Yosemite Lodging

When you say south entrance, and Mono Lake, that’s a little confusing. From Mono you would go over Tioga Pass, which takes you to 120, and the Big Oak Flat entrance. It’s highly unlikely Tioga would be closed already in October, but it can happen. Fish Camp takes you to the south entrance.

I’m surprised that both Ahwahnee and the Lodge have no availability in October, I’d keep checking back.

Definitely recommended to stay in the Valley at one of those two. Frankly, if you’re making the effort of such a long trip, I’d splurge and do Ahwahnee. If you end up in the Lodge, you can just drive (or walk) over to Awhahnee to eat or hang in the great room. Breakfast in the Ahwahnee dining room is not to be missed, it is one of life’s great experiences.

Tenaya is an alternative, and is actually a decent, more modern hotel. But it is a long way from the valley. Doable, but sub-optimal. Evergreen is fairly primitive, though still a fun stay if you like more isolation. Rush Creek Lodge is its sister, more of a hotel, and easier access right on 120. Both are a good hour drive from the valley (and Evergreen is an additional 20 mins down a country road from 120).

Yoesmite Valley is my favorit place on earth, and I’ve been a lot of places lol.

Edit: interesting, it does look like a lot of dates in October are booked up. But there will be cancellations, for sure. I would call and speak to reservations. They used to have a cancellations list, but that might be the old days, before internet lol.

Also, finding the official website for reservations can be tricky, there are a lot of “fake” commercial sites. Make sure to use the Aramark site

Seriously, I would call. Hard to believe both places are booked solid in October.

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Thanks. I’ll try calling when they open this morning, but other than tents, the website only shows Wawona rooms without bathrooms. There are some nice places available in the Yosemite West section of the park from Scenic Wonders, so that seems like a good option for staying in the park if we cant get into the Ahwahnee or the Lodge. We’ll just have to figure out where one buys food to cook for dinner, or if we have to do a big shopping on our way from Vegas.

We also may stay in the Mono Lake area one night o break up the drive all the way into the park over the Tioga Pass. Lodging there seems pretty meager, but it’s just one night.

Another fun option that is a bit outside the park are the cabins at Kennedy Meadows Resort & Packstation. It has trails up to the PCT and is gorgeous hiking in the Emigrant Wilderness where there are no thoughts of the tragedy of the commons and you may go hours without seeing another human. A few nights there and a few nights at Evergreen Lodge would be my vote for a family–but I usually just need a place to shower after backpacking for a week.

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We booked this one: Panoramic Paradise | Yosemite Rentals & Reservations

Will certainly report back. We’re also considering staying at this “tiny house” in the middle of nowhere (Dyer NV) for a pitstop on the way from Vegas: Tiny AirBnB. Would be an interesting experience, and the motels in Lee Vining look less than attractive.

Looks nice! About 40 min drive to the village, but not bad. I didn’t know about that little enclave of private housing right there, good to know. Also very close to Glacier Point road, which is something to consider for the spectacular views of Half Dome and the valley.

Lee Vining is tiny, not much there. Years ago there was an outpost of the Ansel Adams gallery, which was pretty nice, but that closed long ago.

Much better options would be Mammoth, or June Lake, both beautiful areas with plenty of options.

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Yeah. I thought the Heidelberg Inn in June Lake looked just weird enough to be worth a night’s stay.

Staying inside the park would be cool and super convenient, but if that doesn’t work out Rush Creek Lodge is right outside one of the park entrances and was fairly nice. We combined our Yosemite trip last year with Sequoia—stayed in a cool boutique hotel in Visalia called The Darling on our way down there. The 110 degree heatwave was a story for another day!

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