Adventurous vacationers who don't mind sleeping in the cold can save at least 60% over peak season rates on weekend nights through the end of this month at one of Yosemite Valley's most popular attractions.
Travelers' wallets would be $34 lighter, for example, if they spent a recent night in one of Curry Village's unheated canvas tent cabins. The cabins go for $92 a night during peak summer months and sell out for this period within minutes when they become available a year and a day in advance.
But if you're willing to rough it, the canvas tents with a wooden frame can be had through March 27 through an unusual offer that bases the fee on the previous night's temperature.
The concessionaire that operates the cabins, which sit in picturesque Yosemite Valley with a stellar view of Half Dome and during the summer are overrun with noisy visitors, said the promotion is geared to encourage people to try out the park in the wintertime -- even though it may be a bit chilly.
"We're not in Idaho, I've been here for eight years and the coldest I've seen it is 18 degrees," said Kenny Karst, public relations manager for Delaware North Companies. "It's getting below freezing, but very seldom."
It's typically warmer in the valley, which sits at about 4,000 feet above sea level, than it is in other places in the park, Karst added.
The deal for the Curry Village tent cabins, which is available on Friday and Saturday nights, requires travelers to put down a $39 deposit when they make a reservation. The fee will be adjusted according to the previous night's temperature, which at a maximum rate of $39, is still a 57% savings over peak summer rates. If you want a heated cabin you can pay an extra $10 a night.
There are plenty of blankets available in the tents, but no electricity, phone or television to be found. And it does get so cold that operators recommend sleeping bags just in case.
Those who frequent one of America's most popular parks in the wintertime said because the cabins are small, they typically spend most of their time in the nearby lodge, or dining hall, or the separate shower and bathroom facilities anyway.
"For me, it's a no brainer," wrote Manny Aragon, to WalletPop. He added that he brings electric blankets to keep his family warm in the canvas tents, which accommodate two to five visitors.