The Sunset Inn is a trio of historic cabins on a two-acre property surrounded by national forest. It's a mile off Highway 120 and 4 miles (6.5 km) from Yosemite's Big Oak Flat entrance at an elevation of 4,500 feet (1,350 meters). Rates range from $215 - $285 nightly, depending on which cabin you're staying in.
The property dates from a 160-acre 19th-century homestead established by Henry Crocker, who had given up a career as a whaling captain to seek gold in California. In 1880 he built Crocker's Station, an inn that would become the largest stagecoach stop along the Old Big Oak Flat Road, hosting notable guests including John Muir and Herbert Hoover. In 1886 he sold the two-acre section of the property that would become the Sunset Inn, roughly half a mile from Crocker's Station. After Crocker died in 1904, his widow found the station too difficult to manage alone and sold it; it went through several owners and eventually reverted to the forest service, leaving the Sunset Inn the only portion of the original homestead to remain in private hands. (You can read more about Crocker's Station here.)
The Sunset Inn also experienced a variety of fortunes, serving variously as a hunting lodge, logging camp, and brothel after the stagecoach age had passed, and generally suffering from neglect and deteriorating during the latter half of the 20th century. Current owners Bill and Lauren Nickell bought the property in 1978 and have spent thirty years restoring the cabins, which date at least to the inn's brothel era, though their exact age is still undetermined. The restored cabins all have queen or king beds, kitchens, private bathrooms with showers, propane heaters (plus wood-burning stoves in two of the cabins), and (outside, obviously) charcoal barbecues1. Decor includes lots of wood (see the photos below) and paintings & photos by local artists.
The Meadow Lark Cabin overlooks a small meadow that features, besides the usual complement of grass and trees, a swing set, picnic table, sand box, and frog pond. There's also a chicken coop at the edge of the meadow, and guests get fresh eggs when the chickens are cooperating. Along with the chickens, frogs, and Bill & Lauren, a pair of amiable dogs, Lupine and Yoda, also live on the property. Guests are allowed to bring their own pets, but the pet policy is ornate and detailed and best explained by one of the owners.
|Yosemite River Cabin||6||$295 - $440||2 bedrooms, 1 bath; 2 queens and 1 double bed; full kitchen; 1,100 square feet|
|Yosemite Mountain Cottage||5 (4 adults)||$295 - $345||2 bedrooms, 1 bath; queen, single, & bunk beds; 850 square feet|
|Meadow Lark Cabin||2 - 4||$295 - $345||Queen bed in main room; double & single beds in back bedroom; kitchen and dining area with stovetop, oven, and full-sized refrigerator; bathroom with shower; 450 square feet; meadow view|
1 There's a full list of each cabin's amenities at the inn's website.
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