Just in time for its 100th anniversary, Berkeley Tuolumne Camp will reopen on June 4, nine years after the Rim Fire burned down the cabin site near Yosemite National Park.
Berkeley Tuolumne Camp is not in Berkeley. It’s about 170 miles east of Berkeley, and not far from Yosemite National Park. But Berkeley Tuolumne (pronounced too-WAH-la-me) Camp is actually managed by the city of Berkeley, as part of its own park system, as a cabin retreat and camping destination for families. It's akin to San Francisco's Camp Mather, and is just about as old, dating to the 1920s.
You'd be forgiven for not knowing this, because Berkeley Tuolumne Camp has not operated in nearly ten years, as it was almost completely destroyed by the 2013 Rim Fire.
“This was a devastating setback for the City of Berkeley and generations of staff and campers,” the city of Berkeley says on its website. “Of the 138 total structures at the Camp, only 18 tent cabins and the restroom near Sun City survived the fire.”
But the camps and cabins are reopening soon. Berkeleyside reports that Berkeley Tuolumne Camp will reopen in early June. "Officials plan to mark the camp’s return with a grand reopening and ribbon cutting ceremony on June 4," the site reports. "Your first chance to stay at the new cabins will come later that month, when family camp programs begin on June 27; they will run through mid-August, and an adults-only week is also planned from Aug. 26 to Sept. 1.”
“It’s [been] a nine-year effort to get to this point, so it’s really satisfying,” Berkeley’s Parks, Recreation and Waterfront Department director Scott Ferris told Berkeleyside. “I think it’s going to be a camp that serves Berkeley residents for many years.”
While it was a $60 million renovation, Berkeley only had to pay about $3 million out of their own pocket. The rest was paid for by insurance and federal disaster funds. The architecture firm Siegel & Strain designed the new camp, and has some impressive renderings online.
And in a happy coincidence, it’s just in time for the camp’s 100th anniversary, as the original camp was built in 1922.
Image: City of Berkeley