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“35 tips for the brutal summer heat with no AC and no Yosemite Falls”

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Yosemite Valley Lodge
Certificate of Excellence
GreenLeadersSilver level
Sunnyvale, CA
Level Contributor
372 reviews
87 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1,512 helpful votes
“35 tips for the brutal summer heat with no AC and no Yosemite Falls”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2014

We stopped by the Lodge July 6. Here is a review for summer travel to the Lodge, intended for my son and his family with two pre-school daughters, arriving for the Labor Day weekend.

1. Sign up in weeks in advance for night prowl hikes, Friday and Saturday nights 209-372-4FUN (4386). They will be filled by your time of arrival.

2. Sign up in weeks in advance for valley tour -good for people new to the Park with limited time 209-372-4FUN (4386) -an open air towed tram.

3. Bring lots of drinks, 32 ounce max, to fit in the 22" mini refrigerator, as temperatures will be in the 90s and 100s the entire summer, with brief intervals of thunderstorms bringing the temperatures down in the 80s. .

4. Bring snacks, fruits, drinks, fruit cups, anything that isn't perishable, not crushable, and does not require refrigeration -apples $1.25 apiece in the Lodge Food Court!

5. Bring a 5' extension cord for the oscillating desk fan, which does not reach the door opening. You will need to put it on a chair in the balcony door opening.

6. From the Silicon Valley go by the northern route 120 rather than the central route 140, due to long backups at the western Yosemite Park entrance on weekends. Also there are now 14 traffic lights in Los Banos, so go by way of Livermore.

7 I stop by the Oakdale Subway before gassing up at the next door Arco station near the final exit out of Oakdale for lunch. No gas stations in Yosemite Valley, and those in the Park are very expensive. Places to eat in Groveland and Buck Meadows on 120, and in Mariposa on 140.

8. Get to the park as early as you can. Over the July 4th weekend, we saw an electronic sign: " Delays 2 hours Yosemite", warning of exceptionally heavy traffic in Yosemite Valley.

9. Entry to the park costs $20, good for 7 days, credit cards preferred over cash. Keep your receipt, as you will have to show it when leaving the Park, that you are within the 7 day period!

10. This was our 5th visit to the Park in 12 months, so we get an annual Yosemite Park pass for $40. And next time I go to the Park, we will get the $10 lifetime National Park Pass for guests 62+ years of age- hey we only have so many good years left!

11. When the Falls are running, March through June, parking at the Lodge will be very difficult on Saturday afternoons, due to thousands of daytime visitors to the Falls, next door. However, now there are no falls running, but visitor levels peaking in August..

12 If all other parking is filled, park in the 10 minute visitor check in area, or the adjacent bus loading area, as soon as you get your check in parking permit -which can be hours before your room is ready.

13 If you are arriving in the summer, expect temperatures consistently in the 90s through early September. When we were here July 4, temperatures hit 104 degrees! Temperatures drop during thunderstorms in the vicinity, but they close the pool during those times!

14 Check in is not till 5pm, but show your reservation, and the front desk will give you a free swim pass for that day, that will let you use the changing facilities, and clean towels at the swimming pool.

15 The swimming pool open Memorial Day through Labor Day 11am to 6pm with adult only lap swimming 11-12, 5-6pm.

16 There are bathrooms in lobby for those waiting for their rooms to be ready.

17 Ice machines not accessible until you get your room key.

18. Occasionally if you get there early, not only will your room be ready, but you may have a choice of rooms -in which case if you are with kids, get the room closest to the pool.

19 As soon as you get to your room, check that the overhead ceiling fan is working, and that the room comes with an oscillating desk fan -there is no AC, and there are no screens on the sliding balcony doors. The only lodging with AC in the Valley is the Ahwahnee Hotel, at $500 a night! Massive Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal just outside the western entrance to the park, 15 miles away, has AC.

20 A media statement on April 1 announced the completion of renovations of all Lodge rooms over the past 3 winters. All rooms have been repainted -often in a lime yellow - with 36" flat screen TVs replacing the old 17" CRT TVs, new mattresses, new bedding, new carpets, and new bathrooms, with granite counters. OK some of the carpets maybe dirty -they haven't been cleaned in 3 years, and are used 365 days a year!

21 Rooms come with basic cable TV (no ESPN), slow wifi access (userid is room number, and password is guest last name), 22" refrigerator, land line phone, and micro keyed safe, which can store an 11" notebook.

22 No Cell phone coverage in the Valley, and no microwaves and no cooking in the rooms. The Food Court has a microwave in the area beyond the cashiers.

23 You get 1 coffee voucher per adult per day, as there are no coffee makers in the rooms. The voucher is good at the Food Court.

24 3 places to eat on the premises: The Food Court cafeteria, The Mountain Room Lounge (sports bar with sandwiches), and the upscale Mountain Room Restaurant (open 5-9pm).

25. You can get prepacked $8 lunch sandwiches and $10 salads from the Food Court, besides hot meals. And there is an expensive general store which sells fruits, snacks, candy, refrigerated drinks, and beer. $2.25 for a 15 ounce bottle of ocean spray grapefruit drink.

26. There is an outdoor stage where films and lectures are presented on aspects of the Park during the summer evenings. It was from here that I saw in the firefalls off of Glacier Point in the 1960s as a kid, when my parents brought me to the Lodge.

27 Due to difficult parking, it is best to leave your car parked, once you get a spot, and use the free valley bus shuttle.

28 The free bus shuttle has stops by the Lodge, Yosemite Village, Curry village, Housekeeping Camp, Happy Isles, Mirror Lake(dried up), the horse stable, the Ahwahnee Hotel, Lower Yosemite Falls (dried up), and Camp 4, but not Bridalveil Falls (dried up). It runs every 15 minutes in the summer from 6am to 10pm.

29 The visitor center in Yosemite Village has a number of exhibits for children, including hands on three dimensional topographic map of the valley, and an American Indian museum, complete with a replica of an American Indian village.

30 Hikes for pre-school children include Happy Isles, Mirror Lake (dried up), Lower Yosemite Falls (dried up), and the Cook Meadows hike over to Swinging Bridge. I've seen strollers on Lower Mist Trail after Happy Isles.

31. Bring insect repellent when hiking near standing bodies of water, as the Merced River near the Mist trail and in the meadows, will be only a trickle by summer. June is the height of mosquito season.

32 The Lodge has a bike rental area, with cruiser bikes renting out at $31 a day. There are also bikes with toddler seats, and bikes with baby trailers (about $50 a day), for which you should make reservations. Bring suitable padded bike pants.

33 There is a Lodge ice cream stand next to the sun umbrella covered picnic tables, adjacent to the swimming pool, open in the summer.

34 When going home, go by hwy 140, as hwy 120 has logging operations on weekdays with very slow logging trucks going westbound to clean up Rim Fire logs. There are delays due to one way road operations on 120.

35 If you have time, visit Glacier Point on the way out, stopping by the Tunnel View, before going through the 4300 foot Wawona tunnel, the longest highway tunnel in the state!

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled as a couple
    • Service
Helpful?
38 Thank robert c
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Rating summary
  • Location
    5 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
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English first
Lodi, California
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2014

The Service at the Lodge is excellent. We enjoyed the natural surroundings, and the people watching. Would recommend this facility to all friends and acquaintances. We have stayed here a number of times over the past ten years and our negatives for this lodge would be few and too minor to remember.

Room Tip: Upper rooms can be warm on the hottest days. Otherwise views can vary get the best available view.
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Bill S
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Mooresville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
8 reviews
3 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 22, 2014

I missed the fine print about no AC in the room. We stayed there July 2014 and it was 95 in our room until about 1AM. The room is clean but for $300 per night, I was hoping for a little more. Your other options are the Ahwanee which is $500 or the village for $200 and sleep in a tent. They are severely understaffed so expect to wait for everything. Your other options are to drive for an hour to get out of the park and stay at another hotel/motel but the drive in/out takes forever due to 35MPH limit. Views are great when you get there but don't expect a 4 star hotel

Room Tip: two floors to each unit
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  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Brett M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Costa Mesa, California
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2014

This hotel is in the best location in the whole Yosemite Valley..It's casual atmosphere and kid friendly activities are great! But the staff and easy of booking activities was my favorite. We plan on making this our annual summer vacation.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank 426FamilyFun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 21, 2014

The natural beauty around Yosemite Lodge is astounding. The staff at Yosemite Lodge are friendly and extremely helpful. The only problem is the heat--no air conditioning and cannot leave outside doors open all night for the cool night air, and the screens in the door are not able to be opened. Results in a night too hot to sleep.

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
1 Thank Mary D
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Bethesda, Maryland
Level Contributor
11 reviews
9 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2014

Room was extremely hot....no air conditioning. Since it gets cool at night, we figured we'd sleep with the windows open. But apparently the raccoons have been a problem, and they encourage you to close your windows at night. So after 100 degree days, the room was sweltering. And the carpet was filthy. Paying high season rates at the hottest time of year with no air conditioning and an unclean room was a mistake. We should have camped (and I hate camping!)
A few good things....
Great location
Check in was smooth
Food court was adequate
The food in the nicer restaurant on property was surprisingly delicious.
Valley tram tour, which picks up at the Lodge, was great. We took the 6 pm tour (nice and cool at that hour).

  • Stayed July 2014, traveled with family
    • Sleep Quality
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
2 Thank traveler8001
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
1 review
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 20, 2014 via mobile

We picked the lodge because we have a 1 year old. Normally we stay at housekeeping, but didn't think it would suit the baby's needs. In addition, my husband needed to do some work so he needed wifi, which was very slow. Overall good, but expensive for what it is.

  • Stayed July 2014
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
Thank Renee P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Yosemite Valley Lodge

Property: Yosemite Valley Lodge
Address: 9006 Yosemite Lodge Dr, P.O. Box 578, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389 (Formerly Yosemite Lodge At The Falls)
Phone Number:
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Amenities:
Bar / Lounge Free Parking Restaurant Ski-In / Ski-Out Swimming Pool Wheelchair access
Hotel Style:
Ranked #2 of 3 Hotels in Yosemite National Park
Price Range (Based on Average Rates): $$$
Number of rooms: 245
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
Yosemite Valley Lodge is a favorite choice for families and large groups. Its close proximity to Yosemite Falls makes it the perfect base camp for exploring Yosemite National Park. Its glass and wood architecture work in unity with the surroundings and the ample windows allow in the bright mountain sunshine while providing remarkable views. ... more   less 
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Also Known As:
Yosemite Lodge At The Falls
Yosemite Hotel National Park
Yosemite Lodge Falls
Yosemite Ca
Yosemite View Lodge
Yosemite Hotel At The Falls
Lodge Reservation Yosemite
Lodge Yosemite
Yosemite Lodge Hotel
Yosemite Falls Lodge

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