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“Remember to take a Yule log to start a fire”

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Tuolumne Meadows Lodge
Bolivia, North Carolina
Level 6 Contributor
108 reviews
18 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“Remember to take a Yule log to start a fire”
Reviewed July 3, 2012

My husband and I spent one night in a tent cabin at the lodge. We had a double bed and all was fine with the bed and the bath house facilities. Our lunch at the grill and ice cream snack were good. For dinner we had the skillet steak and salmon which were both very good. Our only issue was that we could not get our fire in the tent wood stove started. We would do this again but buy a couple of Yule logs outside the park and use those to get the fire started. It was pretty cold sleeping on June 27th even though we were prepared with our clothes and had plenty of cover from the 3 beds in our tent. We especially enjoyed the late afternoon sitting by the river and after dinner by the Bon fire. Overall great experience just a bit chilly sleeping.

Room Tip: We liked being near the bath. We could still hear the river.
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
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2 Thank Travel2livewell
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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206 reviews from our community

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Rome
Level 5 Contributor
71 reviews
23 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 45 helpful votes
Reviewed July 2, 2012

I have stayed here several times over several decades, and will certainly be back, love the place. I think it does itself a disservice however by calling itself a Lodge. It's a tent camp, and a fairly comfortable one, but don't expect a lodge, dress very warmly, expect to have the cold winds blowing through your tent at night, basic shared bathrooms etc. The best feature is the dining room, great food and common tables where you just have to make friends. If you come here with a "camper" mindset you will love it. If you come expecting the Ahwahnee you are going to be unhappy and complain a lot.

Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
Helpful?
2 Thank omegendorph
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Los Angeles, California
Level 5 Contributor
47 reviews
14 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 135 helpful votes
Reviewed June 27, 2012

I think situations like this can be good or bad depending on prior knowledge. For instance, the first night we burned through all our firewood at about 8pm. I woke up nearly frozen to death in the middle of the night. duh! in retrospect, but we were thinking the blankets would keep us warm.
I think this is a great idea for those who are not hard-core campers: Those who want to hike without carrying around a tent; who want to eat decent food without having to carry it on their backs, and don't want to do dishes (or have to carry pots on their backs)
The people--the other tenters--are a subset of those in the Valley. They are sort of an in-shape, more nature-oriented crowd; a little more serious and respectful about the wilderness. I really like that, possibly best of all.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
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4 Thank The_Monicat
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 4 Contributor
35 reviews
10 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 26 helpful votes
Reviewed June 25, 2012

First, let me preface by saying that I've been to Yosemite 7 times and that 6 of those visits i've only stayed in tents, so I'm a little biased. This time i brought my wife and family for their first trip to Yosemite and since we had flown in we didn't easily have the luxury of packing the gear required to camp in a national park.

I made the reservation for TML well in advance for two nights. We got a tent with 4 single beds that was perfect for our family. My only experience with the Lodge was buying a shower after many nights in the backcountry.

After reading some of the review on TA i thought i would try and set some expectations for folks that might be considering TML.

1. Tuolumne Meadows Lodge is not a lodge in the traditional sense. You get a tent cabin with bed(s), a wood burning stove, firewood, linens (sheets, wool blankets and a heavy comforter + pillows), towels, a couple of candles and a shelf to store things. You keep all your food and bathroom items (soap etc) in a bear box that might be a couple hundred yards away if you're fortunate enough to be near the river.

2. There is a dining hall that servers breakfast and dinner and will even pack a sack lunch for you. The food is surprisingly good but it's not cheap. But you're in one of the greatest NPs getting food served to you. You're only other option is to eat at the little grill near the store a few miles down the road. While we were there they had salmon, marinated tofu, chicken, pork and so on as choices.

3. There is no electricity in the tents but there is a place to recharge your cell phones, iPads etc in the lobby of the dining hall.

4. It gets cold at night. We were there at the end of June 2012 and temps were easily down in the low 30s at night so plan accordingly. The first night my wife froze (south FL) while the kids and myself were fine so the second night she required that we build a raging fire in the stove. I promise you we heated up not just our tent but the tents around us as well. She slept much warmer that night :-)

5. The river and falls provide a wonderful backdrop at night.

I look at TML as a luxury since you get to enjoy Yosemite without the overhead of packing a car full of camping gear. The showers are hot and the bathroom facilities are clean. If you want a hotel experience then stay in the Valley or outside the park. My kids enjoyed it immensely and it gave us some quality family time without the usual interruptions (TV, cell phones, etc).

It's not for everybody but we had a great experience.

Room Tip: If you can get a room near the river then you'll have a little more privacy as well as the falls...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with family
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5 Thank Sunnydaze_NC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Westlake Village, California
Level 4 Contributor
31 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
Reviewed June 23, 2012

We stayed in a tent cabin 4 nights, June 16 - 20. We made our reservation in January, but I learned from other guests that reservations become available and it pays to check back on the site after encountering a “no vacancy” reply. I am not a camper, but I love day hiking because I can have a shower, a clean bed after a long day and a barrier from bugs that bite. Staying here offers breathtaking hikes without having to drive to a trailhead. To be sure, I will be returning to explore more trails! A few suggestions when you go: take at least 2 lanterns to your tent, a small rug for your feet to land on when you get up during the night or first thing in the morning because that concrete floor is really cold! I used my yoga mat. I brought my Uggs to wear for the chilly evenings and mornings. It was in the 30's at night and 60-70's during the day. A flashlight or headlamp is a must for getting around during the night. I saw one guest toting a broom, which would be handy to sweep out the stuff that comes in on your boots after a hike. A hanging toiletry kit is handy for taking into the shower stalls since there is not much room to put your necessities. Take extra moisturizer since the air is dry. The showers and toilets were well maintained and clean. We brought a cooler with our breakfast and lunch foods (yogurt, fruit (dried & fresh), granola, cheese & crackers, jerky, nuts, sparkling water and wine & chocolate for the evening). A large cooler with wheels is easy for moving in and out of the "bear box" daily. It also keeps the ice, your food & drink chilled. There are spigots on the property for filling your hydration packs and water bottles for your hikes. The water tastes great! They even provide a place in the office area where guests can charge their phones. The homemade pies and cobblers at dinner were served warm and were delicious! The never-ending salad huge bowl with vinaigrette dressing was fresh. The hamburger and veggie burgers are tasty served on a fresh ciabatta. Remember to make reservations for dinner.

Room Tip: Tent 31 was just the right distance from the parking lot and bathrooms. There were 4 twin beds and a...
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  • Stayed June 2012, traveled with friends
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3 Thank AbelsNona
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
San Jose, California, United States
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
Reviewed June 12, 2012

Tuolumne meadows is incredible, but we likely won't stay here again.
The tent cabins are just OK, but the beds are terrible. Great place for a horrible night's sleep.
The beds are so short you can never straighten your legs and they sag terribly if you get a double. They are a mattress on a wire mesh. It is better to put the bed on the floor, but the floors are not that clean.
Food at the lodge is OK at best. Still, it is the only hot meal around.

  • Stayed June 2012, traveled as a couple
    • Value
    • Location
    • Sleep Quality
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
3 Thank Michael E
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Turlock, California, United States
Level 1 Contributor
2 reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
Reviewed June 9, 2012

I travelled with my wife and 2 daughters, ages 11 and 8. We arrived on June 5, which is about 2 weeks earlier than they typically open. The night before they had a freak snow storm and got several inches...it was quite cold. Tioga Pass was closed for a while. Always check road conditions before you leave...even if it is supposed to be "summer".

Tuolumne Meadows is located at the north eastern edge of the park. There are lots of day hikes that are "family friendly". We took a day trip down to the Valley Floor to see Half Dome and the falls. It took about an hour to drive there. We also took a trip to Mono Lake...another hour drive.

We stayed in cabin 57, on the far side of the site. It was a great, secluded location, right near the river. I think tent numbers 56, 57 and 58 are the best in the site. There are only 69 tent cabins total so nothing is too far of a walk. Our tent cabin was clean and included 4 single beds with sheets, a pillow, a wool blanket and a comforter. The wood stove heated the space well...as long as it was fed all night long (wood is provided at no cost). We brought our sleeping bags and were glad we did. We sandwiched our bags between the wool blanket and comforter and stayed warm...otherwise we would have frozen. Bring unscented toiletries so you don't have to travel to the bear boxes each time you want to use them...you can keep nothing scented in your tent.

There is no cooking inside or outside your tent, so you either eat from your ice chest which must be kept in the bear boxes in the parking lot or you eat in the lodge. The food was good but expensive. Dinner entrees ranged from $10 to $28. Breakfast was $13.75 for 2 eggs, 2 sausages or bacon, some French toast or pancakes, fruit and juice. We chose to split 2 breakfasts between the four of us, which was enough. Box lunches are overpriced and not very good. For lunch one afternoon we drove outside the park to the Whoa Nellie Deli which overlooks Mono Lake on Hwy 395. The food was great and reasonably priced. The food was also much less pricey in Currey Village: a huge, 2-scoop cone of ice cream was only $3.00.

Bear box food ideas: bagels, cream cheese, cereal, milk, sandwich stuff, peanut butter n jelly, hummus n veggies, cut up and bagged fruit, dried fruit, other snack foods. Lots of water. Bring in ice chest or cold bag. It should keep unless it gets real hot since nights are cold.

Tuolumne Meadows is a nice hybrid of tent camping and a cabin in the woods. It's a little pricey, but you're at 8,775 feet elevation, so it makes sense that the remote location would make things more expensive. We will certainly be back again some day, but will be better prepared.

  • Stayed June 2012
    • Value
    • Location
    • Rooms
    • Cleanliness
    • Service
Helpful?
5 Thank SycamoreJim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Tuolumne Meadows Lodge

Property: Tuolumne Meadows Lodge
Address: Tioga Road, Yosemite National Park, CA 95389
Location: United States > California > Yosemite National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking Restaurant
Hotel Style:
Ranked #4 of 24 Specialty Lodging in Yosemite National Park
Number of rooms: 69
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Cabins of Tuolumne Meadows are located 60 miles from Yosemite Valley at over 8,700 feet above sea level. Here, you'll find 69 canvas-tent cabins that are available from mid-June to mid-September, conditions permitting. Situated next to a picturesque meadow, it's the perfect place to settle in after hiking in Yosemite-or before embarking on an extended backpacking trip. You'll find the Cabins of Tuolumne Meadows on Tioga Road, near the Park's eastern entrance on Highway 120 East. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Tuolumne Meadows Hotel Yosemite National Park

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