One of the crown jewels of the U.S. national park system, Yosemite is epic, from the daunting Half Dome hike to the multi-tiered Yosemite Falls. But, like the snow melt swelling the park's rivers and falls, the park's visitation surges in the summer, creating an atmosphere that is more commotion than calm. For those seeking solitude among the valley's granite peaks, visit the park in winter. Lodging in Yosemite Valley is open year-round, allowing park patrons access to much of the park. Advance reservations are recommended for all accommodations.
The Ahwahnee Hotel
Not many national parks can claim a AAA four-diamond property, but that is exactly what Yosemite offers in the famed Ahwahnee Hotel. Located in the heart of Yosemite Valley, the Ahwahnee stands impressively among the towering fur trees. From the grand fireplaces to the intricate stained-glass windows, the hotel is beautiful in winter and provides rich guest rooms designed to melt into the natural world just outside your window. The Ahwahnee features a concierge, room service, afternoon tea, heated swimming pool and restaurant. Reservations are recommended far in advance, even in the slow winter season.
Yosemite Lodge at the Falls
Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, located near Yosemite Falls, offers hotel-style accommodations immersed in the natural surroundings. The lodge offers every amenity winter guests could desire, with a restaurant, gift shop, market, bike rental, banquet rooms and park transportation via the park shuttle. Accommodations include standard, lodge and family rooms featuring televisions, writing desks and daily maid service. Dozens of hiking paths are nearby.
Set in the heart of the Yosemite Valley along the Merced River, Housekeeping Camp is ideal for the camping enthusiast who wants a comfortable bed. Each of the 266 accommodations are constructed of concrete walls and floors with a canvas-tented roof. They provide a bunk bed, double bed, patio, sitting area, fire ring and picnic table. Each unit sleeps a max of six adults. Park transportation stops at the entrance for Housekeeping Camp, making the entire park accessible for visitors. The immediate area offers a half-dozen dining options, laundry facilities, general store and gift shop.
Dating to the late 19th century, Curry Village provides Yosemite visitors with an inexpensive option for staying in Yosemite Village and has expanded over the years to include 319 tent units, 56 cabins and 91 Signature tent cabins. These units do not include housekeeping or any modern amenities, but Curry Village offers the most in terms of dining, with a pizzeria, bar, grill and taqueria. The village has a general store, gift shop and sports store.
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