Steps from Adventure: 8 Places to Base Your Stay When Visiting Yosemite
Wake up and Let the Exploring Begin
Yosemite National Park is one of the most popular and most visited locations in the entire United States. Each year, thousands of tourists from all over the world make their way to see the stunning granite rock cliffs, amazing sequoia forestry, and striking narrow canyons.
Due to the park’s large size, it can be hard to decide what kind of experience you and your family want to have, and where to base your stay. Fortunately, there’s a type of accommodation for everyone in Yosemite, whether you’re looking to lavish yourself in luxury, rough it in the woods or experience something a little more in between.
Below are some ideas on where to stay in Yosemite, from budget-friendly options to amenity-rich.
Ahwahnee Hotel (Formally the Majestic Yosemite Hotel)
There aren’t very many hotels right in Yosemite Park; however, the Ahwahnee Hotel is located within park boundaries and is a real treat with its breathtaking scenery, restaurants, and amenities within arm’s reach.
This Yosemite accommodation features a building that was built in the 1920s — the hotel’s solid rock exterior is one you’ll never forget. It’s also the park’s only AAA four-diamond hotel.
Trabucco Gardens: Yosemite Gold Country Stargazing Retreat
For those who like a combination of luxury amenities and being in the outdoors, Trabucco Gardens offers a glamping option in a beautiful cabin that might be a great fit for you. Here you’ll be able to experience the solitude and peacefulness of Yosemite Park and enjoy a sky full of stars in the evening.
Rock climbing, caves, sledding and skiing locations are right nearby, as well as the Lake McClure Recreation Area (under six miles away). This cabin retreat is beautifully designed and has many modern conveniences such as air conditioning, laundry machines, a dishwasher, and even a microwave to provide a memorable and luxurious experience in nature.
For That Rustic Feel
National Hotel and Restaurant
The National Hotel and Restaurant is located in Jamestown, CA and is roughly one to two hours away from Yosemite National Park depending which route you drive.
Staying at the historic National Hotel will offer you the chance to feel like you’ve stepped back in time as the building is an authentic and restored bed and breakfast. Sleep just steps away from New Melones Lake which you can visit for a dose of fresh air, and check out the Railtown 1897 State Historic Park for a peek into the olden days.
Americas Best Value Inn Jamestown West Ellicott
Constructed in 1922, Americas Best Value Inn is a Victorian hotel that is also located in Jamestown, CA, and is sure to give guests a comfortable night to remember. Yosemite National Park is just a couple hours’ drive away — perfect for a day-trip outing.
Some of the hotel amenities include a pool, library, garden, picnic areas and barbecue grills. This is a great place to stay if you’re looking for a place that is both on the less expensive and nostalgic side.
Located on the far end of Yosemite Valley, the North Pines campground is an outdoor lover’s paradise with stunning cliff walls, thick forestry, and several riverside sites. Enjoy a couple of nights tent or RV camping in this area, and take advantage of the many hiking trails within a very short distance.
Because there are only 81 campsites available, there is also a lot of privacy between lots, which makes it easier to enjoy the night sky in total peace and quiet. Keep in mind these grounds are only open from April to November, so winter camping is not an option at this location.
The tent cabins at Curry Village (also known as Camp Curry or Half Dome Village) come in somewhere between camping and glamping, as these rentable spaces are convenient but still rustic. These tents and cabins are available all year long and can be reserved through the National Park Reservations Service for the area.
Each unit comes with wooden floors, cot-style beds, lights, blankets, bedding and propane heaters for the colder months. They do not, however, have running water, so you will still have to visit the showers and washrooms for needs that require water.
For Budget Lodging
Yosemite Valley Lodge
While the Yosemite Valley Lodge is still located right in the park, it’s a cheaper alternative to staying at the Ahwahnee Hotel. The rooms are spacious and cozy and offer visitors easy access to exploring the park and numerous hiking trails.
Due to its popularity, the Yosemite Valley Lodge is often booked up well in advance, so it would be a good idea to call ahead to check availability before hitting the road. The hotel offers shuttle services, bike rentals, and even a couple of restaurants with gorgeous views.
Gunn House Hotel
The Gunn House Hotel is located in Sonora, CA and is about an hour away from Yosemite National Park. The exterior of the building is beautiful and historic looking, but what’s best about it is the easy access to New Melones Lake as well as its outdoor pool and complimentary breakfast.
Sonora is close enough to Yosemite that you’ll still feel like you’re staying near the park, and the town itself has a lot of interesting places to check out on your travels too.