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Closest Home to Yosemite Valley on the Merced River

Bedrooms 3
Space 1,400 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights
Popular Features
  • Internet
  • Washing Machine
  • Outdoor Grill
  • non smoking only
  • Air Conditioning
  • Fireplace
  • Private Pool
  • children welcome


About the property

House, 3 Bedrooms + Convertible bed(s), 2 Baths, (Sleeps 7-8)

YOSEMITE'S RIVER HOUSE (to receive an accurate quote, contact owner at 209-379-2458)...a newly re-modeled 3 bedroom, 2 bath home with a spectacular view of the Merced River. From its location close to Highway 140-- the 'All-Year Highway' to Yosemite National Park--you are only 5 miles to the Park boundary, and minutes to the incomparable Yosemite Valley. With a fully-equipped kitchen, 2 gas fireplaces, the ONLY private in-ground swimming pool among Yosemite area vacation rentals, and a large deck overlooking the river, YOSEMITE'S RIVER HOUSE is a year-round vacation destination from which to enjoy the sights, sounds, and recreational activities of the 'crown jewel of national parks'.

With 3 bedrooms and a sleeper sofa, YOSEMITE'S RIVER HOUSE can accommodate up to 8 guests. One bedroom has a queen bed, a gas fireplace surrounded by beautiful local rock, and a sublime river view. A second bedroom also has a queen bed, a pool view, and an adjoining full bathroom. The 3rd bedroom has a bunk bed, with a twin mattress on top and a double on bottom. A second full bathroom has been newly renovated in an Art Deco style. The kitchen has everything you'll need, and you'll love the view from the sink, watching the river roll by. The living room has ample comfortable seating, a stone fireplace with gas insert, a 42' HDTV, and DVD player. Wireless internet is also available.

The El Portal area has a fascinating history. The Yosemite Valley Railroad, which ran on what is now Incline road, operated from 1906 until 1942. Before Highway 140 was completed in 1926, the railroad carried passengers to El Portal, from where they would continue their journey to Yosemite via horse-drawn carriages, and later motor-coaches. On the return trip to Merced, the train carried sugar pine logs back to the sawmill.

YOSEMITE'S RIVER HOUSE is on Incline Road (the former railroad bed), a level, paved lane parallel to the Merced River. Because so few cars travel the road, it is ideal for walking, running, skating, and biking. Guests at YOSEMITE'S RIVER HOUSE can take advantage of a variety of seasonal activities in the area, including:

*river rafting, kayaking, and some of California's premier wildflower walks in the spring.

*swimming in the on-site pool and local swimming holes in the summer.

*downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, and snowshoeing at family-friendly Badger Pass in the winter.

*trout and bass fishing in season.

*photography, hiking, bird and wildlife watching, rock hounding, and phenomenal star-gazing all year round.

Staying at YOSEMITE'S RIVER HOUSE is an affordable family vacation, especially when 2 families share the rental and food costs. Upon returning to the house after a day of fun activities, refresh by the pool or relax on the deck and listen to the soothing sounds of the Wild and Scenic Merced River. Cook outside on the gas BBQ, have a delightful meal outdoors, and savor your vacation at our unique location in El Portal, the Gateway to Yosemite.

Keywords: House

More Details

Harvey Holland and Jo Ann Belforte
Member since: 2009
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within a day
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 27, 2017

About Harvey Holland and Jo Ann Belforte

We have lived in the area for almost 40 years. Harvey is a local real estate agent and woodworker, and Jo Ann is a physical therapist. We have 2 children, 5 grandchildren, a 1 great-grandson. Our knowledge of the area can help our guests have a memorable Yosemite experience.

Harvey Holland and Jo Ann Belforte purchased this house in 2007

Why Harvey Holland and Jo Ann Belforte chose California

Located on one of the few parcels of private property in the Yosemite area, this house has many benefits that have made it a successful vacation rental. The location is very close to Yosemite, the Merced River flows right by the house, and the private in-ground pool are just a few of the features that our guests have loved.

What makes this house unique

The waterfalls of Yosemite flow into the Merced River, which guests can view from the deck of our home. In the summer, our pool provides a welcome relief after hiking in the Park. In the spring, the hills are alive with an array of dazzling wildflowers. The house is a 45 minute drive from Badger Pass, a family-friendly ski area.

Guestbook comments from the owner

We've been to Yosemite many times. Your house was the best place we have stayed in. Everything we needed for Thanksgiving was here. We have been coming since 1968, and Yosemite is the best national park in the U.S. Thanks for everything.
Nov 2013
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El Portal House Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • house
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 1400 sq. ft.
  • 1 story
House Rules:
  • Max. occupancy 8
  • non smoking only
  • pets not allowed
  • Minimum Age Limit for Renters ...
  • children welcome ...
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • River ...
  • Rural
  • Waterfront ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace ...
  • Free Long Distance ...
  • Gas Fireplace ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating ...
  • Internet
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking Off Street
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine
  • Wireless Internet
  • Catering Available ...
  • Coffee Maker
  • Cooking Utensils ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher
  • Ice Maker
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 8 people
  • 2 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 2 - toilet , shower
    Bathroom 1 - toilet , combination tub/shower
  • 2
  • 3 Bedrooms, Sleeps 8
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen
    Bedroom 3 - 1 bunk bed
    Convertible bed(s) - 1 queen
  • Queen size Beds (2), Sleep Sofa or Futons (1) queen size sofa bed in living room, Bunk Beds (1) double mattress on lower, twin on top
  • Books ...
  • DVD Player
  • Satellite / Cable ...
  • Television ...
  • Video Library
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Gazebo ...
  • Lanai / Gazebo ...
  • Lawn / Garden ...
  • Outdoor Grill ...
  • Outdoor Grill Gas
  • Wood Deck
Pool / Spa:
  • Private Pool ...
  • autumn foliage
  • forests
  • live theater
  • museums
  • restaurants
  • waterfalls
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • horseback riding
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • sight seeing
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • groceries
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • ice skating
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • rafting
  • rock climbing
  • roller blading
  • skiing
  • snorkeling
  • snorkeling/diving
  • snowboarding
  • swimming
  • whitewater rafting


Exceptional! 5/5 -
(94 traveler reviews)

Closest Home to Yosemite Valley on the Merced River
average rating of 4.989362 based on 125 reviews

Great house on the Merced River!

  • 5 of 5

This is an excellent property to stay in if you wish to stay close to Yosemite Park. The house is in a great situation on the main road into the park but across the Merced River so no traffic noise just the lovely river. The house was clean and tidy with everything we needed. Our hostess was very accessible by phone and responsive. We thoroughly enjoyed our stay.

  • Submitted: Feb 14, 2017
  • Stayed: Jan 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Wonderful experience

  • 5 of 5

This is the second time we have stayed at the Yosemite River House in as many months. Everything was perfect...again. The house is clean, comfortable, and the proximity to the park makes it someplace we will be staying every time we visit Yosemite.

  • Submitted: Jan 3, 2017
  • Stayed: Dec 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Chula Vista, CA

Nowhere is Better than here!

  • 5 of 5

This is my second visit to the lovely Yosemite River House. As before, it is PERFECT in every way. The location just minutes from the Yosemite West Entrance, the river running in front of the house, the private drive (great for walks) it is a beautiful home away from home.

Spending Christmas here was a present in itself and meeting JoAnn was a gift I will treasure.

Everything you need is just a scenic drive away and there is always something to do. Watching for wildlife, listening to the birds or just snuggling up with a book by the fire. Truly heaven on earth.

Thank you and I will be back as soon as possible.

  • Submitted: Dec 28, 2016
  • Stayed: Dec 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Stunning !!

  • 5 of 5

This property is gorgeous and so much closer to the park than any other ! It was a bit hard to find but we got there eventually! When you go over the Bridge and get to the fork go straight into the road with the spur sign then turn left on incline road. The placed was stocked with everything you need including pots and pans and even spices ! There is wifi but it's satalite so if you have to stay connected like me for your work it can be trouble. I had to wake up at 4 am to do some things because it was too cloudy the night before to get signal. The other lodges and motels in that area looked bad so no way would we have stayed there ! The river is right in front of your house ! In summer you could walk right down and get in. It also had a pool but was too cold to use. A jacuzzi would be awesome ! The house is big and def enough for 6-10 people. There is not a Walmart or anything close by so bring everything you need with you ! Bringing our hiking gear on the plane was a pain if the house had optional hiking backpacks and walking sticks for rent that would be awesome ! You can not beat the view from the front porch either ! There is no cell receiption so consider that also when booking ! 10 out of 5 stars for this one !

  • Submitted: Nov 26, 2016
  • Stayed: Nov 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Great Stay at a Great Location

  • 5 of 5

It was a wonderful week's stay near one of America's finest National Parks. Everything was as advertised. Plenty of room for families, well equipped, clean and comfortable. It was only my wife and I but there was enough room for at least 4 adults and 4 children. The owners were available for any information we needed while we were there and the pre-visit info they provided was accurate and timely. The only thing I would have liked was a way to listen to music while I was there. Either a bluetooth enabled audio system or XM/Sirius radio.

I would highly recommend this house to anyone visiting Yosemite.

  • Submitted: Nov 25, 2016
  • Stayed: Nov 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Perfect Location, Very Clean, Will Be Returning Soon

  • 5 of 5

The Yosemite River House was a wonderful weekend getaway for our family of 4. My little guy was thrilled to have a bunk bed, and kept calling it his "treehouse". The home is spotless and has everything we could need...pots and pans and kitchen utensils as well as linens and soaps/shampoos.

The drive to the park itself was less than 10 minutes, which made it so easy to get going on our bikes before the crowds.

We loved everything about the River House. In fact, I just booked the home again as a surprise getaway for my husband's birthday!

  • Submitted: Nov 16, 2016
  • Stayed: Nov 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Barpub
3 Miles
Cedar Lodge, Yosemite View Lodge
Nearest Motorway
2 Miles
Highway 140
Nearest Restaurant
2 Miles
Cedar Lodge, Yosemite View Lodge
Nearest Ski
35 Miles
Badger Pass
Car: necessary

The renowned Hite Cove wildflower trail is 10 minutes away, a train exhibit is in El Portal, massage therapy is available by appointment.


Rates & Availability

El Portal House Rental Rates

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly Event
Low Season
Nov 2 2016 - Mar 31 2017
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $35 per night, per additional guest
high season
Apr 1 2017 - Nov 1 2017
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $35 per night, per additional guest
Low Season
Nov 2 2017 - Apr 1 2018
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 1 guests; add $35 per night, per additional guest
Apr 2 2018 - Oct 31 2018
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 1 guests; add $35 per night, per additional guest
My Standard Rate
2 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 2 guests; add $35 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Refundable damage deposit $250
Cleaning fee: $150
Tax Rate 11.0%

Base rates are for 2 guests, $35/night for each additional guest;
Holiday rates: $345/night for 2 guests, $35/night for each additional guest. No charge for infants 2 year old or younger. Children older than 2 years old are charged the $35/night extra guest fee.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

100% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
Enter dates for accurate pricing
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