Yosemite National Park’s Outdoor Splendor Revitalizes Groups

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Yosemite National Park, meeting planning
Running through Yosemite National Park, photo credit: Kim Carroll Photography

Yosemite National Park is an eco-dream for groups that want to be pampered by the great outdoors.

The ancient landscape gained its first resort in 25 years this year with the opening of Rush Creek Lodge, a full-service resort set on 20,000 wooded acres with 143 rooms, suites and hillside villas. One of the biggest perks is its full-service recreation department that offers over 30 guided excursions and wellness programs, as well as CSR opportunities with the National Park Service. Activities range from golfing, guided fly fishing, hikes and biking to wine tastings, photography workshops and gold panning.

Many groups opt for excursions to picturesque Yosemite Valley, local swimming holes or a historic Gold Rush community for antiquing and shopping. There are also plenty of complimentary experiences—from campfire s’mores and moonlit nature walks to guest lecturers and education. Event space at the resort is open-air and indoor; easily customizable for 25 to 250 attendees, and on-site catering team creates everything from backpacker lunches to elegant mountain reception dinners.

Surrounded by the Sierra National, the 302-room Tenaya Lodge makes for an excellent base camp for exploring Yosemite’s hidden treasures. On the heels of a soft, $5 million renovation of 240 of the resort’s main lodge’s rooms and suites, the AAA Four Diamond lodge is a contemporary rustic haven. One of the more luxurious touchpoints is the 10,000-sf, double Silver LEED-certified spa, featuring organic products and herbs straight out of Yosemite.

Adventurous groups can tour Glacier Point, mountain bike or hike along hundreds of miles of canopied forest, go horseback riding along western wagon trails, or pull up their wading pants for guided fly fishing in one of Yosemite’s rivers. Surrounded by nature a plenty, team building can be customized—like the Yosemite Great Race. In winter months, Tenaya’s outdoor ice rink, amid towering pines and twinkling stars, is a magical experience. Just a couple of miles away, the quaint “Model A” powered railcars, or “Jenny Cars,” provide another historic adventure at the Yosemite Mountain Sugar Pine Railroad. The trolley-like Fords were used to transport logging and track repair crews over the same route as the Logger Steam Train. Numerous museums to and from Tenaya preserve the history of the mining area and local tribes—from the Mariposa Museum, rated one of the best smaller museums by the Smithsonian, to the Sierra Mono Museum, offering a fascinating look at North Fork Mono tribal history.

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