ECOLOGICAL DESIGN

Undisturbed natural setting The Sequoia High Sierra Camp is a thoughtfully designed hideaway that provides upscale comfort with an environmental conscience.

"Organic Architecture" best describes the architecture and decor of the Sequoia High Sierra Camp. Burr Hughes, the camp's owner, holds a master's degree in architecture (with an emphasis in sustainable design) from England's prestigious University of Cambridge. Ecological responsibility guided his every decision during the six years of planning his eco-friendly camp.

The camp's design was influenced by an early architectural term known as "parkitecture," as seen in some of the most famous national park lodges. In a quest to blend seamlessly with nature, structures were built with sustainable grown lumber, no old growth timber was used and no trees were removed during construction. The Camp buildings are sited on old logging trails to leave as light-as-possible footprint on the environment.

Natural materials are incorporated throughout the camp; the Dining Pavilion's support pillars were constructed from sustainable fir timber and tent cabin roofs and siding are made of sustainably grown natural cotton fiber. Organic toiletries, in bulk dispensers are provided for guests, and low-flow showers and toilets help conserve water.

Power for the Sequoia High Sierra Camp is completely off any electrical grid. A small, quiet, low-emission generator (fueled exclusively by bio diesel) powers the kitchen operations. At maximum capacity, the Camp's electrical system requires only 13kw. Solar path lighting illuminates cabin access trails at night; propane lanterns are used in the tents, candles light the dining tables, and eco-friendly fixtures light the kitchen.

Wild flowers Twenty of the camp’s 40 pine-studded acres are set aside as wetlands. Native vegetation graces the grounds; mulch and gravel paths allow for natural drainage. Great care has been taken to weave walking trails around existing shrubbery, trees, rocks and sloping hillsides and, thanks to a landscape technique known as "xeriscaping," no irrigation is necessary.

Even menu items are carefully chosen, and include locally grown produce, fresh fruits and vegetables. Meals feature seasonal, healthy ingredients, sustainable lean meats and fresh-caught seafood seasoned with natural herbs.

Often, in regular camping, garbage gets strewn about, people trample delicate vegetation and dig holes as they put up tents. By providing one central camping location, the Sequoia High Sierra Camp actually curtails the impact on nature -- while illustrating, though example, how to be better stewards of the land. The result is a naturally great getaway.