Amazing hotels in US national parks

In 1864, with Abe Lincoln’s endorsement of the Yosemite Grant, one of the nation's first protected public spaces was established—and the groundwork was laid for more U.S. national parks. But did you know that many of these American treasures also have luxe lodgings where you can sleep on-site?

Check out ten of the most amazing cabins and hotels within parks like Yellowstone, Yosemite, and the Grand Canyon.

1. The Ahwahnee Hotel, Yosemite Park, CA

(DNC Parks and Resorts at Yosemite, Inc.)

Not just a hotel, this lodging—the design of which incorporates Art Deco, Native American, and Arts & Crafts influences—is also a National Historic Landmark. The highlight, beyond views of Yosemite’s granite cliffs, is the grand dining room; this year, you can sample a Sesquicentini cocktail in honor of the Yosemite Grant’s 150th anniversary.

2. Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone National Park, WY

(Xanterra Parks & Resorts)

This lodge, which opened in 1904, is considered one of the first examples of “parkitecture,” so designed to help park structures (like information centers or hotels) blend harmoniously with their surroundings. In addition to being the world’s largest log hotel, it also features an enormous, 85-foot-tall stone fireplace that dominates the lobby. It’s also hosted six U.S. presidents and the Three Stooges.

3. The Inn At Furnace Creek, Death Valley National Park, CA

(Xanterra Parks & Resorts)

This elegant inn, situated within Death Valley National Park, became a historic oasis thanks to borax, of all things. The chemical was mined in the area by the Pacific Coast Borax company until the 1920s, when the land was turned into a tourist destination. The 66-room hotel, inspired by Spanish missions, features a pool fed by the nearby Travertine Springs, palm gardens, and a deck that overlooks the mountains and desert.

4. El Tovar, Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

(Xanterra Parks & Resorts)

Daredevil types will get a kick out of this hotel, located on the southern rim of the Grand Canyon; pop-culture fiends, meanwhile, may recognize it from National Lampoon’s Vacation. Built in 1905, El Tovar is currently undergoing renovations to update its lobby, interiors, and more, although you can still book a room. Famous guests include Bill Clinton, Elizabeth Taylor, and Paul McCartney (who allegedly had to be told to keep his piano playing down during his stay).

5. Paradise Inn, Mount Rainier National Park, WA

(Donavon Preiser)

Those looking for a more rustic experience would do well to book a room at this lodging, within the Paradise section of the national park. Guests in the Lodge Rooms share communal showers, although there are also suites that offer more privacy. The hotel opened in 1916, and President Harry Truman played the hand-crafted wooden piano in the lobby when he came to visit.

Check out more spectacular hotels in National Parks.

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