Camp tuition includes food, lodging, activities, activity supplies, and transportation during camp. The only activities for which there is an extra charge are horseback trail riding, whitewater rafting, and our specialized program tracks of mountain biking and rock climbing, which are optional activities. Transportation to and from Camp is not included, though the Camp provides free transportation to and from the Reno International Airport. There is bus transportation available from Redwood City, Larkspur, Novato, and Sacramento available for a fee. (See Transportation.)

Optional Activities
Horseback Riding
Whether your camper has never ridden before or is an intermediate rider, the Camp has an option right for you! You can choose from two different horseback trail rides through some beautiful mountain scenery.

Two different horseback trail rides are offered. The 2-1/2 hour trail ride is out of Gold Lake in the Lakes Basin Recreation Area and loops around splendid lakes and has some terrific views. The 1-1/2 hour trail ride is either out of Graeagle and meanders through some beautiful pine forests and rolling hills, or through a shorter section of the Gold Lake trail.

You may sign up for as many rides as are offered during your camper's stay, though we would recommend limiting the number of times your child goes on any particular trail to two.

One 2-1/2 hour ride and one 1-1/2 hour ride are offered each week.
American River Whitewater Rafting
The whitewater rafting trip is down the South Fork of the American River. With drive time, it's a full day trip. We put in at Chili Bar and raft 10 miles to Folsom Lake. This trip is appropriate for campers as young as 8 (12 during high water periods, which is typically during the spring before Camp begins). There are Class III rapids and, depending on water flow, there may be some Class IV rapids (on a scale of I to V). Over the lower section of the South Fork, the river meanders through gold rush countryside, passed Sutter's Mill where gold was discovered in California, and is a lazy Class II cruise before it abruptly drops into The Gorge. As the rock walls narrow, the river picks up speed, and you'll be able to feel your heart beat with excitement. You'll plunge through miles of back-to-back rapids like Satan's Cesspool, Haystack Canyon, Bouncing Rock and Hospital Bar. This trip is conducted by a professional rafting outfitter. We use professional guides with swift water rescue certification, and participants wear personal flotation devices and helmets and receive a safety and paddling orientation. It's not only a blast, but it's regularly ranked by our campers as their favorite activity year after year! NOTE: the river starts at a dam and the trip has continued to run even in drought years.
Mountain Biking Program Track
Campers can go mountain biking without enrolling in our specialized Mountain Biking Program Track. However, for kids who simply can't get enough mountain biking, who want to improve their technique over various terrain, and to ride some of the most epic trails in the United States, such as the one used for the Downieville Downhill Mountain Bike Classic, this is the program for them.

This program track is for campers staying 2 or more weeks who want to specialize in mountain biking and includes clinics on how to ride various terrain, trail etiquette, emergency trail repairs, and of course lots of riding on a variety of trails. The second week focuses on world-renown "Epic" rides. The program is suitable for campers with average to advanced skills, and you are welcome to bring your own gear, though the Camp has all the equipment necessary. Campers will spend up to about half their time in this program, so there is also time for other activities and efforts are made to allow time to attend river rafting and our CILT programs. (See Mountain Biking for more information.)
Mountain Biking - Northstar Day Pass
The Camp is located just an hour away from northern California's largest mountain bike park. We offer day trips to Northstar once every other week for riders with intermediate to advanced skills who are enrolled in the Mountain Bike Program Track. Your child must be enrolled in the Mountain Bike Program Track to go to the Northstar Bike Park. (The cost for the day pass is included in the fee for the program track.) Please check our Northstar Bike Park page for more information.
Outdoor Living Skills - Backpacking
This program track is ideally for campers staying 2 or more weeks who not only want to go on a backpack trip, but want to learn all the other skills necessary for a successful trip such as trip planning, food planning, packing, orienteering with topo maps, compasses and GPS, where and how to make camp, cooking, and cleaning, and to learn about the geology, plants and animals of the Sierra Nevada mountains. If you are staying for just one week, you can still sign up for individual classes to learn some of the skills and you can still go on at least one shorter backpacking trip. However, with just one week, you would not be able to attend all the classes or trips.
Rock Climbing Program Track
Like mountain biking, children can go rock climbing without enrolling in our specialized Rock Climbing Program Track. However, for kids who've been bitten by the climbing bug, this program is for them.

This program track is for campers staying 2 or more weeks who want to specialize in rock climbing, including clinics on climbing techniques on a climbing wall, natural boulder fields, and natural granite walls. In addition to basic climbing moves and techniques, you'll learn knots, belaying, rappelling, and mock sport climbing. (See Rock Climbing Program Track for more information.)
Bus Transportation To/From Camp
For about what it would cost you in gas, your camper can take the bus to and/or from Camp. We have pick up locations in Redwood City, Larkspur, Novato, and Sacramento.


Family Discount
You can save $100 per week per child after the first child from the same family to enroll during the same summer!
Referral Program
Refer a new family to us who sends a child to Camp in that same season and receive $100 off tuition! (Just have them enter your full name in the "Group Code" box in the online's that simple.)
Corporate Partnership Program
Do you work for a company with 100 or more employees? If so, your company is eligible for our Corporate Partnership Program. This costs your company nothing, and anyone who enrolls through your company receives a 10% discount on camp tuition!

All your company has to do is enroll in the program (contact Scott Shaffer at (866) 597-6617 for information) and spread the word by whatever means best works for your company. We give your company a Group Code which your company's employees use when enrolling to get their discount. Easy-peasy.

It's a valuable benefit your company can offer its employees without costing your company a cent.
Cash Discount
Help us avoid the high fees that credit card companies charge and we’ll share our savings with you! Pay by check and get a 1% cash discount on everything that you pay for by check…tuition, camp store purchases, optional activities, program tracks – the whole kit’n’kaboodle.

Installment Payment Plan

It's rare today to run across anyone who remembers a time before credit cards became widespread, but there was in fact a time when people used to pay a little bit at a time ahead of making a substantial purchase. Now, you may take advantage of our interest-free installment payment plan like the old days and avoid those outrageous credit card interest rates. Your balance is split into equal monthly payments between the date you enroll and May 1st. And did we mention it's interest free?!

Deposit and Enrollment

A deposit of $500 must accompany your reservation. Payment may be made by check, eCheck, VISA, MasterCard, or Discover. The balance is due May 1, 2017. If you apply prior to May 1st, you may elect to make installment payments with the final payment due on May 1st. Installment payments are due the 1st of each month. If paying by check, please make it payable to Shaffer's High Sierra Camp, Inc. and send it to: Shaffer's High Sierra Camp, Inc., 248 San Marin Drive, Novato, CA 94945. If you send it after June 10, please send it to the On-Site address: 38782 State Highway 49, Sattley, CA 96124.) To reserve a space on or after May 1, you must pay in full. Your space is NOT reserved until your check has cleared or your credit card payment is processed. Late payments incur a $10 late fee. Returned checks incur a $35 fee.

Confirmation Procedure and Refunds for Optional Activities

A camper's desire to participate in horseback riding and rafting trips is confirmed with the camper approximately two days before the trip and relayed to the outfitting company. Once confirmed, there are no refunds for nonattendance. Participation in these optional activities is subject to minimum and maximum sign-up requirements and to weather and water conditions. The rafting trips are very popular and can become impacted. If a program is impacted, campers are picked based on the date they signed up for the trip, with the earlier sign-ups having the higher priority. (So be sure to sign your camper up when you enroll!) There is no refund of bus transportation charges for no-shows or cancellations within one week of the trip. Any unused optional activity credit, subject to the above, will be refunded. Refunds are made by September 15.

Late Pickup Fee

You must pick up your child between 9:30 and 11:00 a.m. on the Saturday at the end of your session. Because our staff are given time off or are otherwise leading activities, we do not have extra staff to supervise children whose parents are late in picking them up. If you are late picking up your child, we will have to make special staffing arrangements and you will incur a fee of $60/hour/per child.

Camp Store

The Camp stocks its store with sundries such as toothpaste, suntan lotion, batteries, water bottles, and other items. The store also carries candy, snacks and mementos such as T-shirts. The store credit allows your camper to make purchases without worrying about carrying money, and any unused credit will be refunded. Refunds are made by September 15. However, you can elect to donate any balance of your camp store credit to our campership program so that children whose families are not otherwise able to send them to camp can attend.


Your deposit/full tuition is fully refundable up to May 1, 2017, but because we hire staff and purchase equipment and supplies based on our anticipated enrollment, the deposit/full tuition is not refundable after May 1, 2017, subject to the Fun Guarantee below. If you enroll after May 1, 2017, you may still cancel and receive a full refund if you notify the Camp within 7 days of your enrollment, or the start of camp for your child, whichever comes first. (If you enroll using a "Group Code," then there will be a $75 service fee for cancellation.)

We highly suggest that you consider obtaining tuition insurance that can cover you in the event of emergencies, such as illness or injury. Under our refund policy, if your child becomes sick and cannot continue, or if the camp deems it in the best interest of your child or the Camp (such as, but not limited to, if your child is contagious) there is no refund. You may obtain information and insurance from TravMark at (800) 358-0779 x221, email [email protected], or click here or from AMSkier at (570) 226-4571, email [email protected], or click here.

Payments made for unused optional activities (subject to "Optional Activities" above) and camp store credit are fully refundable regardless of if or when a camper cancels. If you register through a group, school or outlet AND utilize a "Group Code" when registering, then a $75 administrative fee will be charged for any cancellation. If you child enrolls in the Mountain Biking Program Track and elects not to participate in the Northstar Bike Park Day Pass, there are no refunds for the value of the Day Pass. Any refunds owed will be paid by September 15.

There are no refunds for campers expelled for inappropriate behavior. Inappropriate behavior includes possessing any weapon at camp, violence or threats of violence, use of illegal drugs or alcohol, smoking, use of fire, vandalism, stealing, repeatedly displaying an uncooperative attitude or disrespect for others, and any other action that in the directors' opinion threatens the health, safety, or well-being of any person or animal, or the smooth operation of the Camp.

Fun Guarantee

We guarantee that your camper will have fun or we will refund your child's tuition. To take advantage of this guarantee, send us a written request within 7 days of your child's last day at camp stating that he/she did not have fun and that you would like a refund pursuant to the Fun Guarantee. The refund applies only to tuition; it does not cover camp store purchases or optional activities and your child must have attended Camp for at least one week and not more than 2. The Fun Guarantee does not apply to any child expelled for inappropriate behavior. The fun guarantee is intended as an assurance that we have a quality program. It is not intended as insurance against illness or injury, nor is it intended as insurance against homesickness, which is a child developmental issue rather than a program quality issue.

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Make your risk-free reservation today!
If your plans change, you can get a full refund before May 1st. And if you enroll after May 1st, you may still cancel and receive a refund if you notify the Camp within 7 days of your enrollment, or the start of camp for your child, whichever comes first. And you are always covered by our Fun Guarantee!