Honestly, I'm not sure what some are expecting from a lodge/hotel deep in King's Canyon National Park. Since this was a family trip that my mom picked up the tab for, I'm not quite sure what the room rate was but on the door it was listed at $119/night.
Cedar Grove Lodge is at the end of a LONG, meandering park road. This area, set next to a flowing river, is clean and pretty strict about keeping food properly secured to deter bears. Aside from the lodge, there's a snack bar, small market with snacks and gifts, rooms, laundry, and showers for campers. I do not camp; in fact, staying in the lodge was camping for me. Here's what to know:
-There's no TV, and spotty WiFi at best. I'm at a gorgeous national park: if I need TV, I'll stay at a hotel not in a national park.
-Take snacks and beverages. I highly recommend this if you're picky about what you or your family eat, or your looking to keep expenses down. No one is offended if you do. In fact, you can drink wine or other alcoholic beverages with your purchased meal from the snack bar or when you're just relaxing on the patio (but you can't consume them inside). There's patio seating outside of the snack bar and on the third floor to eat whatever you bring. I would recommend bringing foods that are ready-to-eat, like sandwiches and the like. Be sure to thoroughly clean up after yourself, as bears are said to be abundant in the area.
-The rooms are basic; I mean, even the doors still use regular keys. However, for me having a decently comfy bed, indoor plumbing, and a hot shower beats tent camping. The rooms were clean, the towels were plentiful, and the AC worked well (although some may find it a little loud). All third floor rooms have two queen beds. On the flip side, the floors creak and the walls are THIN.
-Insect repellent is your friend. Use it when you're outside.
-When driving in, I suggest filling up your car before entering the park. There is NO gasoline service inside King's Canyon National Park, and you certainly don't want to be stranded without cell service (because there definitely isn't any with Verizon or AT&T) because you ran out of gas.
Would I recommend staying here? I'm thinking I'd stay there again for a night or two, as a great basecamp to explore King's Canyon and to be somewhat "off the grid" for a bit. If you're looking for luxurious amenities and access to great restaurants, a pool, a spa, and fitness facilities, this... is not it. If you're looking for a clean, comfortable room without technology impeding on your time in a gorgeous national park, I recommend Cedar Grove Lodge.
As enticing as the patio rooms may seem, even on the second floor snack bar the noise from the floor...
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.