A stay in a Yosemite hotel can be extremely costly and with only 2 establishments inside the park it can even be hard to get a room. The other lodging options in the park are rather basic in nature and none offer cooking facilities beyond a simple camp fire. If you are visiting Yosemite National Park and would like top notch accommodation without a lengthy journey each morning then you should consider a stay at Pine Mountain Lake.
Pine Mountain Lake is a gated community of detached homes built in the mountains on the forested banks of a lovely lake. The development is just 20 minutes or so from the Northern entrance to Yosemite and the journey to the park is an easy drive on largely quiet, well maintained roads. The houses are all privately owned but many are offered for rent with minimum stays of just 2 days. Not that you would want to stay for such a brief period but the option is there unlike with many holiday homes which must be rented by the week.
Prices vary according to the size of the properties and their proximity to the lake. The cheaper option of a house towards the rear of the estate is a good one because although you are at some distance from the water, the plots tend to be larger and the area is quieter. You get a lot of square footage for your money and the beautiful properties are a wonderful place to relax after a tiring day in the park taking on the many fine hiking trails on offer.
Residents and holiday makers can enjoy the lake in the heart of the development and there are restaurants and shops just outside the gates. Food supplies are best bought in the sizeable supermarket in the nearby town of Sonora where you will also find a chemist, fashion outlets and fuel. Sonora is an interesting 25 minute drive down a steep mountain road but you soon get used to the terrain!
Whilst there is plenty to keep you occupied for weeks in Yosemite the area outside the park is also well worth exploring and Pine Mountain Lake is a great place to stay if you would like to experience Gold Country. The area is beautiful in its own right and features many old mining towns and gold claims which present the opportunity for a real adventure. It is possible to arrange to go gold prospecting near the historic mining community of Jamestown and if you have never tried digging and panning for gold then you have missed a genuine treat.
The last time I visited Yosemite to take on the great hiking trails I rented a house at Pine Mountain Lake and was very glad I did. The property was stunning, offered every convenience you could wish for and I will never forget those fabulous summer evenings relaxing on the balcony with a great glass of wine and a delicious steak. I never felt that I had missed out on anything by not staying in the park and the house was fantastic value for money. $100 per night for a place that sleeps 6 people in three bedrooms was a major result!
Sally Stacey is a keen writer and frequent travller who loves Yosemite National Park and Gold Country.