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“Ambience, ambience, ambience...”
Review of Tioga Pass Resort

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Tioga Pass Resort
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Lee Vining
Reviewed 1 August 2012

We stayed here 26-30 July 2012. Cabin #1 was perfect for two people; the bed was comfortable, the shower hot and forceful, etc. That said, TPR is more an experience than just a place to stay. Surrounded by High Sierra peaks, the lodge is the closest to Yosemite National Park, and just minutes from excellent day hikes and climbs. The staff is friendly, the cafe's food is excellent, and the pies are world famous. What's really impressive is that it has maintained the same "feeling" for years. Our family first visited in the 70's and we continue to do so, bringing new generations to experience this special place. The only negative? We had to leave...

Room Tip: Cabin 1 is great for couples. The "motel rooms" have thin walls, so bring ear plugs if you...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with family
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4  Thank Dicka
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 July 2012

Last year I reported that the resort wasn't able to take reservation via internet and
no long took credit cards, making is necessary to have cash in hand! This weekend we were able to stop at the resort after hiking Saddlebag Lake loop. I am very happy to report that they are back on line and have the lastest technology
for taking credit cards. There are also new signs and everything is looking good!
Their internet address is TiogaPassResortllc@gmail.com.
This is a great place, rustic and authenic. The staff this year seems happier and very helpful too. I love this place and always try to fit it in to our summer activities!

Room Tip: There is one cabin that is built on granite boulder with creek running around it. It is my favorite...
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  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled as a couple
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4  Thank mistravel
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 25 July 2012

I had stayed here in the winter (great for back-country skiing though they are not longer open in winter) but had thought it would be too close to the road to bother with in the summer. TPR is just as good in summer. The food is fantastic, the people super friendly and helpful, the rooms (in the hotel section) cozy and comfortable, and it is wonderful to sleep at 9,500 ft if you plan to do any hiking. Gaylor peak is a realively easy 2 hour hike for a great view, and Dana Plateau is other worldly. I think lodging and hiking here is much better than in the valley!

They don't have a phone and they don't answer email in the winter, so just keep trying in the late spring until you get through.

  • Stayed: July 2012, travelled with friends
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1  Thank michal r
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 3 July 2012

Built in the 1930's, this cabin was a find. Real log cabin with clever log furniture made this a cozy find. Felt like going back in time in a good way! Really enjoyed the place. At 9,000 feet, they are only open in the spring-summer. Good stop on your way out of Yosemite after a day on Tioga Pass. Glad we stayed there. Not a fancy place but a good rustic experience. (Don't miss their restaurant!)

  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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1  Thank a_toute_allure
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 June 2012

We stayed at the Tioga Pass Resort (TPR) June 14-17, 2012. The TPR Facebook page had said they had openings in June, so we went up without a reservation Thursday, intending to stay in Lee Vining as an alternative. When we arrived, not only did they have plenty of vacancies, but all the surrounding cabins were dark that night. We were alone! By Saturday night everything around us was lit up.

TPR opens about 2-3 weeks after the Tioga Pass Road opens in the summer. In 2011 the road opened June 20, and TPR opened July 7. In 2012 the road opened May 7, and TPR opened May 20. TPR has yet to update their web site since 2007, and disabled the price and reservation page of the web site, due to changing servers.

TPR has posted cabins and rooms available by date for July and August 2012 on their Facebook account at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tioga-Pass-Resort/86518623238. Individual cabins and rooms features and prices are on the Facebook wall photo album. TPR has just started answering e-mails, but no phone communication available.

A lot of the cabins are reserved a year in advance by regulars, who make the reservation in person, when coming to stay, for the same cabin, and dates the following year. An electronic calendar spreadsheet is maintained by date for each of the 12 cabins and 4 motel rooms status from mid July through September of the next year. They do not take year ahead reservations dated before mid July of the following year. They had a lot of vacancies this year, with the early opening.

We stayed in motel room 1, complete with an outdoor deck balcony, shared with motel room 4. Cabins 1-6 are next to the creek behind the main building, with a view of the parking lot. They have no outdoor deck balcony, nor do motel rooms 2 or 3. Cabins 7,8, and 10 are huge with outdoor deck balconies, and have hilltop views.

This is not your deluxe resort. Do not even think of Mammoth Mountain Inn, or Evergreen. These are very rustic cabins/motel rooms, complete with not so clean, crooked wooden floors, splintered deck balconies, spider webs, dead flies by the windows, dusty window sills, rust stains in the sinks, running toilets, misaligned window curtains, low water pressure showers that you have to bend under, peeling paint on the balcony railings, and water that tastes like rust pipings - the toilet water tank was rust red on the inside. Some of these cabins were built in 1915, and judging by the taste of the water, probably use the same water pipes!

Bring your own soap and shampoo. No changing of dirty towels, emptying of trash, nor making of beds by housekeeping until after you leave. Good quality mattresses with box springs, comfortable beds and thick towels.

TPR is price comparable to its only competition in the Northeast Yosemite High Country: the tent cabins at Tuolumne Meadows lodge, 9 miles away, which DNC was charging $125. Here you had your own toilet and shower, whereas Tuolumne Meadows' 69 tent cabins share 4 toilets and 4 showers facilities, and required all scented items and food to be stored in far away bear proof lockers. Tuolumne Meadows has wood burning stoves, whereas TPR has an oil filled radiator on wheels. No AC but then it is not needed, as this place at 9550' in the middle of a mountain pass is eternally windy in the evenings. Very little road noise at night, unlike Lee Vining.

TPR is comparable to the older cabins at Evergreen. No TV, no swimming pool and for the 4 motel rooms, no microwave nor refrigerator. But who needs it when you have a great Sierra mountain setting. Most of the cabins have new roofs, are newly repainted, and have other structural rennovations. New modernized power line linkage -before the place was vulnerable to high winds knocking down power lines for days at a time, cutting off water for flushing the toilet.

TPR has a restaurant in the facilities building. Only cabin/room guests get a choice of 3 special $5 breakfasts, including two 12" diameter pancakes. Great $9 TPR burger. 3 ho-hum dinner entree choices at $20 each: half chicken, meat loaf and pot roast. $6 homemade pie slices to die for.

There is a store for tourist trinkets and cold drinks. The facilities building also has a sitting area complete with two lounge chairs and a sofa, and strings of coal lanterns strung up from the ceiling, and lights hung from a wagon wheel chandeler. The other nearest eatery is the big white tent called Tuolumne Meadows Grill run by DNC.

Lastly this is a cash only facility for both lodging and meals. Bring cash or your personal checks. This is not unusual in this area, as a number of motels in Lee Vining 12 miles down the treacherous and steep Tioga Pass Road (beware of falling rocks on the road at night) with hairpin curves are also cash only.

Room Tip: motel room 1, complete with an outdoor deck balcony, shared with motel room 4. Cabins 1-6 are next...
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  • Stayed: June 2012, travelled as a couple
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20  Thank robert c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2011

We recently spent two nights in one of the cabins at Tioga Pass Resort and it was everything we could have wished for and more. The cabin was super cute and very comfortable, with a river running right outside, so I fell asleep each night to the sound of the river. If you really want to experience Yosemite NP without the crowds then I cannot recommend this place highly enough. There are some wonderful hiking trails nearby, including the amazing 20 lake trail loop starting from Saddlebag Lake. In addition to the great location and accommodation, the cafe at TPR is amazing. They serve great, tasty, fresh food at a very reasonable price from 7am until 9pm. And the pies and scones there are absolutely to die for. I had to stop myself sampling every one of them but can definitely recommend the Boysenberry Pie - yummy!! All in all the best place to stay in Yosemite for the hikes, the location, the food, the atmosphere and the peace an quiet. Oh and the staff were all lovely too, including Bosley the dog.

Room Tip: Cabin 2 is great - spacious, quiet and the river runs right by the front of it
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  • Stayed: September 2011, travelled as a couple
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10  Thank SjuB
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 September 2011

Many of the adverse reviews of TPR seem to be written by people who like (and want to stay in) the kind of blah, vanilla motel you can find in Anytown, USA. Live a little! TPR is unique in so many wonderful and unexpected ways. Like Deetjen's in Big Sur, this is a one-of-a-kind place and most appreciated by people who love its quirkiness, lack of pretension, and warmth when you relax and start appreciating the magnificence of the surroundings and the friendliness of the staff. One or two staff members in the past left a little to be desired in terms of understanding customer service practices, but this year we were greeted so warmly and with such friendliness that making our 2012 reservation was a no brainer. Of course the charmingly rustic 1915 cabin that we favor, and the excellence of the down-home breakfasts and dinners (we pack our own trail lunches) not to mention Bob's amazingly fabulous pies, cakes, cookies, scones and other baked delights don't hurt either! Leave your 21st century expectations behind and enjoy a place that's timeless and a reminder of life lived at a gentler pace.

Room Tip: Visit en route first, look at rooms, and make your reservation.
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  • Stayed: August 2011, travelled with friends
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9  Thank Erin_9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tioga Pass Resort

Address: Inyo National Forest, One mile east of the summit of Tioga Pass, Lee Vining, CA 93541
Region: United States > California > Lee Vining
Amenities:
Kitchenette
Hotel Style:
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Lee Vining
Number of rooms: 20
Also Known As:
Tioga Pass Hotel Lee Vining

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