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The Complete Guide to the National Park Lodges

Author : David L. Scott
Published : 2009-04-14

David and Kay Scott are still traveling the country to stay in as many lodges in the National Park System as possible. The latest edition of their book -- number six if you're counting -- is ready to take its place in your home library.

If you're a frequent visitor to the parks, or even just an occasional one, The Complete Guide to the National Park Lodges is worth having. The Scotts give you the lowdown on the lodges and their amenities, and toss in more than a few side notes about the ambiance you'll encounter.

For instance, in the section on the Chateau at the Oregon Caves at Oregon Caves National Monument they note that, "The area offers good hiking and a tranquil setting that is ideal for individuals searching for peace and quiet. What a great place for a honeymoon! When is the last time you stayed in a lodge that had a small stream running through the dining room? The chateau does, and you can hear the water ripple through as you enjoy a meal."

In discussing the Lake Mead Resort at Lake Mead National Recreation Area, they point out that "The two corner rooms in each building have an extra window that allows for a brighter interior. A separate but nearby annex has eight larger rooms with two queen beds.

When it comes to addressing the Skyland Resort at Shenandoah National Park, they tell you which rooms have views of the Shenandoah Valley, and which do not.

So what's new in the sixth edition? Well, the Scotts deleted Flamingo Lodge from the section on Everglades National Park since it's no longer there. Plus, they expanded coverage of many of the lodges so that this edition has more content, even though the lodge count is reduced by one.

"Last summer we took a 15-week, 10, 000-mile swing around the U.S. while staying in as many lodges as possible," David told me. "Also, in fall 2007 we took a swing up the East Coast to stay in the lodges on the Blue Ridge Parkway, Shenandoah, Isle Royale, Voyageurs, Ozark Riverways, and Mammoth Cave. We have rewritten most of the material and updated prices and facilities.

"We took our first trip to Glacier Bay and spent three nights at Glacier Bay Lodge," he adds. "We also stayed a couple of nights in Juneau and included a sidebar on what the capital city offers to people who plan to visit Glacier Bay. At many of the lodges we found new rooms or cabins that we liked and noted them in the write-ups."

The finished book is a solid project with a wealth of information if you're curious about what you'll find when it comes to national park lodging.

Editor's note: David and Kay Scott are contributors to the Traveler.


The lodges are a great place to stay, but , they are pricy. Have been to many National Parks and stayed within the parks but stayed away from the lodges because of the price. Now that the children do not travel with us, maybe the lodges will fall into our price range. At least I hope so.

How do you stay withing the park but not stay at a lodge, if your not camping ?

It depends on which park you're visiting, Bob. Some folks use RVs, some stay in cabins, some parks offer tent-cabins.

At many National Parks, in addition to the grand, historic lodge, there are also more modest options. Some are adjacent to the main lodge, others are a distance away. Some still have a lodge ambiance, others feel more like a motel. They are almost always less expensive than the main lodge, some times much less. You can still visit the main lodge and dine there if you wish, but save a lot of money by not staying there.

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