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The Groveland Hotel at Yosemite National Park

Check in for a spine-tingling visit

The Groveland Hotel just outside of Yosemite NationalGroveland Hotel, California Park is famous for more than its gold-rush history and fabulous wine list. Lyle, the historic hotel's most famous guest, checked in almost 100 years ago - and never checked out.

I visited the hotel last year hoping to stay in his room (What can I say, I like ghosts), but Lyle's room is the Groveland's most popular room.

The eccentric miner died in his room in the 1920s, and he's not fond of cosmetics on his bureau - he's not shy about moving them to the nearby sink or floor either. He also likes to have the lights a certain way (on when they're off and off when they're on) and takes showers at all hours of the night or day.

Groveland DowntownDuring his lifetime, he stayed in room 15 (always) and checked in with a case of dynamite, which he kept under his bed. He died in his sleep, but because he was a recluse and more than a little odd, it took a few days for hotel staff to notice his absence.

Lyle wasn't ready to check out, though, and has remained a loyal (if somewhat unpredictable) guest.

If you're considering a visit to Yosemite National Park or touring Tuolumne County, call the Groveland Hotel early - Lyle's room is hard to get.

If you're not too keen on staying in Lyle's room, the Panning for GoldGroveland Hotel can still be a gold nugget of a find. Peggy and Grover Mosely, Tennessee natives, dole out an old-fashioned welcome to all their guests. Belly up to the bar and Grover will happily serve up a helping of his own particular brand of Southern Comfort.

And if you're more into bringing ghosts back from the dead, be sure to ask Peggy about her old school chum, Elvis Presley.

Passport to the Groveland Hotel

  • 17 rooms (some pet-friendly rooms available)
  • Year built: 1849 (renovated 1992)
  • Dining - Victoria Room or Patio Courtyard
  • Close by: Yosemite National Park, Stanislaus National Park, village shopping in nearby Jamestown
  • Room Rates
  • o Standard Min / Max: $135 / $290 US
  • o Suite Min / Max: $235 / $325 US

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