Frequently Asked Questions….
Will the campus be open in 2021?
No, due to the prolonged pandemic and threat of COVID-19 infections, the University will not be able to open the Field Campus in 2021 for in-person learning. Check the calendar for virtual offerings.
What should I bring?
If you will be using our tents, we recommend that you bring a sleeping bag, extra blanket, pillow, towels, lots of warm clothing as well as lighter layers for warm weather, a hat and sunscreen, water bottles, walking shoes, a flashlight or headlamp, and all personal items you will need for the week, including a raincoat just in case! Please don’t underestimate how cold the nights can be, even in the summer. If you’ll be pitching your own tent, don't forget a thick pad, ground cloth and rain fly.
You may also appreciate having a daypack, swimsuit, sandals or water shoes, hiking poles, and a camp chair to set up outside your tent. Some participants like to bring an insulated cup for hot beverages, and/or wine or beer to drink at dinner—including, perhaps, enough to share with a few tablemates.
See your individual class or workshop page for additional items that might be required.
How will I know which tent I have been assigned?
If you will be staying in a field-campus tent, stop by the director’s cabin when you arrive. It’s just across the bridge from the parking lot, on the right, clearly identified with a big sign. There should be a tent map posted outside the cabin indicating the location of your assigned tent. If not, knock on the door; the director can tell you which tents are available.
If you’ll be pitching your own tent, there are usually good sites available along the river, especially downstream from the director’s cabin. Wander around campus until you find a well-situated flat space that calls to you.
Can drive to my tent site?
When you arrive, you may drive across the bridge from the parking lot to unload your belongings near your tent site and the dining hall. Once you’ve unloaded, please return your car to the parking lot. We recommend backing into a parking space. If in the unlikely event of a fire, exiting the lot will be easier.
RVs may not drive across the bridge.
Can I bring my RV?
Yes! You can park your van or RV in our parking lot and camp in it. Fees will be for the facility only, as if you were using your own tent. RVs cannot drive over the bridge.
Can I come early? Can I stay longer?
Yes, when space is available. We encourage you to take advantage of arriving a day or so ahead of your class or workshop, to get acclimated to the altitude. Often, after a packed week of learning, students enjoy spending extra days on campus to relax and enjoy the area. On your registration form, add in those days and pay the usual rates for tent and meals at Cashnet.
Can I bring family members who aren’t taking a class or workshop?
Yes, when space is available. Adult family members can sign up using our registration form and pay for tent and meals through Cashnet. Each person should submit a separate registration form.
Are children allowed on campus?
SNFC is an adult learning setting. We don’t encourage children to stay on campus. The Field Campus is located on an open, fast-moving river, and the facilities are not child-safe. Children who do come with advance permission must be accompanied by a legal guardian at all times. Parents/legal guardians will be required to sign a statement acknowledging that the campus is not child-safe and that they will accompany their children at all times.
Can SNFC accommodate special diets?
Yes, happily. Be sure to note any special needs on your registration form. We always let the kitchen know of your special dietary needs, but we also ask that you introduce yourself to the kitchen staff when you arrive so they can match a face to your name and your request. In cases of extreme dietary needs that would be impossible to accommodate, we recommend that you stay off campus and prepare your own meals.
Can I bring my own food?
You are welcome to bring dry snacks and/or refrigerator items to supplement your required meal plan. There are labeled shelves for your dry goods in the dining-hall entryway and a fridge for your use in the dining hall. We ask that you label your items with your name and expected departure date, and remove them when you leave.
It’s best to seal your dry food in a plastic box or other impenetrable container before shelving it, as small critters sometimes get into the dining-hall building. Also, because bears occasionally move through the campus, no food is allowed in your tent. While no cars have ever been broken into by bears, we encourage you to store all extra food in the dining hall.
If I stay off campus, can I still take a class or workshop? Can I sign up for the meal plan?
Yes! Many students stay off campus. We provide a link to local accommodations on the SNFC home page. Also, there are many campgrounds in the area, on Gold Lake Road and on Highway 49. If you are staying off campus, you may opt for a dinners-only plan or the full plan, three meals a day.
Are dogs allowed on campus?
Is smoking allowed on campus?
Is there internet at the Field Campus?
The field campus has extremely limited internet access. You may check your email, but please do NOT download or upload pictures, videos, or files. We are allowed a small amount of data usage per month. If usage goes over our limit as it occasionally does, the internet has to be turned off!
Before you come on campus, please either turn off your phone and other internet-compatible devices or set them to “airplane mode” to prevent automatic updates and uploading of photos to the cloud (which can eat up our usage allotment in a hurry). You may also go to ‘settings’ to manually turn off auto-updates. It’s especially important to turn off the setting on your phone that will upload photos you may have taken in the field.
There is some internet access at the Sierra City library, 6 miles south on HWY 49, and in the town of Graeagle: 20 miles away off Gold Lake Hwy, take a left on HWY 89.
Is there cell service at the Field Campus?
No. Sierra City supports some Verizon connectivity, sometimes. Or, drive to Graeagle (ATT & Verizon) or to the big vista point on Hwy 49 downhill from Yuba Pass (Verizon only). The Field Campus has two land lines for emergency use.
What are the bathrooms like?
We have two types of bathrooms. At either end of the campus, where the tents are, there are co-ed bathhouses with sinks, toilets, and unroofed hot-shower stalls. Some say taking a shower under the Sierran sky is a highlight of the week!
Our other bathrooms & showers are located in the lower level of the dining hall. Men & women have separate facilities. The Friends of the Sierra Nevada Field Campus has provided funding to remodel these bathrooms; substantial improvements have been made to the women’s room as of the 2018 season, and work will continue in the men’s room in 2019-20.
Is there a store nearby in case I forgot something like batteries or sunscreen?
The Field Campus has a small amount of toiletries and sundries available for your use. Check the plastic bins outside of the dining hall bathrooms. Bassett’s, a restaurant and store one mile downhill on Highway 49, has basic supplies, local maps, postcards, and cold beverages as well as ice cream and a small café. There is a grocery store in Sierra City, six miles down the highway from camp.
What happens if I have to cancel?
Check and read our cancellation policy! If WE cancel a class or workshop due to low enrollment or any other reason, we will notify you and refund all of your fees.