Yosemite West Reservations

Frequently Asked Questions

On Your Way
Your Accommodations
Enjoying Yosemite National Park


Where do I send my deposit?

Yosemite West Reservations
PO Box 2325
Oakhurst  CA  93644

How do I know you received my check?

A reservation confirmation will be mailed to you, along with a map and driving directions, within 7 to 10 days of check receipt.  You may also call our friendly staff at 559/642-2211 weekdays, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific (California) Time, to make sure your check has been received.

When are you open?

Accommodations are open year-round.  Registrar is available at Yosemite West daily between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.  Reservations Office is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pacific (California) Time, Monday through Friday, with Saturday hours on a seasonal basis.

Do I need to make a reservation in advance?

It is a good idea to make your reservation as soon as you know for certain you will be coming.  Reservations may be made close to arrival – or even on day of arrival – if there are accommodations still available for that time.  However, as each unit is unique, it is best to make your reservation as early as possible for the widest selection of units.

Besides the nightly rate quoted, what other fees do you charge?

The County taxes 11% for TOT/TBID.  We do not add any other set fees for booking, reservations, cleaning, or departure.

What languages are spoken by your staff?

Our staff members only speak English.  If you speak a different language and wish to practice your English, they will be happy to assist you.

Where do your guests come from?

We have hosted guests from throughout the United States, as well as Canada and Mexico, Argentina and Brazil, from almost every country in Europe (including Jersey), from South Africa and Kenya, from Israel, Jordan, and Dubai, and from Japan, South Korea, Taiwan/Republic of China, Indonesia, Australia, and New Zealand.

What if we are bringing a baby?

Please let the reservation staff know you have an infant.  We do have portable sleepers and high chairs which can be reserved in advance (move-in, move-out fee applies) for your convenience.

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On Your Way

Where are you located?

Yosemite West is the ideal location for enjoying Yosemite, as we are well inside the gates of Yosemite National Park and central to all the areas you'll want to explore.  Yosemite West is midway between Yosemite Valley and Wawona, near the turn for the Badger Pass/Glacier Point Road.

What entrance do we need to use to reach you?

Use the entrance you normally would use to come to Yosemite National Park, since we are well inside the park gates.  If you are coming from Southern California, Fresno, Bakersfield, or the Central Coast, you will take Hwy. 41 north from Fresno through Oakhurst to Yosemite National Park’s South Entrance.  If you are coming from Northern California, Sacramento, Stockton, or the northern part of San Francisco Bay Area, you will use Hwy. 120 to enter Yosemite National Park through Big Oak Flat Entrance.  Those coming from the east during summer/early fall can use Hwy. 120 going west from Hwy. 395 to enter the park through Tioga Pass Entrance.

There are several choices for those coming from the San Francisco Bay Area:  Use Hwy. 120 for the northern route is one option; another option is to take Hwy. 140 from Merced through Mariposa to El Portal and enter the park at Arch Rock Entrance.  The third option is to head east from Madera on Hwy. 145 and then north on Hwy. 41.  If you like to drive through the scenic foothills, you can also take Hwy. 49 south from Mariposa to Oakhurst, and then take Hwy. 41 north into Yosemite National Park.

How can I find out about road conditions?

CalTrans automated road information is available at 1-800/427-7623.  For road conditions within Yosemite National Park, call 1-209/372-0200.

What are the driving times from popular airports?

Fresno-Yosemite International Airport, at two hours' drive, is closest.  It is also conveniently arranged for quick pick-up of baggage and securing your rental car, allowing you to be on your way to Yosemite without delay.

Airports in Oakland, Sacramento, and San Jose are all about 4¼ hours' drive, while San Francisco is 4½ hours' drive.  In Southern California, Los Angeles International is 5½ hours' drive, San Diego 7½ hours' drive; allow additional time for car rental and baggage pick-up.

From Nevada, Reno is 4¾ hours' drive when Tioga Pass Road is open, while Las Vegas is 8¼ hours' drive.

When is Tioga Pass Road open?

As soon as the National Park Service is able to have cleared the road of snow and until the snow returns for the winter.  The NPS works to have the road open for Memorial Day Weekend, weather permitting; sometimes it is not able to open until June, with the first of July being the latest it has opened.  It usually will remain open for the summer season and through mid-autumn, closing with the first major snow in November.  It may be closed briefly or even for a couple of days in September or October, should there be early snowfall.  Tioga Pass Road (Hwy. 120 west from Hwy. 395) is the only entrance to Yosemite National Park on the east side of the Sierra Nevada.  When it is closed, those coming from Reno should drive to Sacramento and then south to Yosemite National Park, while those coming from Las Vegas should drive to Bakersfield and then north to Yosemite National Park.

Where can I buy groceries?

There is a market (the Village Store) in Yosemite Village, Yosemite Valley, as well as several "corner grocery" type stores elsewhere in Yosemite Valley and at Wawona, seasonally at Crane Flat and Tuolumne Meadows.

For those wishing to purchase groceries "on the way," the closest major chain supermarkets are in Oakhurst, which is convenient for those using Hwy. 41 to enter Yosemite National Park.  Oakdale and Manteca have the last major supermarkets for those coming in by way of Hwy. 120 from the west, Modesto for those using Hwy. 132, and Merced for those coming on Hwy. 140.  Independent markets are available in Mariposa, as well.

When is Yosemite National Park open?

The park is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Should entrance stations not be attended when you arrive, you may pay your entrance fee when you depart.

Do you allow pets?

No.  Pets are not permitted.  Your pets will be happiest with a pet-sitter at home or placed in a good pet-care establishment.  You may see wildlife during your time at Yosemite; you will enjoy that, your pets would not.

Why do I need your maps and driving directions, when I have GPS and internet maps available?

We don't want you to be inconvenienced by incorrect information.  GPS has sent guests on dirt roads through the nearby national forests, prolonging their drive by several hours, and maps of our area are not always accurate.  One popular internet mapping system displays street numbers in the wrong locations, which makes their service of little value.

Where can I buy gas or diesel for my car?

Service stations within the Park are located at Wawona (near South Entrance/Hwy. 41) and Crane Flat (Hwy. 120), and summer-only at Tuolumne Meadows (Hwy. 120 east).  Outside of the Park, nearest stations are in Oakhurst (Hwy. 41), Mariposa (Hwy. 140), Big Oak Flat (Hwy. 120 to west), and Lee Vining (Hwy. 120 to east).

Do I need to bring tire chains for my car?  What if I have 4WD?

Tire chains or cables are required to be carried in all vehicles when entering a chain control area; you will need to bring them with you when at Yosemite between October and May.  Chain restrictions are at four levels:
R-0      No restrictions
R-1      Chains or snow tires required
R-2      Chains required except for 4WD with snow tires
R-3      Chains required, no exceptions

Chains can be cables or any other DOT-approved traction device.

Weather and road conditions may be checked prior to traveling by calling the NPS information line (209/372-0200) and CalTrans for road conditions outside the Park (800/427-7623).

Chains or cables may be rented or purchased at your local sporting goods store; we recommend bringing them with you from home.  You cannot rent tire chains within the Park, and not all sizes are guaranteed to be available for purchase when you are here.  Be sure to have the proper size for your car (install them at home, if renting, to make sure they are the correct size).

How do I reach Yosemite West without a car?

We're sorry, but there is no public transportation available to Yosemite West.  If you are staying at Yosemite West, you will need to have your own vehicle for transportation.  If you do not have a car, you will need to stay in Yosemite Valley itself and purchase guided tours to see the Park.

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Your Accommodations

What is included in my accommodation?

All bedding (fresh linens on bed, pillows, blankets, etc.), bath towels and wash cloths, hand soap, toilet paper, kitchen linens (dish cloth, dish towel, kitchen towel), dishwashing liquid, dishwasher powder (as needed), roll of paper towels, kitchenware (flatware, plates, glasses, mugs/coffee cups, cooking utensils, pots & pans, cookie sheet), four-burner electric stove with regular oven, microwave oven, refrigerator with freezer, blender and/or mixer, electric-drip coffeemaker (coffee filters provided), salt & pepper shakers.

What about the fireplace in the home I reserved?

Bring firewood for wood-burning fireplaces or manufactured firelogs, such as DuraFlame or PrestoLogs.  Do not combine firelogs with wood.  Firewood may not be collected in Yosemite Valley, at Yosemite West, or anywhere in Yosemite National Park.  Stores often sell boxed firewood.  Your unit will have either a wood-burning fireplace (homes, cottages, cabins and duplex homes) or an automatic fireplace (rooms, studios, condos, and duplex apartments) for atmosphere and enjoyment.  You have a separate heating system for comfort and convenience; you control the thermostat.  In cool or cold weather, your unit will be warm upon arrival.

What about phone service?

Cell phone service is disrupted by mountains, for uneven coverage within Yosemite National Park.  Cell phones may work depending upon your location and your type of service.  Each of our units has a hard-wired telephone with free local calling.  There is also a pay telephone at Yosemite West, should you need it.

Has anyone famous ever stayed with you?

Yes, several highly-recognized celebrities have stayed with us over the years; however, their privacy is respected and thus we will not release their names.  Yosemite West is perfect for the famous who wish to be incognito while at Yosemite National Park; your stay will be treated with utmost confidentiality, unless you choose to reveal who you are to those you encounter.  Video surveillance is not used inside our units.

What is the advantage of having a kitchen?  We plan to spend our time seeing the Park.

You’ll be able to enjoy your morning coffee when you arise, fix a quick (or elaborate) breakfast, pack a picnic lunch, not need to wait to be seated at dinner time, and can enjoy a barbecue anytime of day.  It's the flexibility which is most advantageous, as well as lower cost.  Those on a budget may prefer to "eat out" once a day, prepare breakfast to enjoy en suite or on your deck, and have a picnic lunch handy for wherever you are when the midday hungries arrive.  Those traveling with younger ones will appreciate having access to snacks any time, day or night, and infant feedings are much easier with a refrigerator, stove, and microwave at hand.

Do you allow pets?

No.  Pets are not permitted.  Your pets will be happiest with a pet-sitter at home or placed in a good pet-care establishment.  You may see wildlife during your time at Yosemite; you will enjoy that, your pets would not.

When can we get the key to our unit?

Registrar is available beginning at 4 p.m.; your accommodations will also be ready at 4 p.m., so once you register, you'll receive your key and be able to use your unit.  Registration is available only between 4 p.m. and 10 p.m.

Are the roads cleared in winter?

Yes, the National Park Service maintains the roads within Yosemite National Park, including snow removal and sanding, while Mariposa County clears the snow from roads within Yosemite West.  Tire chains or cables may become mandatory at any time; Federal regulations require you to carry them in your vehicle whenever in a chain control area.  You will still need to carry them, even if you have 4WD or AWD.

What services are offered at Yosemite West?

Most services are offered elsewhere in Yosemite National Park, other than lodging.  You will find coin-operated clothes washers and dryers in the condominium building at Yosemite West, along with vending machines for snacks, sodas and bottled water.  There is also a pay phone by the first intersection at Yosemite West.

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Enjoying Yosemite National Park

Are there restaurants, grocery stores, and snacks in the Park?

You'll find a market in Yosemite Village and corner-style grocery stores at Wawona, Crane Flat, and (summer only) Tuolumne Meadows.  Restaurants, cafeterias, and fast foods are located in Yosemite Valley, with food service also available seasonally at Badger Pass, Glacier Point, and Tuolumne Meadows.  Wawona Hotel's dining room is generally open April through October and at holiday times.

How do I make dinner reservations?                     

You'll only need to make dinner reservations for The Ahwahnee Hotel Dining Room (1-209/372-1488) and the Wawona Hotel Dining Room (1-209/375-6556); all other restaurants in the Park are first-come, first-serve.  Dinner reservations are accepted up to two weeks in advance and sometimes are still available for that night.

What does Badger Pass offer and when is it open?

Badger Pass is Yosemite's center for winter fun and typically is open from mid-December to early April, snow conditions permitting.  The Badger Pass Day Lodge offers food service, equipment rentals, and sports/gift shop, as well as daycare for younger children.  Yosemite Ski School provides instruction in downhill skiing and snowboarding, while Yosemite Mountaineering School offers classes in cross-country skiing and winter mountaineering, including ice climbing.  Snow tubing is also available at Badger Pass, as well as snowshoeing.  Lifts operate daily between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m., with groomed slopes served by double- and triple-chair lifts.  Numerous marked cross-country ski trails are available, including set tracks to Glacier Point.  Badger Pass is less than seven miles from Yosemite West, which is the nearest lodging.  Ask our reservations staff about Skier Specials, ski packages, and special midweek stay & ski rates.

Is there ice skating at Yosemite?

Yes, from November to February, you'll be able to enjoy the Outdoor Ice Rink at Curry Village in Yosemite Valley.  Skate rentals, snacks, warming room, and firepit make this popular with visitors and residents alike, and the scenery can't be beat; you'll have a wonderful view of Half Dome as you skate around the rink.

What about fishing in Yosemite?

California fishing regulations apply, and fishing licenses are required.  You can purchase them in the park.  Click here for detailed information.

When is Yosemite National Park open?

Around the clock, every day of the year!  Some roads or areas may be closed temporarily or seasonally due to snow.

Are there visitor centers in Yosemite?  Where can I get information?

Our staff is happy to provide you with general information.  The main Visitor Center is in Yosemite Village, with additional information centers at Wawona and Tuolumne Meadows during the summer.  You'll find books, maps, a free orientation film, and knowledgeable Park staff at the Valley Visitor Center daily.  While there, be sure to visit the Indian Cultural Museum and Garden plus the Park Museum, both next door to the Valley Visitor Center.

When is the best time to be in Yosemite?

That's an easy question:  Every day is a special day, at Yosemite!  Each season offers things to see and activities to do which are not available during other times of the year.  Come soon – and come back often!

What natural resources are protected in a National Park?

Every one, from twigs and leaves to squirrels and raccoons to wildflowers and pebbles to water and air.  "Take photographs, leave only footprints" is a popular saying.  No one is permitted to pick up wood (not even for campfires) or take natural items from the park.

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