Tag Archives: overnight

Wilderness Lodges

California Wilderness Lodges

Childs Meadow Lassen
Childs Meadow @ Lassen

These accommodations listed below are located on the edge of Wilderness.  Northern California, Sierra Nevada mountains, rural coastlines or even in the vast Deserts; the terrain is always front and center and the main attraction.

Some are large resorts with dining and other amenities, others are small and intimate, historic and cozy. Open year round or closed during winter months, each place is different. Follow links to find out more details and tell them Total Escape sent you.

Stay overnight surrounded by nature, right next to the Wilderness


various types of Wilderness lodging

wilderness camps – horseback or hike-in access only
rustic cabins – big snow country, carry snow chains
fishing lodges – river front and very popular
historic forest lodges, inns & resorts
lakeside resorts – often closed in winter
hot springs resorts – located in remote areas

Overnight accommodations are pretty scarce in the wilderness areas and high country locales of the golden state. Wilderness accommodations can be reserved up to a year in advance, with a hefty fee, of course. Often open during winter months, but not always.


Wilderness Lodges & Cabins in Calif

elevation: 4000′ – 9800′

Overnight lodging in California; alpine country, located high in elevation. Mountain peaks, fire lookouts, cabins, historic inns, guard stations and even, hot springs resorts.

Benton Hot Springs
Benton Hot Springs, N of Bishop, CA

The Inn at Benton Hot Springs
Highway 120, Benton, CA
High desert inn, E of US 395

Big Sur Lodge
47225 Highway 1
@ Pfeiffer Big Sur State Park
Big Sur, CA 93920

Lodging in Bucks Lake, CA
Bucks Lake Resorts
Plumas National Forest

Chalet View Lodge
Highway 70 @ Graeagle, CA
Plumas National Forest
East of Quincy, CA

The Inn at Death Valley
Highway 190
Death Valley, CA 92328
Death Valley National Park

Deetjen’s Big Sur Inn
48865 Highway 1 @ Castro Canyon
Big Sur, CA
19 cabins & cottages

Original Glacier Lodge
Big Pine Creek Glacier Lodge burned down in1998; only the cabins remain

Glacier Lodge
elevation 8000′
(closed for winter)
Glacier Lodge Road
W of Big Pine, CA @ US 395
Eastern Sierra – Palisades Glacier
John Muir Wilderness
Inyo National Forest

Gray Eagle Lodge
5000 Gold Lake Road
Graeagle, CA
Lakes Basin Recreation Area
Plumas National Forest


High Sierra Camp (HSC)
(horseback or hike-in only)
Giant hiking loop in high country = Tuloumne Meadows, Vogelsang, Lake Merced, Sunrise Camp, May Lake
elevation 9000′ – 12,000′
Tioga Pass, Highway 120
Within Yosemite NP

luxury in lassen
Highlands Ranch, Lassen National Forest

Highlands Ranch Resort
elevation 5000′
Village Inn @ Childs Meadow
Hwy 36 E, Mill Creek, CA
(open year round)
Lassen National Forest
Lassen Volcanic National Park


Kit Carson Resort
Silver Lake CA
Carson Pass, Hwy 88
(closes for winter)

Lodging in Sierra City, California
elevation 4187′
North Yuba River
Northern Gold Country, Hwy 49

elwell lodge

Lakes Basin Recreation Area
elevation 6400′
(closed in winter, sno mo ok)
Gold Lake, CA
Packer Lake Lodge
Sardine Lake
Elwell Lakes Lodge
Bassetts Station
North Gold Country, Hwy 49

Lodging in La Porte, California
elevation 5000′
La Porte Road
East of Yuba City, CA

Lucia Deck Dining

Lucia Lodge
62400 Hwy 1
South Big Sur Coast
Lucia, CA
10 cottages

Mill Creek Resort
Cabins & Campground
(closes for winter)
Hwy 172, Mill Creek, CA
Lassen National Forest
Lassen Volcanic National Park

LaPorte Union Hotel

Montecito Sequoia Lodge
Montecito Lake Resort & Cabins
(open year round)
Sequoia National Park

panamint springs motel

Panamint Springs Resort
40440 Highway 190
Darwin, CA 93522
Death Valley National Park

Rock Creek Lodge
Rock Creek Canyon Rd
elevation 9373′
John Muir Wilderness
Inyo National Forest
Eastern Sierra, W of US 395

Tioga Pass Resort (TPR)
elevation 9000′
Tioga Pass, Highway 120
East Yosemite NP

Tree Bones Yurt Resort
Treebones Resort & Restaurant
71895 Highway 1
Rural Central Coast
Big Sur, CA
877-4-BIG SUR
16 yurts

hiking maps

Ventana Inn & Spa
48123 Highway 1
Big Sur, CA
60 rooms & suites
243 acres
Ventana Wilderness 

Vermilion Valley Resort
elevation 7643′
(closes for winter)
John Muir Wilderness
JMT = John Muir Trail access
Sierra National Forest
Lake Edison, CA

Washington Hotel
15432 Washington Rd
Washington, CA
W of Donner Pass
established 1857

Wylder Hope Valley
formerly Sorensen’s Resort
elevation 6000′
South of Lake Tahoe
Hope Valley, CA


National Forest Cabins
& Fire Lookout Towers


fire lookout tower


Snow melts from MAY into JUNE. Expect closure or mud on dirt back roads. Wildflowers bloom APRIL through AUGUST in the Sierra Nevada, above 3000′. Autumn arrives with aspens and fall colors in the Eastern Sierra, through OCTOBER.


more recommendations coming soon….

Arizona Wilderness Lodges

Grand Canyon (cabins on the rim)

Jacob Lake Inn
7925′ elevation
AZ Hwy 67 @ US-89A
Fredonia, AZ 86022
cafe, cabins & motel
North Kaibab National Forest
Grand Canyon, North Rim


Nevada Wilderness Lodges

Mount Charleston

Utah Wilderness Lodges

Zion & Bryce National Parks

Historic California Lodges

Historic Lodges in California

Oldest hotels in California
West Coast & Sierra Nevada Mountains

Imperial Hotel in Amador City, CA – Gold Rush Country

lodgeWhile the well-known explorers Lewis and Clark were both freemasons and the first white men to walk across the continent; We are not interested in ‘Masonic Lodges’ of the West Coast. Nor any Worshipful Masters that came after.

The most interesting Historic Lodges of California are the ones located deep within nature, surrounded by grandeur and real wild beauty. The historic hotels in which we list have been accommodating guest for over 100 years.

Ideal locations, from rustic mountain cabins to impressive beach resorts, gold country inns to a desert oasis – this is Total Escape, California off the beaten path.


California Deserts

Amargosa Hotel
Amargosa Opera House
Death Valley Junction, CA
Historic mining location; Mojave Desert, east of DVNP

The Inn at Furnace Creek
Inn at Death Valley
The Oasis at Death Valley
Furnace Creek, California
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley, CA
Palms and poolside resort with luxury, opened in 1927

Southern California Mountains

The Julian Hotel
Julian Gold Rush Hotel
2032 Main Street
Julian, California
East San Diego Mountains
Oldest continuously operating hotel in Southern California

julian porch

Hotel Del, Coronado, CA

California Cities

Hotel Del Coronado
1500 Orange Ave
Coronado Island, CA
West of downtown San Diego
Wooden Victorian Beach Resort, facing the Pacific
Oldest lodge on the West Coast, established 1888

U.S. Grant Hotel
326 Broadway Avenue
San Diego, CA
Downtown, directly across from Horton Plaza

The Mission Inn
3649 Mission Inn Avenue
Riverside, CA

The Beverly Hills Hotel
Beverly Hills, CA

Biltmore Hotel
The Biltmore
downtown Los Angeles

Chateau Marmont
8221 Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90046
West Hollywood iconic, since 1927

The Fairmont Hotel
San Francisco, CA

The Queen Anne Hotel
1590 Sutter Street
San Francisco, CA 94109
A grand Victorian built in 1890

Queen Mary Hotel
The Queen Mary
Historic Cruise Ship
Long Beach, California
Port of Los Angeles, busy harbor w/ seaside village

Sacramento Hostel
925 H Street
Sacramento, CA 95814
Victorian in old town; built in 1885

Santa Cruz Hostel
321 Main Street
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Victorian cottages w/ gardens

Stanford Court
905 California Street, Nob Hill
San Francisco, CA 94108
866-576 5550
accommodating guests for over 100 years

Upham Hotel
1404 De La Vina Street
Santa Barbara, CA
Victorian in downtown; built in 1871

Mountain Lodging

Sierra Nevada Mountains

The Ahwahnee Hotel
Yosemite Valley, CA
granite walls of Yosemite Valley

Bridgeport Inn
US Highway 395
Bridgeport, CA
Eastern Sierra
built in 1877

Bucks Lake Lodge
16525 Bucks Lake Rd.
Bucks Lake, CA
established in 1929
burnt down in 2010
rebuilt/reopened 2013

Camp Nelson Lodge
Camp Nelson, California
Western Sierra Nevada
near Giant Sequoia National Monument

Cary House Hotel
300 Main Street
Placerville, CA 95667
landmark 1857 hotel offering free breakfast

Clair Tappaan Lodge
19940 Donner Pass Road
Norden, CA
Hostel on Donner Pass w/ PCT access
built in 1934 by the Sierra Club

Dardanelle Resort
Highway 108, Sonora Pass
established in 1923
burnt down in 2018
working on rebuilding 2021

Elwell Lakes Lodge
6200 Gold Lake Forest Hwy
Gold Lake, CA
Lakes Basin Recreation Area
lodge and cabins, built in 1920

Evergreen Lodge
Groveland, CA
West of Yosemite National Park
Hwy 120 (CA SR 120)
88 cabins w/ historic mountain lodge,
built in the 1920s

Fern Creek Lodge
4628 Boulder Dr.
June Lake, CA

Georgetown Hotel & Saloon
6260 Main Street
Georgetown, CA
in operation since 1856

Glacier Lodge
Big Pine Creek
Big Pine, CA
Eastern Sierra
lodge burnt down; cabins remain

Gold Lake Lodge
Gold Lake, CA
Lakes Basin Recreation Area

725 Granlibakken Road
Tahoe City, CA
Tahoe ski resort, since 1927

Groveland Hotel
18767 Main Street
Groveland, CA
Gateway to Yosemite; built in 1849

Imperial Hotel
14202 Old Highway 49
Amador City, CA 95601
built in 1879

Kings Canyon Lodge
67751 East Kings Canyon Road
Kings Canyon National Park, CA
built in 1937
destroyed in wildfire 2015

Kit Carson Lodge
32161 Kit Carson Road
Kit Carson, CA 95644
Silver Lake @ Carson Pass Hwy 88

Lakeshore Lodge, Restaurant & Saloon

Lakeshore Resort
Huntington Lake, CA
West Sierra National Forest
established in 1922

Montecito Sequoia Lodge
63410 Generals Hwy
Sequoia Kings Canyon NP
Recreation Camp w/ small lake

gold country lodge

Murphys Historic Hotel
457 Main Street
Murphys, CA
Gold Rush Country

Historic National Hotel
Bed and Breakfast
18183 Main Street
Jamestown, CA
Gold Rush Country
since 1859

National Hotel & Restaurant
18183 Main Street
Jamestown, CA
Gold Rush Country
continuous operation, first built in 1859

The National Hotel
211 Broad Street
Nevada City, CA
Oldest continuously operating hotel in California, built in 1852

Rainbow Lodge
at Royal Gorge
Interstate 80, west of Donner Pass
Sierra Nevada

Rankin Ranch
Working cattle ranch w/ cabins & meals
Caliente, California
Kern Co. / Southern Sierra Nevada
stagecoach stop 1870

Saint Bernard Lodge
44801 Highway 36 East
Mill Creek, CA
Lassen National Forest
built in the 1920’s

Silver City Resort
Mountain Cabins
Mineral King, CA
Southern Sequoia National Park
historic cabin community

Sonora Inn
160 S Washington St
Sonora, CA 95370
Gold Rush Country
built in 1896

Strawberry Lodge
17510 US Highway 50
Kyburz Pass
Eldorado National Forest

Sugar Bowl Ski Resort
629 Sugar Bowl Rd
Norden, CA
Donner Pass
opened in 1939

Tioga Pass Resort
Tioga Pass, Hwy 120 (CA SR 120)
East Yosemite National Park
Oldest resort in Inyo National Forest, established in 1914
(ongoing construction)

The Union Hotel
1915 Main Street
Quincy – La Porte Rd
La Porte, CA
Plumas National Forest
established in 1855

Truckee Hotel
10007 Bridge St.
Truckee, CA
Donner Pass
established 1873

Washington Hotel
15432 Washington Rd
Washington, CA
W of Donner Pass
established 1857

Wawona Hotel
golfing on mountain meadows
Wawona, California
South Yosemite NP
Highway 41 (CA SR 41)
in operation since 1918



Northern California

Benbow Historic Inn
445 Lake Benbow Drive
Garberville, CA 95542
Mendocino US 101

Blair House Inn
45110 Little Lake St
Mendocino, CA 95460
1888 Victorian

Highland Dell Lodge
21050 River Boulevard
Monte Rio, CA 95462
Russian River
Wooden Retreat w/ Restaurant, since 1906

Inn at Schoolhouse Creek
7051 North Highway 1
Little River, CA 95456
Mendocino Coast
coastal farmhouse, built in 1862

Joshua Grindle Inn
44800 Little Lake Rd
Mendocino, CA
1879 Victorian

Klamath River Lodge
34395 Highway 96
Orleans, CA 95556
fishing lodge built in 1930’s

Tallman Hotel
9550 Main Street
Upper Lake, CA 95485
Clear Lake
built in the 1870s

Village Inn at Childs Meadow
Village Inn at Highlands Ranch
41500 Highway 36Ehorseback
Mill Creek, CA 96061
Lassen National Forest
resort established 1864
original stagecoach stop

Inn at Childs Meadow


Fire Lookouts: 100 years


Many US Forest Service Fire Lookout Towers and Cabins inside California are considered historic, many being built prior to 1940. Most are closed during winter months and generally open April-December. Check with local ranger station to verify access and for reservations.

>>> find all California National Forest Cabin Rentals and Fire Lookouts

Crocker Guard Station
Plumas National Forest
constructed in 1912

Big Meadows Guard Station
Sequoia National Forest
constructed between 1933 – 1935

Forest Glen Guard Station
Shasta Trinity National Forest
built in 1914

Girard Ridge Lookout
Shasta Trinity National Forest
constructed in 1931

Harvey West Cabin
Eldorado National Forest
constructed in early 1930s

McCarthy Point Lookout
Lassen National Forest
constructed in 1936

Robbs Hut
Eldorado National Forest
constructed in 1933

Sly Guard Cabin
Eldorado National Forest
constructed in early 1940s

fire lookout tower

California Hostels

Hostels in California

Interested in meeting world travelers? Want to socialize with active, like-minded travelers during your trip? Then California hikerhostels may be worth checking out.

Often called Traveler Hostels, Youth Hostels or Backpacking Hostels, these budget accommodations have been renovating and recreating themselves in the past decade. More bedding selection, more privacy options and additional outdoor lounging areas.

Youth Hostel with a view

Several historic buildings and lighthouses have been turned into hostels. Often located in the city center, or other prime locations near bus routes, beaches or attractions, hostels offer temporary lodging for young, flexible, budget minded adventurers.

These popular overnight places can book up months in advance, are usually located in well-known tourist destinations and offer much better pricing than traditional hotels.

Santa Cruz Hostel (Hosteling International)

If you’re not comfortable with sleeping in a strangers apartment with an AirBNB, nor paying top dollar to stay in a pre-parked motorhome – then hosteling is an alternative choice.

Community kitchen, bunk beds, storage lockers and shared bathrooms are the norm, but many hostels now offer private rooms, tent cabins or other unique sleeping arrangements. Every hostel is different and has a unique setup, so you’ll want to do your research ahead of time and choose carefully.


for more inexpensive lodging options in California, check out – 

Budget Lodging

Farms Stays & Ranches

NFS Cabins Rentals
& Fire Lookouts

Tent Cabins & Yurt Rentals



Wine Country Inn

California Wine Country Inns & Lodging
Wine Country Camping

zerodust winery stays

Romantic Inns

Romantic California Wine Country

Harmony Chapel
Harmony Chapel, Central Coast, N San Luis Obispo

Wineries with Lodging


These lush resorts listed below cater to crowds, offering food,  wedding venue, party space, luncheon, gift shop and overnight accommodations. These huge wineries are popular places with large facilities, parking lots, golfing nearby and restaurants.

Bacara, Santa Barbara
8301 Hollister Ave
Goleta, CA 93117

Carneros Resort and Spa
4048 Sonoma Highway
Napa, CA 94559

Fess Parker’s Wine Country Inn
2860 Grand Ave
Los Olivos, CA

Inn at Churon Winery
33233 Rancho California Rd
Temecula, CA

755 Silverado Trail N
Calistoga, CA 94515

South Coast Winery Resort & Spa
34843 Rancho California Rd
Temecula, CA

Vintners Inn
4350 Barnes Road
Santa Rosa, CA 95403



Wine Country Camping

Central Coast California

Los Padres National Forest

Big Sur Back Roads
Big Sur Campgrounds
Big Sur Camping

Davy Brown Campground
Figueroa Mountain Campgroundcamp
Lake Cachuma, CA
Los Osos RV Ranch
Pozo, California

Northern California

Bothe-Napa Valley State Park
Ritchey Creek Campground

Calistoga RV Park

Clear Lake Campground RV & Fishing

Clear Lake State Park
Cole Creek Campground
Kelsey Creek Campground
Lower Bayview Campground
Upper Bayview Campground

Lake Berryessa
Putah Canyon Campground
Steele Canyon Campground

Petaluma KOA, San Francisco

Skyline Wilderness Park

Sonoma Coast State Park
Sugarloaf Ridge State Park
Valley Ford, CA – Doran Park

Southern Californiahiker

Agua Tibia Wilderness
Dripping Springs Campground NFS
Julian Camping
Palomar Mountain Campgrounds

hiker at Palomar
Palomar State Park

see more –

Wine Country Accommodations

Utah Lodging

Bryce Canyon, UTNPS

Bryce Canyon National Park

Bryce Canyon Lodge
aka The Lodge at Bryce Canyon
Steps from the canyon’s rim, inside the National Park
114 rooms

Bryce Canyon Resort
3 miles from Bryce Canyon on the corner of Hwys 12 & 63
58 rooms

Bryce Valley Inn
10 scenic miles from Bryce Canyon National Park
65 rooms

Marianna Inn
Panguich, Utah
Gateway to Bryce National Park
34 rooms



Cedar Breaks, UT


Cedar Breaks National Park

Cedar Breaks Lodge ski
Brian Head
Minutes of Zion, Bryce, Cedar Breaks; autumn aspen groves, snow skiing, summer biking & hiking trails.
130 rooms




moab valley view
Moab valley view

Moab, Utah


Arches National Park

Canyonlands National Park

Desert Chalet Bed & Breakfast
off Holyoak Lane, on San Juan
5 rooms

Rustic Inn Motel
third traffic light & 1 block east
33 rooms

Sleep Inn Moab
Newer hotel, on the main drag
61 rooms


Saint George, Utah

Red Mountain Resort
Adventure & Fitness. Health Spa. Red Rock Therapy & spa facilities at a full service resort with impressive mountain views.
116 rooms

Salt Lake City, UT

Willow Glen Inn Bed & Breakfast
Located in Cedar Valley in a very quiet, rural location.
10 rooms


Torrey, Utah


Capitol Reef National Park

Chuckwagon Lodge
12 W Main St
Torrey, UT 84775
showers, laundry, motel & cabins

Motel Torrey
415 West Main St
Torrey, UT 84775



Zion, Utah


Zion National Park

zion waterfalls

Zion Lodge
1 Zion Lodge
Springdale, UT 84767
Beautiful lodge in the middle of  Zion Valley inside Zion NP
121 rooms





Zion Mukintuweep