Explorer Cabin 41 at Tenaya Lodge may look like all the others, but behind the scenes it is a model for renewable energy and the latest example of the resort’s environmental stewardship and commitment to sustainability. Retrofitted with solar panels, Cabin 41 is completely powered by the sun’s rays and allows visitors staying in the cabin a new option for minimizing their footprint when traveling to the Yosemite region.
“Since opening in 2019, our Explorer Cabins have provided guests with an unprecedented closeness to nature and an elevated experience in terms of style, comfort and amenities,” said Brett Archer, general manager at Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite. “With the solar cabin, guests enjoy the added benefit of clean energy use, which is completely seamless in terms of their experience.”
The solar panel system consists of 12 rooftop panels, a battery pack and an inverter. The system was designed and installed by Off Line Solar, a local Mariposa County firm specializing in off grid systems. Each day, approximately 16 kilowatt-hours of energy is collected to power the electrical system. Cabin 41 operates completely off  the grid and was designed to withstand all four seasons in the Sierra Nevada mountains. Since all cabin components are energized directly by the sun, there are measurable savings on monthly energy bills for the entire Explorer Cabin campus.
Annual environmental benefit from the solar cabin’s energy savings is estimated to equal two tons of carbon dioxide or equivalent greenhouse gases from entering the air, using 229 fewer gallons of gas or keeping 88 bags of waste from landfill. The cabin is the first guest accommodation in parent company Delaware North’s Parks and Resorts division to utilize solar energy as an alternative power source.
Located just two miles from the south gate entrance to Yosemite National Park, the Explorer Cabins at Tenaya Lodge offer guests the refined comforts of a modern cabin in one of the most beautiful forest settings in America. The 50 stand-alone, two-bedroom cabins are nestled within sugar pines and incense cedars and surrounded by nature trails.
Twice the size of the rustic cabins of the past, the Explorer Cabins are open year-round, sleep up to six guests and feature balconies, kitchenettes, sitting rooms, air conditioning, Wi-Fi and more. Each cabin has a fireplace and custom finishes and fixtures such as granite countertops, plank flooring, Yosemite-inspired artwork and cozy Pendleton blankets. Communal fire pit areas sprinkled throughout the cabin clusters invite guests to gather for s’mores and stargazing after a day of exploring.
Sustainability is deeply ingrained at Tenaya Lodge, which has participated in Delaware North’s proprietary stewardship program, GreenPath, to carefully manage environmental impact and positively contribute to the surrounding community.
The resort is Silver LEED certified and enjoys the highest rating from Green Key, a voluntary eco-label awarded to hotels worldwide. Tenaya’s sustainable practices encourage zero-waste, water recycling and energy efficiency, and include amenities such as electric vehicle charging stations, refillable water bottle stations, local products and programming that teaches how to care for Yosemite’s unique environment .
For more information on the Explorer Cabins and Tenaya Lodge at Yosemite, visit TenayaLodge.com.