We stayed at the Sequoia High Sierra Camp (SHSC) the nights of July 26, 27, 28 2013. Our initial plans were to stay only 2 nights but we enjoyed it so much, we extended it an extra day.
Getting There: It’s about 12-13 miles off Sequoia National Park’s Generals Highway. The first part is paved and the and the last few miles are a bumpy dirt road. It is recommended you drive a “high clearance” vehicle on the dirt road to the parking lot for the camp. Not a problem in any case. A family of four that we met there drove a Toyota Camry, so it’s doable if you are a careful driver.
Part 2 of getting there is the hike from the Marvin Pass Parking lot to the SHSC. The initial grade is a little steep but it levels off for most of the hike to the camp. There are helpful “SHSC” signs all along the way to guide you to your destination
Upon Arrival: We arrived in the middle of the afternoon and checked in. There were delicious cookies and cold refreshing drinks (and tea etc.) available upon arrival. A nice touch, and the first experience of being pampered at 8,500 feet in the forest.
The cabins were gorgeous! We have been to the Yosemite High Sierra Camps many times and found these to be (1) about twice as large, (2) luxury appointed with nice rugs and high thread-count linens with plenty of blankets, (3) private – you do not share the tent with others as you do in Yosemite, and (4) they are widely spaced for added privacy
The Showers and Restrooms were immaculate! They provide towels and wash clothes in your tent cabin and provide Shampoo, Conditioner, and Bath Soap in the showers. The showers and dressing area are large and the water hot. The bathrooms were the cleanest of any in a camping area I have ever seen. There was an electrical outlet in the restroom and a table with extra hand soap, and towels.
Meals: The food is to die for. First, somewhere between 17:00 and 18:00 guests start to congregate in the large dining Pavilion for an unofficial Happy Hour. Beer and Wine are available for purchase. You run a tab for whatever you consume and pay for it at checkout – so no need to carry cash or credit cards with you to dinner. Around 18:00 they bring the guests a plate of tasty Hors d'oeuvres (this is course #1). At 19:00 you are seated (with whomever you choose) for dinner. Then you are served the other 4 courses starting with soup, then salad, then the main course, and finally desert. They have a professional chef who does a fabulous job with all aspects of the food and, as you will read in other reviews, the food is fabulous.
Special Needs: I had some special dietary needs and informed the camp of them before arriving. They accommodated all my needs extremely well. The food is NOT served family style, each person is served the same food individually but they always managed to keep track of my special needs and get me the right dinner, which was a little different than all the others. One of the owners, Suzanne, was particularly attentive to my unique needs and always worked with the chef and me to make each meal perfect.
The evening meal ends about sunset – and what a fabulous sunset it is. The Pavilion is situated on the side of a hill overlooking the forest below, and mountains far away with the sun setting behind them. There was a gorgeous sunset very night – take your camera to dinner!
Breakfast was equally as good as dinner in my opinion. There are bowls and platters of many varied and tasty fruits, home-made granola, toast, and fresh baked scones. Of course coffee and teas, and my favorite, an Omelet station where you order an Omelet any way you want it.
There is a camp store that is self-serve and on the honor system. You can buy T-Shirts, Hats, Mugs, fleece, etc. and you tell the staff what you bought and they put it on your tab which you settle when you check out. Very convenient.
The staff was very polite, and helpful. Mostly college kids living the dream of working in a place like this for the summer. The owners, Burr and Suzanne, were VERY nice and kept things running to provide the best guest experience possible.
Final comments: I read the reviews on Trip Advisor before going and saw a few negative reviews that initially concerned me. After closer inspection however, I saw that several of them (at least 3) were 5 years old and stemmed from ONE loud, drunken group of campers who were being inconsiderate to the rest of the guests with their loud partying and noise. I read that Burr got quite firm with the inconsiderate group, which actually helped make my decision to go to the camp. Most visitors do not go there to party and make noise. I suspect most are like me and my wife who value the peace and quiet of the mountains and forest and do not want a bar-like atmosphere. The bad reviews in July 2008 were from childish members of that group who didn’t like being asked to be quiet and considerate. I found it amusing that 3 of the reviews complained about the tents not being “bug proof” or “sealed”. This was clearly a red flag indicating these people are clueless about camping in the High Sierras (or anywhere else for that matter).
Recommendation: If you want a peaceful and pampered wilderness experience then I highly recommend the Sequoia High Sierra Camp. However, if you just want a place to party in the woods, I would not recommend it (unless you book the entire camp) because I plan to go again and do not want to run into people who disrespect the other guests and the peaceful setting at the camp. 5 STARS!!!
- 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