Los Angeles Times: The 101 Best West Coast Experiences

Hetch Hetchy makes a great day trip if you’re already headed to Yosemite or Gold Country towns like Groveland, Jamestown, Sonora or Columbia, or if you’re staying at the park-adjacent Evergreen Lodge. In fact, that’s where the builders of the O’Shaughnessy Dam stayed a century ago, before the lodge had aromatherapy. 

Fifty Grande: The Best Hotels For Stargazing and Astro-Tourists

By Keri Bridgwater | March 5, 2024

Miles from the nearest city lights, Yosemite National Park is a great place to look at the stars, but visiting this summer between April 13 and August 15 will require a reservation made using a complicated system.  One loophole that bypasses the reservation rigamarole: staying at Evergreen Lodge, located one mile from the park’s western entrance, and joining one of its Yosemite stargazing tours. Star Guides use high-powered laser pointers to pick out constellations, nebulae and star clusters with a 4.5” aperture digital Unistellar telescope on hand to give you an even closer look at the night sky.

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Stargazing (Kim Carroll)

Golden State: Playing with Light: Here’s How to See Yosemite’s Firefall Now

By Jennie Nunn, February 21, 2024

There’s a lot to be said for being in exactly the right place at the right time. In the case of Yosemite National Park’s rare natural phenomenon, Firefall, it’s everything. It’s no surprise the two-week annual spectacle at Horsetail Fall caused by sunlight hitting the waterfall at precisely the right moment—happening now through February 25th—has attracted renowned photographers, nature enthusiasts and throngs of visitors from around the globe. If you plan on attempting to get in on the action (pending perfect weather conditions), here’s what you need to know.

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Men’s Journal: These Two Hotels Are Your Golden Ticket Around Yosemite’s Reservation System

By Dalton Johnson, January 24, 2024

As summer approaches, Yosemite National Park enthusiasts eagerly anticipate the opportunity to explore its breathtaking landscapes. However, the recent announcement of a new reservation system has left many scratching their heads. Fear not, as there is a golden ticket to navigate this bureaucratic maze, and it comes in the form of two hotels—Evergreen Lodge and Rush Creek Lodge.

The National Park Service has introduced a reservation system for Yosemite National Park running from April 13 through August 15, 2024. This system, though well-intentioned, poses potential inconveniences for sightseers and international travelers. The reservation process for this period opens on January 5, 2024, at 8 a.m., but a clever loophole exists for those seeking a hassle-free experience.

Enter Evergreen Lodge and Rush Creek Lodge, two establishments that offer a workaround for park visitors. The reservation requirement doesn’t apply to individuals with scheduled guided tours and overnight reservations at select nearby hotels, making these two lodges the perfect allies for those looking to avoid the intricacies of the reservation system.

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Yosemite Giant Sequoia Hikers (Kim Carroll)

The Manual: This Clever Hack Bypasses Yosemite’s Complicated New Reservation System

By Rachel Dennis, January 21, 2024

Lately, there’s been a lot of buzz around the fact that Yosemite National Park has implemented a new reservation system for visitors from April 13 through August 15, which began at the start of 2024.

The national park’s reservation requirements are implemented to reduce traffic bottlenecks and improve visitors’ experiences.

But many people are left wishing there was an easier way to enjoy the beauty of Yosemite without wondering whether or not they will be able to secure an entry, especially with the warmer months just around the corner.

Fortunately, there are a few ways you can get around this requirement with a clever hack that can make your visit to Yosemite smooth and stress-free.

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Yosemite Valley View Selfie Fun (Kim Carroll)

Time Out: Start the new year off in a massage cabana at Yosemite

By Erika Mailman, January 2, 2024

If you’re hoping to start 2024 off with new levels of calm, Yosemite National Park may be the place to start. This spiritual, geologic masterpiece strikes visitors with awe—don’t forget to book for February’s Firefall phenomenon. And a new set of private massage cabanas await those who treasure the idea of a massage nestled in the woods bordering the park.

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Massage Cabana

The Wall Street Journal: You’ll Need a Reservation at Yosemite Again. Better Plan Now.

By Allison Pohle, December 13, 2023

Visitors driving into Yosemite National Park will need reservations once again.

Travelers planning to drive into or through the park from April through October will often now need to snag a morning or afternoon entry slot. If you plan to take a bus or enter by bike, horseback or on foot, you won’t need individual reservations. The required reservations will vary by month and time of day.

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Diablo Magazine: Family Snow Vacations

By Ginny Prior, December 1, 2023

What does the northwest end of Yosemite National Park offer visitors? Solitude. The Hetch Hetchy gate is the least-visited entrance to the park and a dream for waterfall lovers. The highlights are the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir and the hike to Wapama Falls to see incredible volumes of water tumble over sheer granite walls in the grandeur of what John Muir described as a place as beautiful as Yosemite Valley.

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Forbes: At Two Lodges Near Yosemite, Young Adults Heal Within The Landscape

By Elizabeth MacBride, November 29, 2023

“Just outside the park gate, Lee Zimmerman and Brian Anderluh own a hospitality company, First Light, that runs two lodges, Rush Creek and Evergreen. The 300 employees of the Lodges include about 40-50 “transitional youth” each year – often young people who are aging out of the foster care system. The company supports them with extra staff members, job training counseling and special outings. It’s a successful social enterprise for a very under-served community, completely baked into financially successful 20-year-old company. As the lodges scale, so will the program. I wrote about it for the Stanford Social Innovation Review last spring.”

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