A concessionaire manages most of the lodging inside Yosemite National Park on behalf of the National Park Service. Accommodations range from upscale rooms with all the amenities to comfortable hybrid cabins and backcountry campgrounds. Leave your cell phone and computer at home because service is spotty in the park, and rooms aren’t equipped with data ports.
Yosemite Lodge at the Falls
Yosemite Lodge, redesigned in 1998 with wood detailing and glass to emphasize the views and harmonize with nature, is the closest accommodations in the park to Yosemite Falls. The lodge has 245 rooms, including two eco-friendly rooms with features like energy-saving light bulbs and fixtures designed to conserve water. The lodge rents bikes for riders of all ages and has a heated outdoor swimming pool. The Mountain Room Restaurant, with views of the falls, serves sustainable food provided by local farmers and seafood producers.
Yosemite Housekeeping Camp
Located on the Merced River in the heart of the Yosemite Valley, Housekeeping Camp provides guests with a hybrid accommodation. Each unit has three walls, a canvas roof and a floor. The fourth wall is heavy canvas that opens to a patio. Patios have picnic tables and a privacy fence separates each unit. Inside are bunk beds and a double bed. The units have electricity, and a nearby bathhouse has modern facilities. Guests must either bring their own linens or rent them for a nominal fee.
The Ahwahnee Hotel
The AAA Four-Diamond Ahwahnee is Yosemite’s most upscale lodging. The hotel, built in the 1920s from materials trucked over the mountains to the site, provides guests with views of Half Dome, Glacier Point and Yosemite Falls. Almost 100 hotel rooms and 24 cottages provide luxury accommodations. Queen Elizabeth stayed in the Mary Curry Tressidder Suite, furnished with a four-poster bed and deluxe bathroom, when she visited the park in 1983. The Ahwahnee Dining Room, open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, is an elegant option with 34-foot tall ceilings, granite pillars and huge windows.
Yosemite West High Sierra Bed & Breakfast
Yosemite West High Sierra Bed & Breakfast, built in 1994 and designed to be a bed and breakfast, is at 6,000 feet elevation and a short drive from Yosemite Valley. Located away from the main visitor areas of the park, the inn promises privacy and quiet. The property has expansive decks, high ceilings and rustic furniture. Many of the rooms have balconies with mountain views. The owners of the bed and breakfast provide guests with a backpack, maps and guidebooks for hikes. Complimentary snacks and a full breakfast are served daily.
- yosemite image by Ary from Fotolia.com