I admit that I'm frustrated when I read reviews where people bemoan the fact that the tent cabins aren't a real 'lodge' and that they're just a mattress on a wire mesh under a canvas roof. I keep wondering that, at $150 a night what were they expecting for being in the middle of wilderness far from your typical resources? Someone to come in and leave a mint on their pillow? Here's the down and dirty--your tent cabin is a canvas roof over a concrete platform with mattresses on supended wire meshes approximately three feet above the concrete floor. You get a stove to keep you warm (and unless you're there in mid-July through August, you'll need it). They bring you wood, but we actually asked for more since we were there at the beginning of June and it dipped down to 31 degrees at night. We kept the stove stoked and felt nice and toasty. You get rough towels for your showers and extra blankets. There is no electricity in the tent cabins, but you can recharge phones, iPads and cameras in the reception area where you check-in. You do get two large candles, but unless you bring your own lantern, plan to go to bed early because the candles don't provide reading lights. I recommend a flashlight that goes around your forehead so you can read in bed and use it to walk to the bathroom at night. They provide bear storage...you don't get to store your bear in there, you get to store your coolers and toiletries in the storage so that the bears can't get to it. Remember, strawberry shampoo smells like strawberries to a bear, so DON'T keep it in your tent with you. That includes mint toothpaste, almond lotion, apple chapstick, etc. You get the picture. The full bed was not the easiest bed to sleep in with another human because it does sink so that you both end up in the middle (so hopefully you're sleeping with someone you like--if not, sleep on the twin and sneak some of that strawberry shampoo in the bed of the person you don't like.) The bathrooms are typical campsite bathrooms. For those of you who expect luxurious bath products, you'll be happy to know that they do provide a generic soap gel for shampoo and body cleaning. The showers are small and, after the rush in the early evening after people return from those dusty hikes, the showers are not the cleanest. But, at least it is a shower! Toilets are flush and there's even a sink where you can rinse and wash things. You cannot cook in the campsite, but you can bring things in your cooler. We had cereal every morning and made and packed a sandwich and snacks for our hikes. We ate a hot dinner in the dining room of the lodge each night, but admittedly it is a very expensive meal. You can get a cheaper meal about a mile down the road at the grill, but beware, it is only open until about five in the afternoon. However, the food in the dining room was good and I didn't mind paying the extra money because I enjoyed the view of the river, the food itself and, the company of other hikers. You typically sit with other families or individual hikers at the tables that seat ten. We enjoyed this because we met people from all over the world and picked up hiking hints for the area. I've made this lodge sound like a second rate school camp, but here's where it gets good--you're in the HIGH SIERRAS of Yosemite National Park! That in itself is worth the $150 a night. We had tent #3, RIGHT ON THE RIVER. When I say right on the river, when we exited the tent we had to turn right or left immediately or find ourselves swiming. The white noise from the white water rushing by our tent was wonderful and put me right to sleep. There are cascades just up the river that you can explore and the John Muir trail is nearby. This is a beautiful setting and if you want to experience the great outdoors, the beauty that is Yosemite, and the wonder that goes with staying on a river in God's country...then this is it! This is where you want your children to spend the night (and if you don't have children, then I guarantee, you'll find it beautiful too.) So I give it five stars because of its location, the nice staff, the good, but expensive food, the fact that you do have a shower, the fact that you don't have to drive in Yosemite Valley, the cooler days (and nights) during the hot summers (compared to Yosemite Valley and Curry Camp) and because it's in the most beautiful park in the world. The only problems is that this is the most difficult camp to book and we only managed to get into it because it opened early this year because of the lack of snowfall over the winter which usually keeps it closed until July. Good luck booking this camp...if you get in, I envy you!
- Official Description (provided by the hotel):
- Tuesday August 27, 2013 - With the exception of White Wolf Lodge, all lodging and services are available in Yosemite National Park. Yosemite Valley and Wawona are largely unaffected by the Rim Fire and air quality is good. ... more less
- Also Known As:
- Tuolumne Meadows Hotel Yosemite National Park