Evergreen Lodge Near Yosemite National Park Offering Holiday Packages

A winter stay at the Evergreen Lodge near Yosemite National Park could mean snowshoeing among the giants. Evergreen Lodge photo by Jae Feinberg.

Visiting Yosemite National Park for the year-end holidays doesn't mean you're restricted to the Yosemite Valley. Evergreen Lodge, a small, historic lodge with a clutch of cabins just beyond Hetch Hetchy, has a number of packages available. A side benefit of staying here is helping inner-city young adults find their way in life.

The lodge dates to 1921, went it was built to help accommodate workers building the O'Shaughnessy Dam that led to the flooding of the Hetch Hetchy Valley. Down through the years it changed hands quite a few times, the most recent in 2002, when Brian Anderluh, Dan Braun and Lee Zimmerman took it over. Since then the trio has renovated the lodge, added 75 new cabins and communal buildings, and provided a social mission for young adults.

The Evergreen's staff includes a group of high-potential young adults from urban backgrounds who work as paid seasonal interns. They leave the city and their normal lives behind and come to live and work in the mountains. Not only do they learn a specific trade, they are also able to live in a supportive community and enjoy outdoor experiences that challenge, motivate and inspire them.

With that background, here are some of the packages the lodge is offering holiday travelers:

Christmas and New Year’s Holiday Packages

Christmas and New Year’s at the Evergreen include traditional activities, from cookie decorating to three-course feasts and dancing to champagne toasts at midnight, and some not-so-traditional, from s’mores and snowshoe trips to Christmas Flamingo Decorating.

Christmas at the Evergreen is a joyous 12-day affair, full of activities and celebrations. Two- or three-night packages are available Dec. 16-27, 2009, and include cabin accommodations, three-course Christmas feast, daily breakfast, trail lunches, guided tours, hayride, gift basket, holiday kids’ crafts, and evening campfires and s’mores. Package rates start at $340 per couple or $495 per family (two adults and one or two children ages 2-12) per night.

Celebrate the New Year with Time Traveler-themed dancing, merriment, food and drink. On Dec. 30 guests will be invited to try their luck at classic casino games using “Ever-greenbacks.” On New Year’s Eve, the resort will host an extravagant three-course Victorian dinner and more casino gaming, followed by its Time Travelers Ball costume party with music, dancing, circus performers, photo booth, time capsule and costume contest. The package includes accommodation, New Year’s Eve dinner and party, champagne brunch on New Year’s Day, breakfast and a gift basket. Nightly package rates start at $340 per couple or $480 for a family.

A two-night minimum is required on both winter packages; extra nights can be added at a discounted rate. Taxes and gratuities are not included. For a full description of each package, valid dates and prices, visit http://www.evergreenlodge.com/calendar.html. Guests can call (209) 379-2606 or email or book online at www.evergreenlodge.com.

Late Season Offer
For guests planning trips before the Christmas holidays, the resort has introduced a late-season special of 25 percent off its already low weekday rates. This discount is available Sunday-Thursday, Nov. 3 – Dec. 17, 2009, excluding Nov. 25 and 26.

The lodge also boasts its own guide service. During the winter months activities include a "Sierra Sunset" hike or snowshoe that departs from the resort to view wildlife, old-growth forest and vistas down the Tuolumne River Canyon. You also can take part in tours of the Yosemite Valley and the park's giant sequoia groves; if there's enough snow, these excursions are done on snowshoes.

Editor's note: We at the Traveler have never visited Evergreen, so we can't offer a hearty endorsement, but it definitely sounds like a destination worth investigating.


Is the tree really that big? To have a holiday in such a place one would rarely be in the lodge with such amazing surroundings! Also looks like a great place to go skiing or snowboarding, would hate to hit one of the trees though.


1: There's a bit of perspective in the photo: sequoias get to be 4-5 person lengths in diameter, but the person in the photo is a bit behind the tree relative to the camera.

2: I could be wrong, but I don't think that sequoias get up north near Hetch Hetchy. The southern end of the park (Mariposa Grove) is a more likely place for that tree. Yosemite is a great place to go cross country skiing, including Mariposa grove. Badger Pass in the park at least used to be a nice low-key downhill ski resort; I can't vouch one way or the other for its current status.

There are a couple of sequoia groves within 10 miles (as the crow flies) from Evergreen Lodge. They're not vehicle accessible like Mariposa Grove, but they're closer to Yosemite Valley. Both are fairly short hikes from the road but they still receive relatively few visitors. They could also take people to the Mariposa Grove although it would take longer to get there and often the road is closed from Wawona Road in the winter.


I was at Badger Pass a couple of years ago for a guided snowshoe walk. It's still fairly low key. Lift ticket prices are still reasonably low and they generally cater to less experienced skiiers. I don't ski but I've visited a few ski areas in the winter just to play in the snow. Badger Pass wasn't terribly crowded.

Here's their pricing: