John Muir Lodge
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Historical Traveler Reviews John Muir Lodge Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
A different view of the John Muir Lodge
Although I believe that the negative experience of the above report actually occurred, I feel that if anyone is planning on staying here, they should know what to ask for in a room. We stayed there for 2 nights in May, our room had 2 double (or queen beds--I can't remember which). It was large enough, clean and functionable for us as far as size, etc. It didn't have the amenities we've become used to such as tv, refrigerator, etc., but I haven't stayed in a National Park hotel that did (admittedly haven't been in all of them). It doesn't have the ambiance or history of an El Tovar, but the room and bathroom was actually larger than the one we stayed in at El Tovar--and much less expensive. We did have a telephone and radio in our room, as well as windows that opened (that would have driven me crazy). The restaurant was decent, but you are very limited to places to eat in these parks (you had to have reservations to eat at the Wuksachi when we were there). The thing we liked best about it was the location--halfway between Kings Canyon and Sequoia since we were going to both parks. We were there at the beginning of the season and the lodge wasn't full, so we didn't have a problem with ice, etc. We basically just ate and slept there since we spent the days in the parks. It isn't a resort type place. I did miss having a tv, but at the time we went there was only one place in the parks that did. We would stay there again--but would make sure we were getting a room with windows that open.
A disapointment to say the least.
I spent a what seemed like a week here one night.
The lodge is a building. In it are rooms of slightly less than motel 6 furnishings. The lobby is a room with a sofa and empty ice, drink and vending machines.
But wait....it gets worse. The rooms are unventilated with no way to open windows and the bath rooms are tiny and in no way easy to use.
All are tiny, cramped and without radio or TV or phone..... You do get a bed, however.
Service for problems is non-existant and the overall ambiance is of a military post. John Muir would not have stayed here... opting for outside
It keeps the rain off you and that is about it.
I would drive to wuksachi and pay 10% more or drive to Fresno some 68 miles distant rather than under the " lodge ordeal" Then there is the food... or lack of it....... Bring a MRE and you will dine better.
Nice clean place to stay
My husband and I stayed one night at the John Muir Lodge (April 20th). We reserved a room for the night in the afternoon. You have to check in for the lodge in Grants Grove across from the Visitors Center; the lodge is just a short distance from there. Karin checked us in and was very friendly and helpful. She tried to give us the best room possible. We stayed in room# 212, upstairs in the middle of the lodge. She purposely placed us away from the stairs and the ice machine and gave us a room with a view of the woods instead of the parking lot. The lodge was not full.
We had 2 queen beds that we very comfortable. Don't expect any amenities... no TV, no refrigerator, no hair dryer,no ironing board. Just a very clean and comfortable room. I have to agree with another person that commented about poor ventilation. Only a window for a breeze. Fortunatley it was not a real warm day, but the room stayed warm at night so we required no heat.
Shampoo, bath soap and moisture lotion was provided and the largest wash cloths I've ever seen (thought they were small hand towels).
We had dinner and breakfast in the dining room at Grants Grove. I didn't feel the meal was overpriced as someone else suggested. We had a fried chcicken dinner ($13.95), with choice of potatoes (we chose mashed which had a chicken gravy), vegetable was fresh green beans (delicious). Also included was soup or salad with the meal. I had a salad and my husband had the tomato soup which he enjoyed.
The waitress was overworked (as 2 people called in sick and she had been there all day by herself) but she was pleasant. Karin from the front desk(which is closeby) even came in to help seat customers to help out the waitress.
Breakfast the next morning was the usual fare. We both had 2 eggs, hash browns, choice of English muffin, toast or biscut. I think the price was $5.95, reasonable.
Karin spotted us in the restaurant in the morning and came over to our table to see how we liked our room. When I told here we were quite satisfied she said "that's what we like to hear".
In the lodge there are "Quiet Hours" posted from 9 pm- 8 am. They also ask that you do not use the ice machine after 10 pm as not to disturb other guests.
The great room has a fireplace but was filled with a family with small children who were quit noisy. We opted to go to our room. There are paperback books and magazines left there by others for you to borrow and return before you leave. Also there were books for children. Bring your own reading material or a deck of cards just in case there is nothing you want to read. Overall we enjoyed our stay.
Several locals in the park were still closed and were to open at the end of the week. Crystal Cavern is closed until June. I would advise checking the Kings Canyon/ Sequoia National Park website for info. NO GAS sold in the park so tank up ahead of time!
Clean, comfortable, affordable
I am often surprised by the comments in these reviews. John Muir Lodge, by normal standards, is a clean, well kept, attractive, friendly place in the midst of incredible scenery. By traditional "national park" accomodation standards, it is superior. My surprise at the comments regarding this property is this- it's a national park property. They do not claim to generate the diversions of cable TV, pay per view movies, or hot tubs; just immaculately clean rooms, large bath tubs, hot water, and mother nature right outside your window. Try a deck of cards, a bottle of wine, and just go old fashioned conversation as your entertainment. If you need move interaction- there is a beautiful great room complete with a roaring fire and lots of good people to talk to.
The only caution I would give is to stay away from the end rooms (near the stairs) if you are a light sleeper. You will hear footsteps till late in the evening.
I agree, basic
The rooms are basic. There is little or no ventilation in the rooms. My kids and I stayed Easter weekend 2004. Even with the window open all day and night, the room felt stuffy. The Lodge Room was neat. There is a large fireplace and great places to sit and socialize. The restaurant at Grants Grove is over priced. Service is hit and miss. I guess some employees weren't happy working on Easter weekend. Be careful, all restaurants in the park close early (7PM). The first night, we had to drive 45 minutes out of the park to eat.
Loved John Muir Lodge and the Park
Our friends and my husband and I visited the parks and stayed at John Muir lodge on Feb. 19 2004. We were not sure we would get into the park as we met people near the rangers station and they informed us they had to go back and get chains and then they made it so far up the mountain and then had to turn around as there was such thick fog they could not see and it was too dangerous...so they turned around and went home. We went and asked at the rangers station and he said the fog had lifted and no chains were required as long as we had snow tires. So we went ahead and started up the road. It was so beautiful with the clouds hanging low and then seeing clearings. I can not describe the sight in words. We made it to the lodge and it was great. We checked in and got a nice big clean room....We had stopped and bought some snacks and some refreshments for our stay and went to the "great room" and had a table to play cards on and sat in front of the fire...It was a bit cool as the wood to put in the fire was green but it was alright....there were other people sitting around reading and playing cards also......just a nice relaxing evening. After my friend and I went to bed our husbands stayed and visited with other guest and had a good time. It was just so nice and easy going and the people were very friendly...I would recommend it to everyone and the sights were great with the snow gently falling around the big trees and there was not a crowd of people to contend with...We will go back again and again and hope to stay in the same place.....only bad thing is not being able to access some of the places because the roads were closed due to snow......but that gives us an excuse to go back again..........go and enjoy nature and an easier pace of life.......
Basic but nice
We loved the scenery, but did expect a bit more for the money. We unfortunately came somewhat unprepared, and you couldn't even purchase a magazine or paperback book. Next time I will read the reviews before we book a room. We also had very loud neighbors. But if you are coming for the beauty of the place and don't want to camp out, it is a pleasant place to stay.
Discovering the John Muir Lodge in Kings Canyon last winter was like finding a swimming pool on the hottest day of the year. A perfect paradise for writing a novel or reading a great book, stepping away from the busy daily grind, and just a great place for perfect relaxation. The accommodations were fantastic, and I found the restaurant to have delicious food with great service. This is, by far now, my favorite get-away!
I stayed at the John Muir Lodge for 4 nights with a friend. We had anticipated that the lodge would be a comfortable and reasonably well appointed alternative to the cabins in the area.
Since we had paid in advance, it was difficult for us to just bail, once we discovered that the room was dark, stuffy and didn't even have a small refrigerator (isn't that standard these days?). The walls were thin and the place was generally noisy. The maintenance staff was constantly making noise throughout the day.
The only restaurant in Grant Grove was a major disaster...service dismal, menu offering boring and prices too high.
Oh well, win some, lose some. The sequoias were still a fantastic sight and we made the most of our stay.
Peaceful but Great for Kids
Our family's visited Kings Canyon both in winter and late summer. John Muir Lodge is cozy in the winter, with an inviting living room full of puzzles and games and books. After snow play we spent hours playing by the fireplace with it's huge beautiful portrait of John Muir looking over us. The summer visit, we spent most of our time outdoors but we loved coming back to the comfort of the Lodge.
TripAdvisor Reviews John Muir Lodge Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
Travel Blogs from Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park
... Sequoia is a living memorial to those who fell in conflict and the country's Christmas tree and the 3rd largest tree in the world (discovered). Beside it is The Fallen Monarch which has been used as a tavern, a stable and a hotel. We went the wrong way round the trail and didn't know we were not supposed to climb on it..........
Onwards to Kings Canyon - the deepest canyon in US. A long drive in rewarded with glimpses of the river and a couple of ...
... the same reaction.)
Boole Tree was a beast. It is one of the ten largest sequoia trees, and at 113 feet in diameter at the base, it has the largest ground perimeter of any sequoia in the world. We walked around it several times, gawking up with our mouths hanging open. Unfortunately we had to get going as the sun was setting and we had 1.5 miles back to the car. On the way back, there was a view of the King River cutting through the canyon ...
... that night.
On Sunday I had plans to just hang out by the river, maybe go back up to the Giant Forest. However, I saw a trail to Marble Falls and I thought it looked like fun. It was 8 miles round trip and I'm so glad I did it! There were hardly any people on the trail, which is a good thing because on the way back I had a bathroom emergency that involved searching for leaves if you know what I mean. The hike was pretty intense, I gained a ton ...
... really was an idyllic spot, looking out over the forest, with our own campfire, and no one else in view, and emaculately clean. We donned hiking boots immediately and set off into the forest along a trail, hoping to find the famous "General Grant tree". Sure enough, 30 mins later we were entering the area as all the day tourists were leaving, so we had this amazing trail around the massive sequoias to ourselves! We had loads of fun creeping in and ...
... only 2 or 3 buildings along the road in addition to the petrol station! The ladies serving in the petrol station were so overwhelmed with mine and Garry's accent they couldn't help but gush in their enthusiasm to help us, asking where we were from and reassuring us that we would be able to get to the Lodgepole campsite where we were heading with our 25 foot beast. In the end they wished us fairwell with a "Cheerio" in their best English accent and we ...