Van Vleck Bunkhouse overlooks a 40-acre meadow and the Tells Peak portion of the Crystal Range of the Sierra Nevada, providing a rustic camping experience year-round. Built in 1957, the bunkhouse is the last remaining building at the Van Vleck Ranch site. The area was operated as a cattle ranch from the 1860s to the 1960s. Summer guests can access the bunkhouse by road and enjoy the simple pleasure of the cabin and nearby hiking and horseback riding.
Winter guests take on a more challenging adventure and must traverse a 6-mile trek with a 1,300-foot elevation gain to reach the bunkhouse. The route is marked by blue reflective diamonds and this journey is for intermediate to advanced backcountry skiers only. Guests must contact the Pacific Ranger District at (530) 644-2349 to arrange for permit, access, check-in and current conditions at least 7 days prior to arrival. In winter, access is by ski or snowshoe on unmaintained 6-mile intermediate to advanced trail. Climbing skins are required for cross country skiers. For bad winter weather, the Van Vleck Storm Shelter is located en route to the Bunkhouse at mile 2.4. Bring drinking water in winter months. Winter conditions can occur from September through June and may provide visitors with challenging weather, affecting access and amenities.
This is a “pack it in, pack it out” facility; please bring garbage bags. Bears frequent the area; keep all food out of sight in approved containers or locked inside your vehicle and remove all food from area after eating. Please be advised that during non-snow conditions, permit and gate/lock box combinations to Van Vleck Bunkhouse will not be issued on the check in day of your reservation before 1 p.m. local time at the Pacific Ranger District. Arrangements should be made with visitor services personnel if an after-hours pick up is needed. Please call the Pacific Ranger District at (530)644-2349 for more information.
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- Fire Pit
- Hot Showers
- Picnic Table
- Pet Friendly