Yosemite View Lodge in El Portal sits just 12 miles outside Yosemite National Park, Calif.


Yosemite View Lodge

Yosemite View Lodge seems pleasant enough as you drive up to the lobby, not knowing what to expect from this hotel that includes a couple restaurants and two-story buildings that could easily pass for budget accommodations. Exterior walkways that access rooms are clean and functional, so there's no way you can prepare for the flood of emotions that overcomes you as you push open the door to find a rushing river just outside your hotel balcony! Simply shocking in its fast-flowing pace and crashing noise, the Merced River is the only thing that separates you from the bears, said one employee who referred to the mountain slopes just outside your door beyond the river banks.


If you think the noise is frightening, don't stay awake all night thinking about the invaders who come out of the hills looking for a bite to eat. As luck would have it, the sound of the river is an experience somewhat like riding a cruise ship and adjusting to the gentle, rocking that eventually lulls you to sleep like a baby. The sounds of this powerful, natural force soon become background noise that you can ignore, allowing you a restful sleep courtesy of nature.


The price seems a bit lower than Yosemite National Park hotels in the park, and though the hotel is surrounded by tall forests, its valley locai


While some of the desk staff working at Yosemite View Lodge were a bit odd, the hotel's premier rooms overshadowed any negative thoughts one leaves the office with when checking into a room.


If you pay a bit more and can get the riverview rooms, don't hesitate!


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