High Sierra Camps

High Sierra Camps


5 Camps, Limitless Adventure

Overview

Imagine all the joy of backpacking without the burden of a heavy backpack filled with tents and cooking gear. That’s the appeal of the Yosemite High Sierra Camps, nestled high in the wilderness and surrounded by nothing but nature. Accessible on foot or by mule, once you’re here you’ll be free to explore the back country—carrying only a day pack as you head out each day. Camps are spaced 6 to 10 miles apart along a loop trail. If you're new to wilderness travel, guided mule trips and hiking trips are available.

Get Started

High Sierra Camp Lottery

Current Availability

The 2019 High Sierra Camp Lottery opens October 1, 2018. Please visit High Sierra Camp Lottery for more information. 

How to Apply

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 October for the following year. 

LOTTERY DETAILS


Come Prepared! 

Read up on our Trip Preparation and FAQs before starting your High Sierra adventure. 


Camp Locations

See printable PDF charts for more information about your High Sierra Camping experience! 

High Sierra Hiking Chart

Camp Comparison Chart

From To Level Distance & Time
Tuolumne
Meadows Lodge
Glen Aulin Moderate 8.0 miles, 12.0 km
4 hours
Glen Aulin May Lake Strenuous 8.5 miles, 13.7 km
5 hours
May Lake Sunrise Strenuous 8.25 miles, 13.0 km
4.5 hours
Sunrise Merced Lake Moderate 9.5 miles, 15.5 km
5 hours
Merced Lake Vogelsang Very Strenuous 7.8 miles, 12.5 km
6 hours
Vogelsang Tuolumne
Meadows Lodge
Moderate 6.8 miles, 11.0 km
3.5 hours
*Total loop 49 miles, 79 km 

High Sierra Map


Glen Aulin 

Important Information for 2019 Hikers: Conness Creek Bridge, used to access Glen Aulin, received some damage during the winter floods. The National Park Service is working to repair the bridge, but it is unlikely to be completed before your trip. For more information and safety recommendations click here

At an elevation of 7,800 feet above sea level, Glen Aulin High Sierra Camp was established in 1929—nestled next to a magnificent waterfall and pool on the Tuolumne River. When you camp in one of the eight cabins here, you'll enjoy watching the sun set each evening with a stunning view of Mt. Conness in the distance.


May Lake

Accessible with a strenuous uphill 1.2 miles hike from the May Lake parking lot, May Lake High Sierra Camp offers incredible views of the surrounding mountain wilderness. Here, peace and tranquility abound—perched high in the mountains next to a pristine lake. Known to photographers as a must-see location, the ridge behind the Camp offers magnificent sunsets every evening. Fill your days with fishing, relaxing—or strong, expert hikers can set out to summit Mount Hoffman—the geographic center of Yosemite National Park—which is reflected in May Lake. The camp offers eight cabins that can accommodate 36 guests.


Sunrise

Facing east, Sunrise Camp is famous for its unimaginably beautiful sunrises—as the sun peeks over the distant mountain ranges, casting vivid colors across the morning sky. Set next to a lovely alpine meadow, the Camp faces Mt. Florence and Mt. Clark beyond. The hiking is excellent here, as you’ll be starting from 9,400 feet above sea level. Built in the early 1960s, Sunrise High Sierra Camp was the last camp to be built on the fifty-mile High Sierra Camp Loop. Nine cabins provide beds for 34 guests.


Merced Lake

The original High Camp at Yosemite, Merced Lake was established in 1916, and is the most remote of the High Camps. Located near Merced Lake, hikers tend to stay awhile and enjoy swimming, fishing and restful days along its shore. Because of the camp’s relatively low elevation (7,150 feet) it’s moderately warmer. The camp is accessible earlier and later in the season than the other High Sierra Camps. Most visitors arrive at Merced Lake having spent the previous night at Sunrise or Vogelsang. In fact, due to it's remote setting, many visitors choose to spend one or more nights at Merced Lake during their loop trip. 


Vogelsang

The highest of the High Sierra camps at over 10,000 feet above sea level, Vogelsang was established in 1940 and is a great basecamp for hikes to the surrounding alpine lakes, including Evelyn Lake, Ireland Lake, Boothe Lake, Emeric Lake, and Vogelsang Lake. Here, you’ll find comfortable accommodations and great hospitality—at nearly two miles high. A dramatic step up from tent camping, our 12 cabins offer 42 guests comfortable beds—but no showers.


Environmental Stewardship
More than 13,000 visitors stay at the High Sierra Camps every year—and several thousand backpackers stop by for meals. We work hard to limit our impact on the fragile subalpine ecosystem by recycling and composting waste, and using solar-powered composting toilets.
Showers, Restrooms, & Laundry Facilities
A true luxury for any back country experience—showers are available at Merced Lake, May Lake and Sunrise Camps (subject to water availability). After you return from your day of adventuring, clean up with a nice shower and enjoy a delectable, hearty meal, your evenings will be filled with ranger-led campfire conversations about the surrounding wilderness.
All camps have restrooms. May Lake, Sunrise and Merced Lake have basins for washing clothing.