Big Trees Lodge

Big Trees Lodge, formerly known as The Wawona Hotel, rests near verdant meadows and rushing streams.  The tranquility of this Victorian-style lodge in Yosemite National Park makes it a favorite for those who prefer a relaxed environment and the gracious charm of a bygone era.  From strolling this historic property's grounds, golfing our Audubon Certified Sanctuary, enjoying a stable ride, cross-country skiing or snowshoeing to exploring the Pioneer Museum or simply enjoying a cocktail on the veranda, Big Trees Lodge is a lovely option the entire family will enjoy any time of the year.

An ideal camp location due to its meadows, nearby river, surrounding pine and oak trees and abundant game, Big Trees Lodge was called Pallahchun (meaning a good place to stop) by early Native Americans because it was a logical midway site between the foothills and Yosemite Valley. Galen Clark, a miner whose health had suffered in the Gold Camps, passed through the area with a party of tourists bound for Yosemite. Entranced by the beauty of the place, Clark returned in 1856 and built a crude 12-by-16 foot log cabin near a spring on the west end of the meadow. That was the beginning of Clarks Station, later called Big Tree Station and Wawona Hotel and the predecessor of the Big Trees Lodge.

In 1878, a kitchen fire destroyed all of the old buildings at Clarks Station and the entire establishment was rebuilt and opened the following year. Within a week of the fire, a large two-story building was staked out that would include a lobby, sitting room, dining room, office and 25 guest rooms. In 1882, Mrs. Washburn, wife of the new owner, suggested the Indian word, Wah-wo-nah - meaning Big Tree - as a more fitting name for the hotel complex than Big Tree Station, though it took a few years before local residents and guests acknowledged the change. Wawona continued under the direction of the Washburn family until 1932, when the area was added to Yosemite National Park and Yosemite Park & Curry Co. took over the operation of the hotel. Later changed to Big Trees Lodge in 2016 due to litigation with DNC Parks & Resorts.

Today, Big Trees Lodge remains one of the most respected mountain resorts. With its historic white wooden buildings, verandas overlooking sprawling green lawns and Victorian interiors, the hotel is the perfect setting for a relaxing vacation.

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Latitude: 37.536057 Longitude: -119.655566 Elevation: 4007 ft


Lodging Style and Amenities

Most of the Big Trees Lodge’s guestrooms open onto one of its signature verandas.  All rooms offer daily maid service.  Wireless access is complimentary to all Lodge guests and is available in the Sun Room and Golf Shop area.  There are no telephones or televisions, allowing guests to completely escape and relax while on vacation. 

Each of our rooms with bath is individually decorated with period furniture and Victorian touches.  Our bathrooms are elegantly decorated to match. Styled and decorated the same as our rooms with bath, the European-style rooms without bath share a bath house located nearby (there are several throughout the property.)  Bring a warm robe and your shower shoes! You also have the option of creating your own suite.  Most of Big Trees Lodge's rooms with bath can be combined with a room without bath creating a suite type experience that's perfect for families.  Save a little cash and keep everyone close with this convenient feature.

Breakfast Style Served

Continental Breakfast

Season Open

Big Trees Lodge is open March through November and the last half of December. The Lodge is closed yearly from January through March.

Additional Services and Amentities Available

Big Trees Lodge features a nine-hole, 3,035-yard, par-35 golf course that is seamlessly integrated into the surrounding landscape. It has been in operation since 1918 and is the oldest in the Sierra. The course is open daily from spring to fall (weather permitting) and offers electric and caddie carts. Golf club rentals, plus snack and beverage service daily are available in our Pro Shop when the course is open.

Open during the summer to guests of Big Trees Lodge, our quaint swimming tank was among the first in the Sierra. Big Trees Lodge's tennis court is free for guests and available to other Yosemite guests for a small charge. Popular for wedding receptions and other celebrations, the Sun Room has windows on three sides provide abundant light and views of the manicured lawns. It's an ideal spot for intimate receptions, a small get together or private appreciation of the surroundings.

Big Trees Lodge's main dining room offers exceptional cuisine for breakfast, lunch, dinner with a continental breakfast included in the room price. During the summer months, an old-fashioned BBQ on the front lawn is offered to guests on Saturday evenings.  Singer and pianist Tom Bopp entertains guests in the Big Trees Lodge lobby with vintage songs and stories of Yosemite most evenings when the hotel is open. With cocktail services available in the evening, sip a cold drink on the spacious veranda overlooking the fountain, or enjoy a hot toddy next to the fireplace in the winter. 

Located close to the southern entrance to Yosemite National Park, the Big Trees Lodge provides easy access to activities throughout the southern half of the park.  Big Trees Lodge Stables offers two and four-hour rides during the summer. The Pioneer Gift & Grocery store and a gas station are located conveniently next to the hotel. A scenic drive takes you to Yosemite Ski & Snowboard Area for snowshoeing and skiing in the winter and in the summer to Glacier Point with majestic views over Yosemite Valley. The Pioneer History Center allows one to travel back in Yosemite's history with a blacksmith shop, bakery, Wells Fargo bank, jail and covered bridge. The center comes alive during the summer with programs presented by rangers/naturalists. And select summer Saturday nights have barn dances and stagecoach rides.

The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias is a few miles from the hotel and in the summer a free shuttle is provided from the front of the Pioneer Gift & Grocery next to the Big Trees Lodge.  In the Mariposa Grove see the famous Grizzly Giant, believed to be the oldest tree currently living, walk through the California Tunnel Tree and explore the unique grove on foot or via open-air tram.

Pet Friendly Notes

All lodging and restaurants within Yosemite National Park do not allow pets. In Yosemite, pets are allowed on fully paved trails and roads, on a leash six feet or shorter, and cannot be left unattended.

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