Yosemite's Sunrise Camp isn't scheduled to open until Aug.… (DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite )
This was an unlucky year to get lucky in the lottery for Yosemite High Sierra Camps reservations. The five seasonal camps, assembled each year at high elevations in the park's spectacular back country, were supposed to open as early as this month, but they have been delayed by this year's mighty Sierra snowpack.
"We've pushed the dates back four times, starting about a month ago," said Lisa Cesaro, spokeswoman for DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, the concessionaire that operates hotels and back country camps in the park.
That means the winners of this year's lottery who had reservations for some early dates are being notified that their trips have been canceled.
Here's the 411:
Latest revised opening dates: July 15 for Glen Aulin, July 22 for May Lake, July 28 for Vogelsang and Merced Lake and Aug. 3 for Sunrise. Also, Tuolumne Meadows Lodge is expected to open July 8 and White Wolf Lodge on July 15.
What to do? Guests whose reservations were canceled (or might be canceled) can choose to either receive a refund or rebook later in the season, Cesaro said. Those with later reservation dates should sit tight; they may not have to change their plans. And those without reservations who want to go, no matter when the camps open, can check on post-lottery openings.
The lottery: More than 3,800 people entered the 2011 high camps lottery in hopes of scoring a reservation at the hike-in, dorm-style canvas tents, which come with two hot meals a day and cost from $145 to $151 per person a night. Just 850 reservations were made this year, Cesaro said, but as yet, not one camp has been constructed.
What's next? Cesaro said the trails and camping areas would need to be snow-free before tent cabins would be constructed and guests allowed access. It takes about 3½ weeks to prepare the lodges and set up the camps for summer guests, officials say.
Tioga Road reopening: Trail heads for the high camps start from Tioga Road, which is scheduled to open at 8 a.m. Saturday. But hiking in the area, park officials said, remains "extremely limited" because of snow and ice.
Contact: Yosemite High Sierra Camps, (801) 559-4909