Glamping is all the rage today. Although there are numerous incarnations of this fun lodging option, it all boils down to getting that outdoor experience without having to pitch a tent. Think of it as camping light — you can enjoy the s’mores around the campfire and still have some of the creature comforts of home. And there’s no better place to try glamping then in a national park. So grab some marshmallows and check out these wheelchair-accessible glamping opportunities in and near Yosemite National Park.
Steeped in history, Curry Village (formerly Camp Curry) played an important role in the development of California’s first national park. Located on the east side of Yosemite Valley, the property has been welcoming guests to its tent cabins since 1899 — when Yosemite Valley was still a state park. And in keeping with Mother Curry’s tradition, Half Dome Village still offers tent cabins today.
The tent cabins feature wooden frames wrapped in canvas, with wooden floors and locking doors. They also have electric lighting; however they lack electric outlets, phones, televisions or plumbing. The units are basic, yet comfortable, with an definite outdoorsy feel.
Tent cabin 7 is wheelchair-accessible and it features level access and a wide doorway. It’s furnished with a 21-inch high full and twin bed, with an access aisle between them. Additionally it includes a heater (very necessary in the winter), and a bear box outside the front door.
The nearby bathhouse features level access on both the men’s and women’s sides, with ample room to navigate a wheelchair inside. Both sides are equipped with an accessible toilet stall, roll-under sinks and a large (double-sized) roll-in shower with grab bars and a hand-held showerhead. A plastic shower chair and a shower bench are also provided; and even with both chairs in the shower area, there’s still plenty of room for even a large wheelchair or scooter.
There’s good access to the public areas of this property as well, including the amphitheater, the historic lounge, and the dining area, which includes a cafeteria, grill, coffee stand, bar and pizza parlor. In short Curry Village offers a bevy of creature comforts in a prime Yosemite Valley location.
Accessible bath in Curry Village Shower-House
Located eight miles from the Big Oak Flat Entrance, Evergreen Lodge dates back to the 1920s. Over the years this historic resort has been renovated and remodeled, and it now includes a custom camping area dotted with comfortable furnished tents.
Accessible parking is available in front of the restaurant, with a level pathway over to the back porch of the nearby reception building. The custom camping area is located on the south side of the the property, and although there are no wheelchair-accessible units, one tent may work for some slow walkers.
The tent is located in a level area, right next to the bathhouse and near the accessible parking space. It features foam mattresses — two twins and a queen — and sleeping bags. When guests check-in they are given sleeping bag liners and towels, so you just really need to bring your own food and toiletries. The tents also come equipped with camping chairs and a lantern. There is a step over the tent flap to enter the tent, and not really room for a wheelchair inside, but again, this may work for some slow walkers who just need a level space near the bathhouse.
There’s level access to the adjacent men’s and women’s bathhouses, which are each equipped with a roll-in shower with grab bars, a hand-held showerhead and a fold-down shower seat. Each bathhouse also has an accessible stall and a roll-under sink.
There’s good access to the rest of the amenities at Evergreen Lodge, including the lift-equipped pool, the open-air restaurant, the tavern and the main dining room. And don’t miss the the central courtyard, which is the hub of day and evening activities, and is equipped with an accessible sun deck, kid’s play area and a grand stone fireplace.
Last but not least, check out Yosemite’s Housekeeping Camp, for a family-friendly glamping adventure. Perched alongside the Merced River, between Yosemite Valley Lodge and Curry Village, the camp features permanent three-sided canvas structures with canvas roofs on concrete pads.
Sites 57, 58, 59 and 60, which are located in the H section, are the most accessible choices. There’s accessible parking near the units, with a paved pathway between them. Each unit features level access, and is furnished with a double bed, a set of bunk beds, a table, and a shelving unit. And when it’s time to hit the hay, the inside can be closed off with a vinyl privacy curtain.
Nearby accessible restrooms feature accessible stalls and roll-under sinks. The private accessible shower is located in the back of the building, and although it’s kept locked (to insure access by those who require it), the key is available at the office.
There’s also barrier-free access to the self-service laundry and the camp store. And if you don’t want to drag along a lot of camping supplies, you can rent sheets, blankets, pillows, camp furniture, cribs, cots and even a stove. Just bring along your food — and a spirit of adventure — and you’re good to go!
Best of all, you just can’t beat the views of Yosemite Falls and Half Dome from Housekeeping Camp.