Courtesy of Volcano House

From Hawaii Volcanoes National Park to Alaska’s Glacier Bay, these historic lodges deliver location and creature comforts.

Volcano House, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI

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Closed for several years, Volcano House reopened in 2013 following a $7 million renovation that preserved the character of architect Charles Dickey’s original 1941 design. Talk about a view: some rooms overlook Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, while others face native Hawaiian rainforest of ohia lehua and koa trees, accented by tall hapuu tree ferns. Watching the crimson-feathered apapane fly from branch to branch while Halema’uma’u Crater erupts about two miles away is an otherworldly sensation. Even the fireplace in the hotel’s Grand Lounge is made of lava rock.

nps.gov

Great National Park Lodges

Volcano House, Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI

Closed for several years, Volcano House reopened in 2013 following a $7 million renovation that preserved the character of architect Charles Dickey’s original 1941 design. Talk about a view: some rooms overlook Kilauea, one of the world’s most active volcanoes, while others face native Hawaiian rainforest of ohia lehua and koa trees, accented by tall hapuu tree ferns. Watching the crimson-feathered apapane fly from branch to branch while Halema’uma’u Crater erupts about two miles away is an otherworldly sensation. Even the fireplace in the hotel’s Grand Lounge is made of lava rock.

nps.gov

Courtesy of Volcano House

Great National Park Lodges

You pull yourself out of bed, bring your coffee to the front porch, and there—right in front of you—is the vast expanse of the Grand Canyon.

That’s the appeal of staying at El Tovar, which has graced the rim of the canyon since 1905. But it’s hardly alone; you’ll find great national park lodges all over the U.S. and Canada. And staying at one doesn’t mean camping and freeze-dried dinners. The best lodges offer gourmet food, personalized service, and rustic yet often elegant interiors.

Many are landmarks dating back to the park system’s early days. In 1903, officials at the Northern Pacific Railroad were inspired to create a lodge with local logs and stone. The result, Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park, has a towering lobby that became a model for national park architecture. For something a bit more modern, try the 23 renovated suites and heated outdoor pool at Alta Crystal Resort by Mount Rainier, WA.

You might even encounter a celebrity or prime minister during your stay. (The El Tovar staff once had to hush Paul McCartney because a guest complained about his piano playing.) But that doesn’t mean the prices are out of reach. Double rooms start at about $180 at El Tovar and $165 at Oregon’s Crater Lake Lodge.

Find out how the right lodge will improve your next national park visit. 

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