Cabin lodging in Yosemite is the only real way to do it. Here’s your ultimate guide to Yosemite cabins for rent in Yosemite National Park.
The United States is such a big and varied country that it’s hard to recommend an ideal itinerary to a tourist. When it comes to cities, you might choose New York City, perhaps New Orleans, and maybe a Midwestern metropolis like Chicago. You might even suggest Los Angeles and a visit to the Hollywood sign and Walk of Fame.
Natural wonders are even harder to narrow down. The Grand Canyon is an obvious choice, but does Niagara Falls count as American or Canadian?
However you slice it, it’s not long until you arrive at Yosemite National Park. Naturalist and nature writer John Muir helped draw up the boundaries of this supreme American National Park, and he said of it that “no temple made with hands can compare with Yosemite. Every rock in its wall seems to glow with life.”
If these powerful words sway your trip planning decisions, you’ll want to experience the park as directly as you can. A cabin is a great way to do that.
You don’t have to sacrifice luxury to find Yosemite cabins for rent in Yosemite National Park. There are options available for all budgets and tastes.
Keep reading to learn where to rent these cabins, how to look for them, and some other tips to guide you in your search.
Read the Fine Print: Yosemite Cabins for Rent in Yosemite National Park
Not all cabins in Yosemite National Park are created equal, unlike the citizens of the country where the park is located. When we say this, we mean it’s important to know the definition of the word “in” when you look for cabins to rent.
Some cabin owners and property rental companies will advertise their proximity to Yosemite National Park, but that doesn’t mean their property is inside the gates of the park. We advise you look at the details of the location where you rent before signing your contract.
There are benefits to staying outside the park, and we’ll cover those. But first, let’s start by giving you a rundown of the most popular places to stay within the park itself.
Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts at Yosemite, or DNC, is a cabin rental company that operates cabins that suit the more adventurous members of your camping party. That’s because they offer cabins directly inside Yosemite National Park.
What are DNC’s accommodations like? Well, they range in the amount of luxury they offer and even the types of structures of each cabin.
Some DNC cabins are very basic, with canvas tents over wood frames. These types of cabins usually offer shared restrooms across an entire campsite of several tents. On the higher end, DNC offers cabins that fit the stereotype of a cozy log cabin, complete with private bathrooms.
No matter what the restroom situation is, there are some features that come standard with most DNC cabins. These include communal dining halls, ample parking, and camp stores where campers may acquire toiletries and other basic necessities.
DNC offers cabins for lodging at several locations, including Housekeeping Camp, Tuolumne Meadows Lodge, Curry Village, White Wolf Lodge, and High Sierra Camp. These cabins are available for rates of anywhere from $65 to more than $100 per night, depending on the type of cabin you rent.
DNC is not the only company that has Yosemite cabin rentals available inside the park. There are also plenty of private cabins in Yosemite available for rent. The owners of these cabins, some of whom are rental companies, offer them to renters directly.
Quite a few of these private cabins are located within Foresta, a little community inside Yosemite National Park. These properties often blow the DNC properties out of the water when it comes to luxury. Many of them feature decks, fireplaces, beautiful views, and multiple bathrooms.
The views from Foresta are a mixed bag. They are indeed beautiful, but the reason they are so clear is that Foresta suffered greatly from wildfires in 1990. This means there are many new growth trees in the area, which makes plenty of room to view the rock formations and other natural beauty of the park.
Since Yosemite is still one of the United States’ most wild natural areas, it makes sense that the beauty of the area would come with reminders of the savage side of nature. That knowledge adds to the bittersweet adventure of visiting Yosemite National Park.
The best way to find Foresta rental properties is with a simple Google search. “Foresta Yosemite rentals” will turn up plenty of results. Because of the variety of options available, it is difficult to nail down an average price to rent these Yosemite National Park cabins.
Here is a third option for renting a cabin that is actually inside Yosemite National Park. Yosemite West is a location that offers Yosemite cabin rentals as well as the types of luxury vacation home rentals you’ll find in Foresta.
Yosemite West is not only the name of an area. It’s also the name of a property rental group in the area.
The group’s Yosemite National Park cabins are located within the gates of the park, and it takes about 30 minutes to drive from these properties to the waterfalls, cliff faces, and other natural wonders found in Yosemite Valley. If you’re staying at a Yosemite West property in the winter, you’ll find a trip to the ski slopes of Badger Pass that’s a mere seven miles.
If you’re renting a cabin in the Yosemite West area from the Yosemite West rental group, you’ll pay quite a bit more than you would for a DNC cabin. You’re looking at rates of anywhere from $325 to $995 per night. This may be worth it, depending on how much you value location, proximity, and privacy.
When you see the range of prices on properties for rent in Yosemite, it can be overwhelming. You may want a video guide or a way to sort through your options that’s simpler than looking at them one by one.
That’s where the Redwoods come in. These are more than 125 properties for rent near Wawona, and the company separates them by category. There are standard cabins, economy cabins, and premium cabins.
Even the economy cabins in the Redwoods are a bit more upscale than the basic accommodations you’ll find at DNC. They run around $150 per night during the peak season, and some of them are north of $300.
The Redwoods’ premium Yosemite National Park cabins rent in the range of a few hundred dollars more, usually around $400 per night on average. They are quite luxurious, and rather than cabins, they have the same features of many of the more mansion-like properties under the purview of the other companies on our list.
Lodging Options Outside the Park
There is one clear benefit to staying outside of the park when you visit Yosemite. That benefit is the cost.
Staying inside the gates of Yosemite National Park is seen as a luxury. Once you’re outside the gates, that price-boosting luxury disappears. But what you lose in bragging rights, you can gain in savings and comfort.
There are plenty of options for lodging near, but not inside, Yosemite National Park. We’ve foregone the usual hotels and motels in the places we’ve chosen to highlight below. We figure you can bargain hunt for those with your own resources.
Here are a few of our favorite lodging options for just outside Yosemite National Park
Groveland, California is known as the Gateway to Yosemite because of its proximity to the park. It even has a museum called the Groveland Yosemite Gateway Museum. Located in the area around Highway 120, Groveland is the perfect place to set up a base of operations when you don’t need that base to be a campsite in Yosemite itself.
Evergreen Lodge is the gem of the town when it comes to Yosemite cabin rentals adjacent to the park. Evergreen has just under 100 cabins, all located in the woods for maximum ruggedness and coziness. Each of them has its own balcony as well, so you can really get into the pioneer spirit when you take in the air each night.
Some of the other benefits of staying at Evergreen include a Recreation Team that is equipped to give guidance for your Yosemite trip and full-service food and drink options like a restaurant, tavern, and a pool bar. That also means the lodge has a pool.
Yosemite View Lodge
Another popular location just outside Yosemite is El Portal, California. Our pick for the place to stay in El Portal is Yosemite View Lodge.
Unlike other options on this list, Yosemite View Lodge doesn’t offer cabins in Yosemite. But if you’re looking for proximity, the lodge has that in spades. It’s a mere four-minute drive from the entrance to the park.
While Yosemite View Lodge may not provide the stereotypical picture of Yosemite National Park cabins, it does have plenty of views. It is located above the Merced River, which makes it an idyllic and relaxing location. Many of the rooms at the lodge have river views.
Other amenities at Yosemite View Lodge include spa tubs, fireplaces, large showers, balconies, and decks. Not to be outdone by Evergreen, this lodge has four pools, one indoor and three outdoor.
Tools to Aid Your Cabin Search
We’ve already thrown a lot of information at you regarding Yosemite National Park cabins. Even if you’ve fully absorbed all of it, and we’d be surprised if you have already, you’ll need to do more digging of your own.
Here are a few of our favorite resources that we use in our own searches for cabins in Yosemite and beyond its borders.
TripAdvisor is the gold standard of trip search sites. It offers rankings and reviews of destinations and tourist attractions, some from tourists themselves. It’s a nice mixture of on-the-ground information from visitors and expertly written guides from travel writers.
We enjoy TripAdvisor when it comes to Yosemite cabin rentals because of the pure breadth of its offerings. There are dozens of individual cabins in Yosemite available for viewing and renting directly from TripAdvisor’s site. They all come with reviews and rundowns of the amenities they offer.
TripSavvy offers a different yet complementary service to TripAdvisor. Think of TripSavvy like the surprisingly informative magazine you find on the table in your dentist’s waiting room. Fortunately, you don’t have to smuggle this magazine out of the office where you found it because it’s available on the internet.
TripSavvy offers many guides to housing in Yosemite. These guides include analyses of places to camp outside, hotels, and ways to stay on-budget on your trip.
While TripAdvisor does offer direct-rental options, these next two suggestions are our most direct for finding specific properties and paying for them.
First up is VRBO, the online face of the vacation rental industry, which is blowing up right now. As the gig economy makes every piece of property from cars to forklifts available for rental or borrowing, it only makes sense that homes would follow.
VRBO is the resource to turn to if you’re looking for larger accommodations. If you’re planning a trip for a full family, VRBO has got your back.
It’s likely you’ve already heard of Airbnb, but if you haven’t, we suggest you get familiar with this valuable vacation resource.
The alternative Airbnb presents to VRBO is smaller spaces. Some of these may be private homes, but many are simply private, or even shared, rooms in other peoples’ homes.
If you’re willing to deal with the potential inconvenience of the living arrangements themselves, Airbnbs can offer great locations, prices, and well-vetted properties.
To Yosemite and Beyond
We hope you’ve found this guide to Yosemite cabins for rent in Yosemite National Park enlightening. There are many factors to consider when renting a cabin in Yosemite, including whether or not it’s important for you to stay within the park itself or not.
If you’re interested in exploring beyond Yosemite, take a look at things to do in our area.