Yosemite National Park is an astounding reservation in the western Sierra Nevada of Central California, covering an area of 748,436 acres.
One of America’s most treasured and visited reservations, the region draws an impressive 4 million visitors every year! And due to its huge size, most visitors spend the majority of their time in the seven square miles of Yosemite Valley.
Visitors flock to the region not only for its astonishing natural beauty, but its historical and international significance. Yosemite was one of the first areas to be designated national park status in the 19th Century to protect the area – and crucially its ancient redwoods – which led to the formation of the National Park Service.
With many historic landmarks to view and explore, and many stories to hear, Yosemite National Park is a world filled with endless surprises.
Read on to explore why Yosemite National Park is a must-visit – whether you’re a solo traveller, couple, or family and find out where to stay in the area.
Yosemite in spring to summer
It goes without saying that warmer climates bring the sun – and the outdoor fun!
From mountain hiking to biking, kayaking to rock climbing, Yosemite National Park is filled with adventure for everyone.
Water sports are in full glory this time of year, and there’s 58 streams and 700 miles of water to soak up. So, if you enjoy rafting on rough waters, swimming in lakes, or a spot of fishing, then this time of year is for you.
Horseback riding is also one of the most popular ways to get around the Park, regardless of your skill level. You can opt for daytime sightseeing trips to visit iconic landmarks such as El Capitan, Cathedral Rocks, and the Giant Sequoias, or take longer excursions with an overnight camp courtesy of your trusty steed.
The late spring and summer months are high season in Yosemite, so expect a higher number of visitors and crowds, and pricier accommodation. Be sure to book activities in advance to avoid disappointment.
Yosemite in fall to winter
Late fall to winter offers the least crowds in Yosemite National Park. And since the Park is a huge outdoor reserve, it should come as no surprise that the cooler months also offer a great selection of outdoor activities.
Believe it or not, Yosemite is home to the oldest ski area in California: The Badger Pass Ski Area, founded in 1935. Cross-country skiing and snowboarding are available for both beginners and veterans, offering miles of slopes across the park.
Visitors can also enjoy ranger-led snowshoe tours for views of the frozen Yosemite Falls or Tunnel View, ice skating on the ice-covered lakes below the Half Dome, and sledding down the hills of the valley.
The added bonus of a winter stay? Lower prices!
10 Best Hotels near Yosemite National Park
Whichever time of year you opt to visit Yosemite, every escapade should start with a great base. Wondering where to stay in Yosemite? From classic lodges to luxurious spas, Yosemite has it all. Keep scrolling for the 10 best hotels near Yosemite National Park.
1. The Ahwahnee
A grand, rustic hotel located within the main valley of Yosemite National Park, The Ahwahnee boasts luxury facilities and is in prime location for Park visitors. The hotel is a key example of ‘parkitecture’, designed to blend with its setting – the granite façade matches that of its mountainous surroundings, making it an attraction in and of itself. Despite its grand exterior, the interior has been designed to exude the ambiance of a country home. That said, a mixture of Native American, Art Deco, and Middle Eastern designs and artistry can be enjoyed throughout. Accommodations are suited to most budgets and tastes, featuring rooms with a mixture of double and king rooms – over 100 of them – as well as 24 quaint cottages to choose from. With a pool and shuttle bus facilities as an added bonus, what more could you want?
2. Rush Creek Lodge at Yosemite
A spa resort hotel offering fantastic facilities, the Rush Creek Lodge is one of the best hotels in Yosemite for couples and families. One of the most enticing features of this hotel is its commitment to an authentic mountain lodge experience – WiFi use is limited, TVs are not supplied in the rooms, and guests are encouraged to connect over games whilst listening to the radio. The hotel presents a combination of standard lodge rooms, spacious suites with separate dining rooms, and large hillside villas – all featuring private decking to take in the divine natural scenery and sunset views. Amenities include a pool which is great for both kids’ playtime and adult chill time, and a spa which is an adults-only haven, supplying a range of treatments including massages and aromatherapy. The Main Lodge hosts guests for all dining needs, as well as the poolside terrace and gaming area suited to all ages.
3. Double Eagle Resort and Spa
Located in the Eastern Sierra Mountains, the Double Eagle Resort and Spa is a four-season hotel surrounded by fern and pine trees. Rooms include resort rooms and lodges, which can accommodate between 4 and 12 people. All resort rooms feature balconies overlooking Ron’s Pond, whilst the lodges include wood-burning fireplaces and private decks with seating and BBQs. The spa is a great way to stimulate, rejuvenate, and unwind the senses with classic spa treatments and grooming, plus a high spec fitness centre available to all guests in a wonderfully tranquil environment. With Eagle’s Landing Restaurant offering fine dining overlooking mountain peaks, waterfalls, and streams, how could you possibly resist?
4. Tenaya Lodge in Yosemite
Near to Yosemite’s southern entrance, the Tenaya Lodge is a resort hotel and spa designed to accommodate guests during all seasons. Featuring lodge rooms, cottages, and cabins available to book year-round, this Lodge offers a wholesome experience for couples and families alike. The resort provides both indoor and outdoor pools with evening poolside movies, two adults-only hot tubs, and the Bearfoot Bar. Dining options are broad and varied, ensuring even the fussiest of eaters will find a meal they love – from hearty breakfasts to light lunch, pub fare to fine dining, Tenaya Lodge provides a relaxing and inviting ambience in all refreshment areas. And for entertainment, guests can enjoy guided hikes, archery, a climbing wall, and even an ice rink! What’s not to love?
5. Yosemite View Lodge
A charming lodge just 2 miles from the Park entrance, the Yosemite View Lodge hotel provides midrange accommodation. Rooms are furnished with private bathrooms, queen or king size beds, and balconies offering spectacular views of the Merced River. The River View and Spa King rooms both have the added perk of a relaxing jetted tub and a cozy fireplace. Hotel amenities include indoor and outdoor pools, spa tubs, and picnic area. Guests can also enjoy excellent dining options at The River Restaurant for breakfast and dinner, as well as Parkside Pizza for deli options and light bites. With a complimentary shuttle service to local attractions, the Yosemite View Lodge is likely one of the best budget hotels in the area.
6. Yosemite Valley Lodge
A classic lodge in the heart of the valley at the base of Yosemite Falls, Yosemite Valley Lodge offers a modern yet rustic guest experience, designed to blend with its natural environs. In fact, this hotel is the closest any guest can stay to the Falls. There are 245 lodge rooms available, featuring a mix of traditional lodge rooms, spacious queen rooms, and fabulous family rooms – and all accommodations come with either balconies or patios for you to enjoy the surroundings. Full dining options are available at the Mountain Room restaurant with steakhouse menu, and Mountain Room Lounge for snack and light lunch. Guests also benefit from access to the pool (which is open seasonally), bicycle rentals, and free shuttle service. A great all-rounder, be sure to book 12 months in advance to secure your booking!
7. Quality Inn Yosemite Valley Gateway
Quaintly tucked away into the hills, the Quality Inn Yosemite Valley Gateway offers a unique and historic stay near Yosemite. Based in Mariposa, a famed Gold Rush Town, the Inn provides an authentic experience, surrounded by miles of trails, wilderness, and redwoods. A great value hotel, the Quality Inn combines stylish comfort with convenience. All rooms provide premium bedding, free WiFi, TVs, refrigerators, and coffee-making facilities, and suites also have full kitchens. Amenities include access to the seasonal outdoor spa and pool, dry cleaning, and laundry facilities. The hotel also provides a Grab and Go breakfast – perfect for those looking to get a head start on Yosemite’s local attractions.
8. Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort
A family-oriented resort, the Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort offers a unique yet authentic mountain stay. Living up to its rustic name, the resort limits the use of modern technology to encourage guests to become one with their natural surroundings, and follows an ethos of sustainability. Old-fashioned entertainment also upholds the Resort’s authentic spirit, with games such as ping pong, darts, and horseshoe on offer. With lodging to suit every budget, accommodations include hostel rooms, tent cabins, pine cabins, and vacation homes. Most rooms come with decks and outdoor furniture, premium linens on roomy beds, and private showers. Other amenities include a yoga room, sauna, and hot tubs available with spa access, where treatments and classes are also provided. Whilst parking is available, it’s important to note that parking may not be close to your accommodation due to the layout of the Resort.
9. Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite
Bordering Yosemite National Park, nestled in 20 acres of woodland, the Evergreen Lodge is a historic resort which has recently been expanded to offer modern amenities. A perfect couple’s retreat or exciting family getaway, the Evergreen Lodge offers a wealth of accommodations and activities to suit every need and budget. Lodgings include standard, family, and deluxe cabins, plus glamping and vintage cabins. All cabins feature private decks and drink-making facilities, whilst campers have access to all the property’s facilities. These include the Main Lodge dining amenities for all meals, bathhouse, and swimming pool area. Daily activities will keep you endlessly entertained, from rafts to hikes, s’mores to stargazing. One of the best budget hotels in the area, The Evergreen Lodge also focusses greatly on wellness, with massage treatments provided in numerous Massage Cabanas. What a brilliant way to rejuvenate and unwind!
10. Yosemite Westgate Lodge
Just 12 miles from the Westgate entrance to Yosemite, the Yosemite Westgate Lodge offers 48 rooms ranging from standard queen rooms to spacious and accessible king rooms, suited to most budgets. Rooms are simple but sophisticated and traditional, with neutral décor, premium bedding, and modern amenities such as a flat screen TV and contemporary bathroom. During your stay, you can enjoy access to the spa, as well as a great selection of seasonal homecooked meals at the adjacent restaurant, The Lucky Buck Café. Seasonal games and activities are also available, with a year-round play area which is perfect for the kids. Surrounded by natural woodland, the Yosemite Westgate Lodge also offers guided tours. Where will you explore first?
Whenever and wherever you stay in Yosemite National Park, you are sure to make wonderful memories which you’ll treasure for a lifetime. Book your hotel today and let the adventure begin!