After a wonderful stay at rugged Evergreen Lodge, we drove 15 minutes down the road to Rush Creek Lodge, a recently-built in 2016 lodge offering amazing amenities and comforts. The bros immediately felt at home with an oversized and well-equipped Game Room, offering an indoor playground, shuffleboard, a pool table and several other forms of entertainment. Across the way, the gorgeous guest lounge had a roaring fireplace, beautiful decor and an Activities Center with staff offering resources for the Lodge and for Yosemite.
We checked into our two-bedroom Villa, offering a great layout for families with two separate bedrooms, one with twin beds and a master with a king bed. What made the master extra special was a thermostat-controlled gas fireplace. The Villa also had a balcony overlooking the gorgeous Rush Creek Lodge buildings and a modern bathroom with a bathtub. The sounds of the creek outside were such a relaxing feature of the Villa and we really enjoyed our stay there.
Rush Creek Lodge offered a General Store with meals on-the-go such as coffee, breakfast pastries and egg sandwiches as well as pre-made afternoon lunch options like PB&J and Italian sandwiches which we appreciated as we prepped to hike in Yosemite National Park. The food offerings throughout the Lodge were delicious and plentiful, with a Tavern and Restaurant serving great food options. The kids’ menu had lots of options for our bros and we savored some of the best salmon I’ve ever eaten as well as a delicious seafood dish that Logan enjoyed. The dining areas at Rush Creek Lodge offered a more high-end feel, while still maintaining a rugged exterior resembling the wilderness.
The outdoor play spaces at Rush Creek Lodge were plentiful, with a large, heated pool as the center of the entertainment. The bros enjoyed an outdoor alpine slide and ziplines as well as oversized checkers, shuffleboard tables and other ways to happily occupy themselves. One of the distinguishing features of the Lodge was Rush Creek Spa, an on-site spa encouraging wellness and relaxation. Everyday from 8-11:00am at the spa is Family Time, allowing families to obtain day passes to utilize the spa facilities such as a hot tub, sauna room, sensory room, heated stone lounge chairs and more. The bros absolutely loved being included in Spa Day and it was such a special opportunity for our family to experience together.
With a close location to Yosemite National Park and the valley area of the park, Rush Creek Lodge was located less than two miles to the park entrance. From the entrance began the long but beautiful winding road that led into the valley, a 45-minute drive from the entrance to the valley sights. Over the span of two days, we explored three main areas of Yosemite National Park: Lower Yosemite Falls, the El Capitan area and Mirror Lake. The bros were troopers as they threw on their hiking backpacks and boots, trekking through trails and exploring alongside us. We frequently found resting spots and enjoyed outdoor picnics together in the beautiful park.
Lower Yosemite Falls was a kid-friendly trail that led to a stunning waterfall overlooking a gorgeous stream filled with large, unique rocks. This was a family-favorite, as we climbed down onto the rocks and saw the stream trickle over the rocks – the views were expansive and stunning! El Capitan was a sight that Logan really wanted to see, a huge flat granite structure famous for its massiveness and for people scaling it, with and without rope. We watched in awe as people scaled El Cap and my hands sweat as my fear of heights kicked into high gear. We enjoyed hiking at the base, a place where the bros jumped from large rock to larger rock. Mirror Lake was also a family-favorite as the nature trail offered so much to be explored. Trekkers can choose between the paved path to the lake and the nature trail, and our bros chose to explore more of nature. When we reached the lake, we observed the cutest mallard ducks swimming and took in the stunning sights.
Returning back to Rush Creek Lodge, our bros enjoyed the activities provided by the Activities Center, including Trivia Night. Here they were asked all about what they learned while visiting Yosemite, obtaining prizes after they played. The staff at Rush Creek Lodge was warm and inviting and we especially loved chatting with Lindi, a sweet waitress from our hometown in South Carolina. As the trip to Yosemite and Rush Creek Lodge came to an end, we were grateful for our time both out in nature at Yosemite and also enjoying the comforts of the Lodge.
Rush Creek Lodge is a great choice because it is a social enterprise, focusing on its social impact to its community beyond just its business goals. Through their social mission, Rush Creek Lodge opens doors for promising Northern California youth seeking job and life skills through their Youth Program.
The Lodge’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.