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“Diamond in the ruff”
Review of Tioga Pass Resort

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Tioga Pass Resort
Ranked #3 of 4 Hotels in Lee Vining
Calabasas, California
Level Contributor
130 reviews
24 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Diamond in the ruff”
Reviewed 7 July 2014 via mobile

This quaint lodge just minutes outside of Yosemite is a wonderful alternative to lodging within the gates of Yosemite, has a delicious and reasonable priced cafe and the people are wonderful.

The property is small and only opened during the summer months, they offer lodges that can accommodate multiple size parties with fabulous views and balconies over looking water features. Rooms have kitchens and small sitting areas. I would love to rent the whole place for a family reunion. If you're interested book EARLY as they have a waiting list but sometimes you can get lucky and someone will cancel at the last minute!!

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Dina H
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Rating summary
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (19)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
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English first
Sunnyvale, CA
Level Contributor
380 reviews
89 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,551 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 October 2013

We stayed at Tioga Pass Resort August 24-26,2013. We had made these reservations in January for a specific cabin, in this case motel room 1, by e-mail correspondence.

Tioga Pass Resort consists of 10 cabins and 4 motel rooms. Cabins 1-6 are next to a stream behind the main building and parking lot. Cabin 7 is on the edge of a hill overlooking a meadow. Cabins 8,9, and 10, and the 4 motel rooms are located on a hill, reachable by a 100 yard gravel road from the main building. The motel rooms can sleep only 2 people, whereas the cabins sleep anywhere from 3 to 6 people. The main building has a restaurant, supply and snack store, and a sitting area with sofas and lounge chairs.

All the cabins have their own bathrooms complete with showers, while the 4 motel rooms share 2 separate shower rooms, accessible by walking outdoors. All the cabins, except cabin 2, have kitchens, with stove and refrigerator, and dining table. Cabin 2 and the 4 motel rooms do not have cooking facilities, nor tables. Cabin 2 at $160 a night, is considerably cheaper than the next most expensive cabin at $190 a night.

We had stayed in motel room 1 at least twice before, and preferred it mainly because of its low price, $125 a night, and because it had an outdoor deck with a hilltop view.

Other cabins have hilltop views with outdoor decks, including cabins 7,8, and 9, but these can be as expensive as $240 a night. Cabins 1,3,7,8,9,10 have queen size beds, with kitchens, and cabin 10 has two bathrooms. Cabins 2,4,5,6 have only full size beds. Only motel room 2 has a queen size bed, while the other motel rooms have only full size beds. The 4 motel rooms share 2 showers in separate rooms, while all the cabins have their own showers.

Guests can park their vehicles next to the cabins or motel rooms, with freshly painted exteriors.

There is no TV, no cell phone reception, no WiFi access. Heating is done by a semi mobile oil heater, connected with a 5 foot fuel line attached to the wall. Floors consist of wooden planks, with no carpeting, and in desperate need of be varnished. There is no ice machine, so guests have to get ice and paper cups from the main building.

The cabins are detached, except for cabins 4 and 5. The motel rooms are attached, and have no noise insulation, with normal conversation and other noises heard between the walls.

Motel room 1 is very cramped, with just enough room for 2 people to move around the twin bed and the full size bed. We had to move the full size bed away from the wall, so that the person on that side of the bed could get out the side of the bed. However that meant that the bathroom door, which opened outwards, would hit the side of the bed.

The bathroom was about the same size as a phone booth. It was the only bathroom I've seen where you could sit on the toilet and wash your hands in the sink. Do not drink the water in the sink, as it is full of iron from the century old pipes. We filled up our water bottles with filtered water can from the main building, and used them for brushing our teeth.

I stayed here in June and August, and never was able to get a good night's sleep, due to the 9500 foot altitude, and may pass on staying here next year.

Tioga Pass Resort this year closed September 15 due to the closure of the Tioga Road in the western section of Yosemite near the Rim Fire, cutting off TPR from the west. We shortened down our stay by 1 night, and left the park August 26, as Tioga Road was closed on August 28.

To their credit, the people at TPR were great in the service department, answering all my e-mails, and allowing us to leave a day early without penalty, due to the imminent closure of Tioga Road.

I may consider staying in Lee Vining 10 miles and 3000 lower in elevation down the Tioga Pass Grade. The other alternative is Tuolumne Meadows Lodge, located 10 miles west within Yosemite Park. TML is a collection of 65 tent cabins sharing 8 toilets and 8 showers, and only wood furnaces for heat during the cold nights, costing about $125 a night.

I have written 2 previous reviews on this resort, and 2 reviews of the restaurant, which you may read, by clicking on the following reviews under my name.

Room Tip: All cabins, except cabin 2 have kitchens. Cabins 7,8, and 9 and motel room 1 have hilltop views fr...
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  • Stayed August 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
19 Thank robert c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Auckland Region, New Zealand
Level Contributor
127 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 67 helpful votes
Reviewed 11 September 2013

I had the distinct pleasure of visiting TPR this month and it was spectacular. The 10,000 ft. altitude took a few hours to adjust to but the scenery was unmatched. Located at the top of Tioga Pass, at the east entrance to Yosemite, this place is special. Our full service cabin was clean, comfortable and well equipped. With 2 Queen size beds at $225 a night it was very good price. Fishing, hiking or just relaxing, take your pick. Keep in mind there is no phone, internet or TV but that is part of the charm. The surprise of the trip was the little 16 seat café in the main building. The food was simple but superb. Cooking from scratch with local fresh ingredients by someone who was trained very well in the culinary arts. The desserts, all made on premises, were a great way to top off a wonderful day in the High Sierras.

Room Tip: Cabin 9 sits up a hill and has a beautiful view from the front deck.
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  • Stayed September 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank tom_treddles
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Shanghai, China
Level Contributor
62 reviews
50 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 39 helpful votes
Reviewed 19 July 2013

2 miles away from Yosemite Park from East Sierra, 10 miles mountain climb from the town center of Lee Vining. Better value compared to those overpriced inns and motels on the main street, you pay for the same or lower for a great mountain retreat in a cabin by the crystal clear running stream. What's more? Enjoy the sun inside the forests, fishing if you like, and breakfast and lunch are definitely much more delicious and tasteful than those down the valley.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ahsangje
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Silver Spring, Maryland
Level Contributor
14 reviews
7 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
Reviewed 13 July 2013

We stayed in cabin 5 (directly behind main building) for two nights in late June 2013. Gorgeous scenery! We loved the stream separating our cabin from the main building. It was hard to get our two kids out of it. Cabin was nothing fancy. Two double beds, kitchen, bathroom with stall shower. Coffeemaker provided upon request. No living area, per se, but the point of being up there is to be out in nature. My husband was a little disappointed with the fishing. He fly fishes and the nearby streams seemed overfished, so not a lot of action. Also, we arrived just as all the mosquitos hatched so had to use lots of bug repellant and even then we all looked like we had chicken pox by the time we left. The staff said that we had arrived at the mosquito peak, though Restaurant good, though not many choices, but what they had was very tasty. Nice to be able to stay so close to Tioga Pass.

Room Tip: Only stayed on one cabin, but none of them appeared to be bad choices. It is mostly a matter of the...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank DCCaliChick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sunnyvale, CA
Level Contributor
380 reviews
89 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,551 helpful votes
Reviewed 10 July 2013

We stayed at Tioga Pass Resort June 7-9,2013, the first day that they accepted advance reservations for the 2013 season.

PROMPT E-MAIL REPLIES: We have made reservations by e-mail with TPR (tiogapassresortllc@gmail.com). TPR promptly answered all 5 of my e-mails. Their facebook page at www.facebook.com/tiogapassresort has updates on cabin availability. You don't have to be a facebook member to access the site. Some scary pictures -snow up to the cabin rooftops in March, and ice floes on nearby Saddleback lake in May!

DEPOSIT: TPR did not require me to make a deposit or give a credit card number to secure the reservation. They simply asked me to send them an e-mail in case I needed to cancel the reservation.

STOCKING UP: We stocked up on various foods prior to our arrival. If you are staying at one of the 10 cabins, except cabin 2, you get a fully equipped kitchen, refrigerator, and eating table. Bring food for breakfast and lunch from home in an ice chest full of ice-filled bags. We reserved one of the 4 motel rooms, which do not have a refrigerator, nor kitchen -cabin 2 also has no kitchen. . I brought along non-perishable snacks, including a case of 6.25 ounce juice cartons, some apples, steak nuggets, trail mix, and fruit-cups.

TIOGA PASS: We drove through the entire width of Yosemite Park in about 90 minutes, passing by such lodgings as White Wolf, and Tuluomne Meadows Lodge. 15 minutes later, we reached the eastern entrance to the park. There is no line to get out of the park, but there is a long stream of cars waiting to get into the park. the ranger station sign lists the elevation as 9970 feet. 2 minutes later we reach the main building of TPR right next to the highway.

CABIN 6: We step outside into the parking lot, ringed with mountains, and go around the north part of the main building, following metal bear prints in the asphalt. On our right with its backside to the restaurant is Cabin 6 (sleeps 2, $190 first night, double bed). It faces away from the restaurant, and on two sides borders on the fast moving, snow swollen stream, with a balcony farthest from the restaurant, overlooking the stream. This is the only cabin on the parking lot side of the stream.

CABINS 4,5 : We walked over one of two wooden plank bridges suitable for cars crossing over the stream behind the main building. Cabin 4 (sleeps 2, $190 first night, double size bed) and cabin 5 (sleeps 4, $195 first night, double size bed) share a building, and are directly on the other side of the 20 foot bridge. These cabins have no porch, nor balcony, and share a bench. The front doors of each cabin directly face the back door of the kitchen to the restaurant, across the stream, and their view of the mountains is blocked by the main building, and forests. During restaurant hours from 7am to 9pm, the kitchen door would be left open to ventilate the cooking area, with all the associated noise and smells of a kitchen.

CABIN 7: We walked away from cabin 4 and 5, and past cabin 6 on the other side of the stream, we come to cabin 7 (sleeps 4, $225 first night, queen size bed) on the northern edge of TPR. Cabin 7 is one of the larger cabins, with a balcony facing the meadows north of TPR, and mountains east across the highway on the other side of the stream next door. This area is where all the service and maintenance buildings are, along with the staff circular tents, with power cords everywhere.

NO MORE CASH ONLY: We receive the keys to our room, and ask for and get a free bag of ice and two paper cups. The room charges are tallied electronically on an Apple Ipad. The days of cash only are a thing of the past.

CABINs 1,2,3: We drive over the other plank bridge over the stream, passing by cabins 1,2 and 3. These cabins have their doorsteps right on the stream, across from the parking lot. These cabin guests park their vehicles in the regular parking lot. Cabins 1 (sleeps 3, $190 first night, queen size bed) and 3 (sleeps 6, $225 first night, queen size bed) have a small porch on the stream Cabin 2 (sleeps 4, $160 first night, double size bed) is the only cabin without a kitchen. Cabin 3 is partially hidden behind the main building, but otherwise shares with the other two cabins a view of the mountains overlooking the parking lot. None of these cabins have a balcony.

CABINS 8,9: After crossing the plank bridge over the stream, we drive up a gravel road running parallel to the creek passing cabins 8 (sleeps 6, $240 first night, queen size bed) and 9 (sleeps 4, $225 first night,queen size bed) . These are huge cabins with hilltop balcony views, with parking right next to the cabin. The gravel road is narrow with shrubs close by on both sides, and ends 100 yards at the motel building. As recently as 2008 this area of the road on the slope became barren of gravel with car wheels grinding into the gravel for traction, and became rutted and treacherous in wet weather. The road is only a single lane, with a blind curve at the end at the top of the hill, surrounded by tall brush on both sides.

CABIN 10 (sleeps 5, $240 first night, queen size bed) is on a plateau beyond cabin 9. It is the only cabin with 2 bathrooms, and shares a picnic table with cabin 9. Cabin 10 has a balcony but the place is so heavily forested that you can't see much.

MOTEL ROOMS: We reach the parking spots for the 4 motel rooms at the top of the hill. At the top of this hill is the Motel building, with 4 separate rooms, and 2 separate showers rooms shared among the occupants. Motel rooms 1 and 4 share a long deck with a view of the mountains across road 120. Unfortunately at this time of year, the mosquitoes were out in force at twilight, making sitting out on the deck hazardous. Motel room 1 has two beds,a double size bed and a twin bed, a convenience in case one person can't sleep. Motel room 2 has a queen size bed, while motel rooms 3 & 4 have a double size bed.

MOTEL ROOM 1: Our motel room 1 had a crooked floor, probably due to the foundation sinking. The wooden plank floor desperately needed to be sanded and varnished. Most of the spider webs were on the outside of the windows, although there was a lot of dead insects at the bottom of the inside sliding windows. The paint on the floor of the shower room was badly scarred. On the positive side all the buildings were newly painted, right over all the cracks and ripples in the wood, and cabins 1,2,3,4,5 had new shingles on their roofs. Someone went to a lot of work to reconnect all the overhead electrical power lines.

SLEEPLESS: All the neighbors and I had a hard time sleeping. I heard beds squeaking constantly, and people talking and moaning next door throughout the night. The beds were not supportive enough and sagged, and it was difficult getting used to a full size bed when normally sleeping on a queen size bed. I didn't get a full night's sleep until I got to Yosemite Lodge at the Falls.

CURTAINS: The rooms had sheer curtains, but no black out curtains. Every morning at 530 am we were awakened by bright morning sunlight coming through the curtains. The curtains in our room did not even reach down to the bottom of the window. If this bothers you, consider motel rooms 2 and 3 facing the west, with no morning sunlight, or cabins 4 and 5, which are shielded from the morning sun by the main building.

SECURITY: You can park within feet of your room. I used my vehicle as a safety deposit box. The motel room dead bolt was all show and nonoperational. There was a huge gap between the door jam in the frame and the door itself where the door locked, and anyone with a plastic card could have opened the door. And one of the sliding windows next to the deck was missing its lock.

AMENITIES: All cabins and motel rooms have wooden planks for floors, and they are not the cleanest floors, sliding screened windows, mobile oil radiator heater -more for show than function, and external walls fashioned out of logs. The interior walls have wood paneling. There is no TV, no WIFI access, and no cell phone access. There are electrical outlets in the room, so you can run your DVD players on your laptops, and recharge your electronic games. Simple wooden tables and chairs. No AC but then the winds whistling through the mountain pass at 9500 feet keep the place cold at night.

SETTING: TPR has its drawbacks. However the setting is beautiful. Majestic mountains towering over a collection of rustic log cabins, with deep blue lakes, next to the entrance to the Yosemite High Country. The location cannot be matched, and this is why we will keep coming back!.

Room Tip: All cabins except cabin 2 have kitchens. Motel rooms 1,4,and cabins 7,8,9 have balconies with hillto...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
15 Thank robert c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Phoenix, Arizona
Level Contributor
4 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
Reviewed 8 July 2013

We stayed for 2 nights (July 4th and 5th) in cabin 9 and totally loved it. It is located in a beautiful setting amidst mountains, tall trees, meadows with a creek flowing nearby. A short hike to the top of the hill behind our cabin gave the best possible view of the entire location and it truly represented the Yosemite park for me. It is just a mile from the East entrance of the park and is at a walkable distance to Tioga lake which is a beautiful lake. The cabin itself was pretty neat with a nice kitchen and bathroom. The kitchen had some utensils and the bathroom has hot running water and there was a heater in the room which kept it warm throughout. We were totally happy with the cabin and have no complaints. The staff were nice and friendly. We cooked our own meals so did not eat in their restaurant, though we felt we should have tasted their pie. Though I have been to cabins with lot more amenities before, I thought this was just perfect for a trip to Yosemite. The only drawback is that it is far from Yosemite Valley but to be honest with you, I loved the Tioga Pass area (Tioga Pass Road, Tenaya Lake, Toulomne Meadows etc) more than anything else in the park.

Room Tip: Cabin 9 and 10 are slightly further up the hill and we loved cabin 9 where we stayed.
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  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank RekhaDev
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

Property: 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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