(209) 962-4000


Fall Foliage Road Trip through Yosemite

Fall foliage on a forest landscape

Labor Day has passed, and though daytime temps are still up there, nights are cooling down and there is a certain delicious slant to the summer sunshine in the afternoons.  Fall is almost here, bringing with it dazzling autumnal colors, perfect for an end-of-season road trip. On the western slope of the Sierra you’ll find plenty of color starting in October – even the poison oak turns a seductive shade of red. Moving upslope into the higher elevations, changes start as early as mid-September, with the oaks, maples and dogwoods.  On the dryer eastern side of the Sierra, aspens, cottonwoods, and willows rein with their bright yellows and golds; expect early to mid-October to be the peak for these beauties.

To make the most of the short window, start your trip in the morning following a good night’s sleep at the Groveland Hotel. Head east into Yosemite National Park, taking Tioga Pass up and over the Sierra summit.  Note the brilliant red of the dogwoods along highway 120 once you enter the Park.  As you approach the near 10,000 foot high eastern gate exiting Yosemite, you’ll begin to see the cottonwoods and aspen, famous for their quaking leaves in even the most minimal breeze.

When you reach Lee Vining stop for lunch at the Whoa Nellie Deli  (it’s the best gas station food you’ve ever had!) then head north on 395 where you will skirt the sky-high Sierra Nevada mountain range on the left and the mountains and desert of the Basin and Range of Nevada on the right. Bearing north you’ll pass stunning Mono Lake, home of famous formations called tufa towers.  Farther along you’ll drive through cattle country surrounding historic Bridgeport, and beyond there is your turnoff onto highway 108 West for Sonora Pass.

Take the drive over Sonora Pass very slowly.  Though it is not quite as high in elevation as Tioga Pass, it is not nearly as well developed…though you’ll find the views are absolutely amazing.  You’ll continue to see pockets of golden foliage, jagged granitic peaks, and high mountain meadows as you traverse back over the Sierra summit and onto the less precipitous western slope.

Coming back down-elevation into the foothills, stop in Twain Harte (named for Mark Twain and Bret Harte) for dinner and a stroll before continuing westward on your loop back to Groveland.  Once back at the hotel, complete your day with a nosh and a drink from Provisions Taproom on our beautiful patio.  Total round trip from/to Groveland, with stops, is six to seven hours and along the way you will have discovered fabulous flora and fantastic vistas – some of the most awe-inspiring landscapes in the country!

With such a fleeting Fall foliage window, and the closure of the Sierra mountain passes once the snow starts, make sure to book your stay at the Groveland Hotel NOW!

The Groveland 18767 Main Street circle logo

Summer Menu


Caprese Salad – $15
Fresh tomatoes, mozzarella, basil
and balsamic reduction

Grilled Focaccia – $8
Served with balsamic vin and rosemary olive oil

Fried Zucchini Spears – $8
Served with house ranch dressing

Deep Fried Mushrooms – $10
Served with house remoulade

Elote Bites – $8
Corn on the cob rounds grilled and topped with lime crema,
Cotija cheese and fresh cilantro


Watermelon Salad – $20
Cucumber, red onion, feta cheese, avocado, pepitas, mint
with honey Sriracha vin

Classic Caesar Salad – $20
Classic Caesar with house croutons, Parmesan Cheese and fresh Caesar dressing

Goddess Cobb Salad – $25
Bacon, avocado, tomatoes, sliced egg, blue cheese
with Green Goddess dressing

Farmers Market Pappardelle Salad – $20
Seasonal grilled vegetables tossed with pappardelle pasta salad


All sandwiches served with fries
Tri Tip Sandwich – $20
Santa Maria-style tri tip hand sliced
and served with slivered onions and house BBQ sauce

Pulled Pork Sandwich – $25
Smoked Sweetwater Farms pork shoulder, jalapeño bacon relish
and house BBQ sauce

Chicken Sandwich – $20
Smoked chicken, carmelized onions, goat cheese, arugula,
and Goddess dressing

Grilled Vegetable Sandwich – $15
Seasonal veggies tossed with roast pepper sauce

Grilled Cheese Sandwich – $15

Cheddar and Gouda cheese on grilled country white bread

Chicken Tenders – $15
Crispy chicken tender


Assorted Ice Creams – $6
Your choice of Orange Italian Ice, Mississippi Mud Pie sandwich or chocolate dipped Vanilla Sunday Almond cone


Please allow 20 – 30 minutes for your meals to be prepared.  All meals are cooked to order. 

If you have a food allergy, please let us know.  Otherwise, modifications are highly discouraged.  Any requested modifications will be $10 per item.


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.