Yellowstone National Park
Besides being one the most beautiful spots on the planet, the nearly 3,500 square miles of wilderness at Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, Montana and Idaho) are home to grizzly bears, wolves, and herds of free-ranging bison and elk. Don’t miss seeing Old Faithful, a spectacular thermal geyser that erupts once every 45 to 90 minutes. For more information on Yellowstone, click here.
Old Faithful Inn
While visiting Yellowstone, consider an overnight at Old Faithful Snow Lodge, a rustic log hotel with an 85-foot-high stone fireplace in the lobby (from $129 for a frontier cabin to $323 for a king bedroom with bath), or Lake Yellowstone Hotel, the oldest lodging in any national park (from $204). For information on Yellowstone lodging, click here.
flickr.com via Randy Watson
Yosemite National Park
Yosemite National Park encompasses 1,200 square miles of wilderness right in the middle of California! There’s Half Dome, a towering granite peak that sits 8,800 feet above sea level; the Mariposa Grove of giant sequoias (the Grizzly Giant is 2,700 years old); and the stunning Yosemite Valley. For more information on the park, click here.
While visiting Yosemite, consider an overnight at the laid-back Big Trees Lodge (formerly Wawona). The old-fashioned family-style hotel is nestled under the pines and aspens four miles from the park’s south entrance and offers rooms starting at $114. For more on Big Trees Lodge, click here.
flickr.com via fortherock
Grand Canyon National Park
Bright Angel Lodge & Cabins
While visiting the Grand Canyon, consider an overnight at Bright Angel Lodge & Cabins, a popular South Rim hotel designed in 1935 by noted architect Mary E.J. Colter. The check-in point for the park’s famous mule rides, the lodge charges $110 for a standard room with private bathroom and $217 for a cabin with fireplace. For more information on the Bright Angel Lodge, click here.
flickr.com via Grand Canyon National Park
Acadia National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park
You can straddle the Continental Divide, hike more than 300 miles of trails, and see some of the most majestic mountain peaks in North America by visiting the Rocky Mountain National Park, including at least 60 peaks that reach an astounding 12,000 feet. For more information about Rocky Mountain National Park, click here.
Overnight at one of five campgrounds in Rocky Mountain National Park, including beautiful Moraine Park ($26 per night), or book a room at the 1909 Stanley Hotel, a Colorado landmark in nearby Estes Park—and the inspiration for Stephen King’s The Shining. For more information on the Stanley Hotel, click here.
Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Visit the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (North Carolina and Tennessee) for the sunsets on Clingmans Dome Road, the wildflowers, the 19th-century Mountain Farm Museum and Mingus Mill, and the chance to cruise along what some consider America’s most scenic byways. For more on Great Smoky Mountains National Park, click here.
While visiting Great Smoky Mountains National Park, consider an overnight at LeConte Lodge. It's located at 6,360 feet, near the summit of Mt. LeConte. Depending on the trail, you'll need to hike five to eight miles to get there! A rustic, hand-hewn lodge room or cabin (plus dinner and breakfast) costs $148 per adult per night and $85 for kids. For more information on LeConte Lodge, click here.
Zion National Park
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