For families that want to experience Yosemite but want the luxury of a resort experience to combine it with, a lodge is a great choice and offers a central location to serve as a home base between forays into the park.
WHERE TO STAY
Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite
1122 Highway 41
Fish Camp, CA 93623
Located a 4 ½ hour drive from Los Angeles, Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite is a stone’s throw from The South Gate of Yosemite National Park. Tenaya is a 294 room, four-diamond all-seasons resort with four restaurants. The lodge has been expanded over the last couple of years and now includes the amazing 10,000 sq. ft. Ascent Spa which offers a wide range of services and amenities. There are also two indoor swimming pools and one outdoor, indoor and outdoor whirlpool spas and in the cooler months, there is a toboggan run and an outdoor skating rink.
The rooms vary from fairly standard double rooms on up through multi-room suites. With the recent addition of the outdoor terrace and pavilion, complete with the High Sierras as the backdrop, it strikes one as a great place for a destination wedding or family reunion. The concierge staff is extremely helpful and knowledgeable, even to the point of how to strategize your trip into Yosemite. On peak days, the park itself can close down to visitors for periods of time. You will want to get the inside info on whether you should head to the entrance early or perhaps wait until later in the day.
Onsite activities include the Tenaya Lodge Rock Climbing Wall and Flashlight Hikes: Guided hikes that leave every evening for an adventure into the Sierra National Forest.
Room Rates vary widely depending on time of year and the many packages offered. Kids are very welcome at Tenaya and there are a wide variety of activities, clubs and camps offered mostly starting for kids ages 4 and up. They do have babysitting available for younger children.
WHAT TO DO
Sugar Pine Railroad
56001 Hwy 41
Fish Camp, CA 93623
Nearby activities include The Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad where you can ride one of the few steam trains still in operation. The train stops mid-way to take on more water allowing riders to hop off and do some nature exploring in the forest.
The closest attraction just inside the South Gate of Yosemite is Mariposa Grove which is an amazing section of Giant Sequoia trees. From there, it’s an easy 45 minute drive to the valley floor which is the center of the action. On the way, there are numerous places to stop and explore and some amazing photo opportunities for shots of Half Dome, El Capitan and Bridal Veil Falls.
Elizabeth Peterson enjoys combining nature with amenities like a spa and a morning latte. She firmly believes the word “glamping” was coined for her. You can find her rallying a Bigfoot expedition (maybe) over on her blog Traded My BMW For a Minivan and on Facebook.