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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927
Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Closest Home to Yosemite Valley on the Merced River

Bedrooms 3
Space 1,400 sq. ft.
Property type house
Minimum Stay 2 nights


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 19, 2018

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 El Portal

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:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:30 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 8
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only
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 -
(124 traveler reviews)

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Closest Home to Yosemite Valley on the Merced River
average rating of 4.967742 based on 155 reviews

Perfect location, so close to Yosemite entrance, kid-friendly

  • 5 of 5

Really nice place. Clean, Cozy, and comfortable in the winter, enough room for our 2 toddlers to run around and no breakables in their reach. My only recc would be to stock the kitchen with a few more essentials like ketchup, plastic wrap, and maybe a few ziplocks(:

  • Submitted: Feb 19, 2018
  • Stayed: February 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Highly recommended !

  • 5 of 5

This booking was a gem of an option. I planned on travelling with a few friends of mine and unfortunately it was a last second booking a few days prior to the MLK weekend. Guess what, the booking was open and reserved the property for 2 nights. The booking was instantaneous and Jo Ann was kind enough to provide all the necessary details before checking in.

Last but not the least , the house was gorgeous and conveniently situated along the Merced river . This property was worth every penny.

I will most certainly book this place the next time I decide to head on towards Yosemite valley.

Thanks JoAnn

  • Submitted: Jan 25, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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great house an great location

  • 5 of 5

great house, comfortable beds, great access to Yosemite

  • Submitted: Jan 7, 2018
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Wonderful Home Base to Explore Yosemite

  • 5 of 5

A wonderful, comfortable home! Thank you! Just right to serve as a home base to explore Yosemite. Very close to the park entrance. Relaxing Merced river sounds. Everything worked well, and was as expected. We will definitely plan to return in the future!

Scott and Leslie

  • Submitted: Jan 5, 2018
  • Stayed: January 2018
  • Source: HomeAway
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Perfect home base for exploring Yosemite

  • 5 of 5

The house is in great condition, clean, and is very well stocked with all the kitchen and household items you might need. I can tell the owner is a very thoughtful person. All the kitchen appliances worked well, including the outdoor grill. The living room and 2/3 bedrooms are quite spacious. It definitely feels like a vacation house, unlike other places on vrbo/airbnb that feel like you're intruding into someone's home.

I stayed here with my partner, my parents, and my partner's parents. Believe me, this group is difficult to please and has very diverse expectations. Everybody loved the house!

There is a recycling dumpster behind the garage, but our one small suggestion is that a recycling container be added to the kitchen to encourage recycling and make it a little easier.

  • Submitted: Jan 4, 2018
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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We Keep Coming Back!

  • 5 of 5

This was our third trip back to the River House and it’s still the perfect place for our family. So close to the park, and very cozy. We love listening to the river from the deck.

  • Submitted: Jan 2, 2018
  • Stayed: December 2017
  • Source: 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.




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

  • 50% refund if canceled at least 30 days before arrival date.
  • 100% refund if canceled at least 60 days before arrival date.
  • Service Fee fully refunded on cancellations that qualify for 100% refund.