Gateway to Yosemite National Park


There is always something going on at The Sugar Pine Ranch in Groveland California located in the Sierra Mountains near Yosemite National Park! Check back here for our blogs about what’s going on!!

The Waterfalls will be Beautifully Full This Year!!

We have been so blessed this year to have had so much rain and snow. Even the trees are starting to take notice. Leaves happily starting to unfold and blossoms coming alive with Springs duality of sun and rain. Soon the area will attract lots of tourists and they will enjoy their Yosemite vacation having noticed how swollen the waterfalls, lakes, and rivers around here are and they will hear stories of how this has not been the case until more recently. That, in fact, there has been a drought which has challenged the livelihood of the surrounding foliage and water supplies. One that has contributed to the death of so many native trees and the high expense of taking them down for their land owners. Or the change-over in landscape from native trees to drought resistant foliage. The feeling of this drought not only reverberates throughout our vast community but also permeates our actions and will continue to do so for some time. So the images of healthy bright green trees, cascading waterfalls, and the reality of full and turbulent rivers isn’t only a site for our guests and other visitors it is a beautiful site for those of … […]

Frazil Ice: Yosemite’s Natural “Slushy” Machine

Yosemite National Park wears on its spring bodice a strange and delightful but potentially dangerous natural effect called Frazil Ice. Normally this beautiful occurrence doesn’t happen until March or April but according to park service staff Frazil Ice has shown up a little bit earlier than usual this year.  Frazil Ice is created when mist, falling from the falls, turns into ice, at night in below freezing temperatures, and drops into the churning water below. It mixes with the water creating a “slushy” effect which directs and redirects Yosemite Creek from its normal pathways in seconds.  It’s a wonderful, natural occurrence which deserves a curious mind, observant eyes, and/or cameras but be safe by understanding its nature. Frazil Ice appears to be snow like however it is not. On top you see snow which appears denser than it really is. Underneath its beautiful exterior can lie a fast flowing creek with water as deep as head high.  If you want to see sites, such as Frazil Ice, in Yosemite National Park then now would be the time to come and visit. These sights are magical and exist for such a short period during the year.  Take a look here and … […]

Artemis Lucky: A Tale to be Told

As many of you might be unaware, from late April to early August, our local Blacktail deer give birth to their offspring. For some of us we look forward to watching the mothers go from being pregnant to running around with a little “Bambi” or two, or maybe three. However, this time can also be bitter sweet. With more cars on the road to Yosemite and more babe deer being born the risks of hitting one goes up. Locals who live here know that it can happen at any time but there is very little warning to non-locals visiting the area that the chances are very high a darting deer may cross their path. This story is about one traumatic incident due to such little deer crossing awareness around these parts. Meet Artemis Lucky. The luckiest little deer to have been hit by a car… actually her mother was hit while she was almost term. Unfortunately for the mother deer and Artemis’ twin they were killed in the accident. And unfortunately for the driver of the car and her passenger, her daughter, became heart broken at what had happened. But fortunately for Artemis she survived. The woman who hit her … […]

Italian Review: One guest’s travel blog post about SPR

We’d like to thank our guest from Italy who so thoughtfully posted about Sugar Pine Ranch on their travel blog. It’s always wonderful for us to receive your feedback about your experiences here. For those of you who speak Italian go to “Read More” then click HERE … and for those of you who don’t take a look anyway.

Be My Valentines Yosemite!

Valentines Day has roots in both Christian and Roman cultures and while Europe had established it as a holiday long before our countries existence, it has grown to be the second most popular holiday for the year here in the United States. While Esther Howland was building her empire as the “Mother of Valentines Day” with beautifully mass produced Valentines Day cards on the East Coast, the Gold Rush was bringing lots of dreamers to the West Coast. Specifically an area in California know as Tuolumne County and more specifically Groveland. Many dreamers became successful business people and some became rich. While lots of settlements and establishments came and went, the richest discovery of that period, in this area, was the discovery and establishment of Yosemite as a national park. Forty years after Howland had ran her first edition of cards, Peri Ranch was established. Fifty years after Howland, Yosemite became a place protected for all to bask in its glory. And February 14, 1947 Peri Ranch, which became Sugar Pine Ranch under new ownership, celebrated their first Valentines Day. Sixty-nine years later SPR still celebrates Valentines Day. One hundred twenty six years later Yosemite National Park gets to be seen … […]

Happy New Year 2016!!

Welcome SPR Friends and Family to 2016!! We hope the start of 2016 has been a good one and we look forward to serving you and your families in this wonderful new year. Here’s just an update of whats kept us busy since 2016 has started. As most of you know California, especially within the forest and agricultural communities, is in dire need of more water. Due to this lack of water, locally, the bark beetles have been able to devastate parts of the surrounding forest. A phenomenon which normally doesn’t occur. And though it had started towards the end of last year, this year has graced us with lots of rain and snow. A trend we hope continues to save our believe tree friends. This past week our guests have been able to enjoy making snow angels, having snow ball fights, and taking walks through snow covered grounds. It comes and goes but as we sweep and shovel snow we do it with smiles on our faces and gratitude in our hearts.  

Happy Holidays!! From Sugar Pine Ranch

As we approach the end of the year, We would like to say thanks to all of our guests so dear. We are grateful for your smiles, your laughs, and good cheer, Your patronage has made us thankful we chose this career. And to thank you from us to you. We hope we can be of service again in your future, we do. We love our job, we do, through and through, May all of your dreams and wishes come true. As the cold weather approaches and the leaves fall away, There will always be a bed here for you, our friends, to stay, A comfortable pillow for your head to lay. For your good health and safety we pray. You are only a stranger here but once you are, Just let the night sky lead you, follow the star. If you crave Yosemite Park no matter how close or how far, We are easy to reach by car. Thank you again for making another year a magical one!!          

Good time to visit

Normally this time of year is cold and icy. Surprise, it’s not that cold, and no snow at Sugar Pine Ranch – at least not yet. The mountain pass, Tioga Pass, to the east side of the Sierras is closed by snow and will remain closed until spring. So, now is a perfect time to visit Yosemite and Sugar Pine Ranch. No crowds and plenty of cool fresh air.