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Kathy Rufo

Member since: 2013
Speaks: english

Premium Custom Home close to Yosemite

55 Reviews
Bedrooms 3
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 - 3 nights

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Yosemite Area House Rental Photos and Description

3 Bedroom, 2 Bath Custom Home Close To Yosemite and Mariposa.

This newly constructed custom home is just 45 minutes from Yosemite and 1 mile from the historic gold rush town of Mariposa.

Upscale, comfortable and clean, the Oak Meadows House will accommodate 6 people in bedrooms, 2 in the sleeping loft and 2 more in the TV room for up to 10 people total.

It has an easy living, open floor plan with plenty of space to visit, enjoy meals together, or just rest up from the day's adventures.

Historical downtown Mariposa is 1 mile away. Visit the California State mineral museum, or the State's oldest operating courthouse. There are ample shopping opportunities, a variety of restaurants and many excellent antique stores and boutiques.

Public transportation (YARTS) from Mariposa is a convenient, stress-free way to travel to Yosemite. Bus fare includes admission into the park.

The Oak Meadows House is designed from top to bottom as a 'green' building.

It has a passive solar design that was built into the hillside complete with radiant floor heating. The electricity is produced by photo-voltaic panels and the grey water is distributed to the landscape.

There is a convenient recycling center in the kitchen, and the kitchen green waste are composted to improve the garden's soil health.

Recycled redwood was used to create shade trellises to mellow the summer sun on the east side of the house.

There is now a culinary herb garden for our guests to add fresh flavor to their meals, and an organic vegetable garden to browse. (No promises, seasonally dependent)

We are intent on creating a peaceful, relaxing and healthy space for you to enjoy before and after visiting the wonders of Yosemite National Park.

More Details
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters
  • children welcome
  • pets considered
  • smoking allowed
  • wheelchair accessible
Kathy Rufo (Owner)
Member since: 2013
Speaks: english

About Kathy Rufo

My Name is Al Palisca. My son, brothers and I developed this land and built this house. It is my home.

I moved to California from Pennsylvania in 1978 to explore and enjoy Yosemite National Park. I worked for the National Park Service in Yosemite for 27 years, married and raised two children here and just love it!

I currently live in Prague, Czech Republic for 6-months of the year, and am making my home available to travelers to the Yosemite area while I am away.

Kathy Rufo purchased this house in 2005

Why Kathy Rufo chose Yosemite Area

Mariposa is a wonderful place to live, work and play. The weather is fantastic and there are many outdoor activities close at hand. The Oak Meadows House is located in the town of Mariposa which sits in the wintertime sweet spot being above the fog and below the snow.

The slower, rural nature of Mariposa County is appealing in a wholesome and fulfilling way.

Come and unwind, relax and feel the peacefulness of the rural lifestyle while you explore Yosemite and the surrounding area.

My brother Mike is the on-site property manager, greeter and maintenance person for the Oak Meadows House. He lives in a separate studio apartment on the land with his two friendly dogs.

His presence provides exceptional security, and a knowledgeable local person to help with whatever you might need during your stay, be it driving directions, maintenance needs, or recommendations on what to see or where to dine.

What makes this house unique

This plans for this house was originally designed by David Arkin and Anni Tilt as a 4 bedroom Straw Bale house. The original house was constructed in Mill Valley, California in 2000 as a straw-bale house and was named 'Natural Habitat'.

I modified the plans to allow the house to be built into the hillside here in Mariposa. The Straw Bale walls were replaced with insulated concrete walls that could withstand burial in the earth.

The following description of the house is from the Healthy Home Plans website.

'Natural Habitat is featured in the book, 'The New Strawbale Home', received the Western Home Award from Sunset magazine, and was also featured in 'Real Simple Magazine'. This stunning and inspirational family home does not isolate its residents from one another or from the surrounding environment. The architects, David Arkin & Anni Tilt, a husband and wife team, conceived of and designed this home to give the residents a sense of being at home in nature.

This four-bedroom home is a showcase of environmental innovations, beginning with its modest size. The smaller claim on resources of all kinds, is where building green really begins. At 1,860 square feet, it is 470 square feet smaller than the average new American house, yet it feels open and unconfined and more than big enough for a family of five. The kitchen, living and dining areas share one generous space with differing ceiling heights, from an intimate 8 feet to a lofty 16 feet, to define each area. While compact, the floor plan still includes a variety of intimate spaces - a separate entryway, a laundry room, and a window covered office alcove behind the kitchen - providing private places to retreat to.'

This house is simply a joy to live in with beautiful and abundant natural light filling the living space.

The surrounding land is peaceful and private, yet only 1 mile from the town of Mariposa, where you will find everything you need for your stay


based on 55 traveler reviews

Premium Custom Home close to Yosemite
average rating of 4.927273 based on 55 reviews

Beautiful peaceful home!

  • 5 of 5

We absolutely loved staying at this house! We were in town for a wedding and upon arriving were immediately bummed we couldn't enjoy this place longer than 2 nights. We were greeted by Mike who was so nice and helpful. You can tell he and his family take great pride in this home and it shows in every perfect detail. The beds were so comfy, bathrooms emmaculate and there was much more space than we had originally thought. We absolutely would recommend this place to anyone coming to the area and we're really hoping we can come back for a longer stay soon!! Thank you so much Mike and Kathy!!!

  • Submitted: Jul 24, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Burlingame, CA

Amazing stay!

  • 5 of 5

What an amazing stay! We just had a large family gathering in this wonderful home. Room for all and wonderful open space for the family to gather for meals and fun. Mike, the host, was wonderful. He even walked our dog when we were gone for the day to Yosemite and dogs are not allowed on the trails. Could not recommend more highly!

  • Submitted: Jul 14, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Cincinnati, OH

Most Hospitable Caretaker Ever!

  • 5 of 5

There are not enough words to describe how phenomenal our stay in this lovely vacation home was. I knew from the moment I spoke to Kathy that we had chosen wisely. She was so helpful and accommodating. Not only are the accommodations heads above the rest, but Mike, who maintains the house for the owners, went above and beyond what anyone could ever have expected! As eco-conscious guests, we were especially impressed with the extent to which the homeowners went to make sure they were doing everything possible to help maintain a healthy environment. From the recycling set up, to the heat/ac, to the garden and compost components of this property, everything was extremely impressive. We absolutely loved the layout of the house, the aesthetics of the bookcases filled with a treasure trove of artifacts and the hiking trail around the property. The hummingbird nest was an added bonus! In the evenings, the sky was so clear we could see the constellations as well as the shooting stars! This was our first trip to Yosemite and we would rent this place again in a heartbeat! The proximity to the park was excellent as well--we entered the park after only a 45-minute drive. And, after having spent 15 hours hiking, it was a welcomed respite to arrive home to this comfy, secluded home. The kitchen and bath amenities are also fantastic. But, as mentioned previously, Mike was the highlight of our trip. He was there to greet us when we arrived and he made sure we had everything we needed. He also made a point of being there when we left without being the least bit intrusive. It was like having your best friend living next door. He even offered to take our little dog out for a walk while we were gone. My only hesitation in saying more, is I don't want this place to be booked years in advance. We want to be able to come again! If you are fortunate enough to be able to stay here, I can guarantee you won't be disappointed!

  • Submitted: Jul 10, 2016
  • Stayed: Jul 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Beautiful home to stay in Mariposa

  • 5 of 5

The house was beautiful and the kitchen was the most equipped kitchen that I had ever stayed. We had everything we needed to prepare our meals and much more! Everything was clean and well-maintained. The location was very quiet and peaceful. Mike was friendly and his two dogs who came around to say "hello" every day were so cute. I would definitely recommend this property to a friend and will stay again if I had the chance.

  • Submitted: Jul 4, 2016
  • Stayed: Jun 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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great location to stay outside yosemite

  • 5 of 5

The house is a very nice place to stay. Although you drive up a gravel road to get to the house, it is a very pleasant and quiet location. The house is open and very clean. The showers are great and the master bed is excellent. The drive to Yosemite is beautiful. The 1851 Restaurant was a great place to eat and only a few minutes away from the house. The manager of the property is located next door and was very helpful in getting us situated and familiar with the house and the area. The kitchen is well equipped with modern appliances. If we return to Yosemite in the future, we will want to stay here again. The owner and manager of the property were excellent to work with and highly responsive to all our requests. They were a pleasure to work with.

  • Submitted: May 20, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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San Ramon, CA

Peaceful, unique home in Mariposa

  • 4 of 5

This home was a nice oasis to come back to after a day's hike in Yosemite. The gardens and peaceful setting was very relaxing. We had everything we needed to prepare meals and our kids really enjoyed staying up in the loft area. Mike, the property owner was very friendly and accommodating. Would stay here again if we have the opportunity.

  • Submitted: May 16, 2016
  • Stayed: May 2016
  • Source: HomeAway
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Mariposa Pizza Factory
" Rebuilt after a fire, The Pizza Factory is now opened again! Best pizza in town!"
"Fine dining excellence!"
Happy Burger
"Casual dining with the best burgers. Try the buffalo burgers"
Pioneer Market
Deli Garden Cafe
"Best Deli sandwich"
High Country Health Foods & Cafe
"Great folks and cafe as well as a health food store."
Salvador's Mexican Restaurant
Nearest Airport
50 Miles
Fresno - Yosemite Airport
Nearest Train
37 Miles
Car: necessary


Rates & Availability

Mariposa House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
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Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Labor Day Weekend
Sep 2 2016 - Sep 5 2016
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 4 guests; add $25 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 4 guests; add $25 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Pet Fee $25 + Tax
Refundable damage deposit $250
Cleaning (1-5 guests) $100 + Tax
Tax Rate 11.0%

Our rates are based on 4 guests. Each additional guest is $25.00 per night at time of booking.

Cleaning Fee of $100.00 is for 1-5 guests staying. An additional charge of $50.00 will be added for 6-10 guests staying.

Pets are considered and if approved will be charged a Pet Fee of $25.00 per pet/night. There is a two pet limit. The Refundable Damage Deposit is $500.00. The cleaning fee for guests with pets will be $150.00. We ask that pet owners provide all supplies for their pets including bedding/food dishes.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

Cancelled bookings will not receive a refund
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Yosemite Area House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 2180 sq. ft.
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Clothes Dryer ...
  • Fireplace
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Parking ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave ...
  • Oven ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 10 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 2 - toilet , combination tub/shower
    Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , jetted tub
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 10
  • Master Bedroom - 1 king
    Bedroom 3 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player ...
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Toys
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome ...
  • pets considered
  • smoking allowed ...
  • wheelchair accessible ...
  • botanical garden
  • churches
  • health/beauty spa
  • library
  • museums
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • winery tours
Leisure Activities:
  • antiquing
  • bird watching
  • horseback riding
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • hospital
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • golf
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • rafting
  • rock climbing
  • roller blading
  • skiing
  • snowboarding
  • swimming
  • water tubing
  • whitewater rafting

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