Backpack to Vogelsang and Merced Lake High Sierra Camps

Rate this Adventure Lyell Canyon Trailhead, Tuolumne County, California, United States

  • Activities:

    Backpacking, Hiking

  • Skill Level:


  • Season:


  • Trail Type:


  • RT Distance:

    32 Miles


Spend three days exploring the remote high country of Yosemite.

If you love the idea of backpacking to remote mountain destinations, but shudder at the thought of carrying a heavy pack and digging a hole to poop in, the High Sierra Camps are a great option. Nestled in the Yosemite wilderness, these outposts are spaced roughly between 5-10 miles apart, making for a great day hike. All you have to worry about is carrying the essentials because when you arrive to each camp, you are provided with dinner, a bed to sleep in (via a canvas tent and cot), and sent off the next morning after a huge breakfast. There are many options for planning a trip through the High Sierra Camps, but this loop happens to be our favorite because of the gorgeous scenery, and our ability to do it over a long weekend. 

Day 1: Tuolumne Meadows Lodge to Vogelsang High Sierra Camp via Lyell Canyon.

Day 2: Vogelsang High Sierra Camp to Merced Lake High Sierra Camp via Lewis Creek.

Day 3: Merced Lake High Sierra Camp to Tenaya Lake via the Cloud's Rest Trail. Note: You'll have to get a ride on the Yosemite Shuttle to get back to your car. 

Reservations for the High Sierra Camps are made through a lottery system. For more details about the process, or to apply, visit the following link:

Pack List

  • Wilderness Permit
  • Hiking Boots
  • Daypack
  • Water and Snacks
  • Jacket
  • Hiking Clothes
  • Trekking Poles
  • Map
  • Headlamp
  • Camera
  • Sun Protection
  • First-Aid Kit
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Julie & Brian Explorer

A photographer and writer with full time jobs and a passion for travel. We spend most of our free time exploring our native state of California, while dreaming about and planning our next adventures abroad. | @boundtoexplore

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