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“Meadow Yurt: More plush than tent camp camping but less luxurious than a hotel stay”

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Yosemite Lakes RV Resort
Certificate of Excellence
Reviewed 14 April 2012

My family stayed in a Meadow Yurt at Yosemite Lakes April 8-11, 2012 as our "home base" for forays into Yosemite National Park, as Yosemite Valley itself is about a 35-40 minute drive from Yosemite Lakes via Highway 120. We chose the yurt because it offered two key features that appealed to members of my family--a fire pit for roasting marshmallows and indoor plumbing!

From what I can tell, all the yurts are identical; it's the setting that determines the price level. River yurts command the highest price by virtue of location along the South Fork of the Tuolumne River, while Hillside yurts are the least expensive. In between price-wise are the Meadow yurts, which are literally across the road from the River yurts.

The River and Meadow yurts are located on the eastern end of the Yosemite Lakes property. Access is controlled by a gate that requires a code number to be entered. Behind the River and Meadow yurts are many tent sites, but these were closed and unoccupied during my stay. I'm sure these will be filled up during summer, so you may want to keep that in mind if you stay during peak season.

Physically, the yurts are about 30 feet in diameter. Half of the interior space is devoted to the living/sleeping area, one-quarter to the bathroom, and one-quarter to the kitchen/dining area. Because of the shape of the yurt, the ceiling is very high, and a skylight caps the dome. A locking entry door leads to a small deck equipped with a gas grill (grill brushes for cleaning are provided) and two screened windows equipped with venetian blinds on the inside permit additional light. The "window panes" are secured with velcro and can be removed to permit additional ventilation. Storm flaps over the window exteriors can be lowered if needed. (Tip: bring a small stepladder to help with these.)

The yurt is very well stocked. Linens provided include bed sheets, pillows, pillowcases, blankets, comforters, bath towels, wash cloths, and a shower mat, but you need to provide your own soap and shampoo. Kitchen appliances include a full-size refrigerator/freezer, two-burner electric stovetop, microwave oven, two-slot toaster, and 10-cup coffeemaker. A full range of utensils and cookware is also included, as well as a cutting board, colander, and dishrack (dish soap and a sponge are provided). Creature comforts include a gas heater, air conditioner, and small television with DirecTV. For sleeping, there is a queen size futon and a bunk bed (single upper and double lower).

Please note that the river can be quite loud if the current is strong. In addition, if it rains like it did during our last night's stay, the raindrops hitting the yurt's walls and ceiling can be noisy. I'd recommend bring earplugs, just in case. Also cell phone coverage for me at least was non-existent. In addition, the nearest restaurant is about 20 minutes away in Buck Meadows.

All in all, I enjoyed my stay. There's no way I would call it camping, but I think it's a good bridge for anyone who wants to transition from a hotel/motel experience to a different accomodation experience. While the distance to Yosemite Valley may put some people off, you're paying less as a result.

  • Stayed: April 2012, travelled with family
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18  Thank keyroute
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,019 - 1,025 of 1,074 reviews

Reviewed 19 October 2011

We went during one of the major power outage in the winter. They did call beforehand and warned us that the power may not be re-instated when we get there. Since we had already planned for the trip, we went anyways. They provided some candles for light and we brought our own lanterns as well. Power came back on second night. Can't find fault with anything there. It was clean and very appointed. Heating is propane. Amenities: Full kitchen with fridge, microwave, all utensils and cutlery, stove and oven, Bathroom with stand shower and toilet, queen size bed and a full futon, satellite tv, outdoor gas grill, picnic table and parking for 2 cars. The surrounding is really beautiful.

Drive to Yosemite entrance is only 5 minutes.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with family
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1  Thank Jawayi
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 11 October 2011

We loved our hillside yurt! This was my first trip to Yosemite so I really wanted it to be special. We booked the yurt at the last minute and were a little nervous but we were pleasantly surprised when we arrived. I agree with some of the other reviews that the beds were a little uncomfortable, but not a big deal. The gas grill was definitely dirty and unusable (there was no grill brush) so we had to cook our burgers on the stove top instead. Other than that we were very pleased and would highly recommend staying in a yurt. We will definitely stay here again. The drive to the valley is about 40 minutes but it is so beautiful it never bothered us, in fact we drove into the park 3 days in a row and never felt put out by the drive.

Room Tip: Yurt #15 had a great view off the porch.
  • Stayed: October 2011, travelled as a couple
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6  Thank N1c_11
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 15 June 2011

We stayed in a meadow yurt, arriving the day after Memorial day to a mostly empty campground. No complaints here, although we were definitely expecting more of a crowd! At the check in, we encountered a friendly older lady who said she was new, so it wasn't the easiest transaction (she even forgot to give us the key to the yurt!), but we eventually got everything squared away. It wasn't cheap for the 2 nights, but compared to the many rental cabins we researched in the area, it seemed to be reasonable.

I was pleasantly suprised by the condition of the yurt. From the outside, it doesn't look like much, but going in we were met with a very clean and cute kitchen area, a nice sized living area, and a generously sized bathroom (bigger than the typical hotel room). There was a decent sized kitchen table with seating for 5, and all the plates, bowls, glasses, pots and pans, and utensils were provided. Because of the high sloping ceiling, the yurt had an open, airy feel. We stocked up on food at the grocery store in Groveland beforehand, which had limited options but was much better than the options at the gas station located at this campground. The bathroom in the yurt was also super clean, and towels are provided. It really exceeded my expectations. Contrary to the previous poster, I thought the beds were extremely comfortable, and I stayed on the top bunk! Could have been all the hiking we did in yosemite, though :) The one downside we had was the temperature control. It was fairly cold when we stayed there, and it was either too warm or too cold. Although there were settings (low-high), it seemed to output the same amount of heat regardless.

If you can afford it, the river and meadow yurts are nice as they are right by the river and also somewhat secluded from the main area of the campground. I'd also suggest making sure you stop for gas somewhere before Groveland, as they charge an insane amount of $$ per gallon! The drive into Yosemite valley is absolutely beautiful, and coming from a very flat state (Michigan), the entire area is something to enjoy.

  • Stayed: May 2011, travelled with family
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10  Thank kit264
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 February 2011

The yurt itself was clean, spacious, and very attractive. It has an attached deck with a gas grill (contrary to some other reviews, ours had a grill brush attached with a chain) and a fire pit. The bathroom is large, and there is good hot water. There were four adults staying in the 4-person yurt, but it seemed to be designed for two adults and two children. There were only two wine glasses, and the coffee pot was a small 4-cup unit. Luckily, all kitchen implements were clean, unlike some other places I have stayed with kitchenettes. The knives were dull, as usual. The heater was a gas-burning stove situated in the living area, controlled by a thermostat. It lent a cute rustic feel to the yurt, even though it was quite bright when it went on in the middle of the night, which bothered one of our party. There is a large skylight at the peak of the yurt which was great for letting light in, but it could easily bother you if you intend to try and sleep in. Be aware that even though the camp is located 5 miles from the park entrance, it will take you ~45 min to get to the valley.

Alas, not all was so nice. The sleeping accommodations are, quite simply, unacceptable. There is a full size bed and a futon, which doubles as seating in the living space. The futon mattress will remind everyone of that beat-up futon you regularly saw in college apartments. It wasn’t comfortable, but it was actually preferable to the bed, which was honestly the worst bed I have tried to sleep on in ages. The foundation/box springs under the mattress was too small, so the last 6 inches of one side of the bed hung off into air, and couldn’t be slept on. The ‘head’ of the bed was noticeably lower than the ‘foot’. After the second night on this bed I would have preferred to sleep on the hard wood floor on a sleeping pad than spend another night in the bed. I sleep better when I am tent camping than I did on this mattress. (in addition the pillows are very thin, and if you have room I would advise that you simply bring your own)

The stove is an electric two-burner unit (which looks quite beat-up for how new everything else appeared), and no matter how we fiddled with it, we couldn’t get both burners to work at the same time. There is no oven. I don’t know if it was the time of year, but the front desk was woefully unprepared for any requests. They couldn’t give us extra toilet paper or paper towels (one roll of each was in the unit when we arrived). They had no more lighters. (one was in our unit, but wasn’t lighting well, and the piezo-electric starter on the grill was broken) They didn’t have wood for sale, as the store was closed. (I’m not sure it was ever open. This was well before dark)

In general, aside from the bed, none of this should be a big deal for something that is basically a step above camping, but these yurts are marketed as having ‘resort style amenities’, and are normally priced as such. We purchased our nights as part of a Groupon deal, and saved more than 50% off the normal listed price. At that price my biggest complaint was the bed. If I had known how bad it was I would have packed an inflatable mattress. At regular prices, however, I would have been incredibly disappointed in the stove and the front desk as well. At regular rates you can stay in yosemite valley at the Yosemite lodge for the same price. I would probably return if I got another great deal, but not at their regular rates.

  • Stayed: February 2011, travelled with friends
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6  Thank CAScientist
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 4 February 2011

Wood smoke is so harmful to health, those with existing diseases and those who are healthier, so we were very grateful to find a place to overnight that we could breathe air. Thank you Yosemite Lakes and Cabins for your no fire allowed policy!

Awesome grand scenary, very nice Yurts and Facilities well maintained and managed, clean water and the clean fresh air of nature. That is what RVing is about.!! We get enough toxic pollution in the city.

  • Stayed: September 2010, travelled as a couple
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2  Thank EducatePeople
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 31 August 2010

We stayed in a hillside Yurt for 2 nights before spending a night at Curry Village to stay in the centre of yosemite.
We loved our Yurt. It was comfy and cosy, the bathroom is large, and clean, we found everything to be clean and comfortbale. The double bed wasn't great (don't sit on the end of it!) but this is just posh camping after all! We didn't really see or hear anything from any of the other yurts so although they are quite close it isn't a problem. The staff at reception were friendly, it is a bit like a ghopst town there with the building seeming a little deserted, but their computers went down so someone drove our receipt to us which was great. The children tried swimming on the river, it wasn't really deep enough to swim at the end of August so more of a paddling river then swimming but they had fun anyway! It was about a 45 min drive to Yosemite Village, but a truly stunning drive and we really didn't mind at all. It is a stunning location, in unusual accomodation without the huge crowds we found the next night at Curry Village in the centre of the Valley.

  • Stayed: July 2010, travelled with family
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3  Thank eek-i-saw-a-mouse
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Additional Information about Yosemite Lakes RV Resort

Address: 31191 Hardin Flat Rd, Groveland, CA 95321-9716
Region: United States > California > Groveland
Amenities:
Hotel Style:
Ranked #1 of 15 Speciality Lodging in Groveland
Price Range: $108 - $321 (Based on Average Rates for a Standard Room)
Hotel Class:2 star — Yosemite Lakes RV Resort 2*
Number of rooms: 299
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Also Known As:
Yosemite Lakes Cabins And Hostel
Yosemite Lakes Cabins Hotel Groveland

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