our King-sized bed was exactly that. Not 2 twins pushed together. Tents probably vary, and it's hard to blame the proprietors for possibly needing a variety of bedding options. We came mid-week, and there were about 15 people total in camp, and the day we left, they were expecting a full house of about 50. These people work HARD to create a great experience, and they deliver.

You can be social with other guests or spend time alone with whomever you came with. People were very respectful of one another, and we really enjoyed meeting people from all over the country. Now that I re-read those old reviews from 2008 about the loud people, I'm sooooo grateful that there weren't people there like that during our visit, and I'm so proud of the proprietors for confronting what sounded like very "unaware" people.

Oh, and the people who had wished for more proactive hiking advice? Wow... every other guest we met was so excited to share their hiking experiences from their stay and offer little tips about the trails and where to look for markers etc... It was quite the topic of conversation at every meal. And of course, Burr and Suzanne were available and happy to offer suggestions and fill in the details. Perhaps I'm not the type that likes to be spoon-fed? SHSC really hit the sweet spot between the side of me that want to be outdoorsy and the side of me that really doesn't mind comfort.

Prices in the Camp Store are quite fair... I bought a high quality fleece pullover with the camp logo embroidered on it, and $65 is to be expected. Want cheap fleece? Go to REI during a sale. For cheap gifts, there are plenty of gift shops throughout the National Parks. SHSC offers a tasteful selection of items in their little store, all of top quality. Oh, and the "store" cabin is unlocked and available 24/7 and you fill out a chit on the honor system and they add it to your bill. THAT'S the spirit and flavor there. Same with the wine. You can just pour a glass and add it to your chit. Need something? Just walk into the back room and ask one of the staff. It's all very open-door. Burr and Suzanne welcome their guests to experience and enjoy their special vision. Very relaxing.

Finally, we had great hikes. Kudos to the reviewer who zoomed to the top of Mitchell Peak and didn't find it challenging enough. Most guests DO find that it's a hike that will get your heart-rate up, and the 360 degree view is a spectacular reward. We also spent a full day in camp (gasp... no hiking?!?) and we LOVED having the place pretty much to ourselves. You can be active or you can chill out (or do both) and it's all what you want to make of it.

Again, everything positive in the other reviews I agree with 1000% -- we really loved our stay, would happily come back again, and think it is a very special place. And if you have questions, call or email the owners. My friends are going to get so tired of hearing me talk about how much I enjoyed our stay there!!! :)

Room Tip: The Gearhart cabin is tucked away (nice privacy) but close to the bathroom and not a steep hike (goo...
See more room tips
  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
8 Thank MNK94025
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penryn, California
Level Contributor
15 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 25, 2011

What an Amazing place. Burr Hughes has a vision - and we loved every minute. If you want a place where you can hike the majestic wilderness for hours and then return for a gourmet meal and wonderful comfortable beds, this is the place for you. You stay in individual permanent tents placed for optimum privacy with soft sheets and warm comforters. The main lodge is regal and warm. Ample delicious meals served by very friendly and helpful staff. We can't wait to return and plan to stay longer next time!

  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Harleysmomxo
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 17, 2011

My husband and I went for the first time last week and found it enchanting. The owner, Burr Hughes, has created the most amazing experience high up in virgin forest territory of the High Sierras. I think anyone perusing the web-site will see his award winning architecture , open air dining, darling clean white tents, and fine dining cuisine are all exceptional.

I was amazed by the delicious 4 course gourmet meals at dinner, the omelette bar, fresh fruit, home-made granola and Suzanne's (his wife's) family recipe for muffins, and fresh squeezed orange juice made daily for breakfast. The lunch was a fun fix-it-your-way sandwich bar to take on your hike with you, complete with homemade chocolate chip banana bread and roasted tomatoes (so your sandwich won't get soggy!) The wine selection is all European and well priced (most below $40.00~ I'm very picky and I was pleased!!) The bedding and towels are new and provided. There are brand new down comforters and Pendleton blanket to stack as many as you'd like for night time cozy sleeping. Turkish carpets keep your feet from touching the concrete floor. You'll see from the brochure that the tent/cabin is adorable!

They light a bond fire every night. The stream is rushing by for ambient noise while sleeping. The central showers are open air, but very clean (all soaps, shampoos and conditioners provided.) The toilets are segregated by sex are modern and clean.

The trails are some of the most spectacular I've ever hiked. The camp is remote; a two hour drive from Fresno. You simply carry a back pack with your personal change of clothes and hike in about a mile. From the camp the trails radiate out to get views of Sequoia National Park and Kings Canyon National Park ; the camp is on the border of these two amazing areas. Lots of side trips to see those parks are available.

Burr Hughes and his wife serve as hosts. They love to help guests decide on wine or hiking trails. We LOVED it and (believe me!!!) I'm no camper!

Room Tip: All the rooms are really great.
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank susanjetson
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Northern California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 15 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 16, 2011

I would write a completely different review if the owners charged half the current rate. We're talking $500 a night for a room for two people. (Imagine where else you could stay for that price.) I would easily pay $125 a night to stay here and would write a good review to reflect that price. But because they are charging Four Seasons rates, I'm writing a Four Seasons review.

1.) Burr, the owner, seems grumpy. I'm a grumpy person too, but I'm not in the hospitality business so I can get away with it. The other owner, Suzanne, is lovely and almost makes up for Burr's grumpiness...but it's hard to avoid him. I suggest they hire someone else to interact with guests.

2.) I thought the young men working at the camp were sweet and helpful, but why is the staff composed wholly of Eastern European males? Seems like this would be the perfect summer job for a few local teenagers. I have no issue with the birthplace of employees, but it kind of makes me wonder if this is a question of cheap labor.

3.) The women's restroom was never cleaned the entire time we were there. The same coffee cup sat in the same place on the counter for three days in a row. The same dirty towels were strewn about the counter for three days in a row. Our bed was made, but the cleaning crew didn't remove the dirty towels hanging on the hooks in our tent. If I'm paying $500 a night for a room, I want $500/night housekeeping service.

4.) When we asked for drinking water for our tent we were given a tall plastic water bottle (like a recycled Crystal Geiser bottle with the label removed). I saw later that there's a bucket of these bottles near a spigot in the wall near the kitchen. I got the impression that the bottles are reused and we all know how plastic can harbor bacteria. I'm all for recycling, but they should be using glass bottles that can be cleaned and disinfected.

5.) The food was great (often in need of salt, but it's family style and they're trying to please the masses). I thought they would ask if or assume there were vegetarians in the group, but they never did. As such, my wife was left eating the side dishes while the rest of us enjoyed beef and pork for main courses. The owners should ask about food preferences when guests check in.

6.) The Sequoia Store is cute, but $15 for a coffee mug and $75 for a fleece...really?

7.) The nights are freeeeeezing. We slept in flannel pajamas, fleeces, wool hats, and socks. You'll warm up quickly in the cozy sheets and blankets and will pull off the layers by morning.

8.) Don't worry about overpacking. They don't say it on the website, but the car parking lot is a 5-10-minute walk down a dirt road. Anything you leave in the car can be picked up easily. I don't know why they don't advertise this. Your car is VERY close.

9.) Cookies and tea in the evening were a very nice touch.

10.) Sunset was beautiful.

  • Stayed June 2011, traveled as a couple
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
15 Thank ElizabethPark
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
1 review
5 of 5 stars Reviewed May 12, 2011

I stayed at this camp last summer for a break away from city life with my family last summer.
I have given the camp 5 circles for every aspect.
For cleanliness:
The tented cabins were immaculately presented on the first afternoon we got there. Considering you are 2 hours drive from any real civilization, in the middle of forested mountains, the cabins were very clean, swept. The ornaments and provisions in the cabin made us feel very welcome. Every morning, "maid service" swept, made our beds and replenished our water supply (from their own fresh well). Compared to any other camping trip, the cleanliness out surpassed our expectations or experience at any other resort. The bath houses, too, were very well kept, clearly were cleaned every morning. Hot, al-fresco, private showers were a very welcome site after a long hike every day.
The location is stunning. Set in the sequoia national monument, protected from logging rights, over looking mountains, watching the sun set every evening as we ate our (incredible) meals. Such serenity.
The rooms as already mentioned were not your average camping accommodation. Some of the reviews on here mentioned that the queen size beds were merely two singles, pushed together. This was not our experience. I guess the owners invested in new matresses because ours was a queen one, and incredibly comfortable. Triple sheeted, with extra blankets if we needed them.
The staff and the food were the two things that really made our experience a special one. Although all from Europe, (UK and Poland) they could not do enough to help us out and meet our needs. The food was what you would expect from any top class restaurant. Cooked breakfasts, cereals, fresh fruit and yogurt every morning before a hike. Buffet lunch that we took with us, and then came back to a fantastic five-course affair in the open-air dining pavilion. Stunning.
And all for such good value. I have stayed at many a hotel that charges more than this, and the experience you get in a hotel doesnt even compare to the one we had here.
Couldnt recommend it enough.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
Thank paddy8018
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Pomona, California
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 13, 2010

The accommodations were excellent. The meals were quite tasty but cold. The staff service was excellent.

Owner/manager promised me a refund when I came as a single instead of a double, but never came through with the credit to my credit card.

  • Stayed September 2010, traveled solo
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
3 Thank AdventureAnnieOakley
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Sequoia High Sierra Camp

Address: 65745 Big Meadow Rd (FS 13S11), Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Amenities:
Beverage Selection Free Breakfast Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 20 Specialty Lodging in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates):
Number of rooms: 36
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Sequoia High Sierra Camp offers a rare opportunity to explore the spectacular background of California's Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Parks – while enjoying the deluxe furnishings, guest amenities and friendly hospitality that are hallmarks of this secluded mountain retreat. You can experience the parks like no other hotel or lodge in the area. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Sequoia High Sierra Camp Hotel Sequoia And Kings Canyon National Park

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