Yosemite Bug Rustic Mountain Resort

Top choice hostel, cabin in Merced River Canyon

This friendly, folksy place feels like a secret oasis tucked away on a forested hillside about 25 miles from Yosemite. A wide range of accommodations lines its narrow ridges (cabins, dorms, private rooms and permanent tents). The June Bug Cafe is highly recommended and worth the trip alone, as are the massages and spa with hot tub ($12 per day).

Yoga lessons are also available and dorm dwellers have access to a communal kitchen. The basic tent cabins can get chilly at night: you'll probably need to sleep in thermals even with the blankets provided, and nighttime bathroom trips aren't convenient.

The YARTS bus stops a quarter mile up the driveway.