Yosemite National Park is nearly 1,200 square miles of heaven on earth. You won’t be short of natural attractions, from dramatic valleys to gigantic redwoods and huge waterfalls like Yosemite Falls. It is easy to see why Yosemite National Park is considered one of the best national parks and places to visit in the US. You’ll find some of the best hikes, camping, and photo opportunities.
Where to stay in Yosemite National Park
Yosemite might be known for its natural attractions, but it also has some fantastic places to stay. We’ll cover the best areas and the best hotels and campgrounds to choose from when you visit Yosemite National Park. There are plenty of choices, whether you want a fancy lodge in a town just outside a park entrance or one of the tent cabins inside Yosemite National Park. Wondering where to stay in Yosemite National Park? We’ve got you covered.
Glamping, camping, and hotels in Yosemite National Park
If you are wondering where to stay in Yosemite National Park for a central location, it might seem obvious to stay in the national park itself. There is so much to do in Yosemite Park that staying inside the park is a great way to maximize your time sightseeing and adventuring. For hikes like Half Dome, it can also be helpful to be staying centrally so that you can set off nice and early without worrying about extra traveling time.
Yosemite Valley is the most popular place to stay in Yosemite. It is home to Yosemite Village, which has lodging options and a few town facilities. There are a few other spots, though. We’ll look at all the best places to stay inside Yosemite Park. Let’s dive straight in.
The Ahwahnee Hotel
The Ahwahnee (formerly the Majestic Yosemite Hotel) is a historic hotel in the center of Yosemite Valley. The property boasts a heated outdoor pool, free parking, daily afternoon tea, and stunning waterfall and cliff views. The Ahwahnee Hotel also has on-site dining options, with its lounge, restaurant, and bar.
This Yosemite lodging is the perfect choice for anyone wanting a central base in Yosemite Valley. Luxurious and historical, this four-star property is an ideal base if you want to treat yourself. See rates and availability on Expedia.com
Curry Village (formerly Half Dome Village) is a brilliant budget hotel. It is perfect if you want simple but cozy rooms or cabins that won’t break the bank. Curry Village features a seasonal outdoor pool and a free shuttle service around the national park. Guests also have access to picnic areas and BBQ facilities.
Just a stone’s throw from Glacier Point and Half Dome, Curry Village is conveniently situated in Yosemite Valley. This property makes an excellent base to explore the national park. You can book it in advance on Expedia.
Wawona Hotel is an old Victorian property with an elegant interior and impressive facilities. You’ll have a 9-hole golf course, outdoor pool, tennis courts, and activities like horse riding. There’s even a piano lounge.
Wawona Hotel is the one for you if you want a luxury hotel that you can retreat to after a busy day. It has a great location in Yosemite Valley and many exciting on-site activities and facilities. See reviews and rates on TripAdvisor
Yosemite Valley Lodge
Yosemite Valley Lodge is where to stay in Yosemite National Park for stunning views of Yosemite Falls. The property is a luxury spot in the center of Yosemite Valley and provides beautiful waterfall views. When you aren’t mesmerized by the views, you can enjoy meals at one of the on-site restaurants or take a dip in the outdoor pool. And when it comes to exploring the park, guests can use the complimentary shuttle service.
Yosemite Valley Lodge is a fantastic mid-range accommodation option in Yosemite Park. It is ideally located for sightseeing and outdoor activities. Check rates and availability on Expedia.com
White Wolf Lodge
White Wolf Lodge is one of the most remote Yosemite lodging options. In the north of the park, White Wolf Lodge sits off Tioga Road, where you’ll also find the trailhead to Harden Lake and Bald Mountain. It is basic and a little adventurous – with the wood and canvas cabins giving it a base camp atmosphere.
Guests have access to an on-site restaurant, but most importantly, easy access to some of the best hiking trails in Yosemite Park. If you want budget-friendly accommodation and are up for a more rustic experience, White Wolf Lodge. See rates and reviews on TripAdvisor
Housekeeping Camp is a little more basic than a ‘rustic’ experience. The dormitory rooms only have three walls, with one wall open to the elements apart from a privacy curtain. It is the most unique Yosemite National Park lodging and a great option to try something a bit out of your comfort zone. It helps that it is also very budget-friendly.
Guests have access to the camp’s general store. Plus, since it is located in the center of Yosemite Valley, you’ve also got views of Yosemite Falls and easy access to the Yosemite Village’s facilities. Check it out on TripAdvisor
Lower Pines Campground
Lower Pines Campground is a simple campsite and one of three campgrounds in Yosemite Valley. It has basic facilities like flush toilets, drinking water, fire rings, and food storage lockers. Guests also have access to a complimentary shuttle service.
Staying at Lower Pines Campground, you can easily hike to Glacier Point or Mirror Lake. It offers a great place to surround yourself with nature and explore Yosemite Park. Lower Pines does sell out quickly, but if you find it has, try Upper Pines Campground or North Pines Campground instead. They are located next to each other with similar facilities. Read reviews and rates on TripAdvisor
Where to stay near the Yosemite National Park entrances
Now that we’ve looked at where to stay in Yosemite National Park itself, what about where to stay near Yosemite National Park? You might want to stay just outside the park for many reasons. For example, if everywhere inside the park is booked out or if you want to stay somewhere with access to town facilities.
5 Yosemite Park Entrances
There are five entrances to Yosemite National Park: Hetch Hetchy Entrance, Big Oak Flat Entrance, Arch Rock Entrance, South Entrance, and Tioga Pass Entrance. Each entrance is surrounded by a cluster of villages and towns, and you can take your pick based on key factors like how busy it gets and how close to major attractions it is. For instance, Hetch Hetchy is the quietest area, while Big Oak Flat has the easiest access to Yosemite Valley via Big Oak Flat Road. We’ll look at each entrance and area, giving you a taste of what to expect and the best accommodation choices.
Big Oak Flat Entrance
Big Oak Flat Entrance is the popular western entrance to Yosemite National Park. You’ll enter along Big Oak Flat Road, passing the Yosemite National Park Sign and the Big Oak Flat Information Station. From the entrance, it is around a forty-minute drive to Yosemite Valley. You’ll pass plenty of attractions along the way, including the Dead Giant Tunnel Tree and the Merced Grove of Giant Sequoias. It is a great area to stay near Yosemite National Park if you want to be a short drive from most attractions.
The main town near Big Oak Flat Entrance is Groveland. Groveland is just an easy 30-minute drive from the park entrance, making it a practical spot to base yourself near Yosemite National Park. Groveland has its own airport (Pine Mountain Lake Airport), but it is so tiny that it barely runs regular charters. Instead, you can fly into Merced Regional Airport and drive around an hour and a half to reach Groveland. Or, if you don’t mind a quieter atmosphere, continue a little further and stay in Buck Meadows. Buck Meadows is closer to the Big Oak Flat Entrance and takes just 20 minutes to reach by car.
The Big Oak Flat Entrance is an excellent choice for anyone wanting easy access to Yosemite Valley and the park’s western attractions. If you want to fly into Yosemite, having airports nearby is also handy.
Rush Creek Lodge
Rush Creek Lodge is a luxury resort secluded on 20 acres of private woodland. Guests can enjoy a real retreat with cozy fireplaces, a large pool, a spa, and on-site restaurants with terraces. Of course, Rush Creek has some stunning views, and the property is situated remotely just a four-minute drive from Big Oak Flat Entrance.
You are just a short drive from towns like Groveland. However, Rush Creek Lodge offers a rural, luxurious setting – surrounded by nature and peaceful scenery. Check out details on Expedia
Groveland Hotel is a historic boutique hotel in the center of Groveland. The property dates back to 1849 and is tastefully decorated with many original features still intact. Outside, guests have access to a garden patio with regular live music events and a restaurant that serves delicious meals and cocktails.
Choose between standard rooms and upgraded suites. Suites include a fireplace, living room, and sometimes direct porch access. See rates on Expedia
Almonroth, CC BY-SA 3.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0, via Wikimedia Commons
Hotel Charlotte is located on Groveland’s Main Street, perfect for anyone who loves to be in the center of all the action. The Victorian hotel is a striking blue color. It is a beautiful boutique property to stay at when you visit Yosemite.
Guests enjoy a terrace overlooking the busy street below. Some rooms are also pet-friendly, something to keep in mind if you are visiting with a four-legged friend. See details on Expedia
Yosemite Westgate Lodge
Yosemite Westgate Lodge is a simple mid-range accommodation choice set in Buck Meadows. The three-star hotel features a swimming pool, restaurant, bar, and hot tub – great for unwinding after exploring Yosemite.
Each room features air conditioning, coffee machines, microwaves, and mini-fridges. You can upgrade your room to include a whirlpool tub for extra luxury. See availability on Expedia.com
Arch Rock Entrance
Arch Rock Entrance is probably one of the most famous entrances. The entrance is marked by two huge boulders, which create an archway for visitors to pass through. You drive to the entrance on Central Yosemite Highway, the main road that runs alongside the Merced River. From the entrance, it is around a thirty-minute drive to Yosemite Valley. You’ll pass many viewpoints along the way, like Yosemite Valley Vista Point and Tunnel View. It is the best area to stay near Yosemite National Park if you want a practical base that still offers a scenic route.
The main town near the entrance is El Portal. El Portal is a quiet little town next to Merced River. El Portal is less than a thirty-minute drive from the entrance, and the town makes for a peaceful stay in Yosemite. Its closest airport is Merced Regional Airport, which is around an hour and a half away. El Portal is brilliantly located for exploring Yosemite National Park and has a laidback, country-living atmosphere.
The entrance is excellent for anyone wanting easy access to Western Yosemite and Yosemite Valley. It is a short drive from major attractions and involves a scenic route. It is also easy for those flying in, with Merced Regional Airport just around the corner.
Indian Flat Campground
Forget a hotel room; book a cabin or pack your RV at Indian Flat Campground. The campground is located on the other side of El Portal. It provides access to a large swimming pool at a neighboring lodge.
You’ll find water, electric, and sewage facilities at the RV spots. You have a kitchenette, bath, and cable TV in the cabins. Indian Flat Campground is a great place to stay for a camping experience. Compare rates on TripAdvisor
Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort
Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort is a budget-friendly resort structured like a campground. Intrigued? You should be. You can choose from hostel dorms, tent cabins, and private rooms. Upgraded room choices include an ensuite bathroom.
The resort has brilliant facilities, including a full-service spa with a hot tub and a hot rock sauna. The resort has a cafe on site, which serves three meals a day using local and organically sourced food. Compare rates on TripAdvisor
Yosemite View Lodge
Photo Credit: Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau
This budget hotel sits just outside of El Portal town center. It is a straightforward, unfussy place to stay near Yosemite. Yosemite View Lodge overlooks the Merced River, and upgraded rooms have balconies with river views.
The hotel has a comfortable interior and fantastic facilities. Guests receive access to three outdoor and one indoor pool, plus multiple hot tubs for that extra luxurious experience. Book it now on Expedia
Yosemite Blue Butterfly Inn
Looking for an adults-only spot? Yosemite Blue Butterfly Inn is located just outside El Portal and offers adults-only B&B accommodation. The inn sits on the riverfront and has a beautiful communal terrace for river views. The terrace is also where breakfast is served each morning, and a telescope sits for guests to admire the night sky.
Yosemite Blue Butterfly Inn is perfect for adult guests who want a peaceful retreat while visiting Yosemite. The impressive details, like a communal telescope, highlight the property as in a league of its own. Compare rates on TripAdvisor
Tioga Pass Entrance
The Tioga Entrance isn’t as popular as the other park entrances in this guide. This is mainly because it shuts seasonally, usually between November and June. If you are visiting Yosemite in summer, though, Tioga Entrance is a beautiful area to stay. The entrance is located in the far east of the park. From the entrance, it is around an hour and a half’s drive along Tioga Road to Yosemite Valley. You pass most of Yosemite’s peaks, like Polly Dome and Tembert Dome, plus Tenaya Lake, Tuolumne Meadows, and Olmsted Point. The Tioga Entrance is brilliant for accessing the attractions in the east of Yosemite Park and is a bit more off-the-beaten-track. Just make sure that you don’t mind driving if you choose this area.
Tioga Entrance’s closest town is Lee Vining, although plenty of resorts and campgrounds are scattered in between. Lee Vining is a tiny town with all the amenities you need for a short stay. It is around a twenty-minute drive from Tioga Entrance. It is surrounded by stunning scenery, including the humongous Mono Lake. Lee Vining does have a small regional airport, but like Pine Mountain Lake Airport, it doesn’t run frequent charters. Luckily, Mammoth Yosemite Airport is just half an hour’s drive south on the 395 road – easily accessible for those flying in.
Tioga Pass Entrance is fantastic for those visiting Yosemite between June and November. It is best suited to those happy driving long distances but provides unique proximity to Yosemite’s eastern attractions. Tioga Pass Entrance is a great place to stay near Yosemite for second-time visitors or those who fancy an adventure.
Double Eagle Resort & Spa
Double Eagle Resort & Spa is a dreamy three-star hotel in June Lake, just south of Lee Vining and Tioga Pass. The property offers a beautiful indoor pool with gorgeous natural lighting and views. Guests also have access to a fully furnished gym, spa, hot tub, restaurant, and bar. See more details on Expedia
Each room features a deck, a balcony, a rainfall shower, and a whirlpool tub for extra indulgence. Double Eagle Resort & Spa is a beautiful place to stay near Yosemite.
Tuolumne Meadows Lodge
Tuolumne Meadows Lodge is basic with a capital ‘b’. The seasonal lodge provides ‘bare bones’ accommodation in canvas cabins, with shared bathrooms and a complimentary Yosemite shuttle service. Be prepared to rough it, but you’ll be vastly rewarded with a fantastic location and peaceful natural surroundings. When booking hotels, don’t be afraid to push yourself out of your comfort zone with spots like Tuolumne Meadows Lodge.
The property is located just off Tioga Road on the park boundary and is a brilliant budget accommodation choice in the Tioga Pass area. Check rates and availability on TripAdvisor
Keep it simple by staying at Murphey’s Motel. The property offers chalet-style accommodation in the center of Lee Vining. Murphey’s Motel’s standard rooms feature minifridges, coffee machines, and free Wi-Fi access. Pets are welcome at an extra fee, and parking is complimentary.
Murphey’s Motel is easygoing and flexible enough to cater to all guests. The motel is perfect for a trip to Yosemite. Its unfussy vibe is a breath of fresh air for those who want to prioritize planning incredible activities. Murphey’s Motel is pleasant Yosemite lodging. Compare rates on TripAdvisor
Mammoth Mountain Chalets
Mammoth Lakes is a little further afield. However, Mammoth Mountain Chalets makes it all worthwhile. Mammoth Lakes is the place to be for skiing and also a dreamy hiking location. Mammoth Mountain Chalets is right next to the ski slopes and ski school – ideal for combining skiing and visiting Yosemite.
The traditional cabins come fully furnished with all the desirable amenities. And, when they aren’t cozying up inside, guests receive access to a complimentary Yosemite shuttle service. Compare rates on TripAdvisor
Hetch Hetchy Entrance
The Hetch Hetchy Entrance won’t suit everyone. Much like the Tioga Pass Entrance, it is well-suited for second-time visitors who are ready to explore Yosemite’s lesser-trodden region. Located northwest of the park, it provides access to the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne River and plenty of waterfall hikes. If you want to drive to Yosemite Valley or any western attractions, you’ll have to drive through Big Oak Flat Entrance. The detour from Hetch Hetchy Entrance to Yosemite Valley via Big Oak Flat takes around an hour to drive. Hetch Hetchy is one for adventurers and happy long-distance drivers.
The closest town (or village in this case) is Mather. Mather consists of a few scattered houses, a general store, a campground, and the Evergreen Lodge. It is small with the bare minimum number of facilities. If you love a peaceful, remote atmosphere, Mathers is the perfect spot for you. It is just a few minutes’ drive or a twenty-minute walk from Hetch Hetchy Entrance.
Does Mather sound a bit too quiet for you? Since Hetch Hetchy Road branches off Big Oak Flat Road, you can also stay in Groveland. Groveland is just under an hour away from Hetch Hetchy Entrance. You’ll have all the amenities of a large town, plus be within driving distance of Merced Regional Airport.
Hetch Hetchy Entrance is an ideal spot for accessing the Grand Canyon of Tuolumne. It has many routes to choose from for those planning hikes, and its trailheads are mainly located near the entrance. A little bit quieter and more remote, Hetch Hetchy Entrance is an adventurous place to stay near Yosemite.
Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite
The Evergreen Lodge at Yosemite is a luxurious three-star property that channels a rustic-chic mountain aesthetic. Set on the outskirts of the tiny village of Mathers, the Evergreen Lodge has a secluded feel. It is an excellent choice for those wanting solace in nature.
You can enjoy the lodge’s supreme facilities when you aren’t enjoying the great outdoors. You’ll find an on-site restaurant and theater, a recreation center, and a large swimming pool with a poolside bar. Book it at Expedia.com
Dimond O is a basic campground located less than a ten-minute drive from Hetch Hetchy Entrance. The campground has picnic tables, bear boxes, and campfire pits with grills for outdoor cooking. You’ll also find vault toilets and water, which is always handy.
Dimond O is an excellent spot to camp just outside Yosemite. You’ll have a fun, adventurous base to go hiking and sightseeing. Compare rates on TripAdvisor
Mather Family Camp
Mather Family Camp is a friendly seasonal campground in the center of Mather. You can book a cabin or tent site and will have access to facilities like a laundromat, swimming pool, and picnic tables. Mather Family Camp also runs activities, including horse riding and guided hiking excursions.
Mather Family Camp is fantastic for a family wanting a camping adventure with age-appropriate facilities and on-site activities. Check out our camping packing guide and ultimate camping tips before you go.
Rush Creek Lodge
Rush Creek Lodge has already made it onto our list once. However, it is the closest fourth accommodation choice to Hetch Hetchy Entrance. And besides, it is such a fantastic spot that it deserves a second mention.
Rush Creek Lodge has fantastic facilities, from its hot tubs to its on-site convenience store. The lodge has a resort-style atmosphere, with plenty of things to do when you aren’t exploring Yosemite National Park. Located on Big Oak Flat Road just before the Evergreen Road turn-off, Rush Creek Lodge is also just a twenty-minute drive from Hetch Hetchy Entrance. See it on Expedia
South Entrance is set at the bottom of Yosemite National Park. The southern entrance is popular with plenty of nearby towns and villages, making it a practical place to stay near Yosemite National Park. You enter the park on the 41 road, immediately reaching a roundabout with access to Mariposa Grove Road or Wawona Road – depending on where in the park you are heading. It is just over an hour’s drive to Yosemite Valley from the entrance. You pass Wawona, Yosemite West, and Badger Pass Ski Area, though, and have lots of places that you can stop en route. It is a brilliant place to stay if you want a built-up base with straightforward access to Yosemite’s main sights.
The main village near the entrance is Oakhurst, but there are also smaller villages like Yosemite Forks, Bass Lake, The Pines, and Fish Camp. Oakhurst is a great spot with all the basic amenities you need, including supermarkets, health care, accommodation, and even a Mcdonald’s and Starbucks. Oakhurst is a half-hour drive from the entrance, which is nice and convenient. It is also just an hour’s drive from Fresno Yosemite International Airport.
The entrance is a straightforward base when staying near Yosemite. It involves slightly longer driving times than other entrances like Big Oak Flat. Still, it is simple to navigate and get around. Plus, the abundance of nearby towns and villages makes finding accommodation near Yosemite’s South Entrance a piece of cake.
Little Ahwahnee Inn
Photo Credit: Yosemite Mariposa County Tourism Bureau
Little Ahwahnee Inn is a rustic inn with a wraparound deck and spacious rooms. You can pick from a range of elegant suites, some of which have mountain views. The interior design is gorgeous, with natural, redwood, and stone features throughout the property. Even the sheets have been specially designed; each room features high-thread-count sheets.
Little Ahwahnee Inn is luxury at its finest, and if you want a luxe place to stay near Yosemite’s South Entrance, then this is the one for you. Compare rates on TripAdvisor