Yosemite National Park hotels, from affordable motels to luxurious lodges - The Points Guy (2023)

One of America's crown jewels, Yosemite National Park has been leaving visitors awestruck since it became a national park in 1890.

The monoliths of Half Dome and El Capitan, the ancient sequoias of Mariposa Grove, and North America’s tallest waterfall, Yosemite Falls, are just a few of this vast California park's emblematic attractions that make it one of the country's best national parks. What makes Yosemite so appealing (and crowded) is that its signature features are easy to access and available pretty much year-round.

Not surprisingly, with close to 3.5 million visitors per year, lodging options within the park's boundaries come at a premium. Within easy reach of the park, there are several amenity-rich wilderness lodges, quaint bed-and-breakfasts and lavish boutique hotels that cater to multigenerational families, couples looking to disconnect, and adventure-seeking solo travelers.

From budget-friendly in-park lodges to a flashy European-style retreat, here are some of TPG's favorite places to stay in and around Yosemite National Park.

Ahwahnee Hotel

Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Yosemite National Park hotels, from affordable motels to luxurious lodges - The Points Guy (1)

Best for: Travelers looking for historic lodgings in an unrivalled location within Yosemite National Park.

Why stay here: A cherished national landmark, the Ahwahnee is a paradigm of “parkitecture” design. A wide selection of classically appointed rooms, suites and cottages can accommodate groups, couples and solo travelers — and paying up can even get you a view of Half Dome.

Best way to book: The Ahwahnee is operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts. Book directly (and well in advance) for the best prices.

A cherished national landmark, The Ahwahnee has been the hotel of choice for celebrities, heads of state and royalty visiting Yosemite for generations.

Located on the southern fringes of Yosemite Valley, the location couldn’t be better, and even just a stroll across the grounds reveals the park’s hallowed attractions: Half Dome, Yosemite Falls and Glacier Point.

Constructed in 1929 of sugar pine logs and rough-cut granite, The Ahwahnee is a paradigm of National Park Service-rustic, or “parkitecture.” Magnificent public spaces with beamed ceilings and colossal stone fireplaces are filled with Native American artworks, Arts and Crafts furnishings and art deco influences.

While the 121 standard rooms don’t have quite the same wow factor, they are clean and spacious with classical detailing, rustic wood furnishings and spectacular views. Suites and junior suites on the upper floors have private fireplaces and/or balconies, and the presidential suite where President John F. Kennedy stayed has a king bedroom, living area and parlor with a sleeper sofa and a large balcony with views of Glacier Point.

What you are really spending up for here, though, is the stately ambiance, unbeatable location and time-honored rituals. The Ahwahnee Dining Room oozes history and charm, with emblematic stonework, iron chandeliers, Native American design motifs and floor-to-ceiling windows framing spectacular views of the valley. Dress the part (that’s required; no T-shirts or flip-flops) and dine on Yosemite’s finest cuisine. Menu favorites include Acadian spiced tiger prawns with smoked cheddar polenta, roasted tomatoes and seasonal herbs ($25), and New Zealand lamb chops with black garlic miso sauce, carrot-yuzu puree, arugula and pickled cucumber ribbons ($27).

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Rates at The Ahwahnee range from $521 per night for a standard room up to $1,242 for the presidential suite.

Rush Creek Lodge

Groveland, California, USA

Yosemite National Park hotels, from affordable motels to luxurious lodges - The Points Guy (2)

Best for: Families with young kids and teens who will love the pools, zip line, nightly s’mores, hiking and biking trails, and day and nighttime programming led by the on-site recreation team.

Why stay here: This classic summer resort is close to Yosemite National Park’s southern entrance and has accommodations that can work for groups of all sizes, including two-bedroom hillside villas that sleep up to six guests.

(Video) Yosemite • HOTELS - Camping, Glamping and Lodging in the Yosemite Valley

Best way to book: Book directly with the lodge for the best rates, deals and packages.

Nestled amid 20 acres of woodlands, less than a mile from Yosemite’s west entrance, the 143-key Rush Creek Lodge combines rustic charm with modern conveniences and a fun-loving summer camp vibe.

Impressive amenities and round-the-clock programming are what really distinguish this property. There are zip lines for kids, a 60-foot embankment slide, bocce ball, nightly s’mores around the fire, live bands, themed parties and karaoke. By day, the fantastic pool area is the hub of the action, with a 2,400-square-foot saltwater pool and a large family-friendly hot tub. The guided recreation program includes full-day and half-day Yosemite hiking tours, horseback riding and mountain biking, among other wilderness adventures.

After a day on the trails, parents can indulge in a signature massage at the Wellness Center (80 minutes, $235) or just relax in the Aromatherapy Steam Room or Himalayan Salt Block Sauna.

Related: TPG's favorite national parks: A month-by-month guide

Rush Creek’s rooms, suites and hillside villas all come with large decks, and most have sunset views. Standard rooms, which start at 400 square feet, are appointed with simple, natural wood furnishings and modern tiled bathrooms. Family-pleasing conveniences include air conditioning, a Keurig coffee maker, a refrigerator, hypoallergenic feather pillows, Alexa devices and Earth Therapy bath products.

Larger hillside villas are a great option for groups. Sleeping up to six people, they are configured with a separate bedroom with a king bed, a large sitting area with a queen sofa bed and a cast-iron gas fireplace.

The Restaurant at Rush Creek serves modern American fusion fare, such as king salmon with bok choy, soy glazed shiitake mushrooms and yuzu-ginger butter ($30) and bison chili mac with cavatappi, bison chili and smoked gouda ($28). Dinner and a late-night menu are also available in Rush Creek’s lively Tavern.

Rates at Rush Creek Lodge start at $340 per night.

AutoCamp Yosemite

Midpines, California, USA

Yosemite National Park hotels, from affordable motels to luxurious lodges - The Points Guy (3)

Best for: With Airstream suites that sleep up to six people and safari-style tents, AutoCamp is a unique option for groups and families craving an elevated glamping experience near Yosemite National Park.

Why stay here: Plenty of lifestyle amenities and creature comforts, including full bathrooms, air conditioning and heating, sleek gathering spaces and wholesome dining options.

Best way to book: Book directly with AutoCamp for the best prices, discounts and packages.

Located in the town of Midpines, about 40 minutes west of Yosemite National Park, AutoCamp is one of the more established glamping companies, with nine locations across the U.S.

Offering a mix of Airstream Suites and Luxury Tents, the setup is perfect for nature lovers who enjoy boutique amenities and creature comforts — as well as those partial to midcentury modern design icons.

Custom 31-foot Airstream Suites feature a queen bed, a kitchenette, a bathroom with walk-in shower, and a patio with a fire pit and shaded dining area. For families, Premium BaseCamp Suites combine the Airstream Suite with a deluxe canvas tent. There are also Luxury Tents and Classic Cabin Suites — compact pine cabins with a bedroom, galley-style kitchenette with a dining table, sitting area and a stylish bathroom with a walk-in shower and Ursa Major organic bath products.

The AutoCamp experience can be as social or secluded as you want it to be. There's a clubhouse for happy hour gatherings, a seasonal, heated outdoor swimming pool, daily activities on-site (including yoga classes), live music, fireside s’mores, and wine tastings with local wineries.

Kids age 5 and up can attend the AutoCamp Yosemite Forest School, where scavenger hunts, nature art, science projects and visits from wildlife experts inspire curiosity in Yosemite’s history and landscapes.

The Kitchen serves healthy, local fare with plenty of vegetarian and vegan options. Campfire items and grill kits are available at the General Store for guests that prefer to light a fire and dine on their private patio beneath the stars.

Airstream Suites at AutoCamp Yosemite start at $292 per night. Classic Cabin Suites start at $519.

Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite

Groveland, California, USA

Yosemite National Park hotels, from affordable motels to luxurious lodges - The Points Guy (4)


Best for: Travelers of all ages looking for great value and a lively, summer camp-style ambience.

Why stay here: A variety of comfortable, well-equipped cabins, activities galore and resort-style amenities, just a mile from Yosemite National Park.

Best way to book: Book directly for the best rates, discounts and seasonal packages.

Just a mile from the western entrance of Yosemite National Park, surrounded by the towering pines of Stanislaus National Forest, Evergreen Lodge (a sister resort to Rush Creek Lodge, listed above) is a classic Yosemite resort built in the 1920s.

Significantly upgraded and expanded since the early 2000s, it’s one of Yosemite’s most popular family resorts with a surfeit of amenities, including zip lines, a large saltwater swimming pool and a hot tub.

Daily programming and wellness-focused activities range from yoga, fishing and hiking to arts and crafts, basket-weaving and nightly s'mores. There are plenty of cozy indoor and outdoor spaces to retreat to, or gather with new friends and trade stories.

Across the 88 accommodations, there’s something for every type of traveler and budget. Deluxe Cabins with vaulted ceilings start at 400 square feet and are appointed with simple wooden furnishings and a few decorative nods to the surrounding landscape (plaid throws and Western-themed artworks). It's the thoughtful touches, though, that really sets them apart — a comfy king bed, a large sitting area with queen sofa bed, a cast-iron gas fireplace, air conditioning, a spacious bathroom with walk-in shower, Wi-Fi, Alexa devices, refrigerator, and a Keurig coffee maker. For families, there are more spacious one-bedroom Cottages and Family Cabins, as well as smaller (250-square-foot) Vintage Cabins, perfect for budget travelers.

At Evergreen's lively main restaurant, the modern American menu showcases locally sourced meat, fish and produce, and satisfies gourmands as well as less adventurous palates. Perennial favorites include braised bison short ribs ($38), crispy pork belly ($30) and pan-seared salmon ($32), as well as salads, burgers, chicken tenders and grilled cheese sandwiches.

The historic, all-wood Tavern — a local institution for nearly a century — is an atmospheric setting for a pre- or post-dinner cocktail or beer, and it packs in the crowds for live music on the weekends.

Rates at Evergreen Lodge start at $335 per night.

Château du Sureau

Oakhurst, California, USA

Yosemite National Park hotels, from affordable motels to luxurious lodges - The Points Guy (5)

Best for: Francophiles and gourmands looking for an elegant, luxurious hotel with impeccable service, haute cuisine and French flair.

Why stay here: A secluded, intimate boutique hotel with sumptous public spaces and richly appointed rooms featuring canopy beds, wood-burning fireplaces, antiques and Empire-style decor.

Best way to book: Book through our partner Skylark to enjoy elitelike benefits and on-property credits.

Located 16 miles from Yosemite National Park, this intimate, elegant retreat combines haute cuisine, impeccable service and sumptuous accommodations amid the majestic landscapes of the Sierra Nevada.

Part of the Relais & Chateaux hotel collection, a luxurious Old World aesthetic runs through individually styled rooms and public spaces, which are spread over 9 acres of delightful gardens. The 10 individually styled guest rooms feature four-poster beds dressed with plush pillows and luxe linens, fireside reading nooks with desks, walls hung with tapestries, Empire-era furnishings, a smattering of antiques, and modern, marble-clad bathrooms with soaking tubs.

Hidden behind a private, gated entryway, Francophiles will swoon for the palatial two-bedroom Villa du Sureau. At 2,000 square feet, it features a grand salon with a wood-burning fireplace and a Steinway & Sons piano, two king bedrooms, a library and office, a private Roman spa, a lavish tiled bathroom with a marble tub and a separate steam shower, and a private garden.

As you’d expect of a Relais & Chateaux property, the on-site restaurant is a destination unto itself. The Elderberry House has garnered a loyal following for over 30 years, serving three- and six-course menus ($95/$155) that incorporate seasonal produce from local farms — an amuse-bouche of sea urchin and sweet pea followed by ahi tuna with sorrel, for example, and then an entree of local steelhead trout with lemon thyme nage and snap peas.

The cozy, stone-walled Cellar bar is a great place to start the evening with a cocktail (perhaps an Elderflower Sour with gin, lemon juice, elderflower syrup and egg white, $17).

At the Spa du Sureau, you can book a range of European-inspired treatments, facials and massages or take a dip in the heated outdoor swimming pool.

A major draw of this property is the complimentary perks, including a copious daily breakfast and such welcome beverages and treats as a bottle of wine and a house-baked Gugelhupf cake. There’s also nightly turndown service and daily housekeeping (not always a given these days).

Rates at Chateau du Sureau start at $395 per night.

Blackberry Inn Yosemite


Groveland, California, USA

Yosemite National Park hotels, from affordable motels to luxurious lodges - The Points Guy (6)

Best for: Couples looking for a peaceful (adults-only) retreat that invites relaxation as much as adventure.

Why stay here: Located 13 miles from Yosemite National Park, on 36 acres of forest, this charming, intimate lodge features just 10 classically appointed rooms with wraparound porches.

Best way to book: Book directly with Blackberry Inn for the best rates, seasonal discounts and packages.

A secluded, adults-only sanctuary, The Blackberry Inn Yosemite is set on 36 acres bordering Stanislaus National Forest, just 12 miles west of Yosemite's Big Oak Flat park entrance.

With meticulous attention to detail, warm service and a peaceful ambience, it’s a great nesting place for discerning travelers looking to truly disconnect and immerse themselves in the area’s natural splendor.

Behind an egg yolk-yellow facade, wrapped with a white porch, the 10 elegant rooms and suites with vaulted ceilings start at 350 square feet and are individually designed with classical furnishings and decorative touches — solid wood furniture, refined wing armchairs, floral duvets, plush drapes and carpeting, and a smattering of antiques and landscape paintings. All rooms are appointed with luxury linens, a separate sitting area with recliners and fireplaces — suites also have deep soaking tubs. At every turn, there are beautiful views of Stanislaus National Forest and the innkeeper's Arabian horses grazing on the property.

Beyond the refined rooms and personal service, the inn is known for its delicious homemade breakfast, served on fine china in the elegant dining room or on your private patio or porch (if you reserve a suite).

Rooms at Blackberry Inn Yosemite start at $290 per night, including breakfast. Children over 13 years are welcome and there’s a two-night minimum stay (although single nights are often available).

Tenaya at Yosemite

Fish Camp, California, USA

Yosemite National Park hotels, from affordable motels to luxurious lodges - The Points Guy (7)

Best for: A great option for families with four-legged friends in tow, Tenaya has a variety of accommodations, indoor and outdoor pools, and diverse dining options that cater well to picky eaters.

Why stay here: Tenaya's peaceful location, just a mile from Yosemite's southern entrance, is hard to beat. A daily calendar of on-site activities and experiences keeps the whole family entertained.

Best way to book: Book directly with Tenaya for the best rates, discounts and seasonal packages.

This attractive lodge, just 2 miles from Yosemite National Park, is an appealing option for multigenerational families looking for a streamlined and activity-rich national park experience.

One of the largest lodges in the area, Tenaya comprises 223 guest rooms, 26 suites, 53 cottages and 50 creekside cabins extending across 75 wooded acres bordering Sierra National Forest at an elevation of over 5,000 feet. Drawing many repeat visitors, the AAA Four Diamond-rated property boasts exceptional amenities, a prime location and outstanding tours and activities for all ages.

Inviting public spaces set a homespun tone with earth-hued walls, large windows framing forest views, beamed ceilings, hardwood floors bedecked with Western-style rugs and walls decorated with landscape paintings and Native American motifs.

Premium rooms are kitted out with simple furnishings and give off cozy, mountain vibes. Extended queen and king rooms have an additional 100 square feet, a small living area with plush chairs and a sleeper sofa that’s perfect for smaller families.

Larger families or those looking for a little more luxury might want to consider spending up for a suite, which offers major upgrades in style, size, character and amenities — high ceilings, a soothing neutral color palette, hardwood floors, contemporary design-forward furnishings, a fireplace, and a swanky bathroom with soaking tub. There are also accessible rooms and adults-only suites with private patios and gardens.

For adventure seekers, biking and hiking trails lead directly from the property into Sierra National Forest. Guests can sign up for on-site and off-site activities and daily tours (additional fees apply), including gold panning, guided hikes, mountain biking, archery lessons and horseback riding. Telescopes are also available for stargazers.

There are five dining venues, including a pizzeria and Jackalope’s Bar & Grill (the main restaurant), which offers chef-driven cuisine as well as bar-food staples. The Ascent Spa has 12 treatment rooms and offers reasonably priced facials, body wraps and massages (90 minutes for $180).

Rates at Tenaya at Yosemite start at $269 per night.


Yosemite Valley Lodge

Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Yosemite National Park hotels, from affordable motels to luxurious lodges - The Points Guy (8)

Best for: A short walk from Yosemite Falls, this cozy lodge is a comfortable base for families that value location, convenience and a budget-friendly price tag.

Why stay here: This property offers a variety of accommodations, several dining options and a seasonal outdoor pool — not to mention spectacular surrounding natural beauty.

Best way to book: Yosemite Valley Lodge is operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts, Inc. Book direct (and well in advance) for the best prices.

This popular, no-frills NPS lodge frequently books up 12 months in advance, largely due to its prime location — it’s the closest property to Yosemite Falls and many of the park’s most popular hiking trails start near the lodge. It’s also considerably cheaper than nearby Ahwahnee, making it a good budget option at a time when lodging prices in and around U.S. national parks have soared.

For nature-loving families and couples that value location over luxurious amenities, it ticks a lot of boxes. There are 245 simple hotel rooms (many recently updated) across three room categories — Traditional Rooms, Bunk Rooms and Family King Rooms. All share a homely aesthetic and provide a clean and functional place to bed down at the center of the action. There is no air conditioning, Wi-Fi or TVs in any room categories.

The Mountain Room restaurant serves sustainably sourced modern American cuisine — steak and seafood, as well as vegetarian and vegan options — along with iconic views of Yosemite Falls. At the canteen-style Base Camp Eatery, you can get your caffeine fix, fuel up for the day on casual fare and head out with some packable grab-and-go items.

There is also a seasonal swimming pool on the grounds, and bike rentals to explore the area — the lodge is located just a 5-minute bike ride, or 10-to-15-minute walk, from Yosemite Village's shopping, dining and visitors center.

Rates at Yosemite Valley Lodge start at $329 per night.

Wawona Hotel

Yosemite National Park, California, USA

Yosemite National Park hotels, from affordable motels to luxurious lodges - The Points Guy (9)

Best for: Budget-conscious travelers looking to disconnect and explore in and around Yosemite National Park, a 40-minute drive away.

Why stay here: Victorian-era charm, a tranquil location, an outdoor pool and comfortable rooms that are far from generic.

Best way to book: Wawona Hotel is operated by Xanterra Parks & Resorts. Book directly for the best prices as well as special offers and packages.

Dating to 1856, the Victorian-style Wawona Hotel is located within Yosemite National Park’s more secluded recesses, some 45 minutes from the valley floor. Open during the winter season (December through March), it’s popular with snow-sports enthusiasts visiting nearby Badger Pass, as well as nature lovers keen to view the famed sequoias of Mariposa Grove — namely the 1,800-year-old Grizzly Giant and the California Tunnel Tree.

There are 50 standard rooms with en suite bathrooms and 54 budget-friendly rooms with shared bathrooms. While they are spare and compact and, some may say, fusty in design (floral bedding, heavy carpeting and simple furniture), with rates from $157 per night, you won’t find anywhere cheaper (apart from camping) within the park. It’s certainly a hot ticket, with rooms selling out 6 to 12 months in advance.

For active types, there’s an array of adventures close by: hiking trails, mountain biking, golf and horseback riding, as well as a seasonal outdoor pool on the property. Public spaces are a joy to return home to, with a light-filled sunroom, cozy dining room filled with period detailing, wide verandas and patios overlooking lovely gardens, and daily rituals such as live classical music and cocktails in the cozy lounge, fireside gatherings and summertime barbecues.

Rates at the Wawona Hotel start at $157 per night.

Related reading:

  • 11 of the best national parks to visit in winter
  • Visiting a national park this summer? Better plan ahead
  • 6 tips for surviving a road trip with a large family
  • Exploring national parks in 2022: Where to stay using points
  • The 20 national parks every traveler should see at least once

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

(Video) Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite Valley | Hotel Tour (Look Who's Lodging)


Yosemite National Park hotels, from affordable motels to luxurious lodges - The Points Guy? ›

Reservations are available 366 days in advance and are strongly recommended, especially from spring through fall and during holidays. If you can't find lodging inside the park, consider staying in private lodging in neighboring communities.

How far in advance should I book Yosemite lodging? ›

Reservations are available 366 days in advance and are strongly recommended, especially from spring through fall and during holidays. If you can't find lodging inside the park, consider staying in private lodging in neighboring communities.

What's the name of the big hotel in Yosemite? ›

The Ahwahnee shines as the crown jewel of the national park lodges. Known for its stunning interior design and architecture, The Ahwahnee was specifically designed to highlight its natural surroundings, featuring Yosemite Falls, Half Dome and Glacier Point.

How many days do you need in Yosemite National Park? ›

How Many Days Should I Spend In Yosemite? Plan on spending two to four days in Yosemite if you want enough time to see all the amazing sights. This will give you plenty of time to see Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Glacier Point, and enjoy some hiking trails.

Why are National Park hotels so expensive? ›

Because there is high demand and very limited supply. You are much better off staying in one of the towns such as West Yellowstone or Cody. You will get a much nicer room for less than half the price. How many bison are there in Yellowstone National Park?

Where can I stay overnight in Yosemite? ›

Lodging. Lodging options in Yosemite National Park range from simple tent cabins at the High Sierra Camps to deluxe rooms at The Ahwahnee. Visit the Yosemite Hospitality (Aramark) website for full descriptions, prices, and online reservations.

What are the best and worst months to visit Yosemite? ›

The best times to visit Yosemite are May and September, when the park is accessible, but not too crowded. It's important to know that many roads and trails in Yosemite are closed for the majority of the year due to snow.

What is the best month to visit Yosemite? ›

If you don't want your Yosemite experience to be limited by road, trail, and campground closures, your best bet is to visit between June and September, when everything is typically open and accessible (and several degrees warmer).

Where did Obama stay in Yosemite? ›

The Obama family stayed at The Ahwahnee during their visit.

What is the largest town near Yosemite National Park? ›

Merced is the closest major city to Yosemite National Park. The drive from Merced to the Yosemite Visitor Center on the valley floor will take 1 hour and 50 minutes.

What movie was filmed in Yosemite hotel? ›

The interior of The Shining's Overlook Hotel was based on this Yosemite original. Been Here? Want to Visit? Opened in 1927, this classic example of “Parkitecture,” or a building designed to fit in with the natural landscape surrounding it, was the inspiration for the interior sets of Stanley Kubrick's The Shining.

Is it better to stay inside Yosemite National Park? ›

I recommend staying inside the park if you want to have more opportunities for sightseeing without the crowds. You'll find some incredibly scenic lodges and campgrounds here that will enhance your experience while you're here.

What are the least crowded days at Yosemite? ›

Weekdays (Monday-Thursday) are historically least crowded during the summer season in June, July, and August. Weekends attract more tourists and vacationers.

How much is it to rent a cabin in Yosemite? ›

Redwood Cabins Yosemite

The Redwoods have cabins in three categories: economy, standard and premium. Many of the economy cabins cost around $150 or more per night during peak season, while others are over $300 per night.

What are the most preferred accommodation for big budget tourists? ›

Hostels. The lodging of choice for young, budget-conscious travelers, the hostel conjures up visions of dormitory rooms with bunk beds, shared restrooms, backpack lockers, and common areas like TV rooms, kitchens, and patios. Most hostels do offer all that, but also offer private rooms with bathrooms.

How can I see National Parks for cheap? ›

National Parks on a Budget
  1. Free Days. Starting in 2009, the National Park Service launched several fee-free days at more than 100 national parks, including the Grand Canyon and Yosemite. ...
  2. Buy a Pass. ...
  3. Go Camping. ...
  4. Consider Monuments. ...
  5. Volunteer. ...
  6. Get Walking. ...
  7. Hit the Water. ...
  8. Check the Web.

Is it more expensive to reserve a hotel room? ›

If you generally book budget hotels, don't expect to see much savings by holding out to book last-minute. But if you have a taste for luxury, then you could more than likely snag a deal if you're willing to bet on booking with short notice.

Where can I avoid crowds in Yosemite? ›

Best Yosemite Hikes Away from the Crowds
  • 1) West Valley Loop Trail. Difficulty: Easy. ...
  • 2) Merced Grove Trail. Difficulty: Moderate. ...
  • 3) Lembert Dome & Dog Lake. Difficulty: Moderate. ...
  • 4) Sentinel Dome/Taft Point Loop. Difficulty: Moderate. ...
  • 5) Inspiration Point. ...
  • 6) Mt. ...
  • 7) Cloud's Rest. ...
  • 8) Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne.

Can you walk in Yosemite at night? ›

Walking around Yosemite at night is a great way to unwind after a day of exploring the park. Just be sure to bring a flashlight to guide you, as it can be difficult to see in the dark.

How do you avoid crowds at Yosemite? ›

Arrive early and stay late, and visit Yosemite during the week instead of on weekends. Congestion and delays are worse on weekends, with Saturdays and holiday weekends being particularly busy. Ride a YARTS bus to enter the park. If you drive, park your car for the duration of your stay.

What is the coldest month in Yosemite? ›

Yosemite Valley (4,000 feet / 1,220 m)
9 more rows

What month does Yosemite close? ›

Yosemite National Park is open 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. However, the Hetch Hetchy Entrance Station is open only during daylight hours (approximately) and some roads are closed due to snow from around November through May or June. (Check road conditions and Hetch Hetchy hours.)

Are there bears in Yosemite? ›

American black bears found in Yosemite National Park have long been of intense interest to park visitors and managers. Seeing one of the approximately 300 to 500 black bears in Yosemite can evoke excitement, awe, and fear.

Do you need to book Yosemite in advance? ›

Reservations are not required to visit Yosemite National Park. As always, we strongly recommend that you make a reservation if you plan to stay overnight in Yosemite. The park entrance fee is $35 per car (valid for seven consecutive days).

What airport do you fly into to go to Yosemite? ›

With major air carrier service, on-airport rental car center and amenities that beautifully preview the iconic terrain ahead, Fresno Yosemite International Airport is your go-to Yosemite airport.

Is Yosemite better than Yellowstone? ›

The winner: The opportunities for wilderness adventure in Yellowstone are many, but Yosemite has it all, from gentle trails along the floor of the valley to spine-tingling ascents of its rock faces. Plus, Yosemite remains open to many activities through the winter, while Yellowstone goes into bear-like hibernation.

Where did Teddy Roosevelt go in Yosemite? ›

President Teddy Theodore Roosevelt arrived to Yosemite's Wawona Hotel on May 15, 1903. His visit was part of a grand tour of twenty-five states in eight weeks, including sixteen days in Yellowstone National Park where he was accompanied by wildlife writer John Burroughs.

What is the abandoned town in Yosemite? ›

Bodie is a ghost town in the Sierra Nevada mountains northeast of Yosemite National Park. Once a vibrant town of 10,000 residents, it is a state park, a California Historical Landmark and a National Historic Landmark. Bodie began as a mining camp in 1859 during the Gold Rush.

Why is Ahwahnee so expensive? ›

Plunk the Ahwahnee down in the middle of a major city and it's going to feel like a rundown has-been slum. Furnishings and plumbing and electrical and carpeting that was ONCE luxurious but has aged. Been kept up, been cleaned, but threadbare. The reason it is so costly is due to its location.

What is the most beautiful part of Yosemite National Park? ›

Glacier Point, some would say, is the most spectacular viewpoint anywhere. Most people agree that its views of the high country and breathtaking views of Yosemite Valley, including Half Dome and three waterfalls, are the most spectacular in the park.

What is the most popular site in Yosemite? ›

Along with Glacier Point, Tunnel View is widely considered to be the most popular outlook in all of Yosemite. From its vantage point, travelers get an eyeful of the majestic Yosemite Valley, complete with views of famous park sights, such as Half Dome, El Capitan and Bridalveil Fall.

What city is best to access Yosemite? ›

You'll most likely want to base yourself in the eastern Sierra town of Lee Vining, but if you don't mind a bit of a drive, Mono Lake, Bridgeport, or June Lake are all within an hour's drive of the park entrance – though allow for another few hours if you're heading down into Yosemite Valley.

What is the show murders in Yosemite Park? ›

S07:E05 - The Yosemite Park Murderer

Handyman Cary Stayner is accused of murdering three Yosemite National Park tourists.

What Hallmark movie was filmed at Yosemite? ›

Starring Cindy Busby and Tyler Harlow, Marry Me in Yosemite follows two nature enthusiasts on a romantic expedition. Zoe is a successful photojournalist excited to visit Yosemite's breathtaking mountainous terrain, famously captured by American landscape photographer Ansel Adams.

What Hallmark movie is set in Yosemite? ›

Marry Me in Yosemite: Zoe, a notable photojournalist, visits Yosemite landscapes made famous by Ansel Adams. When she meets Jack, an intriguing tour guide, he opens her eyes to new adventures as they embark on a journey.

What not to do at Yosemite National Park? ›

16 Big mistakes to avoid in Yosemite National Park
  • 1 - Arriving without a plan! ...
  • 2 - Giving yourself just a day. ...
  • 3 - Thinking the waterfalls are flowing all year round. ...
  • 4 - Heading to Glacier Point for Sunset. ...
  • 5 - Visiting Tunnel View in the middle of the day. ...
  • 6 - Avoiding the epic hikes. ...
  • 7 - Arriving at midday.
Jan 1, 2023

Is it expensive to stay in Yosemite? ›

Average Daily Costs

The average price paid for one person for accommodation in Yosemite National Park is $65. For two people sharing a typical double-occupancy hotel room, the average price paid for a hotel room in Yosemite National Park is $130. This cost is from the reported spending of actual travelers.

Do you need a car inside Yosemite? ›

Having a car is essential to getting around Yosemite, especially if you're visiting outside of the summer months, when park shuttles and some of the YARTS routes aren't running. If you're visiting during summer, having a car can be a pain thanks to crowded parking lots.

How do I get the most out of Yosemite? ›

Getting Around Yosemite Valley
  1. Go Green! Ride the Bus. ...
  2. Avoid the Rush. In the peak season—during the warmer months and during school vacations—the roads in Yosemite Valley can be busy. ...
  3. Don't Depend on Your GPS. ...
  4. Use the Turnouts. ...
  5. Explore on Two Wheels.

How far in advance can you make Yosemite reservations? ›

Camp 4, Yosemite Creek, Porcupine Flat, and half of Tamarack Flat and White Wolf campground reservations are released two weeks in advance on a rolling daily window (i.e., 14 days in advance of arrival date).

Does Yosemite Valley Lodge have private bathrooms? ›

Yosemite Valley Lodge - Rooms

The rooms also offer a private bathroom and a table with chairs. Each room has been remodeled with energy-saving lighting, Energy Star televisions, and recycled materials for the flooring.

What are luxurious accommodations? ›

A Luxury Hotel is considered a hotel that provides a luxurious accommodation experience to the guest. There are no set standards (such as stars) for luxury hotels. Often 4 or 5-star hotels describe themselves as 'luxury'. This also means that any accommodation type can use the term 'luxury'.

What is the most preferred accommodation for low budget? ›

Hostels. Hostels are the most accessible cheap accommodation for budget travelers. Hostels have a variety of rooms that go from private to 30+ mixed bed bunks.

How do I choose a budget hotel? ›

Here is the checklist you need to keep in mind while choosing the right accommodation for your trip.
  1. Price range. Budget hotels are preferred as it will reduce your expenses in terms of spending. ...
  2. Location. ...
  3. Services. ...
  4. Modern amenities. ...
  5. Ratings and Reviews.

What is the lowest rated national park? ›

The #1 rated national park in America is Olympic National Park in Washington. What's the lowest rated national park? The lowest rated (or worst) national park in America is Gateway Arch National Park in Missouri.

What is the least expensive national park to visit? ›

The Most Affordable Time to Visit the 5 Most Popular U.S....
  • Yellowstone National Park.
  • Zion National Park.
  • Rocky Mountain National Park.
  • Grand Canyon National Park.
  • Great Smoky Mountains.
Apr 30, 2021

What is the cheapest way to stay in a national park? ›

Opt for Camping Over Hotels

Tip: If you prefer to stay in hotels, stay outside of the park to save money! To save even more on campsite fees, many National Parks are surrounded by public lands that are free to camp on (although sites typically don't have amenities like bathrooms and showers).

What day of the week do hotel prices drop? ›

Checking in on Tuesday and checking out on Thursday tend to offer more bargains when it comes to hotel rates as of late, Kayak data suggests.

Do you get a better room if you book direct with hotel? ›

Advantages of Booking a Hotel Directly

You can often find better rates by booking directly, too — a concern for budget-conscious travelers. By calling a hotel directly, you find out about any specials perks or packages they have available. In some cases, you can get a better room for the same amount of money.

What months are hotels cheapest? ›

The best month to book hotels in the US is September.

During the month of December, hotel bookings are 6% cheaper on average. The second cheapest month to book a hotel deal is March. Avoid October, as this is the most expensive time to book a hotel stateside.

What is the busiest month in Yosemite? ›

Although the park is open all year, nearly 75% of visitors come during the busiest six months (May through October).

Does Yosemite get cold at night? ›

Temperatures are generally mild; though they can vary from freezing at night to the 70s during the day.

What time of day is Yosemite least crowded? ›

Wake up Early

Sunrise is an incredible experience in Yosemite. But most visitors, snug in their hotel rooms or tents, sleep right through it. Wake up early and you'll avoid the crowds, even at the most popular sights.

Is 2 nights in Yosemite enough? ›

Two days in Yosemite is typically enough time to see many of the park's most famous landmarks including Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, Bridalveil Falls, Glacier Point, and El Capitan.

What is the least crowded entrance to Yosemite? ›

1. Hetch Hetchy Entrance. Leave the crowds behind at this entrance. The farthest north of all entrances on the west side of the park, the Hetch Hetchy Entrance leads you to one of the park's quieter areas which only sees 1% of total park visitation.

Are Yosemite reservations good for 3 days? ›

If you are driving a vehicle into or through Yosemite National Park between 6 am and 4 pm (peak hours) from May 20 – September 30, 2022, you must have a peak hours reservation (valid for three consecutive days for unlimited re-entries). The vehicle entrance fee, which is valid for three days, still applies.

How early can you book Curry Village? ›

Curry Village cabin reservations become available a full year and a day in advance, so be sure to book early for popular holidays and peak summer season stays.

Is it worth staying in Yosemite Valley? ›

If you're visiting Yosemite, you're going to be blown away and have an amazing time. Period. But if I could offer just one piece of advice about visiting Yosemite, it would be this: stay inside Yosemite National Park if at all possible. It is so, so worth it.

What part of Yosemite is best to visit? ›

One of Yosemite's best viewpoints is Glacier Point. Located on the south wall of Yosemite Valley, the overlook rises to an elevation of 7, 214 feet with great views of Half Dome, Yosemite Falls, Vernal Fall (a 317-foot waterfall) and Nevada Fall (594 feet).

What is the closest town to Yosemite National Park? ›

Oakhurst. Situated in the foothills of Madera County, Oakhurst is the closest city to Yosemite National Park, with the southern entrance only 16 miles away.

What are the busiest days at Yosemite? ›

Yosemite's peak season lies between Memorial Day and Labor Day. If you visit outside the popular summer months you'll likely avoid the crowds, even at famous sights.

How much does it cost to stay at Curry Village? ›

Additional Costs
Tents$17.50 + tax
Cabins (with and without bathroom)$14.00 + tax
Stoneman Rooms$9.75 + tax
*Additional person rates are for guests aged 13 and over.

Are Curry Village showers free? ›

Showers are available at the Curry Village pool showerhouse for a fee.

Does Curry Village provide towels? ›

The Camp Curry Tent Cabins do have a light but do not have any electrical plugins. You will want to make sure you have a way to keep your phone charged along with camera batteries. Sheets, wool blankets, pillows, and towels are provided.

What should I be careful of in Yosemite? ›

Be aware of your surroundings, especially away from developed areas, and keep in mind that some trees may fail at any time. Lightning is a common occurrence in Yosemite, particularly on summer afternoons. Be aware of changing conditions and have a plan in case a thunderstorm approaches.

How can I save money in Yosemite? ›

“The cheapest way to save money overall is to camp with a large group of people,” Sterling said. “You can split the cost of the campsite, gas, and food.” Yosemite National Park boasts a fair amount of hotels and lodges for a more luxurious stay.

Is Yosemite prettier than Yellowstone? ›

Both Yellowstone and Yosemite have fascinating landscapes with iconic natural landmarks. Yellowstone has more wildlife, but Yosemite has more forests. What is this? Yellowstone is full of geologic sites, while Yosemite boasts more scenic views and waterfalls.


1. Curry Village Yosemite | What to Know About Curry Village
(The Adventure Buddies)
2. Yosemite National Park-First time Guide to hiking & lodging
3. 24 Hours in Yosemite National Park
(Tommy Insane)
4. How to Explore Yosemite in Under 2 Days | National Park Guide
(Mad Over Exploring)
5. Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite Explorer Cabins - Review of Cabin + Fun Activities!
(Travel Pockets)
6. The Ahwahnee Hotel Yosemite Review - A National Historic Landmark
(Travel with Suri)


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