Yosemite Accommodations & Budget Accommodations in Yosemite
Yosemite National Park is a vast wilderness area filled with mountains, waterfalls, lakes, wildlife, and beautiful scenery. Since its designation as a state park and later its induction as a national park in 1890, facilities and trails have been built to help the public access the wonders of this area, and Yosemite has grown to become one of the most popular travel destinations throughout the U.S. Fortunately, the large and varied number of accommodations Yosemite has to offer provides options to fit the budgets of all travelers, including those on a budget.
Although places such as Yosemite Lodge and Yosemite View Lodge provide beautiful accommodations in or right near the park, room rates at these full service hotels average around $120 per night for a family of four. While this rate is less than the cost to stay at the Awahnee or other nearby luxury lodges, it is more than many budget visitors are willing or able to pay. However, there are several less expensive lodging options available for those penny pinchers and others on a tight budget.
Housekeeping Camp Tent Lodging
Housekeeping Camp, which is located in the center of Yosemite Valley along the Merced River, has some of the least expensive lodging facilities in the park. The tent cabins sleep six and have cement floors, three cement walls, and a curtain for the third wall. They have electricity but no running water. Showers and laundry services are in a communal building. Bedding must be brought in or purchased for $2.50 a package.
There is a camp store onsite and each unit comes with an outdoor cooking area that allows guests to cook their own meals, thus saving additional money on food costs. There is a beach area along the river for swimming and fishing, and the location is close to restaurants and gift shops, as well as activities such as tours, horseback riding, rock climbing, and hiking. Rates per night for the 2005 summer season run $67, making Housekeeping Camp one of the least expensive lodging options in all of Yosemite. The accommodations are very basic and may not be for everyone, but with these rates, the camp is a popular area and can be very busy in summer. It is a good idea to make reservations a couple months in advance.
Curry Village Yosemite Information
With over 600 guest accommodations, Curry Village is the largest lodging area in Yosemite Valley. Situated below Glacier Point amongst woods, rocks, and other natural surroundings, it offers a hotel, cabins, and tent cabins. The tent cabins, which come with beds, lights, a dresser, and a solid floor, are the cheapest of the three options. 2005 summer rates start at about $70/night.
The tent cabins are a good choice for those who have children or don't mind a busy, people filled area. Services such as swimming pool, ice cream shop, several different eating facilities, including a buffet style cafeteria, and showers are close by. Curry Village is also close to many of the things to do in Yosemite like tour excursions, bicycle and raft rentals and hiking trails.
The sacrifices you make for budget accommodations include giving up privacy (the tents are very close together) and going without running water or other comforts inside your room. However this site offers more services and amenities than Housekeeping Camp.
Both Housekeeping Camp and Curry Village are operated by Delaware North Companies Parks and Resorts, an authorized provider of lodging and concession services in Yosemite National Park and several other popular destinations across the country. You can book either site through their reservation center at (559) 252-4848 or online at their website.
Basic hotels in the nearby towns provide additional options for budget travel to Yosemite National Park and accommodations that won't break your budget. An Internet search for " Yosemite cheap accommodations" turns up several websites with information on budget motels in the area. Local mom & pop motels and national chains such as the Ramada, Best Western, Comfort Inn, and Super 8 have basic rooms starting around $60 per night during the high season.
These hotels are often further from the park in nearby towns such as Oakhurst, Merced, and Mariposa. But most do offer a swimming pool and access to other services in the community. You will have to drive further to get to the park, but the money you save on lodging could provide enough savings to foot the bill for an additional tour or a fancy dinner out.
Traveling to popular destinations can be expensive, and Yosemite vacations are no different. There are several ways to save money, and your choice of accommodations can have a huge impact on your bottom line. Short of camping in your own tent, these low-cost lodging options provide the best choices for budget accommodations in Yosemite and the surrounding areas.