Zion Lodge at Zion National Park, Utah
The only lodge located inside Zion National Park serves as a jumping-off point for the park's 146,600 acres of craggy cliffs and amazing flora and fauna. Guests can stroll a nearby hiking trail or take a tour on horseback, then dine at the Red Rock Grill, open year-round, or the seasonal Castle Dome Café. At day's end, they can retire to one of the lodge’s cozy cabins ($170 to $237), amenity-packed hotel rooms ($180 to $247), or suites ($231 to $300). Rates vary by season, and accommodations book up quickly.
The Majestic Yosemite Hotel at Yosemite National Park, California
Royals and heads of state alike have hung their hats at this AAA four-diamond hotel with a stately stone exterior that harmonizes with the dramatic backdrop of Yosemite Falls, Half Dome, and Glacier Point. A night at this National Historic Landmark runs between $376 and $1,302, depending on the type of room and the season. A sweet shop, cozy bar, and heated outdoor pool round out the amenities at this 123-room lodge.
Half Dome Village at Yosemite National Park, California
When your legs grow weary of exploring the 761,266 acres of Yosemite National Park, beat a path to one of the old-fashioned cabins in Half Dome Village, at the foot of Glacier Point and Half Dome. Reserve one of 46 wooden cabins with private bath for $231 per night or opt for one of 14 cabins with shared bathhouse for $167 per night. For a truly unplugged experience, choose one of the 403 heated or unheated canvas tent cabins ($170 per night) that each have an electric light, but no outlets. Reserve early; accommodations book up a year in advance.
Bryce Canyon Campgrounds at Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Bryce Canyon’s two premier campgrounds put you steps away from the radiant red hoodoo rock formations of Bryce Canyon National Park and the ever-verdant Ponderosa Pine Forest. Pitch your tent on the hilly North Campground for easy access to the Visitor Center and Bryce Amphitheater. Head for Sunset Campground for a short commute to The Lodge at Bryce Canyon or Sunset Point. Tent sites can be had at either campground for only $20 per night.
Grand Canyon Lodge at Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona
What better way to celebrate the Grand Canyon’s 100th birthday than with a festive toast from the porch of a lodge overlooking the scenic bluffs? Located on the less-frequented North Rim, the stone-and-timber retreat offers motel-style and cabin accommodations for between $141 and $206 per night. It's an ideal starting point for scenic drives to Point Imperial and Cape Royal, an easy hike on the Bright Angel Point Trail, or a more strenuous trek on the North Kaibab Trail.
The Oasis at Death Valley Lodges at Death Valley National Park, California
This historic property may at first glance look like a mirage, with natural spring-fed pools and an 18-hole golf course striking a lush contrast to the arid California desert. But the very real resort actually comprises two hotels: the four-diamond Inn at Death Valley ($499 and up per night) and the family-friendly Ranch at Death Valley ($246 and up a night). Both are a hit with hikers, equestrians, and stargazers.
Chisos Mountains Lodge at Big Bend National Park, Texas
Make mountain memories at this getaway set in the basin of the sprawling Chisos Mountains. The only lodge inside Big Bend National Park offers hotel- and motel-style units as well as the five coveted Roosevelt Stone Cottages, which were built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps. A stay at the lodge, which starts at $143 per night, puts you in close proximity to hiking trails, horseback riding, and rafting. And as the lodge has neither televisions nor telephones, and spotty cell service, you're practically guaranteed a relaxing, quiet retreat.
Related: The 21 Wildest Places in America
flickr.com via joncutrer
Glacier Lodge at Glacier National Park, Montana
After you've hiked, taken a scenic boat tour, strolled the manicured garden, and played a round on the nearby nine-hole golf course, enjoy your well-deserved rest at this century-old lodge just steps from the southeast corner of Glacier National Park, near glimmering Two Medicine Lake. You can check into a budget-friendly lodge room for $150 and up per night,
or spring for a more spacious suite, family room, or cottage.
flickr.com via twbuckner
Rising Sun Campground at Glacier National Park, Montana
For just $20 a night, you can savor a dazzling sunset, fall asleep where the mountains meet the prairies, and awaken to views of Red Eagle Mountain. After breakfast, take a boat tour of sparkling St. Mary Lake or hike to Otokomi Lake. Roughin’ it couldn’t be easier, thanks to the camp store, casual restaurant, and token-operated showers located on site.
flickr.com via kairologic
Joshua Tree National Park Campground at Joshua Tree National Park, California
Whether you venture to Joshua Tree National Park to backpack, spot wildflowers, or stargaze, set up your base at one of the four in-park campsites. For $15 a night, tent at Jumbo Rocks, home to a collection of behemoth boulders. For $5 more per night, you can stay in Black Rock, at the northwest corner of the park; Cottonwood, near the Cottonwood Visitor Center; or Indian Cove, located on the north side of a range of monzogranite rock formations known as the Wonderland of Rocks.
flickr.com via joshuatreenp
Grand Lake Lodge at Rocky Mountains National Park, Colorado
Bounded on three sides by the Rocky Mountains, Grand Lake Lodge encompasses 70 wooden cabins that rent out for $160 to $985 per night. The dining room, viewing deck, and pool capture the stunning scenery, and diversions include horseshoes, basketball, volleyball, a playroom, and a game room.
flickr.com via Don Graham
Lodges at Carlo Creek near Denali National Park, Alaska
If the rushing waters of Carlo Creek aren’t enough to reinvigorate you, the two lodges located on either side of it are poised to refresh, and they're just minutes away from Denali National Park. McKinley Creekside Cabins offers an assortment of rooms, cabins, and houses that start at $229. Denali Perch Resort's cabins start at $89 per night, and both accommodations have restaurants on the property.
flickr.com via iceninejon
Paradise Inn at Mount Rainier National Park, Washington
A National Historic Landmark, Paradise Inn is perched on a meadow in the shadow of Mount Rainier, just a snowball’s throw from the trails, glaciers, and waterfalls of Mount Rainier National Park. When the weather gets frosty, warm up inside the historic inn, retreat to one of the 121 guest rooms ($205 and up), enjoy a leisurely Sunday brunch, browse the gift shop, or sip a complimentary tea in the mezzanine.
flickr.com via mytravelphotos
Zion Campgrounds at Zion National Park, Utah
By day, ride on horseback through scenic trails or hike to moss-covered Weeping Rock. By night, lie under the stars at one of three campgrounds near Zion National Park, where sites range from $20 to $50 per night. If you’re rarin’ to go RV camping, head to Watchman Campground, which has both RV and tent sites. Sixty-six of the tent sites are a mere quarter-mile from the south entrance of the park. If you’d rather rough it, camp out at South Campground, which features 117 campsites a half mile from the entrance, or choose Lava Point Campground, with six primitive campsites a one-hour drive away from Zion Canyon.
Lunch Lake Campground at Olympic National Park, Washington
Hikers making their way along the stunning 18.2-mile High Divide Loop around the Seven Lakes Basin of Olympic National Park often spend a night at this campground, which is available for $8 per camper per night plus a flat $6 permit fee. At an altitude of nearly 4,500 feet, the Lunch Lake campground provides an alpine setting and a front-row seat looking out over the diverse ecological and geological features that draw hikers to this exceptionally beautiful national park.
flickr.com via daveynin
Sol Duc Campground at Olympic National Park, Washington
Aptly named after a mispronunciation of the Quileute word for sparkling waters, the Sol Duc Campground lies beneath the canopy of an old-growth forest dotted with hot-spring pools. This very popular campground near the backcountry of Olympic National Park has 82 tent sites and 17 RV sites as well as several restaurants. For $23 to $48 per night, you can set up camp here before heading off on one of the many nearby trails, including the easy, picturesque hike to Sol Duc Falls.
flickr.com via btonevibes
Blackwoods Campground at Acadia National Park, Maine
Thirty dollars will get you a night’s stay in this 160-acre forested campground in Acadia National Park on Mount Desert Island in Maine. Look to the north for Cadillac Mountain, the highest point on the North Atlantic seaboard; head south to dip your toes in the ocean; or set off on the South Ridge Trail up Cadillac Mountain. No matter which way you go, beauty lies ahead.
flickr.com via ruth_photographs
Super Bowl Campground at Canyonlands National Park, Utah
Reservations are $15 per night, first-come, first-served, at this multi-loop campground with towering cottonwood trees and a scattering of picnic tables. Its location in the Indian Creek Corridor makes it a fine base from which to explore the cliffs, mesas, and spires of Canyonlands National Park, a mere six-and-a-half miles away.
flickr.com via kairologic
Wildrose Campground at Death Valley National Park, California
Though they offer niceties like potable water, picnic tables, and fire pits, the 23 campsites at the Wildrose Campground at Death Valley National Park are free for the taking. Throw in once-in-a-lifetime views of Wildrose Peak in the Panamint Range, accessed via a scenic 8.4-mile trail, and you’ve got yourself an unbeatable deal.
flickr.com via adamreeder
Camping at Channel Islands National Park, California
Camping is prohibited on the western 76 percent of Santa Cruz Island, one of the five islands that make up Channel Islands National Park—which makes a night under the stars there all the more precious. For $15 per night, per site, you can camp year-round at various spots on the islands, including Landing Cove Campground on Santa Barbara, the east islet of Anacapa, Scorpion Ranch Campground on Santa Cruz, Water Canyon Campground on Santa Rosa, and a site above Cuyler Harbor on San Miguel. Camping conditions, however, are primitive, water is available only at the Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz campsites, and campfires are not permitted.
flickr.com via cwohlers
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