Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park (2019 • COOLEST Areas!)

Interested? PIN NOW, read later!

Nestled in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite National Park in California is a stunning site.

With its soaring granite cliffs and gigantic sequoia tree groves, it’s no wonder Yosemite is considered the jewel in the USA’s National Park System’s crown. However, staying in Yosemite doesn’t come cheap.

That’s why we put together this insider’s guide to the best places to stay near Yosemite National Park. This article breaks down the five best towns and areas around Yosemite by interest.

Whether you’re looking to party the night away, see all the top sights, or simply save a little money, you’ve come to the right place and we will help you find the right place to stay in Yosemite.

Here are our top recommendations for where to stay in Yosemite National Park.

 

Quick Tips – Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park

  • Where to stay in Yosemite National Park first time – Yosemite National Park
  • Where to stay in Yosemite National Park on a budget – Oakhurst
  • Where to stay in Yosemite National Park for nightlife – Fresno
  • Coolest place to stay in Yosemite National Park – Mammoth Lakes
  • Best places to stay in Yosemite National Park for families – Sonora

 

In a hurry? Here’s my top areas for first-timers:

Check Top HostelCheck Top Hotel

Yosemite National Park
For first time visitors to Yosemite National Park, there’s no better place to stay than in the park itself. It offers easy access to the park’s most famous attractions and activities, and by staying here you can enjoy amazing views and a peaceful setting from sunrise to sunset.
Places to Visit:
  • Climb to the top of Half Dome and take in the stunning views
  • See Yosemite Falls, the fifth largest waterfall in the world
  • Wander through Mariposa Grove of the Giant Sequoias

 

Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park

Looking for a specific place to stay? These are our highest recommendations for the best places to stay in Yosemite.

 

Best Hostel in Yosemite National Park: Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort

Located just 40 kilometres outside the park, this is the best hostel in the Yosemite area. Surrounded by nature, you won’t find a more relaxing environment. It boasts a health spa, a sauna and a natural spring hot tub. This hostel also offers stunning views and a comfortable atmosphere, making it the best Yosemite hostel.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Hotel in Yosemite National Park: Yosemite Lodge at the Falls

A stunning location and rustic décor make this lodge our pick for the best hotel in Yosemite National Park. It has an outdoor pool, a free shuttle service and attentive staff. The rooms are comfortable, spacious and well-equipped for a pleasant stay. There’s also an on-site restaurant and lounge.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Yosemite National Park Neighborhood Guide

Quick Summary: The Best Places to Stay in Yosemite National Park

tbbn-table__image

Yosemite National Park

  • If you wonder where to stay in Yosemite and are visiting the park for the first time, there’s no better place to stay than in the park itself. It offers easy access to the park’s most famous attractions and activities, and by staying here you can enjoy amazing views and a peaceful setting from sunrise to sunset.
Check Top HostelCheck Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

Oakhurst

  • Oakhurst is the gateway to the park and one of the best places to stay near Yosemite. This charming California town is located in Madera County and sits just 30 kilometres away from the park’s entrance.
Check Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

Fresno

  • Situated at the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, Fresno is the largest city in and around Yosemite. It is home to more than 500,000 people and is bursting with activities and attractions, as well as bistros, museums, galleries and more.
Check Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

Mammoth Lakes

  • The most popular and scenic town around Yosemite is without a doubt Mammoth Lakes. Set on the eastern edge of the park, Mammoth Lakes boasts amazing mountain views, incredible skiing and a fantastic rustic atmosphere making it one of the best places to stay near Yosemite for adventure seekers.
Check Top Hotel
tbbn-table__image

Sonora

  • Tucked away in Tuolumne County, on the northwest corner of Yosemite, is the small town of Sonora. Once famous for its mining and timber industries, Sonora is today most famous for it’s proximity to the park and the best place to stay in Yosemite for families.
Check Top HostelCheck Top Hotel

 

Yosemite National Park is one of the most spectacular parks in the United States. Located in Central California, this protected area of land covers more than 3,000 square kilometres between the Sierra and Stanislaus National Forests.

It is one of the most visited national parks in the country and is famous for its granite cliffs, clear streams, giant sequoia groves and its breathtaking natural landscapes.

Seeing the park’s most famous attractions is impossible on a one-day trip. That’s why choosing where to stay in Yosemite is super important. To help you plan the best trip possible this guide will break down the five best places to stay by interest and budget.

Starting, of course, with Yosemite where you’ll find a good selection of rustic lodges and campgrounds, and you’ll be surrounded by nature 24/7.

Head northeast to Sonora. This former gold rush town is set against the backdrop of the spectacular Sierra Nevada Mountains. It has incredible vistas and a range of family-friendly activities.

Travel south to Oakhurst. This town is situated less than 30 kilometres from the entrance to the park and is a great place to save a little money on your adventures.

As you continue south you’ll pass through Fresno. The largest and most vibrant town near Yosemite, Fresno is a great destination if you love to eat or enjoy a night on the town.

And finally, on the east side of the park is Mammoth Lakes. A haven for snow sports enthusiasts, Mammoth Lakes has amazing scenery, good food and a great vibe.

Still not sure where to stay? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered!

 

The Best Travel Backpack?!

Pssssst! Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! Our favourite carry on backpack is the Nomatic Travel Backpack.

Check out this post to read our full review!

 

5 Best Places to Stay in Yosemite

Now, let’s take a look, in more detail, at the five best areas, towns and villages to stay in and around Yosemite National Park. Each is a little different than the last so be sure to pick the one that’s right for you.

 

1. Yosemite National Park – Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park for First-Timers

For first time visitors to Yosemite National Park, there’s no better place to stay than in the park itself. It offers easy access to the park’s most famous attractions and activities, and by staying here you can enjoy amazing views and a peaceful setting from sunrise to sunset.

Yosemite Valley is one of the park’s main attractions. It is home to impressive waterfalls, idyllic meadows, towering cliffs and unique rock formations. Nature enthusiasts, outdoor adventurers and shutterbugs alike will love exploring this stunning locale.

Also a haven for hikers, Yosemite National Park has nearly 1,300 kilometres of meandering trails and paths to wander along, making it the best place to stay in Yosemite.

 

Yosemite National Park, Yosemite

 

Things to See and Do in Yosemite National Park

– Catch the sunset from Glacier Point.

– Climb to the top of Half Dome and take in the stunning views.

– Dine at the Majestic Yosemite Dining Room.

– Explore the exquisite Yosemite Valley.

– Hike the Cathedral Lakes Trail.

– Scale up the face of El Capitan, a challenging but popular rock climbing route.

– See Yosemite Falls, the fifth largest waterfall in the world.

– Take an unforgettable photo of the valley and the mountains from Tunnel View.

– Visit pristine and peaceful Tenaya Lake.

– Wander through Mariposa Grove of the Giant Sequoias.

 

Best Hostel in Yosemite National Park: Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort

This is our pick for where to stay in Yosemite National Park. Located just 40 kilometres outside the park, this hostel is surrounded by nature. It has a magical, relaxed and social atmosphere, perfect for travellers of all ages. This hostel has a health spa, a sauna and comfortable beds.

View on HostelWorld

 

Best Hotel in Yosemite National Park: Yosemite Lodge at the Falls

A stunning location and rustic décor make this lodge a great choice for your time in Yosemite. It has an outdoor pool, a free shuttle service and attentive staff. The rooms are comfortable, spacious and well-equipped for a pleasant stay. There’s also an on-site restaurant and lounge.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Best Hotel in Yosemite National Park: Yosemite View Lodge

This charming lodge is located within Yosemite National Park. Overlooking the river, this lodge has spectacular views and a relaxing setting.

It also boasts an outdoor pool, a Jacuzzi, and an on-site fitness centre. The rooms are spacious and comfortable, and each comes complete with a kitchenette.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

2. Oakhurst – Where to Stay near Yosemite National Park on a Budget

Oakhurst is the gateway to Yosemite. This charming California town is located in Madera County and sits just 30 kilometres away from the park’s entrance.

It has stunning views of the mountains and sits alongside the Fresno River, which means you can enjoy the best of both city and nature.

Not only does it provide easy access to the park, but Oakhurst is where you can find a good variety of budget accommodation options. With moderately priced hotels and inexpensive lodges, Oakhurst is where travellers can save money on their Yosemite adventures.

But that’s not all! Oakhurst also has a great selection of restaurants, bars and activities to entertain and enthrall you after a day of exploring the park, making it one of the best places to stay near Yosemite on a budget.

Oakhurst, Yosemite National Park

 

Things to See and Do in Oakhurst

– Catch an awesome performance at the Golden Chain Theatre.

– Dine on delicious Mexican fare at Taqueria Plazuelas.

– Dive deep into Oakhurst’s history at Fresno Flats Historic Park.

– Down a pint at the Dirty Donkey Tavern.

– Enjoy a slice of savoury pizza at Sugar Pine Pizza.

– Grab a pint at Southgate Brewing Company.

– Sample sustainable local wines at the Idle Hour Winery.

– Satisfy your sweet tooth at Judy’s Donuts.

– Sip small-batch spirits and browse the art gallery at Oakhurst Spirits.

 

Best Budget Accommodations in Oakhurst: Comfort Inn Yosemite Area

This quaint hotel comes complete with an outdoor pool, a Jacuzzi and a golf course. Its rooms have a myriad of features and are incredibly clean and comfortable. There’s a great selection of restaurants and shops nearby. All of this makes it our pick for where to stay in Oakhurst.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Best Hotel in Oakhurst: Americas Best Value Inn Yosemite-Oakhurst

Located in Oakhurst, this two-star hotel is packed with amenities. It has a Jacuzzi, an outdoor pool, a sun deck and even a shopping mall! A short drive from Yosemite, this hotel is a great base for exploring the park. Its rooms are cosy and there’s a delicious on-site restaurant.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Best Hotel in Oakhurst: Pines Resort and Conference Center

This four-star resort is an awesome home away from home. Set in nature, this resort has a number of great features including a pool, tennis courts, a golf course and a lake. It has cosy rooms with internet access. There’s also an in-house restaurant and lounge.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

3. Fresno – Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park for Nightlife

Situated at the heart of the San Joaquin Valley, Fresno is the largest city in and around Yosemite and one of the busiest places to stay near Yosemite. It is home to more than 500,000 people and is bursting with activities and attractions, as well as bistros, museums, galleries and more.

Fresno is an eclectic city with a great selection of bars and clubs, which is why it’s our top pick for where to stay in Yosemite if you’re looking for nightlife. Head into town and enjoy a social night of drinks, dancing and fun no matter your style, interests or taste.

Those who love to eat will also love Fresno. With a wide variety of restaurants serving cuisines from around the world, your tastes will surely be satisfied here.

 

Fresno, Yosemite

 

Things to See and Do in Fresno

– Dig into great barbecue-style food at Dog House Grill.

– Dine on delicious dishes at the Mediterranean Grill & Café.

– Down a pint at Press BOX.

– Eat incredible sandwiches at Sam’s Italian Deli and Market.

– Enjoy craft beers and fun board games at Spokeasy Public House.

– Explore an underground world of rooms, courtyards and gardens at the Forestiere Underground Gardens.

– Sample a great selection of craft brews at Beer to the People.

– Savour amazing seafood at Pismo’s Coastal Grill.

– View impressive works of art at Fresno Art Museum.

 

Best Budget Accommodations in Fresno: Days Inn by Wyndham Fresno Central

For travellers on a budget wondering where to stay in Yosemite, you can’t beat the Days Inn Fresno. This centrally located hotel has 97 clean and spacious rooms. It boasts an outdoor swimming pool and offers wired internet to guests.

Just an hour outside of Yosemite, this hotel is a great base for exploring the region.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Best Hotel in Fresno: Best Western Village Inn

This is our top pick for where to stay in Fresno thanks to its contemporary décor, its central location, and its delicious breakfast. It has a range of features, including a Jacuzzi, an outdoor swimming pool and a day spa, as well as a restaurant and lounge.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Best Hotel in Fresno: Wyndham Garden Fresno Airport

Located in Fresno, this hotel is close to some of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.

Guests have access to an indoor pool, an outdoor terrace and a comfortable restaurant and lounge. The rooms are outfitted with modern décor and each comes with air-conditioning and wifi access.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Universal Travel AdapterOne of the best investments you can make is a worldwide travel adapter that will work anywhere! The one featured here is tough, reliable and a solid buy – Don’t leave home without one.

GET IT HERE

 

4. Mammoth Lakes – Trendiest Place to Stay in Yosemite National Park

The most popular and scenic town around Yosemite is without a doubt Mammoth Lakes. Set on the eastern edge of the park, Mammoth Lakes boasts amazing mountain views, incredible skiing and a fantastic rustic atmosphere making it one of the best places to stay near Yosemite for adventure seekers.

Mammoth Lakes is a popular resort destination that attracts snowsports enthusiasts from around the world. With more than 100 kilometres of routes, skiers and snowboarders of all levels love hitting the slopes at this legendary mountain.

Is winter not really your thing? No problem! Mammoth Lakes is a great year-round destination. It has amazing trails that allow you to enjoy spectacular views whether you want to explore the region on two wheels or on foot.

 

Mammoth Lakes, Yosemite

 

Things to See and Do in Mammoth Lakes

– Dine on delicious dishes at Mammoth Rock Brasserie.

– Eat incredible American fare at Mogul Restaurant.

– Follow the trail to beautiful Rainbow Falls.

– Hike to Convict Lake – famous for its alpine scenery.

– Hit the slopes of Mammoth Mountain.

– Knock back a pint and enjoy an awesome happy hour at Mammoth Tavern.

– Relax in the heated springs of Hot Creek.

– Sample great cocktails, beer and food at Clocktower Cellar.

– See the unique rock formations of Devils Postpile National Monument.

– Spend a fun night at Tusks Bar.

– Take in the amazing view from Minaret Vista.

 

Best Budget Accommodations in Mammoth Lakes: Rodeway Inn Wildwood

Low prices and large beds are just two of the reasons we love this hotel. This two-star inn has a Jacuzzi, an outdoor swimming pool and a relaxing sauna. It has spacious rooms and each has its own microwave, fridge and private bathroom.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Best Hotel in Mammoth Lakes: Quality Inn near Mammoth Mountain Ski Resort

This charming three-star hotel is conveniently located in Mammoth Lakes. It is just a short drive from the mountain and is the perfect base for skiers, hikers or mountain bikers.

This hotel offers high-quality accommodations at a reasonable price. It has laundry facilities and a wellness centre, including an in-house spa.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Best Hotel in Mammoth Lakes: Mammoth Mountain Inn

This fantastic three-star hotel is our pick for where to stay in Mammoth Lakes. It has a sauna, a pool, and boasts incredible views of the mountain.

There’s also a fitness centre, a sundeck and a golf course on-site. This hotel is comprised of 217 comfortable rooms all outfitted with essential amenities.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

5. Sonora – Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park for Families

Tucked away in Tuolumne County, on the northwest corner of Yosemite, is the small town of Sonora. Once famous for its mining and timber industries, Sonora is today most famous for it’s proximity to the park. It’s probably one of the most convenient places to stay near Yosemite National Park.

Not only does it allow for quick access to Yosemite, but Sonora is a great base for exploring other areas nearby, including Stanislaus National Forest.

Sonora is our recommendation for where to stay for families. This former gold rush town is bursting with activities and attractions that bring history to life. Whether you want to browse a museum or pan for gold, Sonora has something that will delight travellers of all ages.

Sonora, Yosemite

 

Things to See and Do in Sonora

– Dine on delicious Italian and American fare at Talulah’s.

– Explore historic gold rush town at the interesting Columbia State Historic Park.

– Grab a cone of amazing ice cream at Fallon Ice Cream Parlor.

– Jump in and enjoy a refreshing swim at Pine Crest Lake.

– Pan for gold at Gold Prospecting Adventures.

– Sample an excellent selection of sweets and treats at Columbia Candy Kitchen.

– Step back in time at the Tuolumne County Historical Museum.

– Strap on your skis (or snowboard) and hit the hills of Dodge Ridge.

– Tease your taste buds at the Diamondback Grill.

– Visit the Railtown 1897 State Historic Park.

 

Best Hostel in Sonora: Rodeway Inn Sonora

Just an hour outside of Yosemite, the Rodeway Inn Sonora is a fantastic base for exploring the region. Not only is it close to the park, but Railtown 1897 is also nearby.

This hotel offers comfortable, clean and well-equipped rooms perfect for families. It also has a range of features and an on-site restaurant.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Best Hotel in Sonora: Inns of California Sonora

This historic hotel is conveniently located in Sonora. It is within walking distance of Sonora’s top tourist attractions and Railtown 1897 Heritage Park is just a short drive away.

It has 112 recently refurbished rooms outfitted with modern amenities, including refrigerators, satellite channels and microwaves. There’s also an awesome outdoor pool.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Best Hotel in Sonora: Best Western Plus Sonora Oaks Hotel & Conference Center

The Best Western Plus is a centrally located, three-star hotel in Sonora. It has an outdoor pool, free wifi, and laundry service is available.

There’s also an in-house casino and nightly entertainment. It has spacious rooms perfect for accommodating families. All of this combined makes it our choice for where to stay in Sonora.

View on Booking.com     View on HotelsCombined     View on Agoda

 

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park is a spectacular destination. From its towering mountaintops to its lush and expansive valleys, this California Park is a must-see for travellers of all ages, styles and budgets.

In this article, we’ve highlighted the best areas to stay in and around Yosemite. While there aren’t many hostels in the area, we’ve done our best to include affordable resorts, motels and inns, to balance out some of the areas more luxurious lodges and hotels.

To recap; Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort is our choice for the best hostel thanks to its great location and its relaxing spa, sauna and hot tub.

Another awesome option is the Yosemite Lodge at the Falls. With its rustic décor and incredible setting, you won’t find a better hotel in Yosemite.

Have we missed anything? Let us know in the comments below.

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers – check it out here, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

 

Do you own an awesome hostel, hotel or apartment? Want to be featured in our list? Email hostels@thebrokebackpacker.com to find out how.

Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going.


Need More Inspiration?

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *