Lillaskog Lodge - The "Little Forest"
Nestled on a mountainside surrounded by the Stanislaus National Forest, Lillaskog is the perfect place for many activities. Whether you want to explore Yosemite National park and the surrounding areas, entertain a large group in the spacious great room, or just borrow a book from the loft library and curl up by the stone fireplace, Lillaskog has something for everyone.
The main floor of the Lodge is totally wheelchair accessible and consists of a large kitchen, great room, two bedrooms and three bathrooms one of which is fully wheelchair accessible. The upper loft area contains the library, master bedroom and bath. A piano is available for those who are musically inclined, and there are onsite laundry facilities. The lower level includes a family/rumpus room, perfect for games and activities or just relaxing, three bedrooms and three bathrooms. Surrounding the cabin is a wheelchair accessible veranda so you can enjoy a sunrise over Yosemite and a sunset over the Stanislaus National Forest.
Lillaskog is the life dream of Bill Charlson, a retired park ranger and administrator. In 1999 a forest fire on Pilot Ridge ravaged the area and the following winter the Charlson family bought the acreage that became Lillaskog. Borrowing from the family's Swedish ancestry, the name Lillaskog is Swedish for "Little Forest".
After the Pilot Fire, the land was salvaged logged. When the Charlsons acquired the property they replanted twenty thousand baby trees, so the name "little forest" seemed quite suitable.
Bill also bought a small sawmill and began drawing up plans to build his dream cabin. All of the dimension lumber, main support logs, framing and floors are milled from timber that came from the property.
Work halted only briefly when in 2002 Bill was unexpectedly diagnosed with cancer. After undergoing extensive surgery and cancer treatments, Bill made a miraculous recovery and went back to work on the cabin.
After six years of hard work, Bill opened Lillaskog Lodge as a Bed & Breakfast welcoming guests from all around the world.
When the Rim Fire started in August 2013, staff and guests had to flee from the raging fire. The firefighters made a special effort to save the Lodge, as Bill has been such a good steward of the surrounding forest. The Lodge was saved and opened up for the firefighters battling the blaze as a place to shower, eat and get a few hours of sleep. It also served as a command post during the fire.
The aftermath of the fire was devastating to the region. Bill lost 30 acres of 14 year old trees and 5 acres of market size timber.
After the early March storms, Bill started planting 1700 tree seedlings and finished the work on April 5th. Bill also installed 1 1/2 miles of drip tubing to water over a 30 acre area.
Bill is currently logging and milling the salvaged lumber with plans for new construction. He plans to build 2 or 3 smaller cabins for the Charlson family and to rent out to guests.
Today, Bill has reopened the 6 bedroom, 7 bathrooms Lodge for guests to enjoy. Although it no longer functions as a Bed & Breakfast, Bill is now renting out the entire Lodge for larger parties and for special events such as reunions, weddings, etc. It is a wonderful place to start new family traditions!