Yosemite cabins: Getaways to the giant sequoias

Cabins offer cozy home base for exploring Yosemite's three sequoia groves

Rows of white canvas tent cabins under leafy green trees
Tent cabins at Yosemite’s Curry Village evoke the nostalgia of summer camp. Photo by Kit Leong, Adobe Stock.

For those who long to wake up and head out for a hike among towering giant sequoias (and who doesn’t?), Yosemite is an evergreen dream come true. The national park is home to three unique groves of giant sequoias—Mariposa Grove, Tuolumne Grove, and Merced Grove—and Yosemite’s many cabin rentals offer unparalleled access to these remarkable giant redwoods.

Mariposa Grove, the most famous of the trio, features a meadow full of hundreds of mature giant sequoias, including the Grizzly Giant, a 209-foot tree estimated to be well over 2,000 years old. In Tuolumne Grove, you can walk among dozens of mature sequoias and through the stump of the Dead Giant. And in Merced Grove, you can experience the grandeur of the ancient trees in relative silence, thanks to a 3-mile trail that separates this dense cluster of redwoods from roads, campgrounds, and the bustle of landmark tourism.

Mariposa Grove's giants. Photo by Jenkinson2455, Flickr Creative Commons
Yosemite’s unforgettable Mariposa Grove was protected in 1864 with legislation signed by President Lincoln –– 26 years before Yosemite was designated a national park. Flickr photo by Jenkinson2455.

All three giant sequoia groves are an easy drive from Yosemite’s various cabin rentals. Whether you’re staying for a night or a week, these cabins strike the balance between camping and traditional lodging. Though some are more primitive than others, each cabin allows at least four guests, making them great for families. They’re also more affordable than the park’s hotel rooms (typically saving you over $100 per night) and usually book up less quickly.

Check out the five Yosemite cabin options below to find the perfect fit for your giant sequoia adventure.

Curry Village

The large rock monolith called Half Dome against a blue sky
Curry Village offers dramatic views of Half Dome and the park’s granite walls. Flickr photo by Mike McBey.

Curry Village evokes a nostalgic summer camp feeling, but with the major bonus of nearby views of Half Dome, granite walls, and meadows rife with wandering deer. Originally built in 1899 by David and Jennie Curry, the historic campground includes both rustic canvas cabins and wooden cabins. A quieter alternative to Yosemite Village, Curry Village also includes shops, dining, and a swimming pool.

Canvas cabins here do not have electricity or private baths and cooking is not permitted. Guests are provided with linens, blankets, and towels. Wooden cabins provide the same basic amenities as the canvas cabins but also include electricity and wall heaters. All cabins have either a patio or deck to relax on. The adjacent Curry Village can supplement all your modern needs, including Wi-Fi.

Curry Village is on a Yosemite Valley Shuttle route and is connected to the valley’s paved walking paths.

Distance from the sequoia groves:

  • Tuolumne Grove: 18 miles
  • Merced Grove: 20 miles
  • Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza: 34 miles

Housekeeping Camp

Two people in a bright blue inflatable raft on a shallow river near a beach
Housekeeping Camp offers easy access to the nearby Merced River. Photo by Silvy K., Adobe Stock.

About a half mile from Curry Village sits Housekeeping Camp, a peaceful option along the swift-moving Merced River. The rustic feel of nearby Curry Village flows into this camp as well. Tent-like cabins feature a canvas roof, three concrete walls, and a privacy curtain across the opening. Each site also has a fire ring and cooking is permitted, allowing for a more full-fledged camping vibe. If you’re not up for reading by firelight, the cabins also have electricity and lighting.

A basic wooden cabin beneath tall trees
Cabins at Housekeeping Camp are basic but have room for up to six guests. Photo by Kit Leong, Adobe Stock.

With room for up to six guests, these cabins are the most spacious within the park. In addition to beds, each cabin has a table, chairs, and mirror. Guests, must bring their own bedding or rent it, starting at $9/night.

Housekeeping Camp is also on a Yosemite Valley Shuttle route and is connected to the valley’s paved walking paths.

Distance from the sequoia groves:

  • Tuolumne Grove: 18 miles
  • Merced Grove: 20 miles
  • Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza: 34 miles

White Wolf Lodge

A group of white canvas tent cabins under tall trees in the distance
Tent cabins at White Wolf Lodge have more space between them than other park options. Flickr photo by bgwashburn.

Situated along a side road halfway between Yosemite Valley and Tuolumne Meadows (both are a 45- to 60-minute drive), White Wolf Lodge feels the most remote of Yosemite’s cabin sites. Near the Tuolumne River with easy access to Yosemite Creek, this area of the park is effused with greenery, wildflowers, and peace. Even the cabins have more space (and quiet) between them compared with the park’s other camps.

Wooden cabins at White Wolf have private baths, electricity, lighting, and heaters. The canvas tents here do not have electricity but do have wood-burning stoves (firewood provided). Both options accommodate four people, and linens, blankets, and towels are provided. Cooking is not permitted. There is a small store, dining room, and showers on site.

Distance from the sequoia groves:

  • Tuolumne Grove: 15 miles
  • Merced Grove: 18 miles
  • Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza: 53 miles

Tuolumne Meadows Lodge

A small river twists through an alpine meadow
The sublime alpine landscape near Toulumne Meadows Lodge. Flickr photo by Don Graham.

Tuolumne has a separate personality from the rest of Yosemite. Soft, domed peaks outline giant meadows, which are fed by the Tuolumne River and countless streams. This is the only frontcountry lodging available east of White Wolf, giving it a secluded feeling.

Tuolumne Meadows Lodge is also the farthest cabin site from the big trees, but its proximity to amazing hiking and backpacking trails make this a good option for those wanting to explore more of the park’s backcountry, including the High Sierra Camps.

A brightly lit dining room with a cash register and goods for sale
Guests fuel up at the dining room and small store at Tuolumne Meadows Lodge before heading into the backcountry. Flickr photo by John Hyun.
A simple white canvas tent
Simple canvas tents at Tuolumne Meadows Lodge accommodate up to four guests. Flickr photo by John Hyun.

The canvas cabins here can accommodate up to four guests and include a solar lamp, wood-burning stove, firewood, and linens and towels. There is no electricity, Wi-Fi, or private baths. Cooking is not permitted. Breakfast, dinner, and boxed lunches are available by reservation. A small store with basic groceries and packaged foods is within walking distance.

Distance from the sequoia groves:

  • Tuolumne Grove: 42 miles
  • Merced Grove: 52 miles
  • Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza: 80 miles

Tenaya at Yosemite

A large swimming pool with a lodge in the background
Pool access is a bonus of staying at Tenaya’s cabins. Flickr photo by Darryl Kenyon.

Located three miles outside of the park’s south entrance, Tenaya at Yosemite is a destination resort offering a range of accommodations, from lavish lodge rooms to standalone cabins and cottages. The cabin experience here splits the difference between camping in the remote woods and sipping margaritas on the beach. Each cabin comes with a deck or porch—the perfect spot to enjoy your morning coffee as you take in views of the Sierra Nevada.

Tenaya provides more luxurious and modern amenities than its counterparts inside the park. All cabins are equipped with Wi-Fi, TVs, microwaves, refrigerators, and air-conditioning, and offer access to the resort’s clubhouse and other perks, including on-site dining, board games, bike rentals, spa, and fitness center. Unlike cabin options inside the park, Tenaya welcomes furry friends and offers pet sitting.

Distance from the sequoia groves

  • Mariposa Grove Welcome Plaza: 3 miles
  • Tuolumne Grove: 44 miles
  • Merced Grove: 47 miles

Important note: Even if you have a confirmed reservation at Tenaya, a reservation is required to enter Yosemite National Park on specific days April 13–October 27. (An entry reservation is not needed if you have a reservation at lodging inside the park.) Check the latest info and dates here.

How to Make Reservations

Cabins inside Yosemite National Park

All reservations are made through Aramark Destinations, an authorized concessioner for the park. Reservations open 366 days in advance and should be made as soon as possible. Hotel rooms typically book faster than cabins, but by March even cabin space is limited. There is no waiting list. For the most accurate availability, call Aramark Destinations at (888) 413-8869 and book over the phone.

Online bookings are limited to seven days in a row. If you want a longer stay, call Aramark Destinations directly.

Tenaya at Yosemite

Reservations can be made up to one year in advance. Rates change daily depending on occupancy, so bookings made further in advance generally yield the best price.

Know Before You Go  

What to pack

In addition to hiking gear and food, plan to bring flashlights or headlamps, batteries, extra layers, sleeping bags, shower shoes, a padlock for food storage lockers, fully charged devices, and refillable water bottles.

Pet policy

Pets are not allowed in any lodging within the national park, except for service animals, which are defined as “dogs trained to perform a specific task that assists a person with a disability.” Learn more about the park’s pet policy.

Tioga Pass (Highway 120)

Opening dates for White Wolf Lodge and Tuolumne Meadows Lodge are dependent upon the opening of Tioga Pass. Highway 120 is typically closed near Tioga Pass from late October through early June, depending on snowpack. Though the Tuolumne Grove of giant sequoias is located on Tioga Pass, the park maintains the road to the grove in the winter, providing year-round access.

About the author

Helena Guglielmino is a Reno-based writer and backpacker. Her stories on environment, adventure, and culture have been published by Roadtrippers, Rails-to-Trails Conservancy, Reno News & Review, Outdoors Unlimited, and more.

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