Camp Mather

  • Camp Mather welcome sign

Choose your favorite summer recreation and you will find it at Camp Mather in the High Sierra. In a setting unparalleled in the West, your family can take advantage of the many activities available at San Francisco’s own vacation land.

You’ll enjoy all your favorite outdoor activities in this locale of spectacular beauty. Crystal clear lakes, surging streams and quiet mountain forests surround Mather and offer unlimited recreation to visitors. Water sports abound with swimming at Birch Lake and Pool. Fishing is plentiful in any of the nearby mountain streams and lakes. There are miles of hiking and horseback riding trails, all at their scenic best within these tranquil surroundings.

Fun-filled days are capped with entertaining nights of dances, campfire songs, skits and games. From dusk to dawn, an air of relaxation prevails throughout the Camp slowing down the quickened pace of modern life. An experience in dining awaits you as hearty home cooked meals are prepared and served to you three times daily, cafeteria style.

Campfire entertainment, sport activities, supervised recreation programs for children, fine dining, all are yours at very reasonable rates at Camp Mather!

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Reservation Rates, Rules and Regulations

You must read and agree to all of the rules listed below before applying for the Camp Mather Lottery.


  • There is a $100 fee for lottery registration.  If you do not receive a reservation and are placed on the waiting list, we will refund the lottery fee of $100.  If you do receive a reservation, your lottery fee will be applied as a non-refundable, partial payment to your reservation.
  • Registration for the Camp Mather lottery opens on Friday, January 2, 2015 and ends on Friday, February 6, 2015 at 5 PM.  All registrations will be divided into San Francisco resident and non-resident applicants and will be processed based upon a random selection process. All resident requests will be processed before non-residents. Please allow 4 weeks for your registration request to be processed. Visits and telephone calls before this time delay the process.
  • Only one registration per family or household, whether applying for an individual family   reservation or a group reservation. You must have a Family Account set up in order to register for the lottery.  If you applied in 2013 or 2014, you should already have an account.  If you don’t have an account, you can create one online at


SF Residents, who receive a reservation: YOU MUST SUBMIT PROOF OF RESIDENCY WITH YOUR $200 DEPOSIT PAYMENT ON OR BEFORE April 10, 2015.  Failure to submit proof of SF residency by the deadline will result in immediate cancellation of your reservation.

  • San Francisco residents must RENEW proof of residency on or before April 10, 2015. Mail with $200 reservation deposit to: Camp Mather Reservations, 501 Stanyan St., SF, CA 94117. OR you can pay on line at  and send us an email notification of your payment with a scan copy of your most current utility bill as proof of residency.  Failure to renew residency by this date will result in cancellation of reservation. The following are acceptable proofs of residency: (1) A copy of 2014/2015 secured property tax bill for a home or business; OR (2) A copy of applicant’s California ID, Drivers’ License that must be submitted with a March/April 2015 copy of any HOME utility bill.  All documents must have the same San Francisco address and show the name of reservation holder. Include the reservation contract copy with proof of residency and $200 reservation deposit payment.


  • A family who wants to reserve a cabin or tent site during the same week as up to 2 other families may register to be entered into the lottery as a group. Each family will register individually, referencing the other family’s sfRecOnline Login ID(s) on the registration form.  Failure to reference this number will result in the registrations being processed individually.  Each family can only be part of ONE group.  If a family is referenced by more than one group, they will be removed from all groups and processed as an individual family.

AFTER all parties in the group have registered in the lottery, the group must then fill out, sign and mail in the GROUP FORM in order to complete their group request.

  • All applicants in the group must be San Francisco residents in order for the group to be in the Resident Lottery. The group will receive one lottery number. If you apply as a group, each family in the group must be able to be placed in their own cabin/tent site in order for all families in the group to receive a reservation. If one family in the group cannot be placed, then all families in the group will be placed on the waiting list as a group only.
  • We will try to book families of groups in the same vicinity of camp if requested. However, this is not guaranteed and if either family gets a cabin that they don’t want, they will still be held to the rules regarding cancellations.


  • Reservations will be made for one-week (7 nights) with Saturday arrival and Saturday departures only.
  • Reservation holders may NOT swap, sell, or give away reservations or meals.  The registered customer must be present at check-in at camp and be able to show valid California ID in order to be admitted to camp and to sign–in guests.
  • The reservation holder must check in all guests.  Guests will not be admitted to camp unless reservation holder is present.  If the reservation holder is not checking in on the first day of the reservation, they must inform the Camp Office at (209)379-2284 of when they will be checking in.  Failure to inform the Camp Office could result in cancellation of your reservation.
  • If you receive a reservation, you will not be placed on the waiting list.  If you do not receive a reservation, you will automatically be placed on the waiting list for your 3 week choices ranked by lottery number. Applicants on the waiting list must accept their first offer of any of their choices of weeks/cabin size or they will be removed from the waiting list.
  • Proof of an ambulatory disability is required for guests requesting wheelchair accessible cabins. Acceptable proof will be a copy of applicant’s disability card forwarded by mail and postmarked by February 6, 2015.
  • Proof of age for youths 12 and under is now required at check-in at Camp Mather.  Acceptable proof includes: birth certificate, immunization card, health insurance card, student ID card, or California ID card. If you cannot provide proof of age for youths 12 and under at check-in, you will be charged the full adult meal price for that child.
  • Applicants may rent EITHER one cabin or one tent site (bring your own tent!), not both.
  • Infants (under 24 months) are not included in the occupancy count. We do not provide baby cribs.


Week 1:      May 30 - June 6

Inclusion Week:  During this week, Recreation and Parks will provide trained staff to help facilitate participation of children with disabilities in camp activities, and provide some great new specialized activities as well.  We invite you to register for any week at camp, but we encourage you to consider choosing Inclusion Week! We are confident the enhanced activities will benefit children with and without disabilities, as well as offer all the children the opportunity to make new friends!  If you register for this week, please indicate on the lottery registration if your child has a disability.  If you receive a reservation, our Inclusion Services Coordinator will contact you for more information.

Week 2:      June 6 - June 13

Week 3:      June 13 - June 20

Week 4:      June 20 - June 27

Week 5:      June 27 - July 4

Week 6:      July 4 - July 11

Week 7:      July 11 - July 18

Week 8:      July 18 - July 25

Week 9:      July 25 – August1

Week 10:    August 1 - August 8

Week 11:    August 8 - August 15


Please be aware that the minimum capacity for each cabin is one person (the reservation holder) and the maximum capacity for each cabin is the cabin size (including the reservation holder).  Do not request a cabin that has a capacity less than the number of people who will be staying in the cabin.

The rates below are based on cabin/tent site size for 7 nights (Saturday-Saturday) & do not include the required 10% state tax.  The cost also includes access to all facilities and recreational programming.

Cabin Size Residents Weekly Non-Residents Weekly
2 person $465 $557
3 person $631 $772
4 person $779 $928
5 person $909 $1,086
6 person $1,021 $1,244
Tent Site (6 person max) $241 $324


All guests are required to purchase a meal plan.  Three meals a day are served cafeteria style.  We do make accommodations for food allergies.  Our menu offerings reflect growing food trends such as gluten free dishes.  We do not however offer an exclusive gluten free fare.

Meal rates below are added to the reservation by the length of stay and number of guests. Meal rates are per person and do not include the required 7.50% meal sales tax.  The reservation holder is required to pay the full weekly rate for meals.  All overnight guests must pay either a weekly or daily meal fee.

Weekly (7 days) Daily
Adult (13 & older) $233 $37
Youth (12 & under) $135 $20
Infant (under 24 months) Free Free



  • A lottery registration fee of $100 is required using either MasterCard or Visa credit card only.
  • If you receive a reservation this fee will be applied to your balance due. If you don’t receive a reservation, the lottery application fee will be fully refunded to you.
  • Once you receive your reservation confirmation, an initial deposit of $200 will be due by Friday, April 10, 2015 in order to retain your reservation.  If you fail to make this $200 deposit payment by April 10th, your reservation will be cancelled and you forfeit your lottery fee of $100.
  • The final payment or a cancellation request must be made at least 30 days before the arrival date. If the final payment is not received or postmarked by the due date, you will immediately be assessed a 5% late payment penalty of the total amount due.
  • If your final payment is not received by the payment deadline, your reservation will be cancelled and filled by a family from the waiting list.
  • All cancellations will forfeit the $100 lottery application fee. If you cancel less than 30 days prior to your arrival date, you will also lose 50% of your total payment plus the reservation fee. If you cancel more than 30 days prior to your arrival date, your initial deposit will be refunded, minus the $100 lottery application fee.


  • All reservation cancellations must be made by emailing your cancellation request to
  • Cancellations cannot be made over the telephone.
  • All cancellations will forfeit the $100 lottery application fee.
  • If you cancel more than 30 days prior to your arrival date, your initial deposit will be refunded, minus the $100 lottery application fee.
  • If you cancel less than 30 days prior to your arrival date, you will lose 50% of the total fees plus the $100 lottery application fee.
  • Cabin location preferences (Lakeside / Dining Hall Side) are not If you do not receive your location preference and choose to cancel, you will still be charged the cancellation fee.
  • An administrative processing fee of $18 is charged each time lottery information or approved reservation changes are made.
  • NO REFUNDS for reduction of days. All reservations processed through the lottery process are for one week (7 nights) only.
  • You may add or substitute guests up to your cabin/tent site maximum capacity up to one week prior to your arrival date but you will incur a $18 processing fee for each addition/change.
  • You may delete guest meals from your reservation up to 14 days prior to your arrival date but you will incur a $18 processing fee for each change. There will be no refunds or downgrading of meals less than 14 days before your arrival date.
  • The number of meal days for guests can be reduced following confirmation of your reservation up to 14 days prior to your reservation. You will incur a $18 processing fee for each change. There will be no refunds or downgrading of meals less than 14 days before your arrival date.
  • Guests may not exchange reservations, sell unused meal tickets or sell available cabin space for use of extra meal tickets. Reservations are not interchangeable.
  • Individuals who are not listed on your confirmation and do not have wristbands are considered unregistered guests. A day use fee is required for all unregistered guests. This fee allows access to camp facilities but does not include activities, meals, or overnight accommodations. Unregistered guests must vacate the Camp by 7pm. Non-registered guests are not allowed overnight privileges and will be subject to fines of $88 per night.
  • No refunds due to leaving camp early for any reason, including due to acts of nature, except in the case of an official evacuation.


FEDERAL STATE AND LOCAL LAWS: All guests agree to abide by all Federal, State, and Local laws. The Camp Manager and staff have responsibility and authority for enforcement.

PLEASE REREAD the "CANCELLATION, REFUNDS, GUESTS, AND CHANGES TO RESERVATIONS" portion of the Camp Mather Rates & Regulations document posted on the Camp Mather page at

FINAL PAYMENTS: Final payments must be made at least 30 days prior to arrival date at Camp. If the final payment is not postmarked by the due date indicated on this notice, the reservation may be cancelled without further notice. If your reservation is not cancelled, late payments will incur a 5% surcharge on the balance due.  This represents your only notice for payment due.

PROOF OF AGE REQUIRED: Proof of age for youths 12 and under is now required at check-in at Camp Mather.  Acceptable proof includes: copy of birth certificate, immunization card, health insurance card, student ID card, or California ID card. If you cannot provide proof of age for youths 12 and under at check-in, you will be charged the full adult meal price for that child.

CHECK-IN AND CHECK-OUT: Check-in at 2p.m. Check-out at 10a.m. If you will not be checking in on the first day of your reservation, you must call the Camp Mather office (see number below) to let them know.  All guests of camp will be required to check-in and check-out of camp. The telephone number to Camp Mather is (209) 379-2284. You may send mail and correspondence to: Mather Family Camp, 35250 Mather Road, Groveland, California 95321.

MEALS: The first meal available upon check-in is dinner, served from 5:25p.m.-6:15p.m. We cannot hold dinner for you on that day if you arrive later than this time.

ADULT SUPERVISION:  All guests under 21 years of age must be supervised by the adult reservation holder in the cabin or tent site over night during sleeping hours.

NO VEHICLES:  No sleeping over night in vehicles or campers.  All vehicles must be parked in the approved space unless otherwise authorized by the Camp Manager.

INCLEMENT WEATHER POLICY: If the roads leading to camp are closed by the appropriate authorities (CHP or local sheriff's personnel) then all paid-in-full applicants will be entitled to a partial refund. However, should the roads re-open and a refund is applicable and requested, then it will be based on the number of days that camp was accessible. Heavy rains or snow during the week of a Camp Mather session, will not entitle guests to refunds.

CUSTOMER IDENTIFICATION: To check in, all registered reservation holders must provide the copy of their reservation contract and their California ID showing the same address as the contract.  If your ID doesn't reflect your current SF resident address, you must provide proof of residency or pay the non-resident rate.  Guests are not required to provide identification.

QUIET ENJOYMENT AND RESPECT FOR OTHERS: Camp "Quiet Period" begins at 10:30p.m. and ends at 8:00a.m.

BICYCLE SAFETY RULES: Each guest at camp will observe all bicycle safety rules of the road and park or ride bikes in the designated areas.   Children under 18 are required to wear a helmet when riding a bicycle.

SKATEBOARDS & SCOOTERS:  Motorized skateboards and scooters are not allowed in Camp.

NEW ROPES COURSE: No campers are allowed in the ropes course area at any time unless accompanied by a staff person or participating in staff led activities.

IDENTIFICATION WRISTBANDS:  All registered guests are issued an ID wristband upon arrival. These wristbands should not be removed while at camp. You may not obtain a meal without a wristband. Replacements are $10.

NO FIRES: Due to the tremendous fire risk, no camp fires, camp stoves, or open flame devices are allowed on the premises. All Camp Mather sanctioned camp fire programs will be supervised by Camp Mather staff.

PETS:  Pets are not allowed at Camp Mather.  Please call ahead to alert us to your bringing an ADA dog.




Cabin Information

2015 Camp Mather Fees

Nestled among the tall pines are rustic cabins that can accommodate one to six persons. Furnishings include electric lights, beds, and mattresses. Separate bathhouse facilities with hot water, laundry rooms with coin-operated washer/dryers are easily accessible.

Items campers should bring include pillows, blankets, linen, a flashlight, extension cord, double socket and plug, padlock, clothes hangers, and mosquito repellent. No special food preparation is made for baby's formulas or special foods. No pets or firearms are allowed.

A concession store that sells sodas, candies and sundries is open throughout the summer. Campers are advised to bring travelers checks since personal checks are not accepted.


From San Francisco, take Bay Bridge-Route 580 (bypass Tracy) continue on (highway changes to Route 120), bypass Manteca, then through Escalon and Oakdale. Right turn at Yosemite Junction to Chinese Camo and Groveland. Stay on 120 when you come to Yosemite Gatehouse sign, go 1/8 mile to Evergreen Road, turn left, and stay on Evergreen Road until you come to Mather. Watch for signs indicating these towns. All are on Route 120.

For More Information Please Call (415) 831-2715.



Swimming - Birch Lake and pool, both in camp, have trained lifeguards. A spacious lawn area for sun bathing adjoins the lake and pool. (Swimming only when lifeguards are on duty.)

Recreation Activities - Experienced recreation personnel lead group games, organize tournaments, arrange dances and serve many other recreational interests, including regular campfire programs, talent shows and nature hikes.

Hiking and Biking - Numerous mountain trails bring the vacationer to the beauty of the High Sierra. Sunrise Peak and Inspiration Point are favorite spots for breathtaking views of Hetch Hetchy Valley, O'Shaughnessy Dam and the deep Tuolumne River gorge. Bring your bike to explore old fire roads or take you to "Inspiration Point".

Games - Facilities are available for tennis, badminton, ping-pong, horseshoes, volleyball and softball. Please bring your own tennis racquets and softball gloves. Badminton racquets and ping-pong paddles, basketballs and volleyballs are available for use.

Horseback Riding - For those who enjoy riding, there are well-trained horses accustomed to mountain trails. A corral concession service provides horses for hire by the hour or the day. Special rides such as breakfast rides, children's rides and pack trips are offered at reasonable rates.

Fishing - Try your luck in the Tuolumne River, South and Middle Forks of the Tuolumne, Cottonwood Creek and along the shores of Hetch Hetchy. California Trout License required.

Young Children's Programs - There are special arts and crafts programs, recreation activities and also a play area with play apparatus.


Camp Mather is the perfect center for sightseeing. Both half day and full day trips to some the most spectacular scenery in the High Sierra is easily reached by automobile.

Hetch Hetchy Reservoir  - A twenty-minute drive and nine miles away, is the O'Shaughnessy Dam, where one may see San Francisco's gigantic dam and water supply. From there you might wish to take a two-mile hike on marked trails to Wampama Waterfalls.

Yosemite Valley  - The splendor of Yosemite National Park can be found just 27 miles and a 45-minute drive away in the Yosemite Valley. Here within seven square miles are the spectacular Yosemite and Bridal Veil Falls and the sculptured beauty of El Capitan and Half Dome.

Tuolumne Meadows - A leisurely hour's ride from Mather over the Tioga Pass Road and through the Yosemite High Camps brings one to the exquisite Tuolumne Meadows. A walk through this natural alpine garden, at 8600 feet of elevation, makes a delightful day excursion - an unforgettable odyssey among sparkling streams, glistening lakes and mountain wildflowers.

Highway 49  - The historic gold rush towns of Sonora, Columbia and Angels Camp, home of the Calaveras County Frog Jumping Contest, are within easy driving distance of Mather.



The history of Camp Mather dates back many years before the area became a popular vacation site. Even before the pioneers settled in California, Mather was home to a group of Miwok Indians, who made their camp near where the corral now stands. Artifacts are occasionally found from these Indians.

Although there are signs that prospectors may have re-settled the area during the gold rush era, it was actually not until the early part of this century that the area became heavily populated, when the City of San Francisco began construction of a dam at nearby Hetch Hetchy Valley.

During this time, a sawmill was built on the lake side of Mather to supply the lumber needed for the dam's construction. ' Birch Lake, now the camp "swimming hole," was used to float logs needed for the project.

At the same time, the Yosemite Park and Curry Company used the other side of camp to house tourists interested in seeing both Yosemite National Park and the construction of the dam. The company built the Jack Spring Dining Hall for this purpose, the building that now serves as the Camp Mather kitchen and dining room.

When the O'Shaughnessy Dam was completed, many of the facilities were no longer needed. In the mid 1920's, the City of San Francisco designated the property for use as a family recreation area. It was named Camp Mather in honor of Stephen T. Mather, the first director of the National Park Service.

Location Map