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“The perfect mountain getaway.” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Sequoia High Sierra Camp

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Sequoia High Sierra Camp
65745 Big Meadow Rd (FS 13S11), Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA   |  
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$250 (USD)
San Diego, California
2 reviews
Reviews in 2 cities Reviews in 2 cities
1 helpful vote 1 helpful vote
“The perfect mountain getaway.”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed October 11, 2012 via mobile

A great place to come back to after a long mountain hike. Hot shower, delicious 5 course meal, glass of wine, gorgeous sunset, comfortable bed, lovely tent. Wonderful friendly service.

Amazing hikes to Lookout peak, Mitchell peak, Seville Lake, and Rowell meadow, Comanche meadow. We saw an elf owl, ca quail, marmot.

No phones, tv, cellphone, wifi, yea!

  • Stayed September 2012
    • 5 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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39 people have reviewed this hotel

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Rating summary
  • Sleep Quality
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Location
    4.5 of 5 stars
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 stars
  • Service
    4 of 5 stars
  • Value
    3.5 of 5 stars
  • Cleanliness
    4.5 of 5 stars
Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (4)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Any
English first
Costa Mesa, CA
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
16 hotel reviews
Reviews in 24 cities Reviews in 24 cities
29 helpful votes 29 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed September 3, 2012

Over the long Labor Day Weekend, my wife and I enjoyed a very comfortable stay at the Sequoia High Sierra Camp (SHSC). Set 12.5 miles away from the main road and up above 8000 feet, the SHSC allowed us to "unplug" from our lives for a few days. I literally mean "unplug" because the camp is so remote that you have no cellular access, no landlines, no TV, no WIFI, etc. Nothing but the beautiful surroundings and warm conversation with fellow guests to distract you. Absolute bliss!!!

The SHSC is completely off the grid. They have their own fresh water well and diesel generator to power the lights in the restrooms and dining hall. They use propane for cooking and heating the hot water showers.

The owners, Burr and Suzanne, made every effort to make us feel at home. Bruce, the Chef, amazed us all with the 5 course dinners that he created. My wife is Vegan, and I had notified Burr and Suzanne a week before our arrival of her diet. Bruce created a Vegan menu that consisted of independent gourmet Vegan dishes, not just sides, to "wow" my wife and make those of us meat eaters rethink our diets. Suzanne had soy milk and hummus on hand as well prior to our arrival to make my wife a very happy woman. In fact, Bruce deftly managed 7 separate dietary needs amongst the 27 campers during our trip and left us all fat and happy at the end of the day. (NOTE: Due to the remoteness of the camp, my recommendation is to let the owners know at least a week in advance of any dietary needs so that they can plan with Bruce to amaze you).

The best part for us was the wonderful conversation with the other guests. We met people from all over California, Arizona, and England (Oli and Sarah, congrats again on the engagement!) With no electronic distractions, conversation flowed along with the French wine and Sierra Nevada beer. Dining is a group affair; a highlight of our trip.

Treat yourself to this special place!

Room Tip: Ask for a cabin next to the group restroom/showers or dining area to avoid step climbs to the other...
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  • Stayed September 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 4 of 5 stars Value
    • 5 of 5 stars Location
    • 5 of 5 stars Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars Rooms
    • 5 of 5 stars Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Diego
Senior Reviewer
9 reviews 9 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed August 28, 2012

While Sequoia High Sierra Camp states on their website that they are a luxury retreat that “caters to vegetarians and those with special dietary needs,” the latter could not be less true. If you are a vegetarian that appreciates good, high quality food and expects more than “larger versions of everyone else’s side dish” for your meal, SHSC is not the place for you.

The accommodations are lovely. The bathhouse is a welcome amenity after a long day hiking the trails. And the natural beauty of SHSC is astounding. This place has so much potential, and as an outdoor loving, backpacking couple wanting a change of pace to celebrate my birthday, these things did not disappoint.

The food, however, is another story. We spent our evenings reminding the staff that we were vegetarians, sending food back, waiting for the chef to struggle together something to feed us and then feeling uncomfortable and disappointed by being served large versions of everyone else’s side dish and other poorly thought out choices. When booking our trip, we let the owners know that we were vegetarians, and we would have expected some forethought into our meal choices – especially for $250 per person per night. This is a situation you expect to encounter at an acquaintance’s wedding – not at a luxury retreat.

When we left to check out, no one asked us how our stay was. When we let the owners know via email, they acknowledged that the situation was not ideal for us, offered no semblance of an apology and illustrated that they pretty much did not care about our experience. We are unlikely to go back to SHSC for these reasons and would caution guests with any type of dietary restriction from spending the money at Sequoia High Sierra Camp. This place sells an “experience,” not just accommodations, and we were pretty disappointed.

  • Stayed August 2012, traveled as a couple
    • 3 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
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Michigan
Top Contributor
134 reviews 134 reviews
47 hotel reviews
Reviews in 65 cities Reviews in 65 cities
64 helpful votes 64 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 22, 2011

Unique, one of a kind experience. Expensive, yes, but once you stop to think about what it took to put this place together and then to maintain..., whew! The staff was wonderfull and the food was amazing. The sunset goes on and on at Sequoia High Sierra Camp. It's worth the splurge!

  • Stayed September 2011, 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Dallas, Tx
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
5 hotel reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Menlo Park, California
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 hotel reviews
Reviews in 7 cities Reviews in 7 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 11, 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...
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  • 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 6
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Penryn, California
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
6 hotel reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
4 helpful votes 4 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
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
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

Also Known As:
Sequoia High Sierra Camp Hotel Sequoia And Kings Canyon National Park
Sequoia High Sierra Camp Hotel
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:
Free Parking
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 18 Specialty lodging in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $
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 
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