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“Should be on Life's "Bucket List"” 5 of 5 stars
Review of Yosemite High Sierra Camps

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Yosemite High Sierra Camps
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Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park, CA   |  
Hotel amenities
Certificate of Excellence
California
Level Contributor
37 reviews
15 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Should be on Life's "Bucket List"”
5 of 5 stars Reviewed January 12, 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, traveled with family
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
15 Thank Traveler-396
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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119 reviews from our community

Traveler rating
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Time of year
Language
PA
Level Contributor
5 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed November 23, 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, traveled with friends
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
7 Thank GraniasGirl
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 9 helpful votes
1 of 5 stars Reviewed September 16, 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, traveled with family
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 1 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 2 of 5 stars
      Service
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 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed September 13, 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, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
4 Thank Looper_321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Worthington, Ohio
Level Contributor
54 reviews
32 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 10, 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, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
9 Thank Rosa G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cave City, AR
Level Contributor
26 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2012

I called in March 2012 to see if they had any openings to ride mules and go to all of the High Sierra camps and they did. My husband, 11 yr old son, and myself went along with 7 other riders and 3 wranglers. Our trip was in July 2012. They did a good job and picking out a mule for my son and another 15 yr old on the trip, nothing fazed those mules; however mine got a little spooked occasionally over things like logs, birds, snakes and ?. He would jumped starled or one time he spined sideways and ran over to the side luckily he stopped and I did not fall off. You have to wear helments but after seeing all of the rocks on the trail, and a mule who spooked; I was very glad to have mine. All of the camps had pretty good meals and hot drinks before the meals, I wished they would put a lantern in the mess camp so you could play cards or games at night but they didn't so unless you built a campfire (which we had 2) there wasn't much to do but go to bed, which some nights that is all I wanted to do. You do need your fleece jackets, we used ours every morning and evening, but our t shirts were fine by mid morning. My son swamed in every camp that had a creek or lake nearby, and the cold did not seem to bother him. The trails were dusty so you needed your bandana. We had some really nice wranglers who I enjoyed talking to. Overall we had a good time, if you like riding, moutains, and national parks, you should do this trip.

Room Tip: Even if you do not get the lottery, you should call to see if they have any openings if you are flex...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
2 Thank gcwalling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
Level Contributor
23 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed July 26, 2012

What a great experience! Hiked into Tuolomne Meadows Camp and was met by a beautiful waterfall with an ice cold pool to cool off in. Great food, friendly staff, and a great sunset. They even gave us wood for a group campfire that night. The tents are functional and clean, with a wood stove for heat (which we needed). We shared ours, which worked out well.

Water shortages prevented showering, but otherwise it was perfect.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Value
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Location
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Sleep Quality
    • 3 of 5 stars
      Rooms
    • 4 of 5 stars
      Cleanliness
    • 5 of 5 stars
      Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Not24
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

Address: Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park, CA
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 26 Specialty Lodging in Yosemite National Park
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Tuesday August 27, 2013 - With the exception of White Wolf Lodge, all lodging and services are available in Yosemite National Park. Yosemite Valley and Wawona are largely unaffected by the Rim Fire and air quality is good. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Yosemite High Sierra Camps Hotel Yosemite National Park

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