This property hits the sweet spot for Yosemite lodging—it’s conveniently located in the heart of the valley, is more affordable than the Majestic, and has better views than any other accommodation, looking directly out to Lower Yosemite Falls. All 241 rooms, spread among 15 two-story buildings, were recently updated to include TVs, mini fridges, phones, coffee makers, and Wi-Fi. While not air-conditioned, they come with fans and some even have patios or balconies. There are also four larger family rooms, complete with a king bed and two bunk beds. The lodge has its own pool, gift shop, and outdoor amphitheater, where rangers and naturalists give presentations during warmer months, as well as two restaurants. The more formal Mountain Room features soaring ceilings, waterfall views, and dishes like lobster beignets and grilled pork mole, while the Mountain Lodge—popular with the valley’s climbers—serves beer, cocktails, and a small but tasty bar menu, which can be enjoyed either inside by the double-sided fireplace or outdoors on the deck. There’s also a food court, which is slated for a complete makeover in the spring of 2018.

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