Camp Mather

Believe it or not, we're getting ready for summer 2023 at Camp Mather! Here's some important information for you to plan your summer get-away.

Lottery Registration - opens at midnight on Monday, December 5th and closes at 5pm on Friday, January 6th.

How to Apply for the Lottery 

  1. You need a Rec & Park account to register for the lottery. If you don’t have an account, you can create one at sfrecpark.org/register. Please do not set up multiple accounts under different email addresses. If you need help logging into your account, please call us at 628-652-2900.
  2. If you live in San Francisco or own property in SF, you will need to upload a verification of your SF residency after you submit your lottery application. Instructions are listed in the 2023 Rules and Regulations available at sfrecpark.org/campmather.
  3. Lottery Registration AND Residence Verification must be submitted by January 6, 2023.

Register at sfrecpark.org/register starting on 12/5!

Lottery Results - we're aiming for the week of February 27th to email reservation contracts and mail waiting list letters.

See the tabs below for more info on visiting Camp Mather!

Women by a campfire
Kids riding bikes
Woman riding a horse
Pile of logs by trees
Kids and adults at an archery range
Two people paddleboarding
Kids participating in a sack race
Youth on a challenge course high above the ground
Kids performing a program on-stage
  1. History
  2. Activities
  3. Accommodations
  4. Registration Information


The Origmorgue29_mather_entrance-600x354ins of a San Francisco Family Tradition

The history of Camp Mather dates back many years before the area became a popular vacation site. Even before the pioneers settled in California, Mather was home to a group of Miwok Indians, who made their camp near where the corral now stands. Artifacts are occasionally found from these Indians.

Although there are signs that prospectors may have re-settled the area during the gold rush era, it was actually not until the early part of this century that the area became heavily populated, when the City of San Francisco began construction of a dam at nearby Hetch Hetchy Valley.

During this time, a sawmill was built on the lake side of Mather to supply the lumber needed for the dam’s construction. ’ Birch Lake, now the camp "swimming hole," was used to float logs needed for the project.

At the same time, the Yosemite Park and Curry Company used the other side of camp to house tourists interested in seeing both Yosemite National Park and the construction of the dam. The company built the Jack Spring Dining Hall for this purpose, the building that now serves as the Camp Mather kitchen and dining room.

When the O’Shaughnessy Dam was completed, many of the facilities were no longer needed. In the mid 1920’s, the City of San Francisco designated the property for use as a family recreation area. It was named Camp Mather in honor of Stephen T. Mather, the first director of the National Park Service.