High Sierra Camps

High Sierra Camps

5 Camps, Limitless Adventures


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.

Current Availability

To see High Sierra Camp Unguided Trip and Guided Trip availability, please follow the link below.

See Availability

How to Apply: High Sierra Camps Lottery

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. 



General Information

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

From To Level Distance & Time
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 Camps

Glen Aulin 

Important Information for 2018 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.

High Sierra Camps

May Lake

Accessible with an easy mile-long hike, 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.

High Sierra Camps


Facing east, Sunrise Camp is famous for it 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 is the last camp on the fifty-mile High Sierra Camp Loop. Nine cabins provide beds for 34 guests.

High Sierra Camps

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 and accessible earlier and later in the season than the other High Sierra Camps. Approximately 14 miles (23 km) of steep hiking will get you to Merced Lake from Yosemite Valley or Tuolumne Meadows. Because of this, nearly all visitors stop along the way at Vogelsang or Sunrise before continuing on to Merced Lake the next day.

High Sierra Camp


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 Lakes, Booth 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.

2018 Rates

Prices include overnight stay in a shared canvas tent, dinner, and breakfast.  

Hiking Trips



5-Day Guided Hike $670.33 $359.75
7-Day Guided Hike $994.45 $533.81

Saddle Trips



4-Day Guided Saddle North $1,040.82 $806.72
4-Day Guided Saddle South $1,040.82 $806.72
6-Day Guided Saddle $1,632.63 $1,248.66

Additional Information

  • Rates do not include meals or lodging outside of the High Sierra Camp locations 
  • Saddle trip prices include lodging, meals, mule and packer guide
  • Guided hikes prices include lodging, meals, and hiking guide
  • Minimum age for saddle trips is 10 years old, minimum age for all other High Sierra trips (guided or unguided) is 7 years old
  • Guests going on saddle trips are limited to bringing 225 pounds of gear with them — which includes their body weight and all items carried. On a separate pack animal available, you can have more gear — up to 15 pounds. We recommend packing gear in plastic bags which will make it easier to use with saddlebags. As a requirement, guests must wear long pants while riding. Shoes or Boots must have a heel that rests comfortably within horse's stirrups. Additionally, all guests are required to wear a helmet, which we will provide. 

2018 Dates & Rates

Prices include overnight stay in a shared canvas tent, dinner, and breakfast. Camps are space 6 to 10 miles apart along a loop trail far away from the hustle and bustle of Yosemite Valley. 



Open-Close Dates*


Glen Aulin June 15 - September 9, 2018 

Adults: $146.40

Children: $77.85

May Lake July 6 - September 9, 2018 

Adults: $154.45

Children: $82.18

Sunrise July 13 - September 9, 2018 

Adults: $154.45

Children: $82.18

Merced Lake July 7 - September 3, 2018 

Adults: $154.45

Children: $82.18

Vogelsang July 7 - September 3, 2018

Adults: $146.40


*All close dates end on the day shown after breakfast
*All opening and closing dates are contingent upon weather and road conditions. 
*Adults ages 13+, children ages 7-12. Children under the age of 7 are not permitted at High Sierra Camps. Prices are before tax. 

Additional Information

  • Rates do not include meals or lodging outside of the High Sierra Camp locations
  • Minimum age for saddle trips is 10 years old, minimum age for all other High Sierra trips (guided or unguided) is 7 years old

When you stay at Yosemite's High Sierra Camps, you’ll enjoy family-style breakfast and dinner with your fellow campers. We also offer box lunches, which can be ordered the day before you head out on your hiking trip. In fact, even if you’re staying at the nearby backpacker campgrounds, you can make advance reservations for breakfast and dinner at the High Sierra Camps. The meals only option is limited to six reservations per camp and is not offered at Glen Aulin.

Meal Option



Meals Only
(Not offered at Glen Aulin) 
$85.00 $38.00
Sack Lunch
(purchased upon arrival)
$16.00 $8.00

Example Menu

View our example menu of what to expect on your High Sierra trip! 


Additional Information 

  • Meals only priced include dinner one night and breakfast the following morning.
  • Meals only guests must have a valid wilderness permit to camp. Permit verification will be required prior to acquiring meals only reservations.