Golden Trout Encampment

Thacher has closed it campus in response to the evolving coronavirus situation. We will post further updates on Golden Trout Encampment 2020 here as they become available and will keep members of our community informed via regular communications.

“The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.” —John Muir

Perched high in the wilderness of the southern Sierra Nevada, Golden Trout Camp’s historic log cabins and cluster of canvas tents offer access to the beauties of the alpine ecosystem, adorned with ancient Foxtail pines, endangered Sierra Bighorn Sheep, and a myriad of unique flora and fauna. The camp, now run as the Golden Trout Wilderness School, offers a diversity of opportunities for high-school students from Thacher and other schools, adults, and families to take part in educational programs in the High Sierra.

Alumni Natural History Encampment

It was over 50 years ago that a small group of dedicated alumni secured the lease to a parcel of land in the southern Sierra Nevada known as Golden Trout Camp. Since then, the camp has been the site for thousands of people, young and old, to step out of the grind of their daily lives and to reconnect with nature. Urban youth, amateur naturalists, and decades of Thacher students have visited the camp, using it as a campus for the study of the natural world and themselves. Alumni have gathered with their families and classmates around its tables and campfire, deepening their personal connections while climbing mountains, swimming in alpine lakes, and enjoying the grandeur of the Sierra in its summer richness together.

Due to high demand and limited availability, Alumni Encampment is reserved for Thacher alums. Alums are welcome to bring their parents, siblings, partners, and children. Registrations are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Golden Trout Wilderness School

Thacher’s Golden Trout Wilderness School, under a Special Use Permit from the Forest Service, provides wilderness education programs during the summer months. More than half of the programs are grant-funded and dedicated to serving disadvantaged and minority youth. Other programs offer educational opportunities to the general public. Fees for these programs go toward the maintenance of the historic facility and toward providing excellent staff and instructors. For more details about what’s on offer this summer, please visit

Contact GTC

If you have questions, please reach out to Program Director Cam Spaulding at
In accordance with Federal law and U.S. Department of Agriculture policy, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age or disability. (Not all prohibited bases apply to all programs.)
To file a complaint of discrimination, write USDA, Director, Office of Civil Rights, Room 326-W, Whitten Building, 1400 Independence Avenue, SW, Washington, D.C. 20250-9410 or call (202) 720-5964 (voice and TDD). USDA is an equal opportunity provider and employer.
Golden Trout Wilderness School is operated by The Thacher School under a special use permit with the Inyo National Forest.
Notice of nondiscriminatory policy as to students: The Thacher School admits students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other School-administered programs.