Camping is a rite of passage for many Americans. Like apple pie, communing with the wilderness is a point of patriotic pride. America’s National Park System ensures that many of the most breathtaking locations remain undisturbed and pristine so that visitors can feel revitalized again and again by visiting crystal clear waters, hidden forest groves and the summits of snow-capped peaks. In many of the most popular parks, modern conveniences and luxury accommodations offer an alternative to “roughing it” with tents and bonfires.
Built in 1912, Glacier Park Lodge located in East Glacier Park, MT is one of the oldest national park lodges. Today, the lodge’s lobby is an expanse of northwestern-outdoors-themed style with personalized touches from the local Blackfeet tribes. There are 161 rooms offering warm accommodations, in addition to a day spa and a nine-hole golf course. The Great Northern Dining Room offers local Montana specialties with a focus on comfort food.
Headwaters Lodge is another luxury option near Grand Teton National Park. The lodge is tucked into a grove of Pine trees, a short distance from Snake River. With a full convenience store and bar/restaurant combination, the Headwaters Lodge will assure you that being away from home does not mean you must sacrifice comfort. Nearby fly-fishing tours, access to Snake River for boaters and kayakers, and horseback riding trails ensure a memorable trip.
Located on the highest point along Skyline Drive, Skyland Resort in Shenandoah National Park offers 179 guest rooms with unsurpassed views of eastern forest skylines. The resort offers nightly entertainment, free Wi-Fi in the lobby for guests, and even boasts a select number of pet-friendly rooms for those traveling with man’s best friend.
Beautiful vistas are available every night at the El Tovar Hotel located in Grand Canyon National Park. Situated on the rim of the canyon, El Tovar offers its guests concierge service, fine dining, room service, and prides itself as a favorite of Albert Einstein and Teddy Roosevelt. Booking early is a necessity as El Tovar is an extremely popular getaway.
Finally, very few lodges can compete with the stunning array of amenities offered by Evergreen Lodge in Yosemite National Park. With live music, yoga classes, a pool bar and overnight backpacking hikes, Evergreen Lodge is a once–in-a-lifetime destination and a favorite for couples and romantics.
These are just a handful of all the national park lodges that are refreshing and rejuvenating for a traveler focused on fine quality and comfort. For some, camping is considered to be burdensome, cold and uncomfortable and the National Park System takes great effort to ensure equal and available access to the beauty of the national parks for all, even those who have never lit a campfire or cast a fishing reel. For more travel tips including where to stay and things to do in a national park, go to www.nationalparks.org.
This post was contributed by the National Park Foundation.