We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Blue Butterfly B&B or Yosemite View Lodge

Northern Kentucky
Level Contributor
37 posts
2 reviews
Save Topic
Blue Butterfly B&B or Yosemite View Lodge

We are planning a four night trip to Yosemite for late April and have narrowed our choices to these two. I've read many of the reviews for both and have a sense of the pros and cons. We are definitley going to rent a riverside room with a balcony overlooking the Merced---does anyone have photos of and comments about the room interiors at the two properties? It seems that only two or three rooms at Blue Butterfly have their own private balcony--can you comment on preferences/share photos. Also, If we opt for the more complete services of Yosemite View, are there newer buildings that may have more updated rooms? Which is best: top floor or second floor? We would likely opt for the "riverview luxury king" room type. One last question: is it possible to pay for use of the indoor pool/spa at Yosemite View if you stay at Blue Butterfly?

16 replies to this topic
Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
58,688 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Blue Butterfly B&B or Yosemite View Lodge

I haven't stayed at either of these, but I have suggestions about how to get some of the answers you seek.

* contact each place directly. Only Yosemite View Lodge will know if they'll sell you a day pass.

* read the reviews for these places, then click "send message" to any reviewer who appears to have more info for you. Some TA members are on TripAdvisor often and are happy to share more details about their lodging choices. (Some only post a few reviews and would never reply to a message.)

* late April is a great time to stay on the Merced River. Ask your host/desk clerk about walks in the area.

* last,. hopefully other folks familiar with these lodgings may see your questions. Generally, folks post questions about El Portal lodgings in the Yosemite NP forum, even tho' they're located outside the Park. The YNP forum is just much more active.

Visit us on the Yosemite forum if you have any questions about your time in the Park. I assume you're aware of the seasonal road closures.

Oakland, California
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
6,323 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Blue Butterfly B&B or Yosemite View Lodge

I had to google the Blue Butterfly, because I couldn't remember any B&B anywhere close to Yosemite View...no wonder! It's in the same complex.

I have stayed at the Yosemite View, and it's fine. It's just a big motel complex with motel-like rooms. The ones overlooking the river are the nicest, and in April the river should be rushing!

The rooms at the B&B look much nicer, so I suppose it will depend upon the type of experience you want. If it was a romantic getaway, I'd take the B&B. If it's a family trip, then stay at the lodge. We don't stay in our rooms too much when we visit Yosemite, so the niceties of the room aren't so important to us. The rest of the surroundings will be identical, so it really ends up being about the level of service (the included breakfast does seem nice) and the decor of the rooms.

Northern Kentucky
Level Contributor
37 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Blue Butterfly B&B or Yosemite View Lodge

Hi PacificNWFamily,

Thanks so much for the great advice---I'll post our questions on the busier YNP forum, which did nor occur to me. Likewise the suggestion to respond to reviewers with our questions and call the hotel directly. TA is a wonderful resource with amazingly helpful contributors. We will check out the Yosemite forum for advice on the park---peace and happy traveling! :-)

Northern Kentucky
Level Contributor
37 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: Blue Butterfly B&B or Yosemite View Lodge

Hello macjack,

The occasion is our 20th anniversary (no kids on the trip), so yes we are inclined to stay at the Blue Butterfly with its seemingly larger rooms and more peaceful vibe. However, we are fit and active so it would be nice to soak in a hot tub after long days on the trails---if we can get a day pass for the spa and pool, that would be awesome.

We have the option of flying to either Oakland or San Jose (itinerary for Fresno is not good)--can you advise which is preferable for the drive to YNP? And is it better to take the northern route (I-580/I-205/SR 120?) or southern route (US 101/SR152/SR99/SR140?) to El Portal?? Thanks for sharing your knowledge!

Oakland, California
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
6,323 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Blue Butterfly B&B or Yosemite View Lodge

Of the 2 airports, I'm inclined to say OAK, but then again, I live here and am used to that airport and that (more northern) route. However, since you are staying in El Portal, you may prefer to go I-580/I-205/ SR 99/ SR 140 instead, since this will take you directly to your hotel.

When we drive to YNP, we do usually take 120 into the park; it's a lovely drive that gives you a "sneak peek" into the valley as you enter the area. It wouldn't be too far out of your way to enter the park that way, then exit onto 140 to get to the hotel; it really depends upon how much time you have, and when you get on the road.

So, my vote would be OAK and either 120 or 140 (via 580/205) to get there.

As for where to stay, I think a call to the B & B about your hot tub question will answer it for you. Overall, it sounds as though the B & B will better suit your trip this time.

Happy travels!

Oakland, California
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
6,323 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Blue Butterfly B&B or Yosemite View Lodge

I should have added that if you were to fly into San Jose instead- maybe if you got a better price there- then you would definitely take the southern route of 101/ 152/ 140 to the park.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
58,688 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Blue Butterfly B&B or Yosemite View Lodge

Did you also look at the Sacramento airport? Driving from SMF usually has fewer traffic delays than OAK or SJC. But if the price is much higher at SMF, I'd "vote" for OAK.

Northern Kentucky
Level Contributor
37 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Blue Butterfly B&B or Yosemite View Lodge

I actually did look at SMF a few weeks ago but eliminated it due to a higher fare (than OAK or SJC) and unfavorable itinerary. Your message prompted me to take a second look and I found a great fare (on Frontier) with good flight times by expanding my departure city to include Dayton, OH (only 65 miles from us)----our home airport is Cincinnati. Now I'm torn. We will be arriving on Good Friday around noon PST (all three airports have similar arrival times) and I was hoping it would be a lighter traffic day---what do you think? Thanks for all the advice, PacificNW.

Washington State
Destination Expert
for Yosemite National Park
Level Contributor
58,688 posts
113 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: Blue Butterfly B&B or Yosemite View Lodge

I think SMF is the easiest airport to use. It's pretty small, and there is only one road out (I-5.) It takes a bit more to get on the right roads in the more congested Bay Area.

The views from the flights in to OAK or SJC are more spectacular than the view into SMF (the Sacramento Valley....)

To Yosemite---- From SMF, get on I-5 south. Turn east when you get to Hwy 120 and go to Yosemite Valley. Easy. If you prefer to use the All Weather Route Hwy 140 directly to El Portal, then you'd take I-5 -> Hwy 4 in Stockton -> Hwy 99 to Merced -> Hwy 140 to El Portal.

Check car rental prices as well. Alamo has specials sometimes. If one airport is $100 cheaper for the rental car, then I'd probably go with that one. I don't know about car rentals at OAK & SJC, but the rental process at SMF is streamlined. One shuttle to the car rental building, get your car, get on I-5 about 1/2 mile away. On your return, there is a gas station about 1/4 mile from the car rental returns.

I am a fan of SMF, but that doesn't mean that OAK or SJC won't work for you. Here is the mileage chart, but I think the Sacramento time via Hwy 120 is off; it can't take 4 hours to travel 160 miles when half of it is interstate and the other half is well traveled foothill highway. nps.gov/yose/…mileages9-2007.pdf

Northern Kentucky
Level Contributor
37 posts
2 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Blue Butterfly B&B or Yosemite View Lodge

Thanks PacNW,

Your insights are so relevant and much appreciated--I can see why you have the Destination Expert tag. One more question on this thread, is the Calaveras Big Trees SP worthy of a side trip, perhaps on our departure day if we use SMF? We have seen groves of giant cedars and spruce at the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic NP and Mt Rainier NP, but never sequoias. I understand from reading your comments on the Yosemite forum that the groves in Yosemite are less impressive than those in Sequoia NP---how about Big Trees groves?

Reply to: Blue Butterfly B&B or Yosemite View Lodge
Get notified by e-mail when a reply is posted