Top 10 National Parks Lodges for the Winter
Top 10 National Parks Lodges for the Winter
The Ahwahnee Hotel, nestled in Yosemite Valley, boasts incredible views of snow-covered granite peaks and semi-frozen waterfalls in the winter. Its an easy drive or walk to see Yosemite or Bridalveil Falls, Half Dome and El Capitan, or you can take an afternoon to go ice-skating in Curry Village. The hotel also holds several notable winter events. At the Bracebridge Dinner, the Ahwahnee is turned into a 17th century English manor and guests enjoy a traditional feast and entertainment. If youre a true foodie, attend one of the Chefs holidays that feature some of the best chefs in America.
In some cases, the best way to enjoy winter is to avoid it altogether. In 2013, Volcano House will reopen after a series of renovations. Each morning, enjoy your cup of coffee as you look out over the Halemaumau Crater at the summit of Kilauea. Then take a hike on one of the nearby trails in the warm and sunny winter weather.
Hotel Terra sits at the base of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, just one mile from the entrance of Grand Teton National Park. This new green hotel is anything but rustic. The building is LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified and guests enjoy plush features such as 100% organic bath amenities, ‘iHome’ iPod docking stations and touch-screen telephones.
The Kennicott Glacier Lodge sits in the center of the ghost town of Kennicott, so close to the namesake glacier that you can hear the ice flow creak and pop. From the 190-foot-long porch, take in panoramic views of the Chugach and Wrangell Mountains.
The Stanley is located in Estes Park, CO.a city surrounded by Rocky Mountain National Park. After a day skiing, snowshoeing or snowmobiling, sidle up to the hotels 37-foot antique whiskey bar and order one of the 300 unique selections.
Sorrel River Ranch provides easy access to both Arches and Canyonlands National Park. The ranch sits on the Colorado river and is surrounded by red rock formations and desert mesas.
The Old Faithful Inn, one of the first great park lodges of the American west, is the largest log hotel in the world. Inside the multi-story lobby is a 500-ton, 85-foot stone fireplace. The lodge was made mostly from local materials, including lodgepole pine and rhyolite stone. Aside from its impressive structure, the Old Faithful Inn also has a clear view of the Old Faithful Geyser.
If you love snow, this might be your ideal lodge. In the 1971-1972 winter season, Mt. Rainier set a world record for 1,122 inches of snow. After you check in, set up your cross country ski rental or guided snowshoe walk. In the evenings, hang out at the lodge and find the rustic piano and 14-foot-grandfather clock created by German carpenter Han Fraehnke in 1919.
When Many Glacier Hotel was established by the Great Northern Railway in 1915, the company called it the Gem of the West. The hotel sits on the east shore of Swiftcurrent Lake and is surrounding by many nearby peaks including Grinnell Point. Its Swiss Chalet-style architecture was part of an effort to promote Glacier National Park as the American Alps.
The only snow you'll see at the Furnace Creek Resort is on the mountain tops in the distance. Daytime temperatures normally sit between 60-70 degrees and the beautiful weather is ideal for exploring nearby Death Valley National Park. The resort itself also offers plenty to keep you busy, including a spring-fed swimming pool, horseback riding and an 18-hole golf course.
A tragic fire in 1966 destroyed Zion National Park Lodge, originally designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood in the 1920s. Although the lodge was rebuilt in 100 days, the exterior was not restored to its original appearance until 1990. One of the best features of the hotel is the Red Rock Grill. The large windows in the restaurant give a nice view of the surrounding area.
Located on the border of Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the bed and breakfast affords amazing views of the mountains and easy access to the wilderness via horseback, hiking trails or car. Every Friday night, you can take a short drive to the Rocky Branch Community Center in Walland to hear live bluegrass.
El Tovar sits just 20 feet from the Grand Canyon rim, but don't be fooledyou'll still need your jacket and gloves at this Arizona lodge. In the winter, the average lows are below freezing. During the day, bundle up and hike the canyon's snow-dusted paths. In the evening, explore the hotel and its beautiful architecture. El Tovar is known for its interesting mix of Mission and Western-Swiss style, as well as its southern Indian accents and motifs.