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Tuolumne Meadows Lodge
Washington DC
Level 6 Contributor
185 reviews
101 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 101 helpful votes
“Loved it!”
Reviewed 11 August 2013

Have been wanting to stay here since we first visited years ago. This is one of the most beautiful places in the world, and what a special treat to be able to sleep here. The cots were comfortable, but the nights were still downright chilly at this altitude in mid-June. We learned to save a bit of wood to take the chill off when we got up in the morning. We really enjoyed the conversations at meals--people come here from all over the world to hike and the way people are seated provides opportunities to meet lots of them. You can bring in your own wine (for a small corkage fee), which helps with the cost of dinner. We never had more than a short wait to get a shower.

Room Tip: Tent 53 is up the hill a bit, quiet, can hear Miller's Cascade as you fall asleep
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
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2 Thank ShowMeSomething
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Traveller tips help you choose the right room.   Room tips (63)
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English first
San Francisco, CA
Level 3 Contributor
18 reviews
8 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 6 helpful votes
Reviewed 28 July 2013

If you're expecting electricity, private baths, and hotel-like convenience, this isn't the place for you. Understand, also, that you will need to stash your food and any toiletries in shared lockers, so don't bring anything superfluous (and leave the big ice chests at home!). But if you're more interested in being in an extraordinary setting, with very basic facilities, you will be happy. Most obviously, the "rooms" are canvas tent cabins, with a concrete floor. However, if you have stayed in Curry Village in Yosemite Valley, you will find Tuolumne Meadows Lodge much nicer--tent cabins are farther apart from each other, and it is much quieter. Also, unlike Curry, the beds are actually made up for the guests (rather than the guests doing that themselves with too-small linens). My bed was surprisingly comfortable for a wire-spring frame, and I slept well. The lantern supplied with the room was somewhat feeble (maybe just insufficiently charged), so you might want to bring a portable lantern from home. The food in the dining room was good and hearty, and the shared-table seating is convivial. Reservations are necessary for dinner (though not for breakfast). The lodge is conveniently served by shuttle buses that take you to all of the major spots and trailheads.

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled solo
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Helpful?
2 Thank PegD_in_SF
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Freehold, New Jersey
Level 4 Contributor
33 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 87 helpful votes
Reviewed 23 July 2013

I love coming to Tuolumne Meadows in the summertime. While the Valley is stifling hot and over-crowed with day-trippers and tour bus visitors, the high-country is pleasantly warm during the day and cool at nights with unlimited numbers of stars in the open sky.

The Tuolumne Meadows Lodge is a gem since you can sleep in a tent with raised beds, piles of blankets and fresh sheets, towels provided for your use and a wood-burning stove to keep warm late at night and in morning hours.
We were happy with our tent cabin, set a little farther up-river and close to Miller's Cascades, partially viewable from the cabin door. The trade-off is that you have to walk a bit farther up a slope, which makes each bathroom trip a hike, and the lodge and parking lot farther down-trail.
We didn't use the showers during our 2-night stay as we had modern bathrooms pre- and post- TML, but I can say that the toilets and sinks are kept very clean (husband confirms for men's room). There's rarely a wait and the occasional lines move quickly.
Dining wise, we enjoyed the lodge dining experience but the price was high for the quality received. I appreciate the cost of transporting supplies up to the lodge and gladly paid the extra cost, but my expectation on the quality of the cooking was not met. On the plus side at dinner - The HUGE salad bowl laid out for the entire table to share was fresh and delicious, and makes up for some of the shortfalls from the kitchen. Breakfast was better than dinner over all. Try alternating meals with the grill - Best Buckwheat Pancakes.

Helpful?
4 Thank OperaFan
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Spring, Texas
Level 3 Contributor
17 reviews
6 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed 22 July 2013

The only place to stay in Yosemite.... For the past several years we have a large eclectic party of friends and family that get together in Yosemite for a week... We have a group from all over the country that includes hard core backpackers, brand new campers, kids, and grandparents who have been friends since they were kids. We typically start out in the Valley, dropping off our hard core backpackers and then picking them up at Tuolumne a few days later. Those of us who don't take the trek, typically stay at the campgrounds in the Valley and at the Lodge in Tuolumne. This year are group was so big we had people staying at the campgrounds in both Tuolumne and the Valley and at Curry Village and Tuolumne Lodge. Without a doubt when it comes to service, cleanliness, atmosphere, food, and the staff, Tuolumne Lodge wins hands down every time. Next year we won't even bother staying in the valley!!!!

  • Stayed July 2013, travelled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
Thank lynn j
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
london
Level 3 Contributor
3 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed 12 July 2013 via mobile

I stayed here for 2 nights with my 7 yr old last month, a week after it opened for the season. Check-in was efficient and we were offered a choice of several tent cabins. We chose #51 which was higher up and we could hear the river from there. We had no problem with mosquitoes or noise here.

The bear lockers were as noted by other reviewers by the parking lot. We had no problem finding room for all our scented items including some very long toasting forks! And the cubby hole system by the bathrooms worked well for toiletries.

The tent cabin was clean and surprisingly spacious although it may have felt a little cramped at full capacity of 4. It got very cold at night. We used 2 quilts each as we had a 4 bedded tent and wore hats and were never uncomfortable. I found the communal washrooms to be generally clean and well maintained and never had to wait in line.

We ate both evenings and breakfasts in the lodge and had 1 bag lunch from them. The evening food was pretty good, the breakfasts and bag lunch were average. The communal dining atmosphere was fun and we had some great dinner conversations.

Overall, we greatly enjoyed the whole experience and it was one of the highlights of our road trip through the Sierra's.

  • Stayed June 2013
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank nelnelLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Sunnyvale, CA
Level 6 Contributor
396 reviews
96 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,589 helpful votes
Reviewed 9 July 2013

LOCATION: My wife and I were traveling to Tioga Pass Resort on June 7, 2013 when we stopped by Tuolumne Meadows Lodge (TML) to take a look at a possible future habitat during our summer stays. We were driving on highway 120, Tioga Road, which had opened in early May. This is the much less traveled area of the Tuolumne High Country, far from the tourist mob overrunning Yosemite valley, 55 miles and 90 minutes away.

NEARBY HIKES: We pass by a multitude of nearby Hikes: Pothole Dome, Cathedral Falls, Elizabeth Lake. We stop by the Visitor Center, and check out the status of these trails, and move on. Last year Upper Cathedral Lake was closed due to restoration and trail repairs.

PLACE TO EAT: A big white tent appears on my right, next to a gas station. This is the Tuolumne Grill, open only after the road is snow plowed. . This is one of two places nearby where Tuolumne Meadow Lodge people can eat. We drive in, and get the very last of several dozen parking spots. The place is packed, as there is nowhere else within a dozen miles to eat. Where did all these people come from? Tuolumne Meadows Campground is just behind this area. We've driven 4 hours from Silicon Valley, and are starving. $6 for a bare bones hamburger? I

MORE HIKES: A massive granite mountain rises up in the distance. This is Lembert Dome, with the trail head to Glen Aulin, Young Lakes and Dog Lake. Hiking around the entire Dome takes several hours, and you can hike all over the mountain of rock. We've done this, but not today, as thunderstorms loom in the distance, a very common afternoon occurrence in these areas.

NOT THE RIGHT PLACE: We drive a little farther, and we pass the wilderness center on our right. Sign says Tuolumne Meadows Lodge this way. We take a right turn and wander down the road. Big tent cabins with brown wooden floor structures on our left. Lots of them, running for a quarter of a mile. If this is Tuolumne Meadows Lodge, I'll stay! Sorry to disappoint, but this is the staff's tent cabins. .

TRAILHEAD: We reach a large parking lot on our left, with a dozen bear lockers. This is the parking area for the trail heads nearby. On our right is the John Muir trail head to the Lyell Canyon trail, leading to the Twin Bridges. A good warm up hike for today, as not too strenuous, with little elevation gain, and lots of cover -this is one of the hottest days of the year.

ONE WAY ROAD: Continuing on, the road narrows from two lanes to a single lane, as we approach TML. Not only is it a single lane, but there are few places on the lower side of the road to pull off, due to the slightly elevated roadway. Don't want to meet another car going the opposite direction here at night! One wrong move, and your wheels will go off the road into the gutter and ruin your wheel alignment! This goes on for about three tenths of a mile, according to my odometer.

BEAR LOCKERS: Finally we reach a vast parking lot with over 100 parking spaces -enough for the 69 tent families and their staff handlers. Surrounding the parking lot are bear-proof food storage lockers, numbered 1 to 37, each 17"x 17" by 49" wide. Your ice chest must fit upright in this food locker, and the ice chest is the only way to keep food cold. Best thing is to keep a number of containers for food, snacks, toothpaste, each able to fit inside the locker. The lockers are all metal, and act like sweat boxes. No cooking of food in the tents, although your food will cook inside the lockers! No perishable foods!. And you will have to share the locker with another family, as there are not enough lockers for each family to have one to themselves. Of course if you are a selfish guy like myself, you bring a lock, and lock the locker for yourself. Get here early, as first come first served. Arrive very late and you may not get a place to store your food!.

ADVANCE PLANNING: We leave the Prius, and saunter into Tuolumne Meadows Lodge. The Lodge consists of 69 tent cabins surrounding a common shower/toilet facility. We walk up hill from the parking lot to the center of the camp on an asphalt pedestrian trail, just wide enough for one piece of luggage. You need to plan your eating, tooth brushing, shaving well in advance! The distance from the bear lockers to your tent can be as long as a quarter of a mile, over rough gravel trails from the tent to the bathroom. TML does provide luggage wagons for you to drag up the hill to your tent.

TENTS: Each tent has a concrete floor, surrounded by white canvas sides and tops. Some of the tents are 2 person tents, some 4 persons, with one towel provided per person.

FURNACE: Piercing the back is the smoke stack of a wood burning furnace to heat up the tent during the cold nights. You are given a quota of wood, but you cannot put enough wood in the furnace to last the night. Bring sawdust logs and newspaper to start the fire, or rekindle the fire when it goes out during the cold nights. I always wondered what to do with all those fallen pine cones in my backyard from my neighbor's tree!

COTS: Each person gets a cot set on a spring frame, similar to the cots you see Delaware North Corporation use for temporary excess bedding at Yosemite Falls at the Lodge, 55 miles and 90 minutes away. The cots come with sheets, blankets and pillows. I don't know about you, but the last tent I slept in was at Camp Blue/Gold at Pinecrest 20 years ago, where the tents were unheated, so we slept with ski hats! There they had mattresses and box springs, and I still couldn't sleep well. I know I'm not going to get any sleep on a single thin mattress, which is why I didn't stay here, but just scooped out the place.

FURNISHINGS: The tent comes with clothes hangers to hang from the support beams on the tent sides, and an electric lantern, which can be hung from the ceiling (bring a rope) or left in the center of the tent on the single table. The lantern is new for this year, as there is no electricity in the tent, and no lights, no refrigerator, no stove, no microwave. It's portable so can be used if you forget to bring your flashlight to go to the bathrooms. Quiet time is 10 pm to 6 am, but if you get stuck near a loud snorer or crying baby, you are outta luck, unless you bring ear-plugs. Some people like the tents closest to the river, where the sound of the running water drowns out a lot of noises from nearby tents. Of course in June you will have to deal with mosquitoes, and the river is farthest from the parking lot.

ELECTRICAL OUTLETS: There is no electrical outlets in the individual tents. Bring a car adopter plug to recharge your digital camera batteries, cell phone, laptop, electronic games, portable DVD players etc. Otherwise you have to share the single electrical outlet in the check-in office with 200 other people. And guard your stuff during the entire duration of the recharge, as others may disconnect your device.

TOILETS: There is one set of toilets and showers for men and women. The women have 4 showers and 4 toilets. No , I didn't count by peeking inside! So says my wife. The men have 4 toilets, 2 urinals, and 4 showers, and 5 sinks. No power at night from 10pm to 6am. So bring a flashlight. Daily maintenance noon to 2pm, so plan accordingly. Get there early to avoid lines for the womens toilets in the mornings, and showers in the late afternoons, when everyone comes back from hikes. Ratio of toilets to people is about 8 toilets for 210 people, or 1 to 26 -a Boeing 767 has 9 toilets for 250 people, and you've seen the lines on the airplane! And hope that you are not here when one or more toilets goes down for maintenance -not an uncommon occurrence in this heavy usage environment!

New for this year are a limited number of bear lockers constructed next to the toilet/shower facilities .

RESTAURANT: We go along an asphalt path and check out the Tuolumne Meadows Lodge restaurant, in a charming wooden structure next to the parking lot. Indoor and outdoor seating, the latter under colorful umbrellas over circular tables. Menu listed outside: $8 continental breakfast, $11 hamburger, and $27 flat iron steak. About what I would expect for a three star hotel room service, but with the ambiance of the good outdoors!. Reservations for dinner a must -remember the only other place to eat a hot meal nearby is the Tuolumne Grill, and they close at 5pm. You've got a captive audience here, unless you want to drive 10 miles east to the Tioga Pass Resort Cafe, or 20 miles down the Tioga Pass Grade to Lee Vining to Whoa Nellie. There is a general store here, where you can purchase ice bags for the cooler locked in the sweat box of a bear locker, snacks and cold drinks and beer.

COLD STREAMS: One way to cool drinks here is to let them soak in the river running next to the camp. Hey, there goes my beer floating down the river! Bring a bottle opener. The nearest swimming pool is 20 miles away in Lee Vining, and you don't want to try wading in the Tuolumne River until late July. I tried soaking my toes in some shallow areas on big areas of granite. So cold I almost got frostbite after just a few seconds!

VALUE: Delaware North Corporation was charging $125 to stay at TML or White Wolf during June. Tuolumne Meadows Campgrounds, a mile away, was $20 a night with lots of vacancies in early June -of course there you had to provide your own tent, sleeping facilities, and no heat But for $125 you could buy all that and then some! They supplied the bathroom and shower. Tioga Pass Resort, 8 miles away, was $110 per night for 2 or more nights for a motel room 12'x 15' with your own bed with mattress, bathroom and shared shower, and fully electrified. The only problem there is that they only have 14 units, and don't have an interactive internet reservation web site, nor a phone to take reservations. Curry village had similar prices for tent cabins, but came with electricity and a more central location in the valley. Of course Curry village is like Manhattan -you are barley able to walk between the tents, while in TML there is at least 10 feet between tents. Everyone can and will hear your every snore and talking. Both Curry Village and White Wolf have individual bear lockers for each tent next to the tent.

We pass trail heads for Mono Pass and Gaylor Lakes on our way to Tioga Pass Resort, 10 miles away.

Room Tip: Arrive early to get the best choice of tent locations and bear lockers. Your ice chest cannot excee...
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  • Stayed June 2013, travelled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
7 Thank robert c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Chico, California
Level 3 Contributor
11 reviews
5 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
Reviewed 8 July 2013 via mobile

These cabins are basic, simple yet quaint. They are located in the magnificent high Sierra Tuolumne Meadows in Yosemite National Park. They are placed close together and don't offer a view but a few minutes walk takes you to cascading rivers, meadows of wildflowers, and glacial carved mountains.

  • Stayed July 2013
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Julesann0306
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 #4 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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