Why pay for a standard motel room at Yosemite when you can rent a whole house for almost the same price? Pine Mountain is an excellent choice for large groups, with many large condos and chalets for rent.
For those who prefer to camp, the campground is open to the public with 13 campsites and 10 RV hook-up sites. Rates are lower than Yosemite Valley. The only way to reserve is by phone at 209-962-8625. Get more information at their website.
ActivitiesIf you're staying long enough that you don't spend every waking moment at Yosemite, Pine Mountain Lake has plenty of things to do. Activities include water skiing, boating, sailing, swimming, fishing, tennis, golfing, horseback riding, volleyball, horseshoes, archery and hiking. There's even a water taxi service to carry you around the lake (for a small fee).
Nearby Groveland offers a small selection of restaurants, shopping and a gold rush era saloon.
ReservationsBecause Pine Mountain is not well known, it's also possible to reserve on short notice. I once got a reservation here less than a week before Thanksgiving, when everything else in the Yosemite area was fully booked. For a large selection of Pine Mountain Lake rentals see what's available through ReMax Yosemite Gold. HomeAway.com also has a large selection. At some places, you'll have to bring your own linens, but if you'd rather not, try these properties managed by Hotel Charlotte with all the amenities provided.
Getting TherePine Mountain Lake is located in Groveland, California on CA 120, 140 miles from San Jose and San Francisco. There is one very long steep hill on the way, so be sure your vehicle is ready for it.
If you're a private pilot, Pine Mountain has its own airport.