Yosemite MapWe are blessed with a truly magical and convenient location to enjoy all of Yosemite National Park and the surrounding Stanislaus National Forest. Rush Creek Lodge sits just half a mile from the Park’s Highway 120 west entrance, providing an ideal launching point for exploration into all parts of Yosemite.  The resort is a 3 hour drive from the San Francisco Bay Area along scenic Highway 120, the most direct route to Yosemite from the Bay Area, offering year-round access to the Park.

Rush Creek is also situated 7 miles from its sister property, the historic Evergreen Lodge, making both lodges the most conveniently located of all Yosemite lodging options for access to the three most renown parts of the Park:  Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows and Hetch Hetchy.  Drive times to these areas vary depending on traffic and weather conditions, but on average you can reach Yosemite Valley in 30 minutes, Tuolumne Meadows in 1 hour, and Hetch Hetchy in 20 minutes.

The charming Old West town of Groveland is the last town you pass through on your way to Yosemite from 120 West. You’ll find Rush Creek 22.5 miles east of Groveland.

In Winter, Tioga Pass on Hwy 120 East is closed on the Eastern side of Yosemite (near Nevada), but Hwy 120 West where we’re located is open all year, providing direct access to us and Yosemite.  In winter, roads are plowed as necessary after snowfalls, and carrying chains is periodically required, so guests should call ahead and come prepared during periods of winter weather.

Drive Times from Major Cities

3-3.5 hours from the San Francisco Bay Area (2.5 hours from the Livermore Valley)
2.5-3 hours from Sacramento
2.5-3 hours from Fresno
5.5-6.5 hours from Los Angeles

Rush Creek Lodge and our sister property, Evergreen Lodge, are the most conveniently located of all Yosemite lodging areas for access to all three of the most prominent parts of the Park: Yosemite Valley, Tuolumne Meadows and Hetch Hetchy.

Yosemite Destination Drive Times (in minutes)
Rush Creek Lodge  Evergreen Lodge Groveland El Portal Mariposa Oakhurst
Hetch Hetchy 25 10 55 65 115 120
Yosemite Valley 30 40 60 10 50 60
Tuolumne Meadows 60 75 95 75 110 120

Surrounding area highlights include forest, meadows, rivers, swimming holes, fire roads, and scenic vistas. Visit with our Recreation team for planning advice and more drive times to Yosemite’s major icons as well as our favorite local spots. Below you can view photos and drive times from the lodge to some of our favorite nearby places in the National Forest and Yosemite.

Minutes Drive from Lodge Location Highlights
5 Carlon Falls 1.5 mile hike to waterfall
20 Hetch Hetchy Vista Great view of Hetch Hetchy Reservoir
40 Hetch Hetchy Reservoir Trails, history, waterfalls & fishing
35 Preston Falls Trailhead Hike along Tuolumne River
15 Merced Grove Trailhead One mile hike to Giant Sequoias
15 Rainbow Pools Popular & beautiful swimming spot
40 Yosemite Valley Trails, waterfalls & massive granite
45 Tunnel View Best view of Yosemite Valley
60 Olmstead Point View of Half Dome & Tenaya Lake
70 Cathedral Lake Trailhead 3.5 mile hike to gorgeous lake
75 Tuolumne Meadows Heart of Yosemite’s dramatic High Country
90 Mariposa Grove World’s largest trees
90 Glacier Point Legendary vista point above Yosemite Valley