Holiday 2020 Staff Favorites

One constant this holiday season is Yosemite National Park.  She’s always there for us, and Yosemite Dreaming is always good for us.  In that spirit, we’d like to share some staff favorites from our current photo contest, filled with recent guest experiences that are sure to bring a smile to your face and inspiration to your heart.

If you have some Favorite Yosemite Memories you’d like to share, you’re more than welcome to join this season’s photo contest.  We’d love to hear from you and share your fondest memories.

Favorite Yosemite Memories Photo Contest Staff Picks for the Holidays:

Rush Creek Sunrise Trail Run (Alicia E.)Rush Creek Sunrise Trail Run
– Alicia E.

AE: “Sunrise trail run. We felt safe and happily contained on the property. The hiking/ running trails were well marked and gorgeous!”

RCL:  You captured the moment beautifully, Alicia!  The nature trails in the National Forest adjacent to the lodge were a huge undertaking and involved a group of heartfelt volunteer efforts by the Rush Creek Recreation Team, the Stanislaus National Forest, Groveland Trail Heads, the Tuolumne River Trust, and the California Conservation Corps.  Find more details on all three trails, including a trail map, here…

Yosemite Valley Fall Meadow Walk (Irene S.)Yosemite Valley Fall Meadow Walk
– Irene S.

IS: “Perfect place to see beautiful fall foliage! Our happy place! 2020 has been rough. Rush Creek never fails to cheer us up! Outstanding unmatched service and comfortable atmosphere really set them apart.”

RCL: Well said, Irene!  It has been a rough year for everyone, and it makes us so happy to know that we’ve helped you find your happy place despite this year’s difficulties.  We hope your lovely photo and kind words will inspire more people to turn to the great outdoors to lift their spirits and provide a positive outlook for each day.  We sure look forward to welcoming you back for many more meaningful Yosemite adventures!

Yosemite Valley Fall Snow Dusting (Rachel W.)Yosemite Valley Fall Dusting of Snow
– Rachel W.

RW: “Staying so close to the park was such a treat. It was the perfect warm and magical place to visit before exploring outdoors. We arrived at the lodge after a light dusting of snow and both the lodge and park looked spectacular with a warm white glow. We can’t wait to return to this true winter wonderland.  The whole experience was amazing. From check-in on, we felt like we were in another world. There is so much to do on the property, from s’mores by the campfire, soaking in the hot tub outside or playing games and sitting by the fire inside the lodge. The room was also amazing, and the food and drinks were great – I only wish I had thought in advance to book spa treatments. After taking a peek at the new spa, now I KNOW we have to return as soon as possible!”

RCL: What lucky timing for this Fall dusting of snow on Yosemite Valley! For all of us who have seen the Valley on a crisp morning like this, we can take a deep breath now and be instantly reminded of the fresh brisk air that both relaxes and invigorates you.  For anyone who has yet to experience this bit of Yosemite magic, put it on your bucket list for sure!  Our Recreation team can help you plan your ideal day, and our brand new Spa really is a magnificent way to top off your Yosemite adventure in style.

Sunset from Tavern Patio Dinner (Mariah M.)Sweet Sunset Moment
– Mariah M.

MM: “Beautiful sunset while eating dinner at the Tavern. It was a really sweet moment to see some of the workers from the lodge come out to share a glimpse of the sunset together. Beautifully designed, all the amenities were on point and I loved my spa experience. Everyone that worked there was friendly and down to earth. Definitely would stay here again.”

RCL: Not only is this a gorgeous sunset shot, but a beautifully described moment about our staff.  We all share a genuine love of Yosemite and a love of nature, so naturally we pull each other outside for a look at extraordinary moments worth sharing.  It’s so good of you to notice – thank you!

Distance Learning at Rush Creek Lodge (Krystal B.)Distance Learning at Rush Creek
– Krystal B.

KB: “Nothing like drawing, cookies and fresh air! The kids had a ton to do – from the awesome slide and zip lines, to the hot tub, to the outdoor games, the arts and crafts, and just exploring Rush Creek’s grounds – with Yosemite next door, there was never a dull moment!

RCL: We couldn’t agree more – everything goes better with fresh air and we love how this photo inspires us to keep doing our best to find creative ways to learn and play. Thank you so much for your perseverance, for choosing Rush Creek and Yosemite, and for sharing this awesome moment.  Please tell the kiddos we said, “Nicely done!”

Junior Mountain Climber (Shannon C.)Unstoppable Junior Mountain Climber
– Shannon C.

SC: ‘Mama, I was born to climb mountains.’ That’s what my 4 year old said to me as we entered Yosemite, after I told her I had climbed to the top of 2 mountains in my lifetime. Rush Creek Lodge is so family-friendly! There are so many activities for both parents and children, and plenty of things to do together as a family. My 4 year old loved her experience so much that she asked if we could move into the lodge! We especially loved the hospitality of the staff in the recreation room and at the restaurant. They answered all of our questions and were so kind to my daughter. They even helped her dissect an owl pellet, which she loved! Thank you! “

RCL: Way to dial up the cuteness factor to impossible standards, Shannon! You can tell your Junior Mountain Climber that she sure can move into the lodge someday – as a certified naturalist guide on our Recreation team she can lead the way for all sorts of visitors who want to climb mountains.  How great would that be in a decade or so?  The next time you visit, we should arrange an informational interview with the General Manager, Joe J. – it would be mountains of fun for everyone!

Sunset Deck Hammock Time (Miki E.)Sunset Deck Hammock Time
– Miki E.

ME: “Sunset Deck turned out to be the perfect place to soak in the surroundings, enjoy the stunning views, and quietly observe the sun setting on another memorable day. It was a magical getaway with our kids! It was a place we felt safe in the great outdoors as well as with all the precautions the entire team had in place. Everyone was so kind and helpful.”

RCL: You nailed it!  Our Sunset Deck is a relatively new addition to the lodge, and it’s fulfilling so many dreams throughout the seasons.  You captured this Fall sunset from the hammock beautifully.  Our Wellness team also offers sunrise and sunset Yoga sessions there, weather permitting.  It also serves as an ideal gathering spot for small bridal parties that have had to turn to our elopement packages as an alternative to bigger weddings.  Isn’t it great that this one simple platform can provide so much happiness, relaxation and celebration? 

3-year Anniversary at Rush Creek Lodge (Sarah M.)Romance is Alive & Well
– Sarah M.

SM: “Celebrated our 3 year anniversary! Beautiful lodge with a wonderful staff! We were treated so kindly from Day 1 of our stay and up until we left! Lovely amenities to enjoy and it is conveniently located near one of the entrances into Yosemite.”

RCL:  We’re honored that you chose to celebrate your anniversary with us, and we thank you for sharing your cheerful, beautiful photo.  Seeing love and smiles and balloons and the big trees on the tapestry…what’s not to love?  Looking forward to celebrating many more milestones with you and your loved ones for sure!

Giant Sequoia Family Moment (E.J.N.)Big Trees, Big Memories
– E.J.N.

EN: “Making memories with the kids in nature’s playground, followed by s’mores and the best hotel playground at Rush Creek Lodge! Beautiful, clean, comfortable, fun, and convenient – everything one can ask for! It’s the perfect family spot right outside Yosemite.”

RCL:  OK, we never get tired of this much flattery, but we we really do love this photo for the beauty of the effort made to bring the family to the Tuolumne Grove of Giant Sequoias.  We think you’ll agree that no photo can fully capture the magnificence of them the way we feel when we’re actually there, but this is terrific!

Rush Creek Villa by Moonshine (Steven N.)The Perfect Birthday Moonshine
– Steven N.

SN: “Our first night at Rush Creek Lodge really set the tone for our trip. We got in fairly late leaving Southern California after work. We enjoyed our welcome gift of champagne while sitting on our balcony in the rocking chairs just taking in the beauty of the night sky. The gradient of blues on the horizon leading to a sky full of stars. The moon was so clear and shining so bright. We sat out until midnight. What a wonderful way to start my 30th birthday! Staying at Rush Creek was BEAUTIFUL. What a wonderful experience to be able to gaze up at the night sky with the beautiful gradient of blues on the horizon, stars shining so bright, and the moon as clear as I’ve ever seen. Such a perfect getaway!”

RCL:  We can’t think of a better way to close out this series than this shining moment for Steven’s 30th birthday.  Full moon photos are not an easy task, so we really appreciate this effort and sincerely love hearing how much you absorbed the many changes of color and scene.  Happy birthday indeed!

Favorite Yosemite Memories Photo Contest

RCL: Thanks for all the love everyone! Our Fall contest is underway – “Favorite Yosemite Memories” is open to all who are dreaming of their next Yosemite visit.  If you have a favorite Yosemite image and a memory you’d like to share, feel free to join in the fun.

Favorite Yosemite Memories

You just might win a free stay at Rush Creek Lodge!

Book Your Next Yosemite Adventure

When you’re ready to plan your next trip, remember to check our Packages & Special Offers section for great seasonal deals and convenient bundles for a variety of occasions.   Also remember that when you book with us directly on this website, by calling us at (209) 379-2373, or emailing us at, you’re guaranteed to get the best rates and service.

book now

Until then, happy trails from your friends at Rush Creek!