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“Great venue for tri-generation experience”

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Yosemite High Sierra Camps
Fullerton, California
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 10 helpful votes
“Great venue for tri-generation experience”
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
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Helpful?
4 Thank Looper_321
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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127 reviews from our community

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Traveler tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (37)
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English first
Worthington, Ohio
Level 5 Contributor
58 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
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
    • Value
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Helpful?
9 Thank Rosa G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cave City, AR
Level 5 Contributor
26 reviews
16 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 25 helpful votes
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...
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  • Stayed July 2012, traveled with family
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Helpful?
2 Thank gcwalling
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Birmingham, Alabama
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
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
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Helpful?
1 Thank Not24
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Fredericksburg, TX USA
Level 4 Contributor
20 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed September 12, 2011

The camps worked beautifully! I loved having a wonderful dinner and breakfast made for me each day, with the optional lunch ready for me to pick up each morning. The tents were just fine and made it so much easier to hike knowing I didn't have to carry my tent or set up/take down each day. Staff was friendly and resourceful. Went to each of the camps and found each one to be just what we needed.

Room Tip: Singles are assigned based on gender (when available) and couples assigned with one other couple. T...
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
2 Thank LorrieHess
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle, Washington
Level 4 Contributor
32 reviews
22 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 73 helpful votes
Reviewed September 1, 2011

I entered the lottery in November and was successful in getting 4 places for a 5 day/4 night guided hike in August. After many years of unsuccessful lottery applications, I think it helped that I was flexible in dates (I gave them a 2 week window) and I included the option of the Ranger Guided hike. The 5 day Guided hikes are somewhat easy to get, the 7 days sell out more quickly. You only pay a small premium to have the guided trip.
Our expereince was wonderful, Jana was a fantastic Ranger guide, and we got along very well with the other 6 people on our trip.
First night was Vogelsang, then down to Merced Lake, with a lay over night, then up to Sunrise camp and then out to Tuolumie Meadows.
I'm a regular hiker, but the circuit was a bit challenging, the heat and rocks and elevation gain and losses make it somewhat challenging, but the comfort of the tent camps makes it all worth it. YOu need to bring a sleep sheet, and your personal gear, so you'll end up carrying a pack around 20 lbs, which is much better than a 30 + pack. Vogelsand and Sunrise camps have wood stoves in the tents, making them toasty warm, and Merced is low enough to be warm.
The food was very good considering it comes in by pack mule, and is plentiful and healthy.

Room Tip: They book you in, Vogelsang and Sunrise are particularly beautiful
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  • Stayed August 2011, traveled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank familySeattleWa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Portland, Oregon
Level 6 Contributor
88 reviews
51 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
Reviewed August 11, 2011

Dear DNC Customer Service,

My husband and I walked into Merced High Sierra Camp in Yosemite NP during a lighting, hail and rain storm this last July 30 - we later heard it was the storm of the decade. As holiday hikers we weren’t planning on being a part of that sort of excitement.

Your staff was amazing. Brady(?) couldn’t have been more gracious, transforming a miserable experience into a warm and happy memory for us and many others.

As you can imagine, wet leads to cold. Your staff got large amounts of hot water for tea and hot chocolate out for all, they stoked the fire in the mess tent and went out to find those stranded by high water and bad weather. There were quite a few guests who needed to be wrapped in blankets and set in front of the fire upon arrival.

At one point the whole camp was flooded with a fast moving stream of hail, water and debris. The staff had prepped a few of the tented camps for guests at this point, but the storm flooded all. As soon as the rain stopped, your crew cleaned each tent out.

Your chef made an unbelievably delicious dinner that night (steak), and a great breakfast the next day. All of which we enjoyed thoroughly.

We can’t thank you enough for the gracious hospitality we received. If your camp had not had the hard working, diligent crew it has, there would have been a lot of stranded, miserable, hypothermic guests.

Thank you for providing us with a chance to enjoy your terrific staff and a beautiful part of America.

Room Tip: Good luck if you can get one!
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  • Stayed July 2011, traveled as a couple
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Helpful?
7 Thank hhl
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

Property: Yosemite High Sierra Camps
Address: Tenaya Lake, Yosemite National Park, CA
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Yosemite National Park
Number of rooms: 9
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Yosemite High Sierra Camps have been a popular destination in Yosemite National Park since they were first established. Because of the demand, we’ve created a lottery system for reservations. Applications are accepted in September and October for the following year. We email winners in the spring. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Yosemite High Sierra Camps Hotel Yosemite National Park

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