Dear Redwoods Guests and Yosemite Travelers,
Your Travel Plans at The Redwoods
We continue our commitment to provide all Redwoods guests with flexible booking options. Given these unique circumstances we are making additional adjustments to our individual booking policies:
- New and Existing Reservations. All reservations affected by the international travel restrictions scheduled for arrival can be changed or cancelled at no charge. All reservations scheduled are subject to our company rental policy.
- Flexible Cancellations. We offer to our guests a 48 hour period after booking, in which time each guest can cancel their reservation without fees or penalty.
- As of December 1st 2020, you will have up to 14 days before your arrival date to cancel your reservation with a $75.00 processing fee.
If you need to adjust any reservations please contact the The Redwoods Reservations team at 888-225-6666. If you need to adjust reservations made through another travel site (ex. Airbnb, VRBO/Homeaway, Booking.com, Expedia, etc.) please contact them for assistance.
What to expect when entering Yosemite National Park?
- Yosemite National Park is OPEN for DAY USE ONLY (closed for overnight lodging) with limitations.
- Yosemite Valley Shuttle will not be operating this year. YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) will be running with new schedule.
- Mariposa Grove shuttle will not be operating. The Grove will be open to walk-in (or bicycle) traffic only (2 mile walk from the parking area). Visitors with ADA placards will be allowed to drive into the Grove’s entrance parking area.
- Tioga Pass Road and The Glacier Point Road are closed for the season.
- Popular iconic sites like Tunnel View may have vehicle/people limitations and other precautions such as one way signs.
- Wawona Hotel and Golf Course are closed until 2021.
- To read the latest Yosemite National Park news and frequently asked questions about park concessions please visit nps.gove/yose
Though The Redwoods In Yosemite has taken enhanced health and safety measures for our guests and employees an inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists when staying in any vacation rental.
COVID-19 is an extremely contagious disease that can lead to severe illness and death. According to the Centers for Disease Control, senior citizens and guests with underlying medical conditions are especially vulnerable.
By staying in one of our cabins you and all members of your party voluntarily assume all risks related to exposure to COVID-19
Please follow these important CDC guidelines:
How to Protect Yourself & Others
Know how it spreads:
- There is currently no vaccine to prevent coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).
- The best way to prevent illness is to avoid being exposed to this virus.
- The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.
- Between people who are in close contact with one another (within about 6 feet).
- Through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes or talks.
- These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.
- Some recent studies have suggested that COVID-19 may be spread by people who are not showing symptoms.
Wash your hands often!
- Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.
- If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
Avoid close contact
- Avoid close contact with people who are sick, even inside your home. If possible, maintain 6 feet between the person who is sick and other household members.
- Put distance between yourself and other people outside of your home.
- Remember that some people without symptoms may be able to spread virus.
- Stay at least 6 feet (about 2 arms’ length) from other people.
- Do not gather in groups.
- Stay out of crowded places and avoid mass gatherings.
- Keeping distance from others is especially important for people who are at higher risk of getting very sick.
Cover your mouth and nose with a cloth face cover when around others
- You could spread COVID-19 to others even if you do not feel sick.
- Everyone should wear a cloth face cover when they have to go out in public, for example to the grocery store or to pick up other necessities.
- Cloth face coverings should not be placed on young children under age 2, anyone who has trouble breathing, or is unconscious, incapacitated or otherwise unable to remove the mask without assistance.
- The cloth face cover is meant to protect other people in case you are infected.
- Do NOT use a face covering meant for a healthcare worker.
- Continue to keep about 6 feet between yourself and others. The cloth face cover is not a substitute for social distancing.
Cover coughs and sneezes
- If you are in a private setting and do not have on your cloth face covering, remember to always cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you cough or sneeze or use the inside of your elbow.
- Throw used tissues in the trash.
- Immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not readily available, clean your hands with a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Clean and disinfect
- Clean AND disinfect frequently touched surfaces daily. This includes tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks.
- If surfaces are dirty, clean them. Use detergent or soap and water prior to disinfection.
- Then, use a household disinfectant. Most common EPA-registered household disinfectants will work.
Monitor Your Health
- Be alert for symptoms. Watch for fever, cough, shortness of breath, or other symptoms of COVID-19.
- Especially important if you are running essential errands, going into the office or workplace, and in settings where it may be difficult to keep a physical distance of 6 feet.
- Take your temperature if symptoms develop.
- Don’t take your temperature within 30 minutes of exercising or after taking medications that could lower your temperature, like acetaminophen.
- Follow CDC guidance if symptoms develop.
Let’s keep each other healthy and safe!
We will continue to update this page and our social media throughout these “new normal” times and as the situation develops. We believe that Yosemite National Park provides must continue to provide a safer way for visitors to enjoy the park and therefore we reserve our rights to amend our policies as required by the local park and county authorities, in order to ensure visitor & staff safety and coronavirus exposure risk minimization.
Don’t forget to reach out to us at 888-225-6666 or [email protected] if you have questions. We hope you and your family are safe and well! We will see you very soon!
Christian Mueller, General Manager
If you’re thinking about visiting Yosemite, an autumn trip can be a great idea. There’s still a lot to see during the autumn season, and for those who can’t get away in the summer or don’t like the summer traffic, planning a fall trip might be the best option. In general, lots of people are planning natural outings for fall, when temperate climates have just begun to shrug off the summer heat. It’s a magical time – so why not go to Yosemite and see some of the grandest American scenery in the country, carefully curated by National Parks and other stakeholders
During the fall season, the Yosemite experience is different. You’ll sense a chill in the air – (for those used to more southerly climates, there will be an extra chill in the air) – and some of the waterways might not be as active as they were in the spring and summer months. Some areas of the park will be closed, but there’s still a lot to see and enjoy.
Just because many parts of our natural areas are filled with evergreens doesn’t mean you won’t see beautiful fall foliage in Yosemite. Some of the videos on various websites online show the beautiful golds, reds, and other hues of deciduous leaves through October and into November
Tour Yosemite Valley
Although some of the upper trails may be closed as winter approaches, Yosemite Valley is open all year round, and it’s an amazing scenic part of the local area.
Visitors often describe the gigantic rock formations of the Valley surroundings as “sculpted” – and for those who are used to the hill country, this is quite a grand and impressive panorama. Enjoy walking the valley forests and staring up at the formidable terrain of ancient glacial deposits with a lot more open parking and elbow room!
At The Redwoods in Yosemite, we have your lodging options available including camper cabins, comfortable homes, and amenities to help you enjoy nearby areas like Wawona Loop and other most popular trailheads or scenic areas that draw so many visitors all year.
Take a look at our specials online for the fall season, and think about how these nature-adjacent lodging options can help you get closer to the somber beauty of Yosemite in the fall. You can use our online promotional codes to book at discount prices. Call with any questions – we’ll be excited to help you to plan your trip. Come see the beauty of Yosemite in a relaxing and convenient setting.
Staying active is the key component to living a long and healthy life. Finding the right outdoor activities will require you to invest some time and effort in research. If you love the outdoors and getting plenty of cardio exercise, then hiking may be a good activity. Each year, over 42 million people go on hikes in the United States.
If you are looking for some breathtaking scenery to take a hike through, then you need to plan a trip to Yosemite National Park. There are tons of great hiking trails here but you will need to prepare before you head off down the trail. If you are hiking during the winter months, then you need to consider the following tips to ensure you have a good experience.
Check Weather Conditions Before You Start Hiking
Trying to have a great hiking experience without proper planning is an impossible feat. This is why you need to work in the months leading up to your hike in Yosemite to make a great plan of attack. Not only will you need to figure out what trail you are going to be hiking on, you will also need to get an idea of what the weather will be like.
Ideally, you want to choose a day that has plenty of sunlight to go on a hike. Since it gets darker much earlier during this time of year, you will have to time your hike perfectly. Ignoring the need for a check of the weather will only lead to problems during your hike. Knowing if and when rain is moving into the area is vital when trying to avoid getting stuck outside during bad weather. Luckily, there are a number of websites and mobile apps that can provide you with the weather-related information you are seeking.
Be Sure to Dress For the Occasion
When planning out your hiking trip through Yosemite, you need to dress for the experience. Trying to wear tennis shoes and shorts on a winter hike can be disastrous. This is why you need to focus on getting some comfortable shoes with plenty of grip and warm clothing. As the day unfolds, the temperatures outside will start to rise. This is why dressing in layers is a good idea.
If you have a shirt made of a breathable material under a heavy jacket, it will be easy to stay comfortable. The money you spend on new hiking clothing will be worth it in the long run.
Bring Along Plenty of Drinks and Healthy Snacks
If you are planning a longer hike through Yosemite, you are sure to get hungry and thirsty. Packing plenty of water and some healthy snacks can help you have an enjoyable hike. Most hikers enjoy things like protein bars because they are lightweight and provide vital nutrients.
Planning on Visiting Yosemite?
If you are planning on visiting Yosemite Nation Park in the near future, reach out to the team at The Redwoods in Yosemite. We have all of the accommodations you need to enjoy your trip to this iconic park.
Spring in Yosemite, what it is like?
The snow has melted in nearly all of the lower elevation places, the rivers and streams are rushing, the baby animals are strolling, the flowers are in full bloom, and the mountains are calling. What better way to see the natural beauty of Yosemite than by taking a hike during this exciting time? Whether you are looking for a short and sweet hike through the meadow, along the river, or crave a more strenuous hike to visit a raging waterfall, Wawona has you covered.
- Wawona Swinging Bridge Trail
The Wawona Swinging Bridge Trail is a short and mostly flat .75 miles (1.2. km) round-trip hike to the swinging bridge which takes you across the scenic and wild South Fork of the Merced River. It’s beautiful, serene, and the bridge does truly swing. In addition to enjoying the wildflowers, in summer, you can also swim in the river down below, which is not nearly as busy as other water holes and beach spots in Yosemite Valley for example. While you’re in the area, don’t forget to also check out the Pioneer History Center for fun Yosemite history.
- Wawona Meadow Loop
The Wawona Meadow Loop is a relatively flat 3.5 (5.6 km) loop trail that starts at the Big Trees Lodge. Formerly known as the Wawona Hotel, this is one of California’s oldest hotels that has been operating since 1879. This is the only bike and leashed pet-friendly trail in the area, so bring Fido along. It’s also home to various wildflower species, and now is the perfect time to see them!
- Chilnualna Falls
This is a strenuous 8.2 mile (13.1 km) hike, with an elevation gain of 2,400 feet (732 m) that leads you to one of the tallest waterfalls in the park via a series of switchbacks. It begins two miles from the Chilnualna Falls Road, in the Chilnualna Falls parking area. This hike is made up of three cascades, including some smaller ones at the bottom. It’s not heavily trafficked, so you will likely get most of it to yourself. You get bonus points in the summer for dipping in some of the secluded swim holes along this trail.
4. Mariposa Grove Hikes
Mariposa Grove has finally opened for the season! This area is home to wonderful trails winding through some of the world’s oldest trees, including the 1,800-year-old Grizzly Giant. Keep in mind that visitors must park in the south entrance, which is two miles away from the grove. The shuttle busses pick up visitors every 10-20 minutes. Visitors with disability placards can drive to the Grizzly Giant parking area rather than take the shuttle in. Here are a few great hikes within Mariposa Grove:
- Big Trees Loop
This is a very short and easy 0.3 miles (0.4 km) loop trail, that is wheelchair accessible, leading you to the Fallen Monarch tree.
- Grizzly Giant Loop
This is a 2 mile (3.2 km) mile loop trail that’s rated as moderate, with a 300 (91m) elevation gain. In addition to the Grizzly, you will pass other famous trees in the lower grove like the Fallen Monarch, Bachelor, Three Graces, and the California Tunnel Tree.
- Guardians Loop Trail
This is a 6.5 mile (10.5 km) strenuous loop trail, with an elevation gain of 1000 ft (305 m). In addition to passing by Grizzly Giant Loop trees, the trail passes by some notable spots in the upper grove like the Telescope Tree, the fallen Wawona Tunnel Tree and the Mariposa Grove Cabin.
- Mariposa Grove Trail to Wawona Point
This is another somewhat strenuous hike that’s 7.0 miles (11.3 km) in total, with an elevation gain of 1,200 feet (366 m). In addition to the Grizzly Giant Loop trees, you pass by portions of the upper grove, including famous sequoias like Three Graces, the Gaintful Coupole, the Bachelor and the Clothespin Tree. This also leads you to the historic Wawona Point (6,800 ft.) that has a beautiful overlook with a panoramic view.
Looking for a cabin near the hikes? Check out our Current Specials!
All of our 120 Redwoods In Yosemite cabins are located in historic Wawona, near the South Entrance of Yosemite National Park, just a few miles from the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. Relaxing and private, these fully equipped vacation homes border the wild and scenic South Fork of The Merced River, the Wawona swinging bridge and Chilnualna Falls (the second highest vertical drop waterfalls in Yosemite)! Our Event Center includes full use of the Fireside Room and adjacent deck, with audio and visual equipment and a catering kitchen. Many of our cabins are pet friendly, some feature spa tubs, and all have private decks with BBQ’s and upgraded linens for that, “Home Away from Home” experience. Come on up! Relax. Explore. Escape!
Text credit: Christina Kantzavelos, BuenQamino
Getting married is something over 2.4 million Americans do on an annual basis. If you are like most people, making sure your wedding is both appealing and memorable is something you are adamant about. One of the first things you need to decide when planning a wedding is where you will have the ceremony.
If you and your soulmate love the beauty of nature, then getting married in Yosemite is a great idea. While having a wedding here can be beautiful, it will also require a lot of planning. Failing to plan out every detail of your outdoor wedding can be problematic. Here are some of the things you need to do to make your dream of a beautiful outdoor wedding a reality.
Be Sure to Dress Accordingly
While getting married outdoors can be enjoyable, there are also a number of factors that may be out of your control. One of these factors is the weather. In the days leading up to your outdoor wedding ceremony, you need to continuously check the weather. Staying on top of any developing changes in temperature or bad weather conditions is crucial. With this information, you and your guests can dress accordingly.
If the weather outside is going to be hot that day, you need to dress for both style and comfort. Wearing a wedding gown made of a sheer and breathable material is one of the best ways to avoid getting overheated. Making these small changes can make your outdoor wedding ceremony more enjoyable for everyone involved.
Don’t Take On This Planning Process Alone
If you and your partner are passionate about having an outdoor wedding, you need to avoid taking on the planning process on your own. Planning a wedding is difficult, which is why you need to enlist the help of experienced professionals. Hiring a wedding planner and an experienced wedding photographer is an essential part of having a great wedding.
These professionals will be able to use their past experience with planning outdoor weddings to offer you guidance. Refusing to get this type of professional help may lead to big mistakes being made. These mistakes can affect your wedding day in a very negative way. The money paid for this type of professional guidance will be worth it in the long run.
Always Have a Back-Up Plan
One of the main pieces of advice you will receive from professionals when planning an outdoor wedding is to have a back-up plan. If a stray rainstorm hits during your wedding, you need to have an inside venue nearby to run to. Most wedding venue suppliers will have a variety of locations they can offer. By having a back-up plan in place, you can avoid weather-related wedding disasters.
A Wedding in Nature
If you want to have your wedding in Yosemite, the professionals at The Redwoods in Yosemite can help you out. Contact us for more information on the wedding venues we have for rent.
Dealing with stress is something most adults are familiar with. The longer you allow the stress in your life to build, the harder it will be to avoid serious mental and physical health issues. Taking a vacation can help you forget about your problems for a while.
The average American adult takes around 18 vacation days a year. The key to having a great time on vacation is choosing the right destination. If you love nature and being outdoors, then planning a trip to Yosemite National Park is a great idea.
Here are some of the things you need to consider when planning your first trip to Yosemite.
Plan to Stay a Few Days
Yosemite National Park is home to over 800 miles of hiking trails. The total size of this national park is roughly 748,000 acres. With all of this ground to cover, you need to come and stay for a few days. Most seasoned Yosemite enthusiasts recommend newcomers spend up to 3 days in the park on their first trip.
Not only will this give you time to see all of the natural wonders contained in this natural park, it will also give you time to relax and forget about your stress. Finding the right accommodations should be one of your main concerns. Luckily, there are rental homes and luxury cabins all around Yosemite for rent. With a bit of online research, finding the right place to stay will be a breeze.
Get Your Car Ready For the Trip
If you are traveling to Yosemite for the first time, it is best to plan your arrival during the daytime. This is due in part to the fact that the roads leading into this national treasure are a bit narrow and winding. If you are driving your own vehicle to Yosemite, you need to spend some time getting it ready.
During the winter months, snowfall is a near certainty in Yosemite. Taking along a set of snow chains may be a must when trying to navigate the roadways of this national park with ease and compliant to park requirements in winter. You should also be aware that there are 3 gas stations open year-round at Wawona (Hwy 41), El Portal (Hwy 140) and at Crane Flat (Hwy 120) and one gas station open seasonally at Tuolumne Meadows (generally June through October) on the Tioga Road. There are two electrical vehicle charging station in Yosemite Valley.
Properly Preparing For Hikes in Yosemite is Important
As previously mentioned, Yosemite National Park is home to over 800 miles of hiking trails. If you are going on vacation in Yosemite to test out some of these trails, you need to plan out your excursions ahead of time.
The Yosemite website has a guide that contains information about each of the hiking trails and how difficult they are to navigate. With this information, you can begin the process of picking the right trails to use during your stay at Yosemite. You can also check YosemiteHikes.com
Memories That Will Last a Lifetime
Are you looking for great accommodations in and around Yosemite National Park? If so, contact the team at The Redwoods in Yosemite for more information about the home and cabin rentals we can provide.
Everybody knows that Yosemite National Park is a treasure trove of adventure, fun outdoor activities and breathtaking natural landscapes. After all, who hasn’t had their breath taken away from them from seeing El Capitan’s Horsetail Fall alit with the ember-like glow during the late February month? However, visiting Yosemite isn’t something that should be reserved exclusively for outdoor enthusiasts. In fact, for those of you who want to combine their love of nature with their love of their significant other, a jaunt down to Yosemite could be just what you need to both ignite and keep your home fires burning.
Spend Valentine’s Day with Us
While there are advantages to visiting Yosemite National Park throughout the year, something about February makes it extra special. Horsetail Fall, for instance, takes on its famous fiery appearance during the last couple of weeks of this month. Of course, if you’re hoping to spend Valentine’s Day with us, we’ll go above and beyond to make sure you and your special someone have an amazing time. We boast hot tubs, romantic hikes, and fine dining. When booking your reservation with us, please be sure to ask about our ongoing promotions!
Tie the Knot While Visiting Yosemite
Your wedding day is going to be arguably one of the most important days of your life. When it comes to planning this beautiful celebration of love, you want to make sure the day is as wonderful as your love for your significant other. Why not exchange your vows with the phenomenal vistas of Yosemite right behind you? We have highly skilled event planners who are ready to help your wedding day go smoothly, ensuring that the tears shed that day will be only tears of happiness and love.
Rent a Cabin for Your Anniversary
If you fell in love in Yosemite, and you got married here with us, why not also celebrate the important milestones of your anniversary with us, too? Even if this is your first time coming to visit, we have the finest luxury accommodations that you desire to make you feel that spark – no matter if this is your first anniversary or you’ve been celebrating fifty years together! If you’re looking for something a little more rustic, we’ve got you covered there, too. No matter your tastes, we want you to feel welcome when you stay here.
Without a doubt, Yosemite National Park is absolutely for lovers. From our incredible views to our cozy accommodations, we have everything you need to help you fall in love and stay in love. To learn more about how we here at The Redwoods In Yosemite can help make your special occasion even more romantic, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us today!
Written By Christina Kantzavelos
There is still time! November is a grand time to visit Yosemite National Park. Crisp mornings and cool evenings, sunny days, chromatic views, and the chance of first snow all paint your next perfect travel picture. It is the least crowded time to visit the park, which means quieter and more intimate outdoor adventures. Plus, you can catch a last glimpse of Glacier Point, Tuolumne Meadows and Mariposa Grove before they close for the season. We’ve come up with eight reasons your visit to Yosemite should be in the few remaining weeks of November. And remember to pack layers and tire chains, just in case!
- Explore Glacier Point Road and Tuolumne Meadows (before they close for the snow season!)
Take advantage of having access to both Glacier Point and Tuolumne Meadows/Tioga Roads before they close for the snow season. The fall really transforms each of these majestic locations into chromatic wonderlands. Plus, you get to enjoy their beautiful hikes and views in serene solitude, as neither will be as busy as in the summer.
- Celebrate Thanksgiving in the Park
Enjoy creating a wonderful memory by hosting a Thanksgiving feast in the comfort of your cabin, surrounded by your family, and friends. Not in the mood to cook? Here are three wonderful Thanksgiving Dinner options in the park. Be sure to make a reservation!
- Visit the Grizzly Giant in Mariposa Grove
If you haven’t visited the newly restored Mariposa Grove, then you’re in for a treat. Hike its beautiful (and partially ADA compatible) trails before it closes for the snow season. Grizzly Giant has never looked more majestic with its colorful leaves!
- Bike in the Valley
Explore the valley via bicycle, and enjoy the crisp air, colorful leaves, and beautiful views as you bike by or stop to visit the less-crowded Yosemite valley staples.
- Explore the Museums in the Park
Don’t let November rains scare you! Is it too rainy or snowy to go exploring? Or, are you looking for a relaxing stroll? Then visit the Yosemite Museum in the valley, or walk through the Ansel Adams Gallery, which displays his work as well as other contemporary photographers and artists. If you’re in Wawona, be sure to visit the Pioneer or History Center, which explains the history of Yosemite National Park and how it inspired the growth of national parks across the county and the world.
- S’mores and BBQs!
Is there a more delicious food group? Gather around the fire, and enjoy roasting juicy fillets and gooey s’mores with your friends and loved ones.
- Pet Friendly Yosemite Trails to Hike and Enjoy
Take your pup on the Chowchilla Mountain road (the original road to Yosemite), or Wawona Meadow Loop Trail in Wawona. Or, you and your canine can explore Bridalveil Fall trail, Hodgdon Meadow, Glacier Point, Cook’s Meadow Loop, or even Lower Yosemite Falls. You can also bring along your fur-baby on the Mirror Lake Trail, or take the perfect holiday card photo with them in front of Tunnel View. For both you and your pet’s safety, they are not allowed in the meadows, back country, in public buildings, or on shuttle buses. Looking for a pet friendly cabin? We have you covered!
- Cozy Fireplaces and Hot Tubs
Snuggle up with a mug of delicious steaming cocoa next to the fireplace in your cabin. Or relax with a soothing cup of hot tea next in your hot tub. Not much compares to spending quality time in your cozy cabin, or hot tub, especially when it’s snowing or raining outside.
Looking for a cabin to get cozy in for November?
Our 120 Redwoods In Yosemite cabins are located in Wawona, at the Southern entrance of Yosemite, just a few miles from the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. Relaxing and private, these fully equipped vacation cabins border the wild and scenic South Fork of The Merced River, the Wawona swinging bridge and Chilnualna Falls (the second highest vertical drop waterfalls in Yosemite)! Our Event Center includes full use of the Fireside Room and adjacent deck, with an audio and visual equipment and a catering kitchen. Many of our cabins are pet friendly, some feature spa tubs, and all have private decks with BBQ’s and upgraded linens for that, “Home Away from Home” experience. Relax, explore, escape!
Tioga Pass Road aka Highway 120 makes way for perfect summer and early fall adventures in Tuolumne Meadows. After a heavy winter, the waterfalls are still strong, and there is even some snowmelt on some of high country trails. We have a list to plan your perfect day of trail hiking, whether you’re just looking for a short and sweet stroll or something to test those limits. The best part? Even with its popularity, and short season, Tuolumne tends to be much less crowded than Yosemite Valley (cue prayer hands).
Check out the free Tuolumne Meadow Shuttle if you’re planning to knock out a few trails in a day.
Cathedral Lakes (7-8 miles/Moderate)
Part of the John Muir Trail, this is a gorgeous and very popular scenic hike surrounded by peaks like Cathedral Peak (hence the name) and by Echo and Tresidder Peaks, all standing at 10,000 ft in elevation. The reason Cathedral Lakes is plural is that there is a detour for Lower Cathedral Lake, as well as Upper Cathedral Lake. Lower Cathedral Lake is a more popular destination, but why not visit both?
Tenaya Lake (2.5 miles/Easy)
Get ready for postcard views on this hike, featuring one of Yosemite’s most beautiful and picturesque lakes surrounded by granite domes and peaks. A naturally beautiful hike, its short length and ease makes it popular for good reason.
Elizabeth Lake (4.6 miles/Moderate)
Have you caught on to Tuolomne’s lake theme yet? This hike isn’t as popular as Tenaya Lake, likely because of its steep uphill beginning. However, it’s just as picturesque. The lake is surrounded by evergreens and large gorgeous granite like Unicorn Peak.
Glen Aulin (13 miles/Strenuous)
Alright, so this one isn’t a lake, however, it is a trail that guides you to beautiful Tuolumne Falls and White Cascade. It’s also popular because it’s part of the Pacific Crest Trail and is a gateway to the Grand Canyon of the Tuolumne. Yes, Tuolumne Meadows has it all.
Gaylor Lakes (2 miles/moderate)
Easily one of Yosemite’s most underrated hikes. A steep climb rewards you with spectacular views of Dana, Mammoth, Gibbs and other mountains as well as Dana Meadows. In addition, it has five lakes that seem untouched, picturesque, almost like a Hollywood backdrop. If that’s not enough, there’s even an abandoned 1870’s mine that sits above Gaylor Lake.
Mono Pass (8 miles/moderate)
This trans-sierra trail takes you through wet meadows and rushing creeks, providing you with amazing views of Bloody Canyon and stunning Mono Lake. Not nearly as crowded as other trails in the area.
Lyell Canyon via the John Muir Trail (8 miles/Easy)
A pleasant hike that passes through the Lyell fork of the Tuolumne River, as well as the bridged Rafferty Creek and Ireland Creeks. At the eight-mile mark, you are awarded with the Kuna Creek’s cascade. Looking for something shorter? You can walk ½ hour each way to and from the Twin Bridges. Keep in mind, this trail can get muddy and you will likely run into some Pacific Crest Trail and/or John Muir hikers.
Dog Lake (2.8 miles/Moderate)
No, there are no puppies to be found here. Though, there is a still mountain lake, bordered by evergreens and granite mountains. You’re already en route to Lembert Dome, why not continue forward and get a beautiful view of Tuolumne Meadows?
Lembert Dome (2.8 miles/Moderate)
Lembert Dome does not feature a lake or cascade, but it does offer some fantastic views of Tuolumne meadows. If you stay straight at the junction it will lead you to Dog Lake, making it a solid four miles. It may get windy, so hold onto your hats. And as always, stay off domes during chances of thunderstorms.
Soda Spring and Parsons Lodge (1.5 miles/Easy)
Also located in the same parking lot as the Lembert Dome and Dog Lake trailheads. The third hike of the day is a charm, right? This trail takes you to springs that spew cold bubbling water right out of the ground. This is where your carbonated beverages come from. Kidding. And there is an enclosure to ensure you don’t try testing the carbonation levels.
Looking for a home base for your hikes?
All of our 120 Redwoods In Yosemite cabins are located in historic Wawona, near the South Entrance of Yosemite National Park, just a few miles from the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias (free shuttle access to grove when you stay with us!). Relaxing and private, these fully equipped vacation homes border the wild and scenic South Fork of The Merced River, the Wawona swinging bridge and Chilnualna Falls (the second-highest vertical drop waterfalls in Yosemite)! Our Event Center includes full use of the Fireside Room and adjacent deck, with audio and visual equipment and a catering kitchen. Many of our cabins are pet-friendly, some feature spa tubs, and all have private decks with BBQ’s and upgraded linens for that, “Home Away from Home” experience. Come on up! Relax. Explore. Escape!
Written By Christina Kantzavelos
Yosemite National Park brings in over four million visitors each year! Since 4 million yearly fans can’t be wrong, there are many reasons to want to visit Yosemite, and plenty of reasons to stay within the park boundaries during your next visit. During peak season, we expect large crowds, heaps of cars, traffic delays (sometimes 1-2 hours), busy attractions, and limited parking and lodging. Here are five reasons why staying in Wawona will allow you to spend less time in your car, and more time enjoying what this great park has to offer…
Avoid the Morning Wait at the Southern Entrance
Waiting for any attraction is as certain as taxes, and the wait for the entrance to Yosemite can begin up to two miles before you reach the Southern Gate, or other entrances too. After finally driving up to the entrance, why would you want to squander extra waiting in your car? If you’re already in the park, the morning wait is one less thing to worry about, so you can spend your precious vacation time wisely.
How To Spend Less Time Spent Driving in the Valley
If you’re staying closer to Yosemite Valley (in the heart of the park), you have easier access to the park’s free shuttle. Once in the valley, we strongly encourage you to take the free bus rides or book a valley tram tour for example. The shuttle runs from 7 AM – 10 PM daily, and provides access to all of the valley’s hot spots. The more people who opt for the use of the shuttle, the less traffic within the park. It takes about 35-40 minutes, a 26 mile drive, from Wawona to Yosemite Valley. Renting a bicycle is also a great option!
Wawona Walking Distance Perks
Staying in Wawona means you are within walking distance to two local markets, a restaurant in a historical national landmark such as the The Wawona Hotel, gas station, The Pioneer History Village, Thomas Hill Studio, Wawona Stables, barn dancing, stagecoach rides, river walks, swim hole hikes and dips, waterfall access, golfing, a beautiful library, a laundry facility, (deep breath!) and the Mariposa Grove. Basically, you have access to all of these perks from your private home rental nestled in a historic, mountainous, small town inside a national park.
Access to the Mariposa Grove Shuttle from Wawona
If you’re a guest at The Redwoods, then you’re entitled to a free Mariposa Grove Shuttle from Wawona (park and ride at the Wawona General Store near the gas station) to the newly reopened Mariposa Grove Plaza, from where another quick 5 minute bus/shuttle takes you inside the giant sequoia grove.
Fall asleep underneath the Redwoods or lay on a meadow stargazing
There is nothing more serene than staying away from the city buzz, to fall asleep underneath a clear sky in the shade of the Redwoods. You can see just why Theodore Roosevelt had his breath taken away when he first arrived here. There is nothing like enjoying the early mornings, sunset, and evenings in the tranquility of Yosemite’s spectacular natural beauty, so grab the blanket and a picnic basket, and find your spot under Wawona’s starry skies this summer and fall!
Have we convinced you to plan your next stay within the Yosemite National Park?
All of our cozy Redwoods cabins and spacious vacation homes are located in Wawona, at the Southern entrance of Yosemite, just 6 miles from the Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias (don’t forget the free shuttle access). Relaxing and private, our fully equipped vacation homes and cabins border the wild and scenic South Fork of The Merced River, the Wawona swinging bridge and Chilnualna Falls (the second highest vertical drop waterfalls in Yosemite)! Our Event Center includes full use of the Fireside Room and adjacent deck, with an audio and visual equipment and a catering kitchen. Many of our cabins are pet friendly, some feature spa tubs, and all have private decks with BBQ’s and upgraded linens for that, “Home Away from Home” experience. Relax, explore, escape!
Text collaborator: Christina Kantzavelos, BuenQamino