Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California, United States of America
At a Glance
A Historical Landmark Hotel built in 1920's
Perfect for couples or families with older children
If possible, visit in the Spring or early summer before the crowds arrive and see the Falls flowing
Located in the epi-center so guests can get out on the trails before the crowds in summer months
Built to take in the valleys dramatic scenery of Glacier Point and the Falls
Guest services, concierge, formal dining
Best time to Visit
Good time to visit
Average time to visit
Yosemite is an all-year round destination, best visited from spring through to autumn. From late June to September, the entire park is accessible and all visitor facilities from hotels, cabins, campsites and eateries are running at maximum capacity. During the months of July and August guests should expect traffic and lots of people as it is the most popular time to visit the park to hike, river raft, horse ride and climb. Those wanting to enjoy Yosemite Falls should visit in May when the falls are at their best and there are less crowds. Autumn also brings less crowds and crisp sunny weather, although by September the falls will have dried up. Less people travel to Yosemite in the winter, although when the snow falls - often in October - the park is turned into a winter playground with sledging, skiing and ice skating on offer.
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In the heart of the Yosemite National Park, the historical Ahwahnee Hotel, allows for you to be at the epi-centre of the park, surrounded by magnificent scenery and with direct access to the hiking trails.
A National historical landmark, The Ahwahnee, is the original Yosemite National Park lodging built in 1927. The hotel is constructed of sugar-pine logs and features Native American design motifs; the grand public spaces are decorated with colonial style oriental rugs, and elaborate iron- and woodwork. Guest Rooms are located in the main lodge, or in cottage-style buildings within the lodge grounds. The hotel is the most luxurious option within Yosemite Park, but guests must allow for the idiosyncratic quirks of a historical park lodging. The hotel offers a full time concierge, daily maid service and turn down on request. Guests staying at the hotel are staying there for the careful service, the location in the valley and to dine in the beautiful Dining Room with its ceiling to floor stain glass windows and formal air. The Lounge, with its tiered ceiling, has comfortable lounging chairs and a quiet relaxed ambience and adjoining rooms feature cosy chairs, historical photographs and books on flora and fauna.
The historical nature of the hotel means that interconnecting lodge rooms are not available, and the grand nature of the hotel makes it best suited to couples in search of getting the best of Yosemite's hiking and biking trails, or families with teenage children.
Guest Rooms come with king beds or two queen beds located within the main lodge, or within the cottages in the hotel grounds. The lodge rooms come with much needed air conditioning in the summer months. Each room is unique and the classic or featured room categories come with varying views whether it is over Yosemite Falls (best seen in the Spring), the meadows or Glaciar Point. The rooms themselves have original features, and built in cabinets and storage. Some 'featured rooms' come complete with shared viewing decks or private balconies to take in the valley views.
Due to the historical nature of the hotel, the lodge is best suited to couples or those travelling with old teenage children. For families with young children wanting to stay at Ahwahnee, the best option is a lodge room with two queen sized beds.
Bell service, a full-time concierge, daily maid service, room service, afternoon tea service and informative interpretive events are all part of The Ahwahnee experience. Other Ahwahnee guest services include a unique gift shop, Sweet Shop, The Ahwahnee Bar and a year-round outdoor heated swimming pool.
The crown jewel of Yosemite dining, the award-winning Ahwahnee Dining Room is both magnificent and intimate. The 34-foot-high beamed ceiling with large sugar pine trestles that complement the room’s granite pillars, floor-to-ceiling windows, chandeliers, linen tablecloths and beautiful china made for a traditional dining experience.
Breakfast, lunch and dinner are served daily, as well as an unforgettable Sunday Brunch. Expect to experience culinary delight during your visit to this legendary Yosemite restaurant.
Proper attire is kindly requested for dinner. Dinner dress code in The Ahwahnee Dining Room is 'Resort Casual'. Gentlemen are asked to wear collared shirts and long pants. Ladies are asked to wear dresses, skirts or long pants and blouses. Children over the age of four are asked to dress accordingly. Breakfast, brunch and lunch dress are casual.
The Ahwahnee Bar offers relaxed dining and light casual fare, and features live music from Wednesday through Sunday (seasonal). The hotel is also know for its gourmet food and wine events held in the Autumn and Winter.
Few places in the world rival the landscape that can be seen at Yosemite National Park. The park encompasses over 1000 square miles of scenic wild lands of the Sierra Nevada and its epic valleys and peaks range from 2,000 feet to 13,000 feet above sea level. The park is home to alpine meadows perfect for picnics, mountain forests for hiking, lakes and waterfalls, sky-scraping giant sequoias and redwood trees and plentiful wildlife from mule deer to black bears.
Not to be missed is the sweeping view of the valley floor and towering rocks from Tunnel View, world-class climbers conquering El Capitan, walking the Meadow Loop, hiking up to Glacier Point for the energetic and when the water is flowing, simply marvelling at the wonder of Yosemite Falls. Walking and biking are the most popular ways to see the park, but the two hour Valley Floor tour on board an open-air park ranger guided truck (departing from outside Yosemite Lodge at the Falls daily) is an excellent way to get your bearings and see the park with minimum exertion.
In the summer months horse riding, rafting (best in spring or fall) and climbing are best booked in advance. The park service offers a series of talks advertised in the Yosemite newspaper which can be found in the park or with the concierge.
Holly Brightwell (Staff)
The hotel is set in a perfect location right in the heart of the park just below Half Dome which you can see from some rooms and outside areas. The hotel is newly renovated and real emphasis has been put on dcor wall hangings, rugs, hand stencils and design from the local tribes makes it classic but with a stylish edge. The upper club floor has stylish dcor and small luxury touches. Room are spacious and well lit, most with good views. The restaurant here is super popular so book this in advance and enjoy a cup of hot chocolate in the sun in the outdoor areas after a long hike. Also consider the outdoor cabins for a rustic camping feel in thick trees, but with the hotels amenities really nearby.
Guided Hiking in Yosemite National Park
Yosemite's Granite Cliffs and Giant Sequoias make for incredible hiking country. With easy to moderate options, experience this World Heritage Center with an expert private guide by your side to show you what you may not see with your own eyes.
Get your zip on! Line 1 starts with a gentle introduction to ziplining, and by line 6 you'll be flying along 1000 feet of line above tree tops and the sierra foothills. Your guide will take you on a 2-hour adventure above Mariposa's beautiful countryside.
Your free time in Yosemite - Scott Dunn Suggests
Walking and biking are the most popular ways to see Yosemite, with self-guide trail maps issued at the entrance. Wardens at the visitors centre can advise on activities & the newspaper will tell you what's going on from star-gazing to wildlife talks!
Location & directions
Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, California, United States of America
How to get there
The Ahwahnee is located in the heart of the National Park and is approximately a 4-hour 30-minute drive from San Francisco or a 4-hour one from the Carmel or Monterey area.
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