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.