Not only is Yosemite one of the most frequently visited national parks in the country, but it was central to the development of national parks as a concept to begin with. This goes back as far as President Abraham Lincoln, who signed the Yosemite Grant to protect the Yosemite Valley area. A few decades later, Congress formally made Yosemite into a national park, which also started the entire National Park System. Yosemite is notably large, boasting an area of 748,436 acres and five unique vegetation zones.
Visiting Yosemite is perfect for those looking for adventure, as well as those looking for a peaceful getaway with gorgeous views. Whatever your goals are for your trip, you'll need someplace to rest in between your adventures. Fortunately, Yosemite is home to a wide variety of accommodations, from more affordable hotels to luxury resorts. If you want to make the most out of your trip, you need to find the lodging that can help cultivate the exact experience you're looking for.
When should you visit Yosemite, CA?
For the most part, Yosemite is notably warm all year long. Of course, the mountainous areas are going to be colder as elevation increases, but most of Yosemite boasts that warm California air that so many have grown to love. The hottest month is July, in which average highs reach upward of 94 degrees, though lows that month can fall to around 59 degrees. If you don't mind the cold, you can visit during January when lows hover around 34 degrees and occasionally drop below freezing. If you're looking for warm weather, however, virtually any month outside of the winter season will be satisfactory.
To fully enjoy the sprawling landscapes and breathtaking geological features, the skies need to be at least somewhat clear. If you're looking to avoid the rain, the best time to visit would be the summer. August is the driest month of all with hardly any rain to speak of as the entire month barely gets 0.1 of an inch of rain. On the other hand, December features a daily chance of precipitation of 27 percent, with 7.8 inches falling over the month. That can be advantageous, however, as snowy mountain tops offer a great opportunity for skiing.
Because Yosemite is such a popular destination, there are always plenty of visitors in the area. The peak travel season occurs in July, thanks to the warm weather and sparse precipitation. November is a slower month due to the increased precipitation in the form of rainfall instead of snow. Just keep in mind that February is notably busy for a winter month, so book in advance if you travel during that time.
Below is a chart of the current pricing seasonality of hotels and motels in Yosemite, CA:
Averate Rates by Star Rating
Below are 3 charts displaying average nightly cost trends by star rating class in Yosemite, CA. Analyze these illustrations to determine the best time period to stay in Yosemite for upcoming travels.
What are the best hotels in Yosemite, CA?
4 Star Average Prices: $208.68
If you're looking for a more luxurious experience, you can opt for one of the nearby resort hotels. The area has plenty to offer, but Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite tends to stand out. Your room comes with an LCD television equipped with satellite programming and there's wireless internet access. Your bed is outfitted with remarkably soft Egyptian cotton sheets and the bathrooms feature designer toiletries. A full-service spa and a sauna area are offered on-site, and this hotel offers child care services and features five restaurants and two bar/lounge areas. You don't even have to leave your room as room service is available.
Another great option is Wawona Retreat, located within the park itself and surrounded by wilderness. This quaint cottage is outfitted with a fireplace and a flat-screen television equipped with satellite programming and a DVD player. Wi-Fi is included with your stay, along with a full-fledged kitchen with a refrigerator/freezer, oven, and stovetop. You'll even have access to a private, furnished balcony and patio area, and barbecue grills are available outside for you to use while enjoying the stunning views of towering trees.
What are the budget hotels near Yosemite, CA?
3 Star Average Prices: $139.59
With so much to see and do in the Yosemite Valley and beyond, some travelers may prefer to conserve their vacation money by opting for a budget hotel. Fortunately, quite a few great affordable options can be found in the area. One of the best is Cedar Lodge, just a short drive from the Yosemite National Park entrance. In this hotel, you'll find satellite programming in your room, along with a coffee/tea maker and ceiling fan. The hotel itself even has a restaurant, which is virtually unheard-of for lodging this affordable, and a shuttle is also available to help you get to and from the hotel.
Red Bud Lodge is another great budget option with more features and amenities than you might expect. While it's just a small establishment with 10 total rooms and styled like a cabin, it provides quite a few benefits to enjoy. Satellite television is complimentary, and your room comes with a kitchenette equipped with a refrigerator and a microwave. You can start each morning off right, as a coffee/tea maker is included in every room, along with a ceiling fan and air conditioning that you can adjust as you see fit.