High Country Lodging
Yosemite Cabins That Are (Way) Off The Beaten Track.
Yosemite National Park is one of the most stunning and popular areas in the country. People travel from all over the globe to explore its wilderness areas and see firsthand the well-known attractions such as Yosemite Falls, the tallest waterfall in the U.S., and Half Dome and El Capitan, two of many gigantic rock formations. With over three million visitors annually, some people who visit the park choose to reserve one of the rustic, High Sierra cabins Yosemite has to offer and get away from it all for awhile.
Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts at Yosemite (DNC) runs several different types of lodging within the park’s boundaries. DNC is a leading hospitality provider that works with some of the most well known tourist attractions in the United States, including Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex, Yellowstone and Grand Canyon national parks, and Niagara Falls State Park.
Within Yosemite National Park, DNC offers several lodging options including cabins, lodges, and accommodations at two hotels that are both listed as National Historic Landmarks. Of these options the five High Sierra Camps are by far the most unique and remote Yosemite California cabins available.
Cabins In Yosemite – High Sierra Cabins
Located in Yosemite’s High Country along a loop trail, High Sierra Camp cabins can only be reached by foot or horseback. Like other cabins in Yosemite, these Yosemite rentals are made of canvas and have bunk bed sleeping accommodations and include pillows and heavy blankets or comforters. Guests must bring their own sheets and towels. Some of these items can be purchased through DNC ahead of time or at several stores within the park.
Some High Country camps have hot showers and restrooms, but others do not or are dependant on water availability. Full dinner and breakfast are provided for overnight guests and box lunches can be ordered in advance.
Getting to camp is half the fun, but once there, cabin guests can arrange for tours and activities. One possibility is to take a National Park Service (NSP) five or seven day guided hikes for $660 – $939. Participants on these trips travel along the loop trail to the other High Sierra camps. It is a great way to see all High Country camps to decide which is your favorite.
Four and six day horseback adventures are also available for $744 – $1171 and leave from the Tuolumne Meadows stables. There are shorter day hikes as well as fishing, swimming, and naturalist activities available. Many visitors simply find a quiet spot and contemplate the views of the surrounding country.
Not Your Typical Yosemite Cabins Reservations
Specific opening dates for the High Country cabins depends on the snow pack and weather conditions, but is typically between June and July, depending on the location. The camps remain open until mid September. Unlike other Yosemite cabins, High Sierra cabins are awarded through a lottery system. You must use the office Yosemite High Sierra Camp Lottery Application Form to apply.
Applications for the upcoming year are available from the Yosemite Reservations Office between September 1st and November 20th. They are accepted beginning October 15th up to November 30th. Payment is not accepted at the time of application because there is no guarantee of winning. The lottery is held around the first of December and all applicants will be notified of the outcomes by February 28th.
Not all cabins are awarded, and individual reservations are accepted for the remaining cabins and dates on a first come, first serve basis beginning around the first of April. Whether you book via lottery or reservation, free wilderness permits are required and can be obtained through the park office. Fees for cabin/meals packages run $112/person and are the same at all five camps.
The Five High Country Yosemite Cabins
The various High Sierra camps each have their own personalities and attractions. Glen Aulin camp sits beside the Tuolumne River near a beautiful waterfall. It has eight cabins and it does not have showers. It sits at an elevation of 7800 feet.
As the name implies, May Lake camp is located next to a mountain lake at an elevation of 9270 feet and offers fishing and swimming. It is within one mile of the parking lot at Tioga Pass Road. There are eight cabins available.
Sunrise camp is also appropriately named, with the morning sun rising over the Clark Range. The camp has an elevation of 9400 feet and offers nine cabins.
Merced Lake camp is a large area with 19 cabins situated along one of the biggest lakes in the park. There are many fish in the lake and the views of rock formations are stunning. Its lower elevation of 7150 feet makes gives it more comfortable temperatures.
On the other end of the spectrum from Merced is Vogelsang camp. This location has the highest elevation of the five camps at 10,300 feet. In fact, it is listed as the highest elevation accommodation in the Sierra Nevada, making it a popular choice with those who seek high adventure. It has wonderful scenery and twelve cabins situated alongside Fletcher Creek. There are no showers available.
These High Sierra cabins are some of the more rustic and remote accommodations Yosemite offers. A list of DNC Yosemite rentals with more typical cabin facilities includes Curry Village, Housekeeping Camp, Tuolumne Meadows Lodge, and White Wolf Lodge. Visit the company’s website for more information.
For most people, Yosemite is a place to escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and get closer to nature. It is a journey back to basics and an opportunity to challenge oneself. The High Sierra Camp lodgings are some of the most unique Yosemite California cabins available and provide a chance to get way off the beaten path while still enjoying protection from the elements, relative comfort and good hospitality.