Tuolomne vs. Echo Lake Family Camp

Archived Q&A and Reviews

See also: Echo Lake Camp and Tuolumne Camp

August 2003

Can someone tell me the difference between fish camp and regular family camp at Berkeley's Tuolomne family camp? Also, does anyone out there have a recent review of the Echo lake family camp? How does it compare to Tuolomne family camp? Positive, negative, and practical information appreciated. Thanks. elizabeth

We went to Tuolomne fish camp and to Echo Lake family camp this summer with our 2-year-old. I would recommend both experiences. Tuolomne family camp offers supervised activities for children and adult activities. Tuolomne fish camp has no organized activities, but still offers 3 meals per day plus the tent cabins. Echo Lake camp is primarily a camp for 8-14 year-olds away from home, with extra space available for family campers. Echo family camp is like Tuolomne fish camp, with meals and tent cabins provided.

The prices are much higher for Tuolomne family camp than for Tuolomne fish camp and Echo family camp, because it includes the activities. Also, the fish camp and Echo family camp generally don't fill up, so last minute trips without reservations are possible. Tuolomne family camp fills up, with a waiting list, so advance reservations are needed. Tuolomne fish camp is at the beginning of the season (late May through mid-June) and again for a few days at the end of the summer. Tuolomne family camp is from late June through late August. Echo camp is in July and August.

Echo camp is much smaller than Tuolomne, and much quieter while the youth camp is not in session (the youth camp is mid-day Monday through mid-day Friday). Echo Camp has a swimming pool and hot tub and is about a 15 minute walk to Echo Lake, where boating and hiking are the main activities. Echo Camp is also about a 10-minute drive from South Lake Tahoe, so it is convenient for side trips to the many beaches and parks at Lake Tahoe. The staff at Echo Camp is very happy to have family campers and was very friendly and helpful.

Tuolomne camp is on the Tuolomne river and has a swimming hole in camp. Tuolomne also has some play equipment and a sandy beach at the swimming hole.

The food at Tuolomne fish camp and family camp is more upscale than Echo Camp - it seems to be aimed at pleasing the adults much more than Echo Camp, presumably because there are so many more adults there. Because there are many more families camping at Tuolomne Fish Camp than at Echo Camp, it is much more likely that there will be other children for your children to play with. We arranged to go to both camps along with friends, which was a nice experience. Sally