Just like in many situations in life, Yosemite accommodations are all about choices, ranging from upscale to lying on God’s green earth (free). It depends on what you’re comfortable with, what you can afford, how adventurous you are and what you want get out of your Yosemite experience. Do you want to enjoy the views and then go back to the luxurious Ahwahnee Hotel and relax? Maybe browse the gift shop and partake in a delicious meal underneath a crystal chandelier?
Or perhaps you would be more comfortable in a motel, closer to the park or 25 or 35 miles away. Of course, the closer to the park, the higher the nightly and weekly rates will be. With the price of gas as high as it’s been, you need to factor in that additional cost to make that commute. If you’re on a Yosemite tour, the tour company surely will. Needs must.
On the other extreme, you can carry your sleeping bag in your rucksack and carefully place it on a bed of pine needles. Lying on your back, you can try to count the stars while listening to crickets, frogs and other night sounds. Or, you could place that sleeping bag inside a tent, where you’ll still hear the night sounds but won’t miss the mosquitoes. When we take those who want to rough it out in the Yosemite wilderness, we supply all the camping gear, including tents. We also offer gourmet ready-to-eat meals to heat over the crackling campfire.
Another option is heated tent cabins. They don’t provide the comfort of a hotel room, yet they’re a step above sleeping in a tent by virtue of being heated and a little closer to civilization. One challenge with tent cabins, however, is that the bathroom is 50 yards away.