(209) 962-4000


Easy Hiking Near Groveland, CA and Yosemite National Park

A young family walking through a forest path

Over four million visitors visit Yosemite each year, mostly in the summer months, and the majority stay in the seven-square miles of the Yosemite Valley.  We would like to encourage you to visit Yosemite, hike its trails, and then explore some other nearby trails – without the crowds.

Stay at the Groveland Hotel, then venture out to these four spots where you’ll definitely have fewer visitors on the trails with you, than on those in the Valley.

Little Golden Forest Trail: Easy 2-mile loop. From Groveland Hotel go 8.1 miles east on Hwy 120 to the Stanislaus National Forest Groveland District Ranger Station turnoff on the right.  Park at the Ranger station and look for the trailhead sign.  The Little Golden Forest Trail is co-sponsored by Little Golden Children’s Books and the National Arbor Day Foundation and was built to restore an area along Hwy 120 destroyed in the 1987 Stanislaus Complex Fire.  These 150- acres have been planted, and the trail built, in part by children in the local area with funding coming from donations made by children to Little Golden Books.  Pay a visit to the Ranger Station before you leave and check out their resources.

Rainbow Pools: Not a hike, but a lovely place to play in the water.  At one time the Cliff House welcomed guests here until it burned in 1939.  13 miles east on Hwy 120 from the Groveland Hotel, just before the bridge over the South Fork of the Tuolumne River (if you reach the Cherry Lake turnoff to the left, you’ve gone too far) turn right into the parking area where you’ll find picnic benches and restrooms.  This area does get busy in the summer because who doesn’t enjoy a cool swim on a hot summer’s day?

Carlon Falls Trail:  From the Groveland Hotel head east on Hwy 120 for 23 miles and turn left on Evergreen Road, just a half-mile before the main entrance into Yosemite National Park.  Drive for 1 mile to the parking area on the right.  The easy 4-mile round trip trail follows the river upstream to the falls where you can have your picnic lunch and enjoy the view.  At the parking area, you can also cross the road and head down-stream to an old forest service office parking area, with picnic tables and sweet spot to wade in the cool water.  Be cautioned that there was quite a bit of storm damage this past winter and the trail currently has areas where you must go over, under or around downed trees.

Hetch Hetchy Reservoir:  Not to be missed is the part of Yosemite National Park known as the Hetch Hetchy Valley, which receives far less visitors than Yosemite Valley.  In a controversial move, the O’Shaughnessy Dam was built to supply San Francisco with its water supply.  Exactly an hour from the Groveland Hotel, take Hwy 120 to the Evergreen Road and follow it to the parking area at the dam.  Hike over the dam, through the tunnel, and along the edge of the reservoir where waterfalls will be cascading above you and Wapama Falls rage ahead of you.  Walk as far as you’d like on this easy hike.   To Wapama Falls and back is under 5.5 miles round trip.  Hetch Hetchy is open in the summer from 7:00am – 9:00pm daily and as part of the National Park, you do pay the entrance fee, which is also valid at the main gate into the Park.

The Groveland 18767 Main Street circle logo

Summer Menu

Small Bites & Shares

Southwest Chicken Spring Rolls with Pico de Gallo $12

Vegetable Samosas with cilantro chutney $12

Heirloom Tomato Flatbreads with grape tomato, mozzarella, pecorino, pesto, balsamic reduction $14

Grilled Chicken Wings with teriyaki, pineapple pepper relish, scallions, peanuts $14

Truffle and Parmesan French Fries with garlic aioli $11

Charcuterie and Cheese Plate with mostarda, crackers, whole grain mustard $16



Fiesta Salad with romaine, Pico de Gallo, black beans, avocado, pepper jack cheese, chipotle ranch $13

House Caesar Salad with parmesan crisps, garlicky croutons, lemon Caesar dressing $12

Artisan Salad with apple, celery, dried apricots, cucumber, pumpkin seed vinaigrette $12

*Add Shrimp +$14, Chicken +$10, Steak +$14, or Salmon +$12



Vegetarian Orecchiette Pasta $24

with Spring vegetables, tomato coulis, pecorino Romano

Fried Chicken Sliders $22

with brioche bun, sweet pickles, coleslaw, chipotle mayo and house fries

Wagyu Burger Sliders $24

with aged cheddar, brioche bun, mustard aioli, romaine lettuce and house fries

Blackened Chicken Tacos $24

with flour tortilla, jack cheese, black bean aioli, mango salsa and tortilla chips

Pan Roasted Salmon $32 

with cous-cous tabouleh, seasonal vegetable, citrus vinaigrette

Jumbo Shrimp and Potato Gnocchi $34 

with English peas, mushrooms, heirloom tomato, lemon butter sauce

Grilled Steak Frittes $42

with Prime NY strip, house fries, chimi churi sauce



Room 110 is situated at the back of the hotel in the Annex building on the lower floor.  This cozy room features a queen bed, with a large private bathroom containing a tub/shower.  This room accommodates two guests. This is a pet-friendly room.

Accessibility Features: Entry door is 32” wide; there is an outlet within 4’ of the telephone jack; the door lock is located 44” from the floor; there is more than 36” of room to the right side of the bed; hangers are located 53” off the ground.  Currently, the door handle is a historic twist knob, but we are working with our locksmith to replace this with a levered handle that can easily be operated with one hand and without tight grasping, pinching or twisting the wrist.

The bathroom has room to do a t-turn; the toilet seat is 18” off the ground and has a grab bar located behind the toilet; the wash basin is 30” off the ground with insulated pipes; the wash basin faucet is easy to operate with one hand without tight grasping, pinching or twisting of the wrist; the towel racks are 46” off the floor; the bathroom floors are slip resistant.  There are no grab bars on an adjacent wall in the bathroom for the toilet as there is not an adjacent wall to place them on. 

The tub has faucet controls positioned at the center of the end wall and open side of the tub; faucet can easily be turned on and off with one hand without tight grasping, pinching or twisting the wrist; there is a grab bar at the foot of the tub and at the head of the tub; and there are two 40” grab bars alongside the tub to serve for low and high needs.  The fixtures in the bathtub are historic and therefore we do not have a 60” hand held shower wand.

Due to the historic nature of our property, our rooms are fairly small, therefore we are unable to provide 36” around both sides and the foot of the bed.  However, we do provide full clearance between the door and the right side of the bed.

You can book this room online or please call us 24 hours/7 days a week at 209-962-4000 or email us at guestservices@groveland.com and we would be happy to find the room that most meets your needs.  

Pet Friendly

Your search for pet-friendly vacation lodging near Yosemite National Park ends here.  Our four-legged guests love the Groveland Hotel as much as our two-legged ones!  We’re happy to offer select pet-friendly rooms, located on the first floor, for your stay in Groveland, California.  The pet fee is $75 per reservation, with a limit of one pet per guest.  We welcome pets 60 lbs or less.

For dog-friendly activities near the Groveland Hotel, we recommend a walk along the Hetch Hetchy Railroad or going for a refreshing dip in the pet-friendly Rainbow Pools swimming hole.  If you are heading into Yosemite National Park, check their website for pet rules and restrictions.

Looking for a local dog sitter/boarder where you can keep your dogs for the day while exploring Yosemite?  There is a great nearby facility called Big Creek Boarding.