Yosemite, one of America’s most beautiful and popular national parks, offers scenic valleys, high-country meadows, and rugged granite peaks and domes over its nearly 1,200 square miles. Giant sequoias can be seen at Crane Flat and Mariposa Grove. The park is in east-central California, approximately 60 miles north of Fresno.
Lodging in Yosemite
Yosemite National Park offers lodging that ranges from an upscale hotel to canvas tent cabins. Most of the park’s lodging is located in busy Yosemite Valley, however one of the more interesting hotels is outside the valley a short distance inside the park’s south entrance. In addition, two unusual lodging facilities are on Tioga Road that crosses the park’s high country.
None of the park’s lodging is inexpensive, with even canvas tent cabins costing over $100 per night during the busy summer season. Prices at the valley’s upscale hotel can run $400 to $500 per night while motel-type accommodations run about $200 per night. Links indicated at several of the lodges described below lead to lodge videos. An overview of national park lodges is available here. You may also find a book describing each of America’s national park lodging facilities to be helpful.
Yosemite Valley Lodging
The park’s showplace lodge is the Ahwahnee, a luxurious hotel built in the late 1920s specifically to attract a wealthy and influential clientele. The Ahwahnee has 123 rooms in both the main hotel and in adjacent upscale cottages. Prices vary according to view and room size. One of the great pleasures of visiting Yosemite is enjoying a meal in the Ahwahnee dining room. The food is good, but the room is simply the most spectacular of any national park lodge
Yosemite Lodge at the Falls is a series of wooden motel-type buildings that house 245 rooms. These are scattered about an area of the valley that includes a variety of stores and restaurants. These one- and two-story frame buildings were constructed in the mid- to late-1960 and are perhaps a little larger than most motel rooms. Still, they may remind you of staying in a Best Western.
Curry Village, with nearly 500 rooms, is the largest complex in the valley. Here you will find several types of accommodations including canvas tent cabins, wood-frame cabins with and without a private bath, and one motel-style building. Curry Village is a busy location with a bar, fast food restaurants, a sporting goods store, a market/gift shop, and a buffet restaurant.
Housekeeping camp has the appearance of Hooverville where the homeless have gathered. It is a complex of several hundred concrete and canvas structures surrounding several support buildings including a laundry, market, shower building, and several community bathrooms. Each unit has a concrete floor, front concrete patio, and an electrical outlet. Guests supply their own sheets, blankets, and pillows.
Outside Yosemite Valley
The Wawona Hotel near the park’s south entrance is quite an interesting lodging facility. With some of the buildings constructed in the late 1800s, this is one of the oldest remaining lodging facility in the national parks. Wawona has slightly over 100 guest rooms spread among six buildings. Approximately half the rooms have a private bath and rent for considerably more than rooms in which guests must use one of the community bathrooms.
Tuolumne Meadows Lodge and White Wolf Lodge each offer tent cabins and dining facilities along Tioga Road. White Wolf, the smaller of the two facilities, also has four wooden cabins, each with a private bathroom. The canvas tent cabins at these two locations are essentially identical to those found in the valley’s Curry Village. These lodges are at a high elevation on a road that often doesn’t open until May or June.