Tag Archives: river

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
* closed due to 2021 Caldor Fire 

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
41500 Highway 36Ehorseback
Mill Creek, CA 96061
Lassen National Forest
original resort established 1864
stagecoach stop



Fire Lookouts: 100 years


Many US Forest Service Fire Lookout Towers and Cabins inside California are considered historic, many being built prior to 1940.

>>> 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

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

Places to Paddle

California Paddling Destinations
Canoe, Kayak Rental, Float, Boat, Fish
River Resorts & Cabin Rentals


California has abundant rivers and lakes located throughout the state and some of them are still flowing. Drought years can effect these waterways, so call ahead to make sure there is indeed enough water to paddle.

We list overnight lodges, cabins & campgrounds that you can enjoy the water up close. Paddle a kayak, river raft, rent a canoe, swim in the lake, or learn to fly fish.

This is by far not a complete list of waterfront destinations, but just a start. We will be adding more locations as we continue to update this page in the near future.

california river list

american river rafting

American River, Sierra Nevada

Camp Lotus Resort
5461 Bassi Road
Lotus, CA 95651
riverside campground w/ RV & tent camping

Coloma Resort
Highway 49 @ American River
Coloma, CA
California Historic Gold Country

Big Bear, San Bernardino NF

Bucks Lake, North Sierra Nevada


Carson Pass, Sierra Nevada

Kit Carson Lodge
32161 Kit Carson Rd,
Kit Carson, CA 95644
seasonal, open only during summer
Silver Lake @ Carson
California Highway 88

Clear Lake, Northern Cal

Blue Lakes Resort, aka
The Lodge at Blue Lakes, Clear Lake, CA
lakeside guest rooms and kayak rentals


Ebbetts Pass, Sierra Nevada

Lake Alpine Resort, aka
Lake Alpine Lodge
Bear Valley, California Highway 4

Klamath River, Northern Cal

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

Klamath River Resort Inn
61700 Highway 96
Happy Camp, CA 96039

Sandy Bar Ranch
797 Ishi-Pishi Road
Orleans, CA 95556

Lake Tahoe Destinations

  • Homewood
  • South Lake Tahoe
  • Tahoe City

Lakes Basin Recreation Area

Long Beach, CA


Mad River, Northern Cal

Ruth Lake Campground, Six Rivers National Forest

McCloud, CA

Newport Beach, CA

Balboa Island


Redding, CA

Redding to Red Bluff Boating Trail, Sacramento River

Russian River, Northern Cal

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

San Diego, CA


Salmon River, Northern Cal

Otter Bar Lodge
14026 Salmon River Rd
Forks of Salmon, CA 96031
Kayak school and lodging

Santa Barbara Mountains

Cachuma Lake County Park
Yurt Rentals & Campground
Lake Cachuma, CA
Santa Barbara Mountains

Scott River, Northern Cal

Scott River Lodge
19432 Scott River Rd
Fort Jones, CA 96032

lake merced

Yosemite Area


Yuba River, Sierra Nevada

Lure Resort, Downieville, CA
river front cabins on North Yuba River