Reservations and information: 801-559-4909
To see the Yosemite back country without sleeping on the ground every night, try the Yosemite High Sierra Camps. Five camps along a loop in Yosemite's High Country are a day hike (5.7 to 10 miles) apart, providing meals and comfy tent cabins.
The High Sierra Camps serve a full dinner and breakfast family-style. You can also order box lunches in the evening, to take on the trail the next day.
Lodging is canvas tent cabins with dormitory-style steel-framed beds. They provide mattresses, pillows, woolen blankets or comforters but bring your own sheets or sleep-sacks. Parties of less than 4 people may have to share a cabin with others.
Hot showers, soap and restrooms are subject to water availability, but bring your own towels. Glen Aulin and Vogelsang camps have no showers.
High Sierra Camps' season is short and varies by year. Occasionally, snow lingers so late that they don't open at all. Demand outstrips availability. To give everyone a chance at the experience, reservations are by lottery. To stay at the High Sierra Camps next year, fill out a lottery application online. Exact dates are posted on their website.
Other Ways to Visit High Sierra Camps
Spaces left after the lottery ends (usually around April 1) are listed on the High Sierra Camps website and reserved on a first-come, first-served basis (telephone only). Keep checking during the season for cancellations.
If can't get a space through the lottery, consider a back country trip guided by Yosemite Mountaineering School.
Or if you'd like to see the sights but the hiking isn't for you, try a 4-day or 6-day saddle trip to the High Sierra Camps.
If you don't mind the hiking but don't want to carry the gear, the saddle trip folks will take it in on one of their regular supply trains for a few dollars per pound. Call them for more information.
Getting Ready for the High Sierra Camps
High Sierra Camps require serious hiking skills and the elevation is very high. Get ready by walking or hiking with the pack and shoes you plan to use. To help prevent altitude sickness, stay at Tuolumne Meadows or White Wolf a day or more before you start and increase water intake starting a week before your trip.