Things to do on Your Way to Tenaya Lodge

The highways that lead to Tenaya Lodge have a “wow” factor all their own.  From historic landmarks to windows-filling scenery, roadside fruit stands and artisan outposts, the journey offers many rewards.  Here are just a few recommendations:

Hetch Hetchy Reservoir

A storied Yosemite National Park destination, Hetch Hetchy offers startling scenery and one of longest hiking seasons in Yosemite, with varied trails and expansive vistas. Many Yosemite National Park wilderness trails begin at Hetch Hetchy. Located off Highway 120, in Groveland. 

Bodie State Historic Park

A genuine California gold mining town preserved in a state of “arrested decay.” Ghost town walks and additional guided tours offered northeast of Yosemite on Highway 395. 

Castle Air Museum

One of California’s premiere warbird collections, Castle Air Museum has a collection of nearly 70 restored vintage military aircraft ranging from pre-WWII to the present.  Located on Highway 99, in Atwater. 

Hilmar Cheese Company

Cheese is great road trip cuisine!  Learn how this edible gold is made, watch Daisy’s “moooovie” and see employees package the “big cheese” – 640 pounds of it at the Hilmar Cheese Company. Highway 99, Hilmar. 

Fossil Discovery Center

Featuring the largest middle-Pleistocene fossil excavations in North America, the Fossil Discovery Center offers a great look into what the earth can teach us – and what the future may hold. Highway 99, Chowchilla. 

Dials Rock & Fossil Shop

Dials Rock & Fossil Shop is that classic roadside attraction, a little bit ramshackle but tons of interesting items within.  The shop’s collection: petrified wood, rare gems and minerals, fossils from all over the world, Native American arts and crafts such as rugs, baskets, arrows, jewelry, pottery, and Zuni fetishes (old and new). The shop also sells cool Yosemite collectibles.