Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park

The breathtaking and awe-inspiring Yosemite National Park in California is one of America’s greatest natural splendors. Four million people visit Yosemite each year to take in the magnificent views, towering rock faces, and Giant Sequoia trees. It’s the perfect getaway if you’re looking to explore some of California’s great outdoors. Recently Yosemite had a trademark dispute with the outgoing concessionaire who took off with the trade names of five of its well-known attractions. As of 1 March 2016, these four Yosemite lodgings and a ski area are all sporting new names.

Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park: Yosemite Valley
Yosemite National Park: Photo on Flickr by Eric Hossinger / CC BY 2.0

Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park:

New Names, Same Great Stay

Big Trees Lodge

Formerly named Wawona Hotel, Big Trees Lodge retains its old world charm with Victorian-style architecture and decor. This is a historic hotel and listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Big Trees Lodge is near Mariposa Grove – renowned for its impressive collection of 500 Giant Sequoias. Unfortunately, the Grove is currently undergoing restoration and closed to the public until Spring 2017. The lodge is a bit of a distance from Yosemite’s main attractions but is a good choice of Yosemite lodging if you’re looking for a peaceful break. There is a golf course, and you can enjoy the evening musical performances and Saturday night barbecue during summer.

Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park: Grizzly Giant, Mariposa Grove
Grizzly Giant, Mariposa Grove: Photo faungg / CC BY-ND 2.0

The Majestic Yosemite Hotel

The long-standing Ahwahnee Hotel, another of Yosemite’s historic hotels, has been renamed The Majestic Yosemite Hotel. This is a luxurious accommodation in Yosemite with a stone exterior that blends with its surroundings. The inside lobby and lounge areas capture a perfectly rustic ambiance while the majestic dining room certainly lives up to the hotel’s name. This is an expensive hotel with AAA Four-Diamond status but the experience is well worth it if you can afford it. You’ll enjoy spectacular views of Glacier Point and Half Dome. The Majestic Yosemite Hotel is fit for a president or queen – after all, President John F. Kennedy and Queen Elizabeth II both enjoyed a stay here!

Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park: Ahwahnee Hotel
Ahwahnee Hotel: Photo Bryce Edwards / CC BY 2.0

Yosemite Valley Lodge

Located exactly where the name suggests, Yosemite Valley Lodge is in the heart of Yosemite Valley and is the only Yosemite National Park lodging right near the awesome Yosemite Falls – the highest waterfall in California. It was previously called Yosemite Lodge at the Falls for this very reason. This is a favorite with travelers and a cheaper alternative to The Majestic Yosemite Hotel. It’s rustic wood and large glass windows give a true lodge feel. Yosemite Valley Lodge is ideally situated for access to popular attractions. There’s a shuttle stop right outside the lodge so getting around to hiking trails and other attractions is easy.

Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park: Yosemite Falls
Yosemite Falls. Image: Trover by Brendan Caffrey

Half Dome Village

For those wanting more of a camping experience, opt for Half Dome Village, or Curry Village as many still call it. You’ll love your location too – tucked below Glacier Point and Half Dome and close to the Mist Trail. To be honest, this is more glamping than camping. Yes, you do get canvas tents, but you won’t be snuggled in your sleeping bag on mother earth’s ground. There are beds, pillows, blankets, and to keep your valuables safe there’s a secure safe and locked tent door. These are canvas tents, which means you will hear your neighbors and any noise around camp, so bring ear plugs. Cabins, as well as motel-type rooms, are also available.

Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park: Yosemite lodgings
Image: Wikimedia Commons by Miguel Vieira

Yosemite West High Sierra Bed & Breakfast

This lovely bed & breakfast is a beautiful mountain home surrounded by pine trees high up on a mountain ridge in Yosemite National Park. It’s located in Yosemite West, a small private community, which means it’s perfect for a secluded escape away from the maddening crowd. It is near Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area (previously called Badger Pass Ski Area), a small ski spot ideal for beginners. Staying here is also great for stargazers, as this spot is blessed with an amazing night sky filled with twinkling stars!

Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park: Badger Pass Ski Area
Badger Pass Ski Area: Photo Daniel Imfeld / CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

About Deevra Norling

Website: http://deevranorling.com

With a love for exploring new places and trying new foods, Deevra finds the world a fascinating place. She is South African by birth but prefers to see herself as a citizen of the world. Deevra is a freelance writer who has contributed to Career Addict and Huffington Post and currently writes for Hipmunk. For more on her writing services email her at [email protected], or connect on Twitter @DeevraNorling.

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One Response

  1. Avatar for Deevra Norling

    Pilot Mark

    Excellent article with great information! I’m sure this will help many people decide where to stay during their visit to Yosemite National Park. I booked ahead to stay in Half Dome Village and absolutely loved my time there. It really allowed me to explore the Park in its entirety from this well-placed village, nestled in the flowing valleys of Yosemite National Park. I would highly recommend booking ahead for Half Dome Village to ensure your spot!


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