Trip Plan Details
- Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort6979A California 140, Midpines, CArecommended Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain ResortIf you forgot to make your camping reservation for the Yosemite Valley six months ahead of time, The Bug offers a very pleasant alternative only 25 miles away from the most beautiful national park in ... read moreCalifornia. You'll find dorm rooms, private rooms and even insulated tent cabins at The Bug so there's something for every budget. There's a gourmet cafe and a campfire area for sing-alongs and free Wifi, of course (something you won't find on the valley floor).Baxter Jackson
Don't be put off by the name, Alex - the Bug is awesome!recommended Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain ResortHi Alex -- I stayed at this hostel years ago, and liked it. It's outside the park, but not by much. Cool hostel vibe if that's what you want, or private tent cabins and regular cabins if you're ... read morefeeling less social.Recommended for:recommended Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain ResortFor decades, this combo hostel and cabin complex has been a rustic, friendly crash pad for hostelers, students taking WFR (wilderness first responder) courses, rock climbers and national park visitors ... read moreof all ages. Take your pick of dorms or rustic cabins that are value-priced and comfy. On-site there's a small laid-back spa and vegetarian-friendly cafe, plus there's a shared kitchen where you can make your own meals. The only drawback is how far outside the park it is.Sara Benson
This one is a little further outside the park (like a 30-minute drive), but if you're looking for a hostel-like place that also has cabins, private rooms, etc., and a really social atmosphere plus a budget spa and a veg-friendly cafe, the Bug is a timeless classic outside the park's west entrance (coming from SF Bay Area on Hwy 140).
- The Ahwahnee Hotel Dining Room - Ahwahnee Hotel1 Ahwahnee Way, Wawona, CA 95389recommended The Ahwahnee Hotel Dining Room - Ahwahnee HotelThe Ahwahnee Hotel was first opened in 1927. Its stone, concrete, wood, and glass construction is a premiere example of National Park Service Rustic architecture and was declared a National Historic ... read moreLandmark in 1987. The building itself is designed to blend harmoniously with the nearby Yosemite Valley cliffs. Prices per night range from around $400-1000. I have never stayed at the Ahwahnee, but I make it a point of stopping by every time I come to Yosemite. Sometimes just drinking in the main Lobby, Bar, and other common areas is enough. One year I treated my brother and his wife to the traditional Thanksgiving Dinner here and another time my ex-wife. It's great to dress up for Dinner, regardless of what others are doing. And of course I love the room, which almost makes up for any lapses in service or the cuisine. For me, experiencing the Ahwahnee is one of those "Bucket List" experiences that I'm glad I didn't miss.Recommended for:Eric Brink
It's too expensive to stay here, but it's a classy place to meet up for a drink or a meal.
- Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite33160 Evergreen Road, Groveland, CA 95321recommended Evergreen Lodge at YosemiteAway from the crazy crowds of Yosemite Valley, but still near enough to the park to make a convenient base camp, Evergreen Lodge is where I always stay. Summer rates may look high, but what you get is ... read morea better value than most of the in-park lodgings. At Evergreen, you'll get to nest in a cozy duplex or stand-alone cabin stocked with coffee, board games, books, and historical photos. The on-site bar and restaurant is a great mix of locals and tourists. Free s'mores at night in the recreation room, which also has a satellite hook-up for internet and phone calls. (No TVs or phones in the rooms, and your cell or smartphone will have no coverage here -- yay!). Brand-new in 2012: a hot tub and swimming pool. In summer, when the Tioga Rd is open through the park's high country, you can get to Tuloumne Meadows earlier in the day from this lodge than if you were camped out in Yosemite Valley. PS They've just added a swimming pool and hot tub, and they've already got a playground, nature trail and geocaching acitivities for kids.Sara Benson
You could get adjoining cabins here fairly easily, Alex, or even rent the entire John Muir house together and have a big slumber party - with a hot tub! This place has free s'mores and movies at night, pool tables and foosball, satellite internet computers if you *really* need to check your email, a fun bar and veg-friendly restaurant, a store and an outdoor activities guide to give you advice on hikes, snowshoeing, etc. So awesome!
- Curry Village9010 Curry Village Drive, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389recommended Curry VillageFor so many years I've been visiting Yosemite Valley, but I'd never taken a chance staying here until this winter. (Lots of crowds in summer! To wit: 36 shower stalls for 507 tents & cabins, plus ... read morehundreds of kids running around, yelling their heads off about seeing black bears.) The heated tent cabins were so toasty and insulated from the elements -- a totally pleasant surprise! I love camping, but not in the snow usually. That said, I'd come back here anytime again during the off-season. Even a late winter Sierra Nevada storm didn't knock our sturdy tent cabin over, and at $80/night, it was a bargain by Yosemite standards.Sara Benson
OK, here's the thing: the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls is like a bland motel and it's overpriced, but a good location. The Wawona is isolated in the southern part of the park, but near the biggest grove of Giant Sequoias. Outside the south entrance of the park, the Tenaya Lodge is also bland and overpriced, but has a slew of amenities. Curry Village is not roughing it any more than Costanoa Lodge in Pescadero, and it's also in the valley, which is central. It can get very busy in summer, and there's no guarantee your tents would be right next to one another. There's a similar set-up off Tioga Rd at the Tuolumne Meadows and White Wolf Lodges - of those two, White Wolf is quieter and I'd recommend it more highly. But better than all of these options would be staying just outside the park's NW entrance at the Evergreen Lodge, my personal favorite in the entire region after working and living there for many years. Have a fun trip, Alex!
- Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite1122 Hwy. 41, Fish Camp, CA 93623recommended Tenaya Lodge at YosemiteIf memory serves, when the Tenaya Lodge was first opened, it flew the Marriott flag. Now it's run by Delaware North - the same concessionaire that manages the other Yosemite properties. And for those ... read moretourists who don't fancy a tent or rustic cabin experience, this place is a comfortable and familiar hotel resort alternative. Tenaya Lodge owes its name to legendary Chief Tenaya of the Southern Sierra Miwok or "Ahwahneechee" people. The word Yosemite is derived from the Ahwahneechee word for grizzly bear. The Tenaya Lodge is also outside the National Park border and near it's South (or LA) entrance (via Oakhurst). So if you want the Yosemite Valley "experience", be prepared to drive for about an hour and half onward. Yet, Mariposa Big Trees is close and with the various Lodge activities, there's plenty to do out in this part of nature.Recommended for:Eric Brink
This one is larger and has superior amenities.
- Wawona Hotel8308 Wawona Road, Yosemite National Park, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389recommended Wawona HotelI've always liked the Wawona and appreciate their continued attempts to stick to a bygone era and to help me get away from it all. I also don't worry too much about a shortage of outlets, since aside ... read morefrom my camera, I don't need my electronic toys here anyway. Better still is the distance from the Yosemite Valley and a gorgeous drive in if I really want to fight the tourist hordes. I do however prefer to have a private bathroom, especially one with a claw foot tub. I have like the Dining Room, the expansive grounds, the nice service, decent prices, the golf course across the street, and the big trees if I drive South.Recommended for:Eric Brink
I personally like to stay off Valley....and I like historical.
- Yosemite Lodge At The FallsP.O. Box 578, Yosemite National Park, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389