Yosemite's Rush Creek Lodge Raises the Bar for National Park Accommodation

California Epic Stays
by Molly O'Brien Apr 19, 2022

To experience a fantastic mix of adventure and family-friendly luxury made for travelers of any age just outside Yosemite National Park, look no further than Rush Creek Lodge and Spa at Yosemite. This relatively new “destination within a destination” is located less than a mile from the park’s actual gates and just a few hours from the San Francisco Bay Area.

We hope you love the Rush Creek Lodge and Spa! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to book a stay. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

When the lodge first opened its doors in the summer of 2016, it was the first new lodge in the area in more than 25 years. This means visitors can experience more of a contemporary feeling in the sophisticated touches of modern technology — but its overall design still factors in those special rustic features that are appreciated in the outdoor park setting. The property is located on an enormous expanse of nature, with 20-acres of trails and outdoor space in a wooded hillside surrounding.

Enjoy a welcoming, family-friendly atmosphere and top-notch amenities such as comfy beds, custom artwork, furnishings, gourmet coffee brewers, Alexa virtual assistant technology, or alternatively a range of classic board games and books to connect as humans.

Rush Creek Lodge is a Certified B-Corporation and a certified Sustainable Travel Establishment

Guests can choose from a mix of 143 lodge rooms, suites, and hillside villas — whichever is the best fit for their group’s size. Each room offers a deck that serves as immediate access to fresh air (the majority of which even host sunset views!). The deluxe Lodge Rooms, Suites, and Hillside Villas are spread throughout the 20 acres of property.

Sustainable practices, and a certified B-Corporation

Immediately upon arriving on-site and walking into the lobby, the buildings feature prominent architectural elements like towering vaulted ceilings, cozy fireplaces, and comfy couches for relaxing.

Photo: Kim Carroll
Photo: Kim Carroll

It’s clear this is a welcoming and warm place to spend a fun evening after a day of adventure. The lobby opens up into the general store which sells standard market goods ranging from hummus, jerky, fresh fruit, and a “make your own trail mix” bar, as well as upscale selections like premium craft beer and wine, and handmade espresso beverages.

Perhaps one of the best parts of staying at Rush Creek is simply exploring the property itself which offers a decent network of hiking trails, as well as secluded spots to watch a stunning Sierra sunset. Another unique element of Rush Creek Lodge is its social and environmental operations. It isn’t just a hotel — it’s a Certified B Corporation that meets social sustainability and environmental performance standards with solar panels and a comprehensive greywater system, and even runs a fully self-funded on-site youth employment program.

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Access to the outdoors sets Rush Creek Lodge apart

But it’s not just the rooms or the design that makes this property shine. The all-encompassing experience at Rush Creek is what makes this resort stand out against other Yosemite lodging competitors. Outside, there is a 2,400 square foot, heated, saltwater swimming pool surrounded by two hot tubs (one open to all ages, and one specifically for adults) which are circled by lounge chairs to relax the muscles after a day of outdoor activity.

Those who would rather spend a day at the resort than out in the park will have plenty to keep entertained any time of year. There’s a fully equipped gym with multiple Peloton bikes to fit in a workout, and the newly opened Rush Creek’s indoor/outdoor spa is a beautiful spot to spend a day rejuvenating. Guests need not book a massage or treatment to experience the spa, they can simply purchase a day pass to enjoy access to enjoying the Warm Waterfall Coves, the Aromatherapy Steam Room, and the innovative Sensory Room, or the Himalayan Salt Sauna which leads to a Cool Mist Room.

In the evening, children and adults alike are invited to gather around the fire pits, which use real firewood, to toast s’mores together. And there’s a giant recreation room inside the main lodge which offers a play structure, multiple pools, foosball tables, dozens of board games, and ample coloring supplies to play with.

Adventure enthusiasts can make use of the full-service onsite recreation department which hosts bookable outdoor adventures such as hiking, photography, and more than 30 guided excursions of the park at various levels of difficulty.

Overall, Rush Creek’s balanced approach to feeling like a trip to the great outdoors while still offering visitors the chance to enjoy the comforts of modern living is what makes it a fantastic place to spend an overnight, just outside the iconic sights of Yosemite.

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