Hotels and lodges inside National Parks are undoubtedly charming, but most times they are not exactly luxurious accommodations.
The rooms are usually clean, but dated, simple and quite expensive.
If you are looking for spacious suites, and modern resorts amenities, such as swimming pool, TV and Wi-Fi , these hotels are not your best option.
Outside the parks you will find more comfortable accommodation at a cheaper price.
So, what are the pros in staying in a National Park hotel? Let’s find out together.
1) Access to the Park
Due to Covid, some National Parks such as Yosemite and Glacier offer a limited numbers of tickets per day, which must be booked in advance online, and usually sell out within minutes.
When you stay in a lodge or hotel inside the park you are automatically guaranteed a permit.
2) Saving time
In some parks, the closest hotel to the entrance is one hour or more away. Staying inside the park avoids starting the day with an hour drive, plus waiting time in line at the entrance. If you are traveling with young kids this advantage is priceless.
3) Watching the sunset or sunrise
When you stay inside the park it’s much easier to wake up early and go watch an unforgettable sunrise, or stay up late after a long day of exploring and enjoy the sunset. Sunrise at Zabriskie Point in Death Valley, and sunset in Lamar Valley in Yellowstone are among my favorite travel memories.
4) Wildlife watching
Sunset and early mornings are the ideal times to spot wildlife. When you stay in the park it’s easier to be around at those times and spot some animals. Waking up in the morning to find a bear a few steps from your cabin is an unforgettable experience. It happened to us in Jasper National Park!
5) Unplug and enjoy nature
No TV nor internet, small rooms and stunning nature right out of the lodge room are the perfect invitation for kids to play and use their imagination and creativity. Just outside our small cabin in the woods my kids built forts and huts with branches, leaves, towels and blankets. They made friends with other children and played hide and seek among the trees, and made squirrels’ dens and birds’ nests. Most of all they created special memories that are among their all time favorites .