High Sierra Camps
Call 559-253-5674 for information on lottery applications.  Lottery applications are usually due by November 30 for the following summer.  Do not hold your breath, as the demand is very high. However, having said that, as prices rise, the demand lessens, so it will get easier and easier to get in.  In 2006 they had walk-in vacancies due to cancellations. (closed the entire summer in 2005)


The High Sierra Camps system in Yosemite is an opportunity to experience the remote backcountry in relative comfort of tent cabins with wood floors, beds and small woodstoves, fresh home-cooked meals, and hot showers (showers not available at Vogelsang or Glen Aulin except for employees.)  There's even a "Clevis" high-tech "waste recycle" (?) toilet so you don't have to use the woods.

They are: Glen Aulin, Vogelsang, Tuolumne Meadows, Merced Lake, Sunrise, May Lake and White Wolf (not shown on map)

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Click on image for larger map of the camps.

The High Sierra Camps form a circle spaced roughly 6 to 8 miles apart, a comfortable days hike from one to the next.  You can do the whole circuit, see some mind-boggling scenery, fish, hang-out and take pictures in about 10 days.  You will undoubtedly want to stay a while at Vogelsang (hiking) or Glen Aulin (fishing). 

Organized Trips

4-Day Saddle Trip
Departs every Friday from July 19 to August 30. This trip visits Sunrise, Merced Lake, and Vogelsang for one night each.

5-Day Saddle Trip
Departs every Tuesday from July 16 to August 27. This trip visits Sunrise for one night, two nights in Merced Lake, and one night in Vogelsang.

6-Day Saddle Trip
Departs every Saturday from July 13 to August 31. This trip visits each camp for one night, starting in Glen Aulin and finishing in Vogelsang.

Tuolumne-Yosemite Valley Guided Hike
Departs every Monday and Thursday from July 11 to August 29.

7-Day Guided Hike
Departs every Monday and Thursday from July 11 to September 2.

Staffing is by college kids from all over the country who come out for the summer.

Do NOT forget mosquito repellent, or better yet, a net.  Mosquitoes can be brutal in the high country.

Forget making reservations; demand is so high reservations are granted on a lottery basis. Call 559-253-5674 for a lottery application ONLY between October 15 and November 30. 


Vogelsang High Sierra Camp, elev. 10,125


Waiting for dinner at 6:30pm at Vogelsang "Diner". 

The Vogelsang Trail and camp was featured in the documentary film "Yosemite, The Fate Of Heaven" by Robert Redford.  An excellent film.

Dinner is served.  It's fresh, it's hot, it's delicious, and there's lot's of it.  Transient backpackers occasionally get lucky and are able to buy a meal if the crowd is less than expected, or someone may leave early and sell their remaining meals. Leave your name at the counter when you arrive and if available, they will hold a spot for you. On one backpacking trip I ate every meal here for two days!  NO GRUEL!

If you only want to buy meals, they are $35.75 a day for breakfast and dinner.  Such a deal.

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Example of tent cabins at all High Sierra Camps.  It is almost a certainty that it will not rain on your trip, but on the 1% chance that a thunderstorm does whisk by, the tent cabins are very dry and comfortable.


You get two beds, wood stove, table and small bookcase that serves as dresser.  Bring your sleeping bag.

Here's the route: First night in Tuolumne Meadows. Drive-up, asphalt parking.  This is where the winter ranger lives, and it's less a camp than a tent cabin motel room.  But, it's exactly like the others, so you will have a chance to test the accommodations and be sure you have your gear before you set out into the wilderness.

Second night, Vogelsang Camp.  Probably the most spectacular of them all, it must be seen to be believed.  The camp is situated about a 90 minute walk (hike) from Vogelsang Pass and Peak, where the best scenery is.   As we have emphasized in other parts of the website, this is an excellent place to do astronomy observations.  (I do not know why they haven't hauled a high-quality telescope up there to take advantage of the conditions.) Or, you can go toward Evelyn Lake, or to Emerick and slide on the glaciers at your own risk.   Stay at least one day, two nights here. Vogelsang Pass, 180 degree panoramic photo.  (Pictures are old, and are a bit dirty) A word of warning about Vogelsang; The mosquitoes here are brutal!  A net AND repellant is mandatory.  Plus, it is very cold up here at night. Down jackets...head gear... gloves...

Fourth night, Merced Lake: You'll walk (or ride your horse) downhill most of this way, to a small lake with a few campsites and a smaller camp facility.  Although nice, it does not have the scenery that Vogelsang or Glen Aulin have.  The ranger station there is an old log home that looks straight out of Hansel and Gretel.  You could live there forever.

Fifth night, Sunrise Lake: This is the most strenuous walk (or uphill ride) of the loop.  You're regaining part of the elevation you lost from Vogelsang.  Sunrise is similar to Merced Lake, a place to sit, read, listen to the breeze, or nap.

Sixth night, May Lake. I've never been here, so I can't give you first hand info.  But it's a nice, close-to-the-road area just like all the rest.

Seventh night, Glen Aulin:  VERY nice facility beside a roaring waterfall. The sound permeates everything, but makes for restful sleep.  This camp is along the Tuolumne River which feeds into Hetch-Hetchy.   Below the waterfall, the river levels out for several miles, and offers some real good fishing.  Access to the wide, slow, deep pools takes some effort due to heavy vegetation (NO fly-fishing here) but there are some very nice fish in this stretch of river.  Hang out here a day or two and explore the Cold Canyon, or the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River. Lots of shade, and if you walk to where the Tuolumne River starts to cascade down to the canyon, known as Waterwheel Falls, (one mile or so from the camp) you can see some great sunsets. An excellent after-dinner stroll after a day on the trail.

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Glen Aulin Falls at dusk. (timed exposure)  The camp is situated just to the left of the falls

Ninth or Tenth night; Then it's back to Tuolumne Meadows where you started.

Saddlebag Lake

Saddlebag Lake is not part of the High Sierra Camps, and is outside the park, but the campground there has a supernatural 360 degree view of numerous 12,000 ft. peaks.  You can drive to it, and it's frequented by local fishermen more than tourists. (The lake is stocked with big ones)   Early morning sunrise there will change your attitude.

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This is the view from a typical Saddlebag Campground campsite.

That's Devon, Bob's daughter.


2010 Tentative Open / Close Dates (Conditions Permitting)
Camp Open Close
White Wolf Lodge Friday, June 1 Sunday, September 16
Tuolumne Meadows Lodge Friday, June 1 Sunday, September 16
Merced Lake Friday, June 29

Monday, September 10

Vogelsang Saturday, June 30 Monday, September 10
Glen Aulin Friday, June 15 Sunday, September 16
May Lake Saturday, June 30 Sunday, September 16
Sunrise Friday, June 29 Sunday, September 16


2008 Rates

Rates are adult per person, not including tax.

Meals & Lodging
(includes lodging, dinner, breakfast)
$136.00 ($126.00 last year)
Meals Only
(includes dinner and breakfast)
$34.75 (2005, $47) 
($16.50 children's price has been discontinued)
Price includes breakfast and dinner; You can purchase breakfast and dinner as stand-alone meals for about $11 and $23 respectively. You must make reservations on a space-available basis in advance by calling
(801) 559-4909
Sack Lunch
(may be ordered at the camp)
$10.50 ($8.50 last year)
6-Day Saddle Trip $1315.00 ($1,241 in 2006)
4-Day Saddle Trip $832.00 ($786 in 2006)
Tuolumne-Yosemite Valley Guided Hike discontinued
5-Day Guided Hike $825 ($719.00 in 2006)
7-Day Guide Hike $1,165 ($1,027 in 2006)