The Big Six: US National Park retreats
Saturday 12 June 2010
The Ahwahnee, California
Combining Arts and Crafts and Native American design, the stone and timber Ahwahnee hotel takes inspiration from its location in the Yosemite Valley. The hotel overlooks three of the national park's icons: the granite Half Dome peak, Yosemite Falls and Glacier Point. Behind the granite façade is an interior of grand proportions which inspired the Overlook Hotel in Stanley Kubrick's film of The Shining, with stone fireplaces, stained glass and woven rugs.
The Ahwahnee, Yosemite National Park, California (001 801 559 5000; yosemitepark.com ). Doubles start at $493 (£329), room only.
Old Faithful Inn, Wyoming
No surprises that this century-old inn overlooks one of Yellowstone National Park's most popular sites, the Old Faithful geyser. The hotel's architect wanted its asymmetry to reflect the chaos of nature around it. The seven-storey log hotel is now a National Historic Landmark and features a soaring lobby with a huge stone fireplace; in keeping with the rustic ambience there are no TVs, air conditioning or internet – the focus here is the great outdoors.
Old Faithful Inn, Old Faithful Historic District, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming (001 307 344 7311; travelyellowstone.com ). Doubles start at $134 (£89), room only.
North Face Lodge, Alaska
This intimate retreat is less than two miles from Denali National Park's Wonder Lake and has views of the snowy peaks of the Alaska Range. Inside, the cosy guest rooms are connected by a veranda that leads to a timber-clad lounge complete with a log fire and library. Adding to the homely ambience, gourmet breakfasts of pancakes with lingonberry sauce or goat's cheese and herb soufflé, are attended by naturalist guides who later join guests on hikes into the surrounding wilderness.
North Face Lodge, Denali National Park, Alaska (001 907 683 2290; campdenali.com ). Doubles start at $1,018 (£679) full board, including activities.
Wuksachi Sequoia Lodge, California
Built from cedar wood and stone just a decade ago, this mountain lodge blends into the surroundings of the High Sierra peaks and forests of Sequoia National Park. There are cross-country trails on the doorstep, and the Giant Forest Grove of the Big Trees and Big Trees Trail are also close by.
Wuksachi Sequoia Lodge, Sequoia National Park, California (001 866 336 5918; visitsequoia.com ). Doubles start at $213 (£142), room only.
Zion Mountain Ranch, Utah
The log cabins here are surrounded by buffalo-grazed plains on the border of Zion National Park. All feature porches and views of the buffalo fields, forests or meadows and Zion. Rock climbing, horse-riding and mountain biking are just a few of the activities on offer.
Zion Mountain Ranch, East Highway 9, Zion National Park, Utah (001 866 648 2555; zionmountainresort.com ). Cabins start at $166 (£110), room only.
Cabins at Mazama Village, Oregon
In a thicket of Ponderosa pines, this clutch of A-frame cabins is around seven miles from the 2,000ft-deep rim of Crater Lake. The cabin interiors are simple, with no TVs or phones, but they do enjoy the tranquillity of the National Park surroundings.
Cabins at Mazama Village, 569 Mazama Village Drive, Crater Lake National Park, Oregon (001 888 774 2728; craterlakelodges.com ). Doubles start at $141 (£94), room only.
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