More than any single spot, Yosemite is responsible for the continued protection of America’s many scenic areas. Though Yellowstone holds the honor of being the first park created, it was Yosemite that inspired John Muir’s love of nature and, in turn, his lifelong mission to share that love and preserve the objects of his affections. His journeys in the Sierras led him to write a number of books and campaign for the protection of Yosemite.
What led to all of this is quite obvious. Yosemite is full of incredible vistas and mind-boggling monoliths. There are a multitude of opportunities to hike, with trails both long and short, easy-going and strenuous. The park is famous for its stunning waterfalls as well, most notably the towering Yosemite Falls.
Due to increasing visitor numbers, Yosemite recently implemented a reservation system. This can be circumvented by finding accommodation within the park boundaries or visiting outside of peak months. In any case, it pays to plan in advance, do research, and take tips from those in the know.
Most of Yosemite is open — and shimmering with beauty and scenic wonders — year-round but certain roads are closed in the winter months, usually from November to April. Crowds are busiest in the summer.
A Vrbo vacation rental is an excellent way to enjoy the park, especially for those keen to explore during the quieter but colder off-season. Here are 10 Yosemite National Park cabin rentals to help you discover what changed John Muir’s life all those years ago.
The Merced River is part of a system that begins in the high Sierras and eventually flows out under the Golden Gate Bridge, sustaining the rich agriculture of central California in the process. Somewhere along the way, it passes through the Yosemite Valley and runs by this well-placed cabin inside the park. Luckily enough, the river widens to create an excellent swimming hole just in front of the cabin, complete with perfectly safe jumping rocks for those brave enough to take the plunge. The home features rustic touches like a wood-burning stove and simple wooden beds, but also includes modern appliances and granite countertops. The three bedrooms are on the small side, but the vaulted ceilings in the living room more than make up for it. The home is near the Wawona Hotel and the park’s grocery store, so no need to stock up in advance.
For those looking to avoid the crowds, this family-friendly chalet east of the park’s border is an excellent hideaway. Most visitors enter Yosemite through the western entrances and head straight to the Yosemite Valley. Far too few go the extra mile to take in the Tuolumne Meadows. These scenic pastures are just 45 minutes from this luxurious chalet, as are Pothole Dome and Lember Dome, impressive, hikable, and generally overlooked granite monoliths. The spacious cabin is full of wonderful touches, from the clawfoot bathtub and hydrotherapy tub to the oak bar and the trees growing straight through the deck. Enjoy great mountain views here. The park is about 5 miles away and the June Mountain ski area is even closer.
Astonishingly spacious for a cabin built for two, Clouds Rest is a superb getaway for an outdoorsy couple that values comfort. Inside the park itself, El Capitan is a constant presence at the cabin, visible off in the distance 10 miles away. Even better views are just a 5-minute hike away. The cabin has a full kitchen, comfortable living room with a gas fireplace, and an upstairs bedroom fitted with a king bed. A creek is a little ways off from the cabin, closer than any neighbors. With Yosemite Valley just 10 minutes away, few homes beat this one in terms of proximity to Yosemite’s best-loved spots.
Located in Foresta, a small cluster of dispersed homes within the park’s borders, this cozy cabin is excellent for a couple or small group. Hikes abound, and Yosemite Valley is just 10 minutes away by car. The building is simply furnished. The main space serves as a living room, kitchen, and dining area, and is enriched by the presence of a wood-burning stove. The bathroom is downstairs between two queen bedrooms. The upstairs area has a full bed, workspace, and a door leading out to a small deck.
Done right, modern architecture works just as well in the montane wilderness as it does in any suburb. This wonderful Yosemite cabin rental, completed in the spring of 2022, demonstrates this fact splendidly. Located inside Yosemite National Park’s boundaries, guests need not worry about acquiring permits, nor concern themselves with long waits entering and exiting the park. The chief concern will be getting the most out of Yosemite’s many natural treasures. Even this is made all the easier thanks to the home’s many comforts. It not only looks nice but comes with everything you’ll need to prepare for your drives and hikes and remain well-fed. Ideal for families, the home has two large bedrooms and a third with two brand-new bunk beds.
This beautiful cedar Yosemite vacation home has high ceilings, modern furnishings and appliances, and enough room for everyone. Best of all, it is mere steps away from the park’s entrance at Yosemite West. Large windows will draw guests out into the park and the beauty of the dining area and kitchen pulls visitors back in for shared meals at the end of the day. Special touches include a game room with a ping pong table and arcade games, along with surprisingly luxurious bathrooms. A bedroom with beautiful curtains, a balcony, and two full beds sits up in the lofted area. Another queen bedroom sits across the way with room for two more in the loft. The master bedroom downstairs is equipped with a king and en-suite bathroom including a deep tub and separate shower.
Given the park’s great popularity, you won’t have any issue convincing a large number of friends or family members to join you in Yosemite. This fine cabin is ready to accommodate any large crew. It’s located on a residential street in Wawona, steps away from the small grocery store. The home has two living rooms, a grand rustic chamber centered around a beautiful rough-stone fireplace, and a smaller, more modern space on the opposite side of the building. There is also a large deck with a hot tub.
Another great gateway into the quieter eastern part of the park, this cabin is a dream for any couple ready to spend time together in the great outdoors. Of course, if you stay here, the indoors will seem pretty good too. This is a cozy cabin with various flourishes, including certain southwestern touches and a clawfoot bathtub. There is a full kitchen and restaurants, bars, and spas within walking distance at the base of June Mountain — the sight of which will surely draw guests upwards. Hiking trails are right outside the front door and the stunning features of eastern Yosemite are about 45 minutes away.
Given the home’s placement overlooking the South Fork of the Merced River, it’s no surprise the owners have fitted this large a-frame with floor-to-ceiling windows. There’s also a large deck to observe the water or simply take in some fresh air before venturing to the giant sequoias at nearby Mariposa Grove. The house rental has two queen bedrooms on the ground floor and a king above. All three beds have beautiful headboards of cedar which look as though they came straight off the tree. The kitchen was remodeled in 2022 and is ready to supply home-cooked meals and trail sandwiches. Ingredients can be brought in or purchased at the nearby grocery store in Wawona.
Whether you’re planning a large family reunion or a rare get-together with friends, this large cabin 5 miles from Yosemite can service big groups ready to explore America’s favorite park. Appreciate the privacy afforded by a spacious 4-acre property and enjoy its festive atmosphere. The home has fireplaces indoors and out, and there are many a neat diversion, from the small swingset to the bocce ball facilities. The home consists of the main building and a bunkhouse with three queen bedrooms and a common room fitted with two bunk beds. The larger structure includes the kitchen, primary living spaces, and bedrooms (two queens and a loft area with three doubles and a single). Minutes away from the park, guests can expect to reach the awe-inspiring sights of the Yosemite Valley after a 45-minute drive.
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