Yosemite Summer Road Trip

Your backstage pass to Yosemite!
With over 1,200 miles of stunning wilderness to explore, it helps to have the inside track on where to go and what to do for your ideal Yosemite Summer adventure.

Yosemite Valley gets a lot of attention this time of year, but did you know that Summer is the only time that Yosemite's Tioga Pass is open? This is your big chance to explore Yosemite's epic High Country and Tuolumne Meadows, filled with magnificent granite peaks, old growth forest and pristine Alpine Lakes.

Bookmark this page and keep scrolling for an ideal itinerary.
At a Glance
  • Daily on-site activities for all ages
  • Free expert planning advice
  • No hidden Resort Fees
  • Book direct for best rate guarantee
  • Book early for best rates
Reserve Now
With Rush Creek as your base camp for your Yosemite Road Trip, you'll be exploring Yosemite in style!

Upon arrival you'll receive your Recreation Calendar outlining all the amazing activities available during your stay, including our nightly tradition of fireside s'mores.  Head to the heated saltwater pool and hot tubs, stretch your legs on one of our local trails, or wander into any of our extensive indoor or outdoor play areas.  That's the beauty of NO Hidden Resort Fees - you're free to roam!
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Each year we talk with guests about what they loved most and what more they'd like to see in future.  These conversations help our team keep things fresh, so you know you'll have something new to see and do on every visit.

In Rush Creek's Guest Lounge you'll find our Rec Desk, where our friendly Rec Team is happy to help you plan adventures that are ideal for your party's interests.  This expert planning advice is free to all guests, and full of local insights gleaned from our professionally guided excursions.

Back at your room, relax on your deck to enjoy the views and fresh air among the trees, a charming box full of games and an Alexa smartspeaker for entertainment - instead of TV's -  because we're hoping you'll unplug and reconnect with loved ones, nature and self.

That said, Wi-Fi is complimentary, and if you need to catch a big game you'll find it on the big screen TV in our lively Tavern.
The fine print is pretty simple. The earlier you book, the more you save. For our Best Rate Guarantee remember to book directly with us on this site, call our local reservationists at (209) 379-2373, or email us at info@rushcreeklodge.com.
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Your lodging reservation is all you need for a spectacular Yosemite adventure, with no hidden Resort Fees.  From basics such as free parking and free Wi-Fi, to Pool Area access and hiking trails, to more robust delights like the Daily Activities organized by our onsite Recreation Team throughout our indoor and outdoor play areas, including everyone’s favorite – nightly fireside s’mores roasting! Plus, miles of nature trails in the adjacent forest.

Your Ideal Yosemite Itinerary

Here is your backstage pass to Yosemite!  We've put together a collection of our guide and guest favorites for you to pick from, so you can explore like a local.
With your scenic drive to Yosemite in the rearview mirror, it's time to settle in at the lodge and let the good times roll!  There are fun surprises around every corner for play, relaxation and discovery.
Nature Trails

Upon arrival you can stretch your legs on any of three beautiful nature trails in the Stanislaus National Forest adjacent to the lodge. Take a leisurely stroll on the 0.5-mile Nature Trail, hike your way up to incredible views on the 1.6-mile Vista Trail, or challenge yourself to a terrific little mountain bike ride on our 2.7-mile Adventure Trail. (Bike rentals are conveniently available on-site.)
Pool Time

Our 2,400 square foot saltwater swimming pool and hot tubs provide ample space for adults and children alike to relax and refresh after the day's journey. Relax poolside with your party in the shade of one of our umbrellas or catch some sun rays and grab a refreshing cocktail or mocktail from our Pool Bar.
Dinner Poolside

With our Summer Poolside BBQ, you can casually roll into the evening with tasty, fresh meals.  Menus rotate daily and range from classic California BBQ fare to more adventurous Caribbean and Southwest themes.
S'mores & Stargazing

As the sun begins to set, enjoy our nightly tradition of complimentary s’mores by our outdoor fire pits, and watch the night sky begin to reveal a spectacular display of stars, unlike anything you’ll ever see among bright city lights.
Time to explore the wide-open spaces of Yosemite!

Fuel up for the day’s adventures with a hearty mountain breakfast from our Restaurant served in our outdoor dining areas.  Then head over to our General Store to pack your trail lunch for the day with our freshly-made sandwiches and wraps, delicious salad medleys, and other tasty provisions.
Yosemite Valley or High Country

If this is your first visit, you'll probably want to explore one of the most iconic areas of Yosemite National Park: Yosemite Valley.

    • For a more budget-friendly yet comfortable way to enjoy the ride to/from Yosemite Valley, the YARTS buses stop at our property, cost only $14 round trip for an Adult, and includes Park entry for both the rider and an accompanying minor at no extra charge.

    • To drive your own vehicle, be sure to stop by our Rec Desk for the latest updates on best routes, timing and Park access.

If you’ve already been to Yosemite Valley, we highly recommend you visit the pristine and magnificent Yosemite High Country and Tuolumne Meadows, which is only road-trip accessible during Summer months.  Stop by our Rec Desk for help planning your own drive, renting Stand Up Paddleboards, or you can join one of our professionally guided adventures such as our Yosemite High Country Naturalist Tour, Mono Pass Naturalist Hike, or May Lake & Mount Hoffmann Naturalist Hike.
Fun at the Lodge

After an amazing day exploring Yosemite, enjoy the amenities at Evergreen specifically designed to relax you after a long day.

Let your competitive side out with our wide array of outdoor games like shuffleboard, table tennis, giant chess, bocce ball, and more. Or maybe you’d like to indulge in a massage to soothe your muscles so you’ll be ready for your next day of adventures.

Rush Creek’s culinary team serves freshly prepared delicious items you can enjoy in any of our outdoor dining areas or back at your room in the privacy of your own deck. The kitchen is buzzing with energy, putting out amazing dishes to end your day on a high note with classic mountain lodge cuisine plus some unexpected twists on more modern dishes.
S’mores & Stargazing

Individually packaged s’mores await you to end your day in Yosemite the sweetest way possible. Once the sun sets, our heated saltwater pool and hot tub is the perfect place for stargazing with an unobstructed view of the night sky. Insider Tip: Check in with the Recreation Team to see which stars or planets are particularly visible during your visit!
After a refreshing night's sleep, get excited to begin the journey to a lesser-traveled part of Yosemite, the Hetch Hetchy region.

Our General Store is brewing up your favorite coffee order along with seasonal specials to get you energized for your day of hiking and exploring. We’ve got all your favorite grab-and-go breakfast fixings to make even the pickiest of eaters satisfied.
Family Spa Time

From 8am to 11am each morning, our Yosemite-inspired Spa is open for Family Spa Day Use. It's just $45 per person for adults and kids 6 and older to enjoy all the amazing indoor and outdoor Spa amenities that mirror the magic of Yosemite.  From the Granite Waterfall Mineral Hot Tub, to the Warm Waterfall Coves,  Aromatherapy Steam Room, Himalayan Salt Block Sauna, Cool Mist Showers and Aromatherapy Sensory Room, this will be a lifelong memory for you. (Be sure to reserve your Spa time in advance)
Hetch Hetchy Day Hike

Located just a few miles down Evergreen Road, Hetch Hetchy is one of Yosemite’s hidden gems, offering a variety of options from easy day hikes to strenuous backpacking excursions. The easy 2.5 miles (each way) trail to Wapama Falls is a favorite for adults and children alike. This trail, which runs through a rock tunnel and then along the north side of the reservoir, allows visitors to experience the true power and majesty of the Hetch Hetchy waterfalls.

We know firsthand how Yosemite activities create robust appetites, and the culinary team at Rush Creek is eager to satisfy your hunger and tempt your taste buds with fresh and hearty California mountain lodge cuisine. Tonight is your night to fill up on favorite seasonal items and maybe try something unexpected.
Evening Activities

By now you’ve fallen in love with your favorite Rush Creek activities, but why not try something new to wrap up your time with us with an activity you can put on your shelf and be reminded of forever! Try your hand at Glassblowing with our resident expert artist, who makes it easy for anyone ages 8 years and older to succeed at this phenomenal hands-on activity.  Your glass art piece needs overnight cooling, so you'll want to complete this activity tonight and pick up your finished piece on your way out tomorrow.
You're part of the Rush Creek family now!

Explore like a local on your last morning with us at Carlon Falls, just around the corner from the lodge and a staff favorite.

After you’ve grabbed one of your favorite hot breakfast items or your usual coffee order from our General Store, you’ll be ready to squeeze in one last hike.
Carlon Falls

Once on the trail, you’ll actually be walking right into Yosemite National Park, making this a true hidden treasure that few Yosemite visitors ever see. You can choose to do a short and easy 1-hour walk along the South Fork of the Tuolumne River, or make a day of it and hike all the way up past the series of waterfalls and swimming holes. The trail follows the South Fork of the Tuolumne River, taking you through a variety of foliage, historic remnants, swimming holes, and cascading falls.

Fun fact: Carlon Falls was the inspiration for our innovative Warm Waterfall Coves in the Rush Creek Spa.
On the Road Again…

If you’re leaving the lodge using Highway 120 West, you’ll pass through the charming Old West town of Groveland. You may want to stop by a locally loved coffee shop, Mountain Sage Coffee & Nursery, where you can sip on lovingly prepared homemade beverages and home-baked goods in their enchanting gardens. You’ll also love the art gallery featuring incredible images and stories created by local photographer, naturalist, and all-around great guy, Robb Hirsch, who also leads our photography workshops in Yosemite.

Until next time, happy trails!

Your friends at Rush Creek