Sunday, January 29, 2023

Where To Stay In Yosemite National Park

Rustic Yosemite Cabin Rentals

Yosemite Gateway Inn | Oakhurst CA | Where to stay near Yosemite

Many people enjoy renting a cabin in Yosemite National Park as it provides them with more privacy than camping or hotels. Most of Yosemite cabins are on the west side of the park. While they are just a quick drive from the valley, they are far enough away from the hustle and bustle.

The Log Home in Yosemite National Park is one of the best places to stay in Yosemite due to its location. It is just a half-hour to the famed Mariposa Grove of Big Trees .

If you are there in late , or early head east to Yosemites Badger Pass Ski Area for downhill and cross-country skiing and snowboarding.

It is one of the oldest Yosemite Park cabins and that is obvious from the decor. There are a lot of stairs to climb too, so it may not be suitable for everyone. However, if you are looking to stay somewhere rustic and not in a typical hotel room, then this is the place for you.

Find out more information about The Log Home here.

Lodging On Highway 140

For most visitors, Highway 140 is the best place to stay outside the park. It’s one of the lesser-used entrances into Yosemite and incredibly scenic, so the ambiance is more rustic and unspoiled. Another perk for sleeping along Highway 140 is that it is the only route with a year-round public transportation option into Yosemite Valley, so you don’t have to worry about driving in and out every day.

The Yosemite location of the hip AutoCamp includes fun accommodations like airstreams or luxury tents. Easily one of the coolest places to stay outside the park, it’s located in the town of Midpines and about an hour from the valley. Further east and closer to the park is Yosemite View Lodge in the town of El Portal. It’s a bigger property with 335 rooms, but it’s built right on the banks of the Merced River for awesome views and playing in the water.

Cell reception and Wi-Fi along the Highway 140 route are spotty at best. If you need to stay connected, the town of Mariposa is the last place with reliable coverage before entering the park. It’s over an hour from the valley by car, but quaint motels like the or 5th Street Inn offer convenient accommodations with nearby stores and restaurants.

The Best Places To Stay: Yosemite National Park

When deciding where to stay in Yosemite, you really can’t go wrong with a vacation home. You will be able to get MUCH nicer accommodations, much more space, and fun extras that you just can’t get with park lodging.

Plus, you’ll usually have a kitchen so you can cook, which saves you money AND saves you from having to eat the often just okay’ park food.

I only look for properties that are in a great location and are very highly rated & reviewed, so you can rest easy knowing you are seeing the best of the best here!

PRO TIP: Not all lodging options have air conditioning. Make sure you always read the fine print.

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Two Days In Yosemite Itinerary

Note: For the 2022 summer season Yosemite National Park has stated that Glacier Point Road will be completely closed for repairs. This means some Yosemite icons like Taft Point, Sentinel Dome, and, of course, Glacier Point itself cannot be accessed. Not to worry though, there are still tons of breathtaking views and natural beauty to behold in this Yosemite itinerary.

Yosemites Arch Rock Entrance

10 Unforgettable Things to Do in Yosemite National Park

The iconic Arch Rock Entrance makes for one of the most dramatic entrances to the park, through a precariously balanced rock arch that feels like a portal to a mysterious valley. Its the closest entrance to the Yosemite Valley and all of its amenities, like Curry Village, the Ahwahnee, the Visitors Center, several campgrounds and trailhead entrances, and many of the best views in the park. Many visitors choose to stay in this area as it has the most amenities and the El Portal gate leads directly into the Yosemite Valley.

Entering the park through Arch Rock will take you along the clear, glacial waters of the Merced River before meeting up with the main loop inside Yosemite Valley. The short, scenic drive means you can hit the most popular trails before the crowds arrive.

Outside the El Portal/Arch Rock entrance are several small towns. The largest town on this side is . It has a small western town downtown area with some souvenir shops as well as a few restaurants and bars, though most close by 9 or 10 pm.

Here are a few yummy spots to eat and drink in Mariposa worth a stop:

  • Head to Sugar Pine Cafe for breakfast or brunch. This classic little diner serves up comfort food like fluffy biscuits and sausage gravy, cheese grits, and buttermilk pancakes. Plus, you can get a Root Beer Float or a Malt and pretend its the 50s. Its perfect for pre-activity fueling .
  • Thirsty? After dinner, stop by The Alley Lounge to try a few of the 16 rotating craft beers on tap. Yum.
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    Things To See And Do In El Portal

    Luca Nichetti

    • Visit during spring for epic Class II and Class IV whitewater rafting experiences along the river.
    • The water is a little calmer in the summer, making this the best time to go kayaking.
    • Hites Cove is a hugely popular hike taking in El Portal mountain, beautiful forests, and secluded clearings that are the perfect setting for a picnic.
    • Want to drink with locals? Both Yosemite View Lodge and Cedar Lodge are popular watering holes.
    • Steak and Fish might have a basic name , but the food they offer is done so well youll be glad they havent branched out.

    El Portal Where To Stay Near Yosemite For Adventure


    Often considered a satellite town of Yosemite Canyon, El Portal is a little more off the beaten path while still boasting gorgeous views and thrilling adventure activities. This out of the ordinary vibe is exciting enough, making this our favourite destination for explorers and backpackers.

    Located along the Merced River, youll almost start to feel like youre in a totally different country. With this in mind, maybe El Portal is the best overall destination for those that simply miss the thrill of the unknown. If youre settling on staycations for the time being, El Portal is a worthy compromise.

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    Mammoth Lakes Best Area Near Yosemite For Winter Sports

    Although there is a small ski area inside the park itself, if you want to combine your Yosemite trip with a proper ski trip, Mammoth Lake is a great option!

    Located in the Eastern Sierra with a high altitude of 7,880 feet, Mammoth Mountain is the biggest ski area close to Yosemite!

    The ski season is usually from December to April but note that since Mammoth Lakes is east of Yosemite National Park, the closest entrance is closed in winter due to snowy conditions. This means if you are planning to hit the slopes at Mammoth, as well as see the national park, its best to spend a couple of nights in each location due to the fact you will have to take the long way round to enter Yosemite, so you dont have to rush.

    You can still enjoy plenty of other activities in Mammoth Lakes in other seasons, as well as the shorter 45-minute drive to Yosemite. Youll find amazing, scenic hiking trails, 75 miles of mountain bike trails, and opportunities for kayaking or SUP on Mono Lake. Get ready to discover wildlife, waterfalls, and hot springs!

    Our Mountain Getaway

    Things To Do On Winter In Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad

    Yosemite National Park-First time Guide to hiking & lodging

    When winter strikes the City of Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad the place becomes much more encapsulating and visitors can enjoy a ton of activities around the city. From clubs, restaurants, historic monuments to galleries and more, things to do in Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad in winter for holidaymakers develop in great prosperity. Winter is also the time for festivities in the city and various indoor and outdoor events and activities including skating and admiring various Christmas market strolls are thoroughly enjoyed here.

    in Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad,

    From little ones to adults, Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad provides for a joyous time for everyone who visits. Activities to do in Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad in winter encompassing visiting the magnificent light show to admiring a variety of adventures at the Hyde Park winter wonderland and glazing upon the bustling winter lights festival in the evening, the list is endless and inspiring. So, pack your bags, buckle yourself and get ready to have a blast on your Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad trip this winter season.

    Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad is filled with activities to do all year round however it gets totally transformed during winter and there are some activities that either isnt available at any time of the year or are dramatically different during winter. Here are some things you just have to do in Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad this winter.

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    Renting A Cabin In Yosemite

    Renting a Yosemite cabin is a popular way to enjoy the park. Cabin options include housekeeping camps in Yosemite Valley and privately-owned cabin options around the park. One of the biggest perks to renting a cabin within the park boundaries is that you won’t have to wait in long lines at the entrance gates, which can get very backed up during the high season. The Redwoods in Yosemite cabins are in the town of Wawona near the South Entrance, while the Yosemite Rental Homes are the closest private cabins to the valley. If you plan to rent a Yosemite cabin, plan ahead as rentals fill up fast.

    Tuolumne Meadows With Kids

    Soda Springs and Parsons Lodge

    Distance: 1.5 milesAccessibility: NOT wheelchair- and stroller-accessible

    Historic lodge and bubbling water. An easy and simple hike for the family.

    Tenaya Lake Trail

    Elevation Gain: 196 ftAccessibility: NOT wheelchair- and stroller-accessible

    A beautiful lake trail with spectacular views around Tuolumne Meadows. Super clear water so bring your swimsuits, and also bring bug spray for this hike as mosquitoes tend to hang around in the summer.

    Gaylor Lakes

    Elevation Gain: 500 ftAccessibility: NOT wheelchair- and stroller-accessible

    This hike provides several views of small lakes, as well as gorgeous high country scenery. Start at the Tioga Pass Entrance Station.

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    What To Pack For Yosemite

    General Packing List

    Get your FREE California Travel Planner including printable checklists and my favorite two-week itinerary for the state.


    Meredith Dennis

    Meredith is a biologist and writer based in Californias Sierra Nevada. She has lived in 6 states as a biologist, so her intel on hiking and camping is *chefs kiss* next level. One of her earliest camping memories was being too scared to find a bathroom at night on a family camping trip. Thankfully, shes come a long way since then and she can help you get there too!

    Looking for more national parks and Sierra Nevada travel inspiration? Check out these related posts below!

    Vacation Homes For Large Families

    Everything You Need to Know Before You Visit Yosemite National Park

    I know that sometimes you may like to travel with another family or take the grandparents to help out with the kids. It can be difficult to find the perfect property for your large family. Here are the best places to stay in Yosemite park for groups of 10 or more!

    3,000 square feet to spread out in. Gorgeous view of the river from the back deck! The game room with pool table, hot tub, and propane fire pit are amazing extras everyone will love!

    Bedrooms: 3Beds: 7 Bathrooms: 3

    4. Lupin Cabin

    What makes this one of the places to stay at Yosemite? It’s located in Foresta, just 15 minutes from Yosemite Valley and it’s purposefully placed for maximum privacy. You’ll be able to access hiking trails & waterfalls right from your cabin door!

    Bedrooms: 1Beds: 2 Bathrooms: 1

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    Best Areas To Stay In Yosemite

    With various towns circling the national park, choosing where to stay near this national park will depend on the entrance you enter from. Additionally, each of the following five neighborhoods will offer a unique spin on your Yosemite experience.

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    Tips For A Successful Visit To Yosemite

    • Plan ahead. Lodging and camping can book up months in advance if you have your sights set on a specific type of accommodation, book as soon as youre able. You may miss your chance if you wait!
    • Become an early bird. Hiking, climbing, swimming, drivingall of these activities will become more enjoyable the earlier you get started, before the crowds accumulate.
    • Avoid driving between 9am and 5pm. If you need to get around, use the free shuttle service instead. You may not find a parking spot during peak hours.
    • The entry fee for 1 vehicle is $35. Cash, credit cards, debit cards, checks, and travelers checks are all accepted.
    • Let wildlife be wild. Never feed or approach any wild animals inside the park, ESPECIALLY bears. Although they might not harm you, they may get too comfortable with humans over time, and begin venturing into populated areas more frequently. This will result in the bears being euthanized by park rangers.

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    Tenaya Lodge At Yosemite Park Is Open

    Yosemite day-use reservations will be required to enter or drive through the Park in your personal vehicle between 6 AM and 4 PM, from May 20 to September 30, 2022.Reservations go on sale March 23, 2022, and can be purchased online at For more information, please visit the National Park Service website or the Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau website.

    Please be aware: due to unplanned staffing challenges, some services and hours of operation may be modified, such as:

    Parkside Deli will be open 6:30 AM to 9 PM, offering grab and go items Timberloft Pizzeria may be closed Ascent Spa may be closed or services modified

    Vacation Homes For Families


    Two king bedrooms make this a great choice when looking for the best places to stay in Yosemite! Located in Yosemite West, by the turn-off for Glacier Point. You’ll love the views of the forest from each room!

    Bedrooms: 2Beds: 3 Bathrooms: 2

    Less than 30-minutes from Yosemite Valley. Access to many running and hiking trails in the neighborhood. Clean and cozy!

    Bedrooms: 3Beds: 5 Bathrooms: 2

    PRO TIP: Ever feel like you just don’t have the time to do all the research it takes to plan a family vacation? Or maybe you just can’t decide where to go. Check out Where To Next?’ I’ll send you an awesome family friendly US destination, 5 perfect places to stay, 5 fun things to do, AND 5 of the yummiest kid-friendly places to eat in the areaEVERY MONTH! Find out more HERE!

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    Rush Creek Lodge At Yosemite

    This eco-friendly resort and sister to the Evergreen Lodge offers a great location less than a mile from the park entrance, eco-friendly style, and amenities to please the whole family. Borrowing the key elements of Evergreen and giving them a modern twist, Rush Creek Lodge welcomes all kinds of travelers.

    With its knowledgeable Activities Staff, there is no need to pour over your travel books these friendly and patient folks have everything you need to make your visit in and out of the park an awesome one. By day, Rush Creek staff rent snowshoes, teach about the best off-the-beaten-path hikes, and answer all of your Yosemite-related questions answered, and by night, they offer you smore kits and board games.

    REPORT FROM THE ROAD:What to Know About Rush Creek Lodge

    Indoors at Rush Creek offers many spots to play, climb, feast, and chat, while the outdoor property teems with fire pits, three zip lines, giant checkers, a 60 slide, two hot tubs , a large heated pool, and varied walking/hiking trails. Every room at Rush Creek invites the outdoors in with views of the surrounding national forest.

    Expect Spotty Wireless & Phone Service

    Looking to stay connected with work or family back home while in Yosemite?Forget it! WiFi and cell service does exist, but very rarely works. There is one place in Curry Village that you can get internet access, but you need to go early in the morning or in middle of the day to get on. You have to be patient and wait for a spot to open up in the network. But really just forget about it and enjoy the outdoors.

    Phone service is spotty at best. If you are traveling with a group, you might consider bringing or investing in cheap walkie talkies. More than once we would pass people on the road holding their phones in the air yelling obscenities at AT& T! Hilarious, but also annoying when you are trying to meet up with your group. Make pre-arranged plans with one another rather than relying on phones.

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