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“Reminded me of real camping”

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Tuolumne Meadows Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
San Francisco, California
Level Contributor
52 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Reminded me of real camping”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 30 August 2011

Tuolumne Meadows Lodge isn't the easiest place to stay if you're used to conventional lodges or even cabins. It's not really a lodge at all, but a collection of tents. However, even though the parking lot is right next door, staying here is peaceful in a way that conventional accommodations can't match. I used to love camping but haven't done it in years, and this place brings back some of that feeling.

To start with, Tuolumne Meadows is not like Yosemite Valley at all, in terms of crowding and the general human environment. There are far fewer people, and the atmosphere is less tense and fast-paced. Not as many spectacular highlights, but a beautiful place with great views.

Our tent had four twin beds with mattresses, and in the middle was a wood-burning stove and a table. Because of the size and arrangement, it would have been hard to combine two twins for a double. Kindling, fire-starters, matches, candles and a good set of towels were provided. We slept in our sleeping bags on top of the beds, but the sheets seemed to be clean.

The lodge serves meals in a single dining room, where you need to make reservations for dinner and sign in to be seated for breakfast. The food is not included in the room (tent) rate, and it is not cheap. However, the dishes we had ranged from decent to excellent. Diners are seated one table at a time, and some dishes such as salad and rolls are shared. This makes it a bit of a group dinner with people you've never met before, and there was lively conversation during all the meals we enjoyed here. There's a generally friendly atmosphere around the camp. The nights are very quiet.

The shared restroom has good plumbing and hot water, but it's nothing fancy. There are windows near the top of the peaked roof that are open to the air, so expect a draft. There's a private entry area with each shower (two curtains) but the floor gets very wet.

The biggest issue for me was the logistics: You have to put all your food and toiletries in a bear lockers next to the parking lot. They're not locked, and they're shared by the rest of the people at the lodge. Thus, your toothpaste, lip balm, etc. are up to 100 yards away from the place where you sleep. Plus, the tents don't lock from either the inside or the outside. You can latch the door from the inside and there's a place to put on your own padlock from the outside. But cameras and any other valuables have to stay with you or go in your car. And you need a flashlight to get around at night.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank Skihist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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206 reviews from our community

Traveller rating
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    5
    4
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Italian first
  • Portuguese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Martinez, California
Level Contributor
22 reviews
12 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 18 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 25 August 2011

Special, beautiful place, but the overcooked, gummy, white rice, two, one-inch squares of bell pepper for "vegetable," an overcooked trout with the black skin on one side was quite pungent, plus romaine lettuce salad soaked in vinegar. But, nice people and good service, but we were shocked when one bed was full of bed bugs resulting in many swollen bites.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank travelfriend1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lancaster, California
Level Contributor
3 reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 23 August 2011

The setting is amazing with the river flowing through and the all around beauty. I was with my 19 & 20 year olds and they enjoyed the fire pit at night and star gazing. There where quite a few older guests though, but they where tollerent and friendly.

  • Stayed August 2011, travelled with family
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank sharongo40
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oakland, California
Level Contributor
118 reviews
90 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 128 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 2 August 2011

The tents are very rustic with cement floors and cots with thick wool blankets which are very musty. The tent smelled of mildew and since it rained every afternoon it was a dreary place to be in. The communal bathrooms were dirty and the toilets were often out of order. You had to roll up your pants when in the bathroom or they would get wet.
Our tent had an additional problem in that when it rained the rain soaked the floor. That was fixed when we told them the problem.
The reason it gets 2 stars instead of one is that the scenery is fabulous and the hiking breathtaking. It is also the only place to stay in the high country of Yosemite

Room Tip: Ask for tent 57 to 60 or 1 to 3 that are on the outskirts of the propery so you look towards the riv...
See more room tips
  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
4 Thank abby7
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Miami, Florida
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 28 July 2011

My boyfriend and I spent 2 days/nights at Tuolumne Meadows Lodge in July 2011 - actually the first two days of the season they were open. We had no idea we got so lucky making reservations the week before (only open bc they had to cancel all reservations prior due to the late opening).
For me, it was camping without many of the drawbacks! Your tent is always dry and ready for you, bedding is warm and you dont prepare your own food.
We went on some great hikes and there are trails of all distances/levels leaving right from the campground. I would definitely recommend this place to anyone!
The restaurant's breakfast was great - dinner was on the pricey side but overall a good value considering where we were. Cheesecake was amazing and avoid the chicken soup. We'll be back!

  • Stayed July 2011, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank ArielleinMiami
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Ann Arbor, Michigan
Level Contributor
37 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 22 September 2010

My husband and I really enjoyed our tent cabin! It was cute and comfortable! We enjoy camping, but since we opted to fly instead of drive to Yosemite, we ditched the tent, and I was glad we did. Tuolumne Meadows Lodge is not a lodge by any stretch of the imagination. There is a lodge on the property for check-in and dining, but you stay in a canvas tent with a wood platform floor. It's like camping, but a little more luxurious. There are cots to sleep on (read: no backache the next day), you and your stuff stay dry, there is a wood-burning stove for heat, and you can stand up without hitting your head!

Tuolumne Meadows Lodge would be perfect for families. As a couple, I thought it was romantic (my hubby made me a fire each night!). The location can't be beat, and it's a welcomed retreat from the hustle and bustle of the Valley.

Bring warm clothes and some old-fashioned entertainment (books, cards, games, scotch) for the evenings. Don't forget to check for stars!

Stayed July 2010, travelled as a couple
Helpful?
4 Thank trvl17
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Westfield, New Jersey
Level Contributor
90 reviews
21 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 26 August 2010

This is not a hotel room, it is a tent cabin at 8600ft, you get the basics without having to carry them on your back, including access to hot showers with dispenser soap,flush toilets. canvas tents on cement platform have 4 singles, firm mattress (some 1 double,2single), sheets, pillow, wool blankets, quilt, towel and washcloth, new wood burning stove, card table, candle, matches, chair, water pitcher, a few logs, door, 2 mesh windows. bring your own flashlight, tea light candles, newspaper. for $8 a small box of firewood at tioga road store/grill just west of tm, if you are unprepared for a cool night.
Tuolomne meadows lodge building, where you check in, includes a dining room, view of the dana fork of the tuolomne river, serves breakfast, dinner, box lunches, snacks, has electricity and a pay phone, drinking water supply just outside. the parking area is for guests with bear boxes for your food. housekeeping may be available for a fee, but if you are careless with your food in the tent, the nearby chipmunks will take care of it asap. don't feed the wildlife. always grateful for tm staff who are helpful & friendly.
Tuolomne is a wonderful base camp for high sierra camps and day hikes. there are trails to enjoy for all ages and abilities, with breathtaking views, rivers, lakes, meadows. a free shuttle runs daily to different trailheads along tioga road. cell reception can be spotty.
over the past 20 yrs i have returned to Yosemite and always found something new to discover; of the high camps sunrise and may lake are favorites. the yosemite creek trail can take you from tioga road to the valley floor, best when the falls are at peak, stop by the Ahwahnee for some rustic luxury as well!

  • Stayed August 2010, travelled with friends
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
9 Thank vista4u
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Tuolumne Meadows Lodge

Property: Tuolumne Meadows Lodge
Address: Tioga Road, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Region: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #5 of 24 Speciality Lodging in Yosemite National Park
Number of rooms: 69
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Cabins of Tuolumne Meadows are located 60 miles from Yosemite Valley at over 8,700 feet above sea level. Here, you'll find 69 canvas-tent cabins that are available from mid-June to mid-September, conditions permitting. Situated next to a picturesque meadow, it's the perfect place to settle in after hiking in Yosemite-or before embarking on an extended backpacking trip. You'll find the Cabins of Tuolumne Meadows on Tioga Road, near the Park's eastern entrance on Highway 120 East. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tuolumne Meadows Hotel Yosemite National Park

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