Keep scrolling for our ideal Yosemite itinerary. We know the key to a successful road trip is planning all the details which is why we’ve taken care of that part for you! Our Yosemite itinerary includes activity suggestions and fun insider tips to enjoy the park, even without a Day Pass!
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You’re also welcome to call (209)379-2373 or email us at [email protected] for local assistance with reservations and trip planning advice.
RANGE OF OPTIONS
Given the grand nature of Rush Creek Lodge, guests are often surprised to find out that it was created by two Bay Area dads who continue to operate the lodge in a way that they like to share with their own family and friends (while using business as a force for good).
That’s why you’ll find that your room reservation has what 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 use of the Fitness Center, 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.
That said, we know sometimes you want a few options to make things a touch more convenient, or a just hint extra.
This popular package provides the perfect kickstart to your day with a hearty mountain breakfast in our Restaurant, complete with freshly home baked good courtesy of our resident baker. See details on our B&B page or choose the “Bed and Breakfast Package Rate” when booking your room on this site.
In keeping with Rush Creek’s values, you are encouraged to visit the Recreation Desk in the Guest lounge for free planning advice from our team of local experts. We’ve got plenty of maps and ideas for parties of all abilities and interests.
Or, maybe you’d prefer to let someone else take the wheel so you can kick back and enjoy the ride? Yes, you can! We offer dozens of professionally guided excursions that will surprise and delight you. Visit our EXPLORE adventure planning page for ideas.
Ideal Yosemite Road Trip Itinerary
DAY 1: FUN AT THE LODGE
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!
Stretch your legs on one of our 3 Hiking Trails in the forest adjacent to Rush Creek. The Nature Trail, The Vista Trail, and The Adventure Trail offer something memorable for all ability levels, including fresh mountain air and stunning views of the Sierra Nevada mountain range.
Our saltwater swimming pool and pool bar are open or relax poolside with your party in the shade of one of our umbrellas or catch some sun rays.
With our Poolside BBQ menu, you can casually roll into the evening with tasty hot meals including our California BBQ and Taco Truck BBQ.
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.
DAY 2: YOSEMITE VALLEY OR HIGH COUNTRY
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
These days you have several different options for entering one of the most iconic areas of Yosemite National Park: Yosemite Valley.
- Participate in one of our partial or full-day excursions, all with guaranteed Park entry. See the wide array of Yosemite National Park tours, hikes, and other adventures in our online trip planner at www.RushCreekLodge.com/Explore or email our Recreation Desk at [email protected]
- For a more budget-friendly yet comfortable way to enjoy the ride to/from Yosemite Valley, the YARTS buses stop at Rush Creek, cost only $14 round trip for an Adult, and include Park entry for both the rider and an accompanying minor at no extra charge.
If you’ve already been to Yosemite Valley and would like to visit the pristine and magnificent Yosemite High Country and Tuolumne Meadows, you can join one of our professionally guided adventures, or drive your own vehicle.
Fun at the Lodge
After an amazing day exploring Yosemite, enjoy the amenities at Rush Creek 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 connect four, 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 continues to serve delicious menu items you can enjoy in any of our 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 freshly prepared items like our Lamb Shawarma with Pepperoncini’s on Pita, or Grilled King Salmon with Bok Choy, Soy Glazed Shiitake Mushrooms and Yuzu Ginger Butter. Believe it or not, our Crispy Fried Cauliflower with Sweet Chili Sauce and Sesame Seeds is always a hit!
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 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.
DAY 3: YOSEMITE’S HETCH HETCHY RESERVOIR
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. From freshly-made yogurt parfaits to house-made breakfast burritos and coffee cakes, we’ve got all your favorite grab-and-go breakfast fixings to make even the pickiest of eaters satisfied.
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.
On your way back to Rush Creek, you’ll pass through the historic Evergreen Lodge where you can stop in their General Store for snacks and beverages as a tasty way to round out your afternoon. You’re welcome to wander freely and play around – try out the new Forest Disc Golf Course!
We know firsthand how Yosemite activities create robust appetites, and the culinary team at Rush Creek Lodge 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 menu items and maybe try something unexpected like our Cioppino or Thai Coconut Curry Veggies.
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! Glassblowing with our resident expert or having a Paint Party is a great way to close out your time with us and the best part is, you get to take your creation home with you!
DAY 4: CARLON FALLS DAY HIKE OR SWIM
Explore like a local on your last morning with us at Carlon Falls, just a few miles down the road and a local 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.
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 lush foliage, pools, and cascading falls.
On the Road Again…
If you’re leaving Rush Creek 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 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.
For information on our lodge’s enhanced cleaning and service protocols, visit our Clean & Safe program page.
Advance reservations required. Certain restrictions may apply. Pricing does not include tax or gratuity. You can book this package online, by calling 209-379-2373 or emailing us at [email protected].