High Sierra Camps

High Sierra Camps

5 Camps, Limitless Adventure

Travel Alert:
The opening of the High Sierra Camps Lottery has been delayed from October 1, 2022 to December 5, 2022. We are excited to reopen the High Sierra Camp and know many others are. Yosemite Hospitality has been working closely with the National Park Service to complete maintenance projects to ensure a safe and enjoyable stay. With that, there are still some minor details to finalize before we can open the lottery for booking the 2023 season. We greatly appreciate your patience and check back for details on the new lottery opening date: December 5, 2022.

2023 High Sierra Camp Update

The High Sierra Camps are an experience unlike any other. They are an introduction to the backcountry and wilderness of Yosemite, in a way that is accessible and responsible. Yosemite Hospitality and the National Park Service work in close partnership to protect and share the backcountry with those who want to experience it in this way. We take our role as stewards very seriously and actively work to protect the resources for generations to come.

The 2023 loop will begin at Tuolumne Meadows Lodge and then travel by foot (with an NPS guide or self-guided) to Glen Aulin, May Lake, Sunrise Lake and finish back at Tuolumne Meadows Lodge for the full five-night loop of the High Sierra Camps. After evaluating and working closely with the National Park Service to look at all possible alternatives, it was determined that the beloved Vogelsang and Merced Lake camps will be suspended for the 2023 season.

We have also reevaluated the dining at the remote camps (Glen Aulin, May Lake, and Sunrise Lake) and are moving to create a more sustainable service that drastically reduces our environmental impact on the Yosemite backcountry. The new experience will feature culinary creations aligned with a traditional backpacking experience. The group meals served will be backpacking-style meals using dehydrated ingredients and fresh additions. The goal is to reduce our environmental impact with waste, pack mule impacts and additional strain on the delicate backcountry trails.

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.

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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 

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.