Kinda lengthy, but hope it helps. I have been traveling throughout the Eastern Sierras ever since I was in my Moms belly. It is a very special place for me and my family, in fact we named our son after the main town in the valley, (yes we are a little nutty and no it’s not Mammoth!). Anyway, we had planned on camping but with temps in the 20s at night, we (my wife, daughter , and son ) decided it was best to have a little more substantial shelter than a tent. After much debate we settled on Cardinal Lodge. Having passed it literally hundreds of times (driving and hiking) I knew the location was awesome. We stayed in the two bedroom "Moonlight" cabin. It was, as the plaque stated on the wall, built in 1906 and used as a bunkhouse during the Mining days of the lodge. Situated no more than 20 feet from Bishop creek (caught a nice 10" trout right in front), with a small meadow all our own, the location was to die for. Bishop and I took an early morning walk to the nearby waterfall coming out from North Lake above, and Gianna loved fishing in their private pond. The service was great as well. Everyone was nice, made us feel welcome and they even let us borrow a highchair from the restaurant for Bishop. Out front, we had a fire pit, Weber charcoal grill, picnic table, and chairs on a level gravel bed about 15ft square with a nice porch to sit under next to the cabin. Inside, the cabin was, well, I guess rustic would be the word to describe it. Really, it just seemed kinda old, not dirty though (as I recall, my first comment to Janelle was that it was down right dumpy). There were two bedrooms separated in the middle by a living/dining room. The kitchen is kinda squeezed in the the back of the cabin. One room had a queen sized bed and the other has two twins. Janelle and I took the queen bed, which was adequate, in that it didn't prevent sleep (Bishop did that), but not super comfy either. The twin beds in the other room however looked like torture devices. They must have been left overs from the bunk house days, with squeaky old school springs and thin mattresses. One was like being in a hammock! Gianna had the room too herself since Bishop was with us, and the bed was actually perfect for her. It bowed just enough in the middle that it kept her from rolling out (it was 4.5 feet high!) yet she was as cozy as a bug. For a grown up sized person though, I think it would be a back breaker. The kitchen was fine, though the dishes, glasses and silverware were all miss matched and there was only one large plate (not a problem since we used paper plates anyway). The bathroom was kinda dingy,again, not dirty just old, but everything worked as it should. The heater did its job well, though it is a beast that is fully exposed so we had to be diligent with the little one. One other thing of note was the cabin seemed to be sinking on one side. Literally, one half of the cabin was sloped a good six inches. it was like walking on a roof. Bishop was just learning to walk at the time and he would glide sideways like a drunken sailor (quite funny looking back now). All in all we had a great time and like I have mentioned, everything worked as it should. We paid over $200 a night to stay there and, really, that seems like too much for the condition of the cabin. I am conflicted here, because the location couldn’t be more perfect, and despite the old, dingy feel to it, everything worked fine, we had a great time and would consider staying again. I would definitely recommend it, just know that you will pay for the location and don’t expect the Ritz. What you can expect is breathtaking scenery, clean mountain air, friendly staff and who knows, since I released the fish I caught, you may catch dinner right out your door.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.