California's Highway 41 snakes and curves and the trees grow more and more impressive as you get closer to the Tenaya Lodge. You are as far as possible from the big city. You're also as close as possible to Yosemite National Park without being inside the park. At the Tenaya Lodge visitors will find picturesque views, a convenient location and overall incredible experience.
Coming off the heels of a $3 million renovation, the 35 acre, 224 room lodge features luxurious rooms in a rustic mountain setting. (Its official address in Fish Camp, California, putting it about 4 hours and 15 minutes from downtown San Francisco.) It is a perfect base camp for you to explore the Yosemite area, without roughing it in the least.
The lodge's location is one of its major draws. It is located literally only minutes from the South Entrance of Yosemite and the nearly adjacent and world famous Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias. The Yosemite Valley, the heart of the park, is about 75 minutes from the Lodge. If you've never been to Yosemite or the Lodge, make sure you properly plan your trip and follow signs to the South Entrance of the park and the nearby Tenaya Lodge. The other park entrances are a good distance away from the Tenaya.
Restaurants and Activities
The Tenaya Lodge features three restaurants on site: Sierra Restaurant, Jackalope's Bar & Grill and Parkside Deli. Room service is also an option. It also boasts an outside pool as well as an indoor pool/hot tub and fitness center. Don't expect to use the outdoor pool too often, the summers are relatively short at this high altitude resort that is often much colder than lower altitude California cities that are within a few hours driving distance.
Wildlife is abundant in the area, with deer and bears the two animals you are most apt to spot at Tenaya. It's not a joke or an exaggeration; visitors to Tenaya are warned not to leave any food, open or unopened, in their cars overnight. Bears have been known to rip into cars on the grounds after being led to them by their nose as they hunt for tasty treats.
For a fascinating and educational experience, try the Tenaya Lodge's Flashlight Tour. Lasting over an hour and costing $10 per person, Guests are given a flashlight to use and then taken outside on a tour of the Lodge's somewhat hilly, and at points, heavily wooded grounds. Along the way, native vegetation, wildlife and the area's history is explained in detail. The tour is popular with couples and with families. Although not strenuous, the tour is an actual walk through the woods on and off of paths, so make sure that everyone is physically up to the adventure.
Other seasonal activities available at Tenaya include horseback riding, ice skating, rock climbing on a climbing wall and snowshoe hikes. Activity fees are charged for some of the seasonal activities. (Reviewed June 2008)
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