Spots at Yosemite's High Sierra Camps don't come easy

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That's because the winners of this lottery (which is accepting entry applications through Nov. 20) get the chance to trek into the Yosemite high country and stay in a group of special High Sierra Camps. At the end of a strenuous hike (between six and 11 miles), these camps provide large dormitory-style tents with wood-burning stoves that sleep four people, hearty meals served family style by the friendly staff, along with clean, ecologically correct toilet facilities and, in several camps, hot showers! After dinner most camps offer a nice roaring campfire.

The High Sierra Camps vary in size. The largest, at Merced Lake, has 19 tents and can provide lodging for up to 60 visitors. The smallest are May Lake and Glen Aulin, with eight tents each. All the camps feature spectacular settings, with vistas of towering crags, mountain meadows, glistening lakes and tumbling cascades. You can choose to visit one or more camps. And it's possible, for the avid hiker, to do a complete loop of all five camps, either on your own or on a park ranger-guided tour.

The High Sierra Camps are the ideal way for those who wish to explore the Yosemite backcountry on foot without the necessity of carrying all the traditional backpacking gear: tent, sleeping bag, food, cooking gear, etc. When you're staying at the High Sierra Camps, all you carry is what you need on the trail and in camp.

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