|Price: $$ – $$$
For: Families, couples, singles, seniors
Lodge or villa rooms, off-trail e-bike rentals, free parking & WiFi, saltwater pool, free s’mores every night, spa area in 2020, indoor & outdoor play areas, grocery store, restaurant, 5 min. to west entrance of Yosemite
Wow, we really needed that quick trip to Yosemite National Park a few weeks ago! Yosemite is so beautiful all year round and there’s just something about the park that instantly melts away all your pent-up stress and worries. Getting to and around Yosemite Valley National Park is pretty easy, especially since it’s only a 3-4 hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area. But, the challenging part is trying to figure out where to stay during your vacation there. That’s why we were looking forward to giving Rush Creek Lodge a try.
Lodging Near Yosemite Valley National Park
Within Yosemite Valley itself, there are basically only three options (ranging from camping and barebones tent cabins to upscale luxury lodge rooms) and these book up pretty far in advance. Just outside the park, though, it’s a whole different story. The available hotels, motels, vacation rentals, camping sites, etc. are too many to number and can be overwhelming to choose from.
A few years ago, we stayed at Evergreen Lodge and really enjoyed our time there. We would have been happy to stay there again but, instead, we decided to check out their new sister property, Rush Creek Lodge. Rush Creek Lodge opened about three years ago. It’s a rustic but modern property that offers amenities and activities which appeal to families as well as those traveling without kids. Both properties are only a few minutes from the Highway 120 West entrance to Yosemite National Park.
Staying at Rush Creek Lodge near Yosemite CA
Guests can choose to stay in hotel-type rooms/suites in the main lodge or they can opt for a more private space in one of the four-plex villas onsite. All rooms include heating/air conditioning, a refrigerator, a safe, and Keurig coffee brewer.
For our first night, we stayed in a King Lodge room. We found it to be tastefully decorated, spacious, and had an unobstructed view property, including the saltwater pool below. We did have an issue with the sheets on the sofa bed not being clean (they are usually changed after every stay but somehow got missed this time) but new sheets were brought up immediately. Management also worked quickly to follow up with us to make sure it didn’t impact our stay and prevent such oversights from happening again.
The next night, we moved into a 2-bedroom villa that overlooked the property as well as the mountains. The villa suited our tastes better as we savored the quietness and privacy. I seriously loved the cast iron gas fireplace — so cozy! A barn door also separated the sink and toilet areas, a nice feature when several people in the room are getting ready at the same time.
Rush Creek Lodge Shopping & Dining
Rush Creek Lodge has everything you need for a comfortable and enjoyable stay. The general store stocks plenty of souvenirs and food supplies for breakfast and lunch. There’s even a mini cafe so you can order custom hot or cold beverages.
The restaurant is amazing! You share tavern-style appetizers or order full entrees. The menu has a unique and appealing variety of dishes. And, to serve those with sensitive food allergies, we were pleased to learn that the kitchen includes a separate preparation area with clean cookware and utensils to reduce the risk of cross-contamination. That meant we could all enjoy our food without worry. And, man, was it delicious! It’s no wonder that locals even frequent the restaurant on a regular basis!
Things to Do at Rush Creek Lodge
The property features a huge 30’ x 80’ heated saltwater pool and two hot tubs (one for families and one for adults only) that are open year-round. Guests are invited to enjoy free s’mores around the fire pit each night or participate in daily activities. If you have a special occasion coming up, the event space has twinkle lights and panoramic windows that open up to a lovely view of the surrounding forest and mountains. Of course, that’s not all!
Adventure: The property recently unveiled three hiking trails of varying lengths. You can rent regular mountain bikes or off-trail e-bikes and racks on-site. Use them to ride one of the new trails or explore the 13 miles of forest service road known as “Five Corners.”
Wellness: Currently, guests can request massages that are offered in a few rooms on the ground level in the lodge. But, starting in the spring of next year, a brand new 5,000 sq ft spa area will be opening. I can’t wait for that to open! The sunset area is perfect to unwind and enjoy the scenery or to get some morning stretches in.
Kids: There is plenty of fun available for kids in every season. The lodge has a sizable indoor game area with toys, board games, and a treehouse play structure that even adults have a hard time resisting. It also includes a billiard table, shuffleboard table, pinball machine, and Foosball. Outside, kids will love the 60-foot embankment slide, mini zip lines, bocce ball, horseshoes, giant connect-four and checkers, corn hole, and ping pong.
Where to Stay When Visiting Yosemite National Park
We had a fantastic time at Rush Creek Lodge and it’s a perfect way to break up or extend your vacation to Yosemite Valley National Park. The rooms are quiet and comfortable and I like that you can choose a lodge room or villa depending on your travel needs. The property offers plenty of activities to stay busy. But, it can also be the perfect setting to just chill and decompress as you enjoy tranquil natural landscapes or clear starry nights. This modern lodge in Groveland offers just the right mix for families looking to round out their memorable trip to Yosemite.
My family and I were provided with complimentary lodging and dining for review purposes. All opinions are my own.