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While not all U.S. national parks have their own lodges, you will find some spectacular options that put a myriad of attractions right at your doorstep. Whether you’re looking for tropical island beauty, the rugged wilderness of Alaska, or something in between, there’s a destination on this list for anyone with a sense of adventure. Look forward to a trip of a lifetime with a stay at any one of these national park lodges.
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A visit to Glacier Bay Lodge will immerse you in nature in a place like no other. Located in Glacier Bay National Park, which can only be accessed by boat or plane, this remote region offers dramatic snow-capped mountains, surreal turquoise waters, and abundant wildlife. The lodge includes a fabulous restaurant and lobby with a stone fireplace and floor-to-ceiling windows for dining or relaxing with a view, while accommodation is nestled among the Sitka spruce trees. The cozy guest rooms include bay view options, private bathrooms, and coffeemakers.
The highlight here is the day tour to the park’s famous glaciers aboard a high-speed catamaran. A transformational experience, it not only includes getting up close to tidewater glaciers, but brings magnificent views and opportunities which to spot whales, stellar sea lions, bald eagles, puffins, coastal brown bears, mountain goats, moose, and much more.
This Swiss chalet-style lodge in northern Montana’s Glacier National Park opened back in 1914 and soon became known as the “Gem of the West.” Many Glacier Hotel sits right alongside Swiftcurrent Lake in a remote region of the park, miles from the heavily trafficked Going to the Sun Road, while rooms feature balconies and terraces that provide panoramic views of the “American Alps.” There are scenic trails that can be accessed from here, including one that leads to Grinnell Glacier. Kayaks and canoes are available for rent, and there are many excursions offered, including Red Bus tours, boat cruises, horseback riding, and ranger programs.
Located at Jenny Lake, the views from this lodge are jaw-dropping with 60-foot windows that showcase the lake and soaring mountain peaks. Guests enjoy the serenity and semi-inclusive offerings in this destination popular for fishing, boating, hiking and wildlife watching. A luxurious eco-resort and one of the world’s best lakeside resorts, it’s made up of private cabins with fine touches like hand-woven quilts and is known for its mouthwatering gourmet fare that includes seasonal five-course dinners with dishes like hickory-smoked trout. From here you’ll also enjoy convenient access to the Jenny Lake Boat which will bring you to the base of Cascade Canyon and a trail to Hidden Falls. Guided horseback trips and other activities are available too.
Ross Lake Resort is made up of a dozen individual cabins and three bunkhouses which float on logs along the western banks of Ross Lake in North Cascades National Park. As there is no direct road access, with access provided on foot or via the Diablo Lake Ferry, it keeps the crowds away, guaranteeing a serene escape that can include fishing, boating, and hiking. In fact, this park gets just 30,000 visitors annually, a fraction of Olympic National Park’s 2.5 million. The cabins are all furnished and include electricity, hot and cold running water, and kitchens. You’ll need to make your own meals here with no restaurant on-site but on the plus side, you’ll save on dining out.
Famous Denali Park Road, the only one that travels into Denali National Park, stretches for 92 miles and ends at this lodge, nestled deep in the Alaskan tundra. The drive alone (provided by a shuttle) offers an incredible wildlife watching adventure. Upon arrival, you’ll be staying in one of the national park system’s most remote in-park lodges with all-inclusive accommodation provided in individual cabins with private decks, heating black-out curtains, and bathrooms. Enjoy everything from guided hikes to fishing, gold-panning, and morning yoga. Twice-daily shuttles can bring you to Wonder Lake while meals are always made up of fresh, local cuisine.
Volcano House delivers one of the most magnificent, wild views of any national park lodge, located right alongside the Kilauea caldera in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. By staying at this historic hotel you’ll be just steps from trails that wind around the caldera’s edge bringing spectacular views of one of the world’s most active volcanoes. From the main floor of the lodge with its many large windows, you can sip your favorite beverage or dine while enjoying the fiery glow. Accommodation is offered in simple guest rooms (many with volcano views), cabins and campsites. The property also offers loaner bikes for exploring and daily guided walking tours of the park.
Zion Lodge is the only hotel in Zion National Park, providing easy access to its many scenic hiking trails and other outdoor adventures along with comfortable accommodation. It’s made up of historic 1920s cabins with amenities like gas log fireplaces, private porches, and coffeemakers as well as guest rooms that have flat-screen TVs with satellite channels. There are rental bikes available for exploring and a variety of excursions can be arranged too, like ranger-led tours and horseback rides. Plus you’ll be able to fuel your exploits easily with two restaurants on-site.
The deepest lake in the U.S., Crater Lake was formed by the collapse of volcanic Mount Mazama and is renowned for its incredible clarity and deep sapphire blue waters. Crater Lake Lodge sits at one end of the caldera and offers cozy lakeside guest rooms with breathtaking views. From here you can also take a ranger-led boat tour to learn about its geology and enjoy meals in the Crater Lake Lodge Dining Room.
Overnight accommodation can be enjoyed at Brooks Lodge in Katmai National Park, overlooking the world-famous Brooks River with famous bear viewing at Brooks Falls only a short walk away. It includes 16 modern rooms and a main lodge building with a large fireplace and a jaw-dropping view of aquamarine-hued Naknek Lake. In the dining area, guests enjoy hearty Alaskan fare served buffet style, and there’s a lodge bar offering cocktails in the afternoon and evening hours.
Rock Harbor Lodge is located on Lake Superior in Isle Royale National Park and can only be reached by ferry or seaplane. Open between April and October, visitors can themselves in nature, exploring dense forests backcountry trails and shorelines, as well as paddle in a kayak, boat, or even scuba dive with sunken shipwrecks that have remained intact. The lodge is made up of rustic wood cabins with outdoor bathrooms, simple lakeside rooms with private bathrooms and furnished balconies, and cottages with kitchenettes. Boat rentals are available and there’s also a restaurant on-site.
Alaskan Kennicott Glacier Lodge offers a unique stay in the heart of a ghost town in remote Wrangell-St. Elias National Park and Preserve. Incredibly romantic and picturesque, it’s a replica of one of the historic copper-mining buildings and surrounded by dramatic mountains. The Main Lodge has a 190-foot-long front porch where guests can relax with a panoramic view of the Wrangell and Chugach Mountains. The rooms here have shared, private-use bathrooms or you can book a South Wing guest room about 75 yards from the Main Lodge that also provide awe-inspiring glacier views with more space and private bathrooms. Spend your time walking on the glacier, river rafting, hiking, or flightseeing.
Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve is another one of Alaska’s spectacularly remote parks, spanning about seven million acres of Arctic wilderness north of the Arctic Circle. As it requires a combination of driving and flights from Fairbanks, few people make it here. Those who do are rewarded with sightings of wildlife like caribou, muskoxen and millions of birds, along with opportunities to paddle, float, and hike. Iniakuk Lake Wilderness Lodge is an exclusive fly-in luxury wilderness lodge for enjoying it all, complete with satellite Internet (if you want it) and meals in the dining room featuring local dishes like king salmon.