A map of the ground floor, and surrounding area of the Ahwahnee Hotel (briefly named the Majestic Yosemite Hotel), showing Royal Arch Creek, the pond, the free shuttle bus stop, parking lots, one way roads, Porte-cochere (roofed driveway) at the main entrance and the roofed walkway into the hotel, Dining Room, front desk and concierge, Gift Shop, Sweet Shop, bar with summer outside dining, Great Lounge, Under Lounge, Winter Club Room , Mural Room, Solarium, swimming pool, kitchen, AED alongside the main hallway, the staircase to mezzanine and elevators (guest elevator on right, bellmen on left).
The roadway to the Valet Parking only lot is noted, as well as the loading dock, with no parking, (but with occasional RVs who try to drive into it and get stuck).
The walking route to the cottage rooms and wedding lawn are also shown.
The Colonial Room is upstairs above the Winter Club room, the Tresidder Room is upstairs above the Mural Room the Tudor Lounge is upstairs above the Under Lounge. The Solarium is two stories tall. Above the Solarium is the President’s Suite.
The ladies room and accessible/family restroom are upstairs on the mezzanine (turn right at the top of the stairs, or turn right when you get off the elevator at the mezzanine floor, floor #1 on the elevator). The men’s room is down a short hallway from the main ground floor hallway, on the right just past the front desk.
Detailed DIRECTIONS to get to the Ahwahnee hotel from any/all roads/entrances to Yosemite Valley are at driving directions.
In a photo of the Ahwahnee taken from Glacier Point, the dining room and kitchen take up the left (west) wing you see below. When arriving you enter the hotel from the far side of the right (east) wing of the building:
People who are not guests at the hotel can dine there. Reservations are often advised well in advance and there is a dress code for some dining room meals.
The bar has a limited menu, but without the dress code for dinner that the main dining room has.
Menus for the dining room (including the Sunday Brunch) and bar, as well as a link to making dining room reservations, are at: https://www.travelyosemite.com/dining/the-ahwahnee-dining-room/
The Sweet Shop has chocolate truffles as well as many other potential hiking snacks.
The schedule for free one hour tours of the hotel and occasional Ranger programs held at the hotel, can be found in the the Yosemite National Park newspaper Yosemite Guide.
Below an NPS photo of the Great Lounge during WWII when the Ahwahnee Hotel was used as a naval hospital. https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/historyculture/navy-hospital.htm There is a book to read about the naval hospital.
and below that, the same area during a December Bracebridge event, with people caroling before dinner, note the two pianists (on the left, Ted Long and on the right, Christer) at two Steinway grand pianos in about the center of the photo:
The swimming pool is only open to guests of the hotel. Guests in the main building can find stairs to the pool at the far end of the mezzanine floor, (floor #1 on the elevator) and use them instead of traipsing around the lobby in a wet swimsuit/robe. Turn left as you exit the elevator, go down a long hall to outside stairs leading directly down to the pool. The stairs are behind the pool to the right in the photo below:
Your room key opens the locked gate to the pool. If there is also a padlock on the gate, the pool is not available for guest use (evening/overnight or due to occasional weather/chemical problems or when a large branch / section of trunk from a nearby tree falls into the pool).
Pools open to the public for a fee at other Yosemite valley hotels, as well as suggestions for safe river swimming, including thunderstorms, bacteria in the water, safety issues, favorite beaches, are at Swimming in Yosemite National Park
At any of the Yosemite lodgings, you have the possibility of seeing animals.
We saw a ringtailed cat jog across one of the large balconies one evening and (rarely) a raccoon has found it’s way into the main hotel building.
Stellers Jays are common.
The resident Ravens
will try to take any food you leave unattended on your patio or balcony table, even knocking the room service metal plate covers off the plate. Staying with your food and keeping food within arm’s reach is a wise idea at every National Park restaurant with outside dining, hotel, cabin, campsite, picnic area or where you stop to eat along a trail.
Out on the grounds there is a sign:
At the back of the cottages after a February snow fall, we found bear paw prints in which you could clearly see claw indentations:
In May, a mule deer browsed along a cottages pathway:
In July, a quail and one of 9 baby quail:
And in December, a mule deer along another path at the cottages:
You might see other animals not listed on the sign, such as this coyote walking just outside the swimming pool fence,
or a skunk (photo courtesy of Harold (Harry) Bradbury),
or this bobcat on the grounds (cottage rooms area) of the Ahwahnee, a large reason why Yosemite park says: “pets must be restrained on a leash not more than six feet long or otherwise physically restrained.”
All the Ahwahnee rooms have large flatscreen televisions, including (in the main building), an in-house TV channel that plays videos from the Yosemite Conservancy Nature Notes series. You can watch the videos at:
See photos of a recent remodel of rooms in the main building:
Almost all the main building rooms do not have a patio or balcony (almost all of the Yosemite Lodge rooms do have patios or balconies).
Standard rooms are smaller than other rooms, cost less, but most in the main building have cliff and loading dock views and one has no view at all. Most rooms are named Classic rooms, with various views depending on which side of the building they are on, and how may tall trees are blocking part of any given view. A few rooms are called Featured, each with a balcony (various sizes, often shared, some with a simple wooden partition). Parlors, with or without a fireplace, can be had with a few of the rooms. Accessible rooms have widened doors, grab bars in the bathroom, (some) roll-in shower, raised toilet seats and low density carpet.
A featured room in the main building, on the right the doors looking out towards the balcony for it:
The huge balcony at the (south) far end of the Ahwahnee from the parking lot is a part of the Presidential Suite (President Kennedy stayed in it) on the second floor.
It has a parlor (room 232) with fireplace and sleeper sofa with the large balcony and can have 1 to 2 to 6 bedrooms included, all accessible to a can-be-made-somewhat-private hallway to the parlor and balcony.
It is usually connected directly to room 234 (west side of the end of the building, on the left in the photo below) and can also be connected to 230 (on the east side on the right in the photo below) with a king bed in each.
Four other rooms with a bath are also on that end of the building, 236, 235 (on the west side) and 228, 229 (on the east side).
the parlor interior looking out at a major snowfall:
The south end of the Ahwahnee hotel, (including the Presidential suite) under construction, upper Yosemite Fall in the background (photo courtesy of the NPS historical photos collection:
and a more recent photo of almost the same view:
(In the photos above and below, the windows at the bottom are the Solarium (a public room you can book for an event), above them, the Presidential Suite balcony and at the top, the third floor parlor.)
The large third floor parlor (room 332, above the Presidential Suite) with fireplace, sofa sleeper and a view of Glacier Point but no balcony, can have 1 or 2 to 4 bedrooms included with it. Rooms 334 (on the west side of the end of the building) and/or 336 (on the east side) can be directly connected to it. Next to them 338 (west) and 326 (east) can be included, with a door to the rest of the third floor main hallway closed off.
The first floor El Dorado Diggins suite (room 118, right off the mezzanine that overlooks the Great Lounge) has a “double sofa-sleeper” in the living room space and a king bed in the bedroom area. No balcony or fireplace. From the hotel website: “The El Dorado Diggins Suite was at one time a private dining room, a cocktail lounge, and a chapel in the 1940s.” The living room space is step down from the wide entry hall with a slate floor and the bathroom has a Jacuzzi tub. It
Below is a balcony showing, on the left in the picture, the wooden partition that separates it from the next door room balcony, making it semi-private.
There are two of these rooms / balconies on the south end – west side of the main building, two on the south end – east side, on the fourth floor, which is the highest floor in that wing of the main building. Because they are roofed, they have more protection from the weather than some of the other balconies.
The balcony above is on the left in this photo of the two of this type of balconies on the east side of the building:
and here are the two on the west side of the building:
The photo below of the east wing of the Ahwhanee hotel shows, from the top left, a part of the upper most floor of equipment not accessible to the public, below it the windows of the sixth floor (room 603) Sunroom, below it, the fifth floor balcony shared by rooms 502 and 507, below it two of the fourth floor rooms, (on the right room 417 with a private balcony), below that a row of second floor rooms, followed by a row of first floor (mezzanine level) rooms, and at the bottom, various entrances to the Sweet Shop, lobby and on the right, the bar with outside summer dining on the patio.
In the east wing there are two main building ADA Suites with one king bed and a parlor with a hide-a-bed. One of the main building ADA suites, room 206, has a roll-in shower, but no balcony. The other ADA Suite, room 106, with a grab bar tub, has a balcony it does not share with any other room:
with a view of Half Dome
Just above 417, Ahwahnee room 502 and (featured room) 507 share a balcony:
with a view of Half Dome:
At the balcony level photo below, the doors to 502 are on the left, the door to 507 is on the right. On the floor above, the leaded glass windows on the left are sixth floor 607 Spencer and the windows on the right are of the Sunporch (603).
With advance planning, people have booked the entire sixth (top) floor.
In the photo below, taken from the west side of the hotel, the sixth floor top row of leaded glass windows are, right to left, the Library Suite, the Underwood bedroom and the Tressider suite.
The fireplace section of the Ahwahnee Library Suite:
The Library suite looking towards leaded glass windows with a view of Yosemite Fall (the open door goes to the Underwood bedroom):
The Underwood bedroom 604 adjoins the Library suite 602, with more leaded glass windows looking towards upper Yosemite Fall:
See more photos of the interiors of almost all of the Ahwahnee sixth floor (upper floor) rooms. Scroll down to 601 (Mather, with a view in a doorway to the Sunporch), multiple views of 603 (Sunporch), multiple views of 604 (Library), as well as 602 (Underwood) and 605 (Tressider).
24 cottages / (bungalows / cabins) are in one story buildings out on the grounds of the hotel, a short or long walk out in the weather.
In the photo below, the Ahwahnee hotel main building is in the upper left, the cottages are in the wooded area to the right of the main building. The Ahwahnee Bridge crosses the Merced River near the center and Sugarpine Bridge is to the right. The road over these two bridges is now a pedestrians/bikes only route to Mirror Lake / meadow. (It will have occasional park service vehicles).
Two of the Classic Cottages are ADA (702, 703).
Classic and Featured cottages have their own patios.
Standard cottage rooms (720, 721, 722, 723) share their patio with another unit. Two of them have almost no closet space.
Four (#710, 711, 717 and 718) of the classic cottages have an alcove between the bedroom and the bathroom with a bed you can fit a child on, and a door between the bedroom and alcove for privacy.
Ahwahnee featured cottage (with a fireplace) #714 has a generous sized patio with a view through the trees up towards Glacier Point. In the photo below 714 is in the center, a corner window of Classic cottage 711 is on the left and a corner window of Classic cottage 713 is on the right:
The other featured cottage (with a fireplace) is #719. The generous sized patio looks out at the forest.
But for example, in late 2019 I found these prices for 2020:
Featured (main building or cottage) $650,
Classic (main building or cottage) $589 (or $386 when they were not yet sold out a few weeks in advance in winter),
Standard (main building or cottage) $518 (or $376 when they were not yet sold out a few weeks in advance in winter),
ADA Junior Suite $650,
El Dorado Diggins Suite $650,
Third Floor Suite – $1,196 (or $963 when it was not yet sold a few weeks in advance in winter),
second floor Presidential Suite – $1221.
And on the top, sixth floor:
Mary Curry Tressider Suite, room 605, $650 (or $551 when it was not yet sold a few weeks in advance in winter), with a four poster canopy king bed, does not connect directly to any other room or parlor (on the sixth / top floor, no balcony, no fireplace).
Library Suite $1,257.00 (or $1,066 when it was not yet sold a few weeks in advance in winter) King bed Underwood bedroom 604 connects to the library room 602 with a sofa sleeper. The mahogany paneled Tresidder Library has a fireplace, couches and large dining table. Both the library and Underwood bedroom have leaded glass windows looking out towards Yosemite Falls, (on the sixth (top) floor, no balcony).
Sunroom Suite (Sun Porch) $1,196.00 (or $963 when it was not yet sold a few weeks in advance in winter). The sitting area (with a sleeper-sofa) has floor-to-ceiling windows wrapping around two sides of the room with views of Glacier Point and Half dome. It can connect directly to either bedroom 601 (Mather) and/ or bedroom 607 (Spencer). (On the sixth / top floor, no balcony, no fireplace).
Reservations, and more details about the hotel are at:
The N.P.S. Merced River Plan includes restoring views at the hotel that have been lost as trees grew, “many areas of the hotel were aligned to take full and dramatic effect of the scenery.”
Appendix H of the plan shows windows at the end of the dining room, in the Great Lounge and winter Club Room facing towards Half Dome, the Solarium looking towards Glacier Point, the ‘front lawn’ looking towards Yosemite Falls, and has lists of kinds / number of trees that will be removed to restore some of the views “the Ahwahnee Hotel was constructed in 1927, so no tree established before 1927 should be removed.”
Descriptions of the views to be restored include: Great Lounge (also known as the Ahwahnee Lounge) “One of the dramatic views that have been obscured by conifers is to Half Dome from the Lounge. Trees in the middle ground up to 250 meters from the building are recommended for removal.” Winter Club Room “This vista is next to the Great Lounge, and falls within the same viewing corridor. . . No additional action should be taken at this location outside of managing the Ahwahnee Lounge vista.”
Some views from Ahwahnee hotel guest rooms will also be improved by this work, including some on the east side above the Lounge and Winter Club room area. The Presidential Suite huge balcony at the (south) end and above it another suite, have the same direction of view as from the Solarium.
(Search for H24, H25, H26 at: https://www.nps.gov/yose/learn/management/upload/Volume-3A_MRP-FEIS_AppA-L_508.pdf)
The work to restore historic views at the Ahwahnee dining room was completed in late summer 2019. The Yosemite Daily report said: “This project will also restore meadow habitat overtaken by conifers and help promote black oak health by removing the conifers overtopping the oaks as outlined in the Merced River Plan.”
This photo, courtesy of the National Park Service of the “estimated area where trees will be removed” (the light gray colored almost rectangle extending to the left from the dining room wing of the hotel)
See the dining room view work plan report at:
https://home.nps.gov/yose/getinvolved/upload/2018-Scenic-Vista-Work-Plan.pdf Note the TIMING section of the report. “Work is scheduled to minimize potential impacts on bird and bat species. In general, September through December would be the best estimated time for vista clearing to take place, subject to site-specific conditions. All work that generates noise levels above 76 decibels near residential or visitor use areas will be performed between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Temporary road closures will generally not exceed one -half hour. Road closures will be scheduled in periods of low visitation when possible. Workers with signs will direct closures.”
Yosemite valley weather report:
Other hotel, cabin and tent cabin choices in Yosemite valley are at: Yosemite Valley accommodations
Other restaurants, coffee bars, pizza, groceries are at: Yosemite valley restaurants, coffee bars, cafeterias, food service and groceries
DIRECTIONS to get to the Ahwahnee hotelincludes these photos of the porte cochere at the entrance:
The park service notes that Electric vehicle (EV) charging stations are located only in Yosemite Valley: one at the Village Garage, one at the Ahwahnee as well as one Tesla charging station at the Ahwahnee. “You do not need to be a guest at the hotel to charge your vehicle, however, you must move your vehicle from the space once it is finished charging.”
This Google maps street view of the Ahwahnee allows you to click on directional arrows and take a tour of the hotel.
To hike to Mirror Lake from the Ahwahnee,
and beyond to the Snow Creek trail
the trail along the cliffs below the Royal Arches, (across the parking lot from the Ahwahnee hotel entrance, the top, black dotted line on the map below) is longer but can be much more pleasant and less crowded than the paved road from free shuttle bus stop 17, the usually recommended hike start.
At the start of this trail, in some months, you can see and feel mist from the Royal Arch Cascades or may be walking in water.
(in heavy rain – two photos below from February 2017 – the white is not snow, it is rushing water – this section of trail can become an unsafe creek/river!)
Compare the photo above to April 2017:
Or make it a loop (to or from) the official Mirror Lake trailhead bus stop #17 (to or from) the Ahwahnee parking lot.
The trailhead is at the north-east end of the main guest parking lot, just to the left of the red Valet parking sign shown in this photo:
Dogs and bikes are prohibited on all unpaved trails in Yosemite (see also links to Yosemite rules and regulations)
At the start of the trail, right next to the parking lot, on the left hand side of the trail, you might be able to spot a rock where Yosemite indians ground acorns and left behind deep holes in the rock. (You could call it the original Ahwahnee kitchen.)
If you start up the trail and decide it is too wet for you,
you can turn around, then turn left and walk the dirt/paved road through the valet parking lot, through some storage and on to where it deadends at a “T” intersection with one of the paths to Mirror Lake, then turn left, perhaps after walking out on the bridge to take a look at the river.
And here is a NPS photo/map of the trail to Mirror Lake as a loop from shuttle stop #17, note the hotel in the left hand side of the map (and note that on many online NPS maps the Ahwahnee might still be named the Majestic):