All Ages

13 National Park Lodges You Can Still Book for Summer 2019

Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park; Courtesy of Wuksachi Lodge

Staying at a national park lodge is an extremely popular option for national park vacations. For that reason, many in-park accommodations book up early in peak season, with visitors often reserving rooms up to a year in advance. But procrastinators, rejoice: we’ve rounded up 13 national park lodges that still have availability for this summer. (Just don’t wait, as rooms won’t be available much longer!)

Skyland Resort in Shenandoah National Park; Courtesy of Kelly J. Mihalcoe

1. Skyland Resort – Shenandoah National Park, VA

Shenandoah National Park’s pristine mountains and fern-covered forests are just a few hours from the hustle of Washington, D.C. Motorists can marvel at the scenic views as they meander the two-lane, 105-mile Skyline Drive. The park has hundreds of miles of hiking trails, including Stony Man Trail, an easy 1.6-mile circuit that is a good bet for families.

Skyland Resort’s accommodations are scattered over a wide area and range from rustic cabins to modern motel-style units, some with balconies and mountain views. Skyland’s Pollock Dining Room serves regional specialties three times each day, with a children’s menu available. The Mountain Taproom presents kid-friendly entertainment nightly. In 2019, the hotel has limited availability dispersed throughout the summer season.

Cedar Pass Lodge in Badlands National Park; Courtesy of Cedar Pass Lodge

2. Cedar Pass Lodge – Badlands National Park, SD

The beauty of South Dakota’s Badlands paints an otherworldly picture. This rugged landscape of prairie grasslands presents subtle color tones that mingle with dramatic geological formations of eroded buttes, spires and pyramids. Wildlife, including antelope and bison, abounds. The park has minimal light pollution so let the kids stay up late and appreciate the night sky.

Cedar Pass Lodge’s homespun cabins are furnished with handcrafted pine furniture and comfy porch chairs strategically placed to enjoy the spectacular scenery. Cabins are heated and air conditioned, with flat-screen TVs and microwaves. The restaurant bakes their own fresh fry bread and kuchen, South Dakota’s official dessert, daily. They currently have summer availability for 2019, particularly in August.

Glacier Bay Lodge in Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve; Courtesy of Glacier Bay Lodge

3. Glacier Bay Lodge – Glacier Bay National Park and Preserve, AK

Alaska’s Glacier Bay National Park’s glaciers, fjords, mountains and rain forest offer plenty of room to roam. It’s a marine and terrestrial sanctuary where visitors may spot harbor seals, humpback whales, sea otters, moose and mountain goats. The park is accessed via plane or boat.

Glacier Bay Lodge is the only lodge within the park’s boundaries. It offers comfortable rooms, a full-service restaurant and a daily boat tour. It’s a true wilderness experience and an excellent jumping-off point to discover the park. The hotel has limited availability in June, July and August in 2019.

Lake Quinalt Lodge in Olympic National Park; Courtesy of Lake Quinalt Lodge

4. Lake Quinault Lodge – Olympic National Park, WA

Olympic National Park protects a rich temperate rain forest and miles of undeveloped Washington State coastline. Emerald valleys, rolling rivers and musk-covered conifers form a glorious panorama. Hiking, soaking in the natural mineral pools, stargazing and fishing are popular in summer, when the notoriously wet Pacific Northwest climate tends to be drier.

Lake Quinault Lodge is situated on the south shore of picturesque Lake Quinault. A heated indoor swimming pool, game room and sauna add weatherproof fun. There are a variety of room configurations, including some with fireplaces and lake views. Families may want to reserve accommodations in the Boathouse, compromised of eight airy rooms with an encircling veranda. The historic Roosevelt Dining Room features winning water views. Guestrooms are still available for this summer.

Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Cabins in Yellowstone National Park; Courtesy of Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Cabins

5. Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Cabins – Yellowstone National Park, WY

Mother Nature is at her best at Yellowstone. It’s America’s first national park and home to the famed Old Faithful Geyser. A rich and varied landscape of mountains, forests, waterfalls and lakes present a wealth of fresh-air opportunities. The park is home to the largest concentration of mammals in the lower 48 states, including bison, moose, elk, grizzly bears, mountain lions and wolves.

Lake Yellowstone Hotel’s stately white columns and airy sun room paint a pretty picture. Live music most evenings adds a welcome note. Rooms and suites provide upscale amenities, such as fluffy bathrobes. Simple lakeside cabins should appeal to families, and the gracious dining room offers a children’s menu. There is limited availability throughout the summer in 2019.

Far View Lodge in Mesa Verde National Park; Courtesy of Far View Lodge

6. Far View Lodge – Mesa Verde National Park, CO

For hundreds of years, Mesa Verde was home to the Ancestral Pueblo people. Today, the park protects thousands of archeological sites, including hundreds of sophisticated, multi-level cliff dwellings. Cliff Palace is the park’s magnificent centerpiece, challenging those who see it to imagine what life was like for the ancient people who called it home.

At Far View Lodge, simplicity defines elegance. There are no televisions, so the silence is broken only by birdsong. Rooms, many with unobstructed views that stretch for miles, are decorated with simple, handcrafted furniture and Native American artwork. The dining room features organic produce and dishes with Southwestern flair. There is still availability this summer.

El Tovar Lodge in Grand Canyon National Park; Courtesy of El Tovar

7. El Tovar – Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

Anytime is the right time to marvel at the Grand Canyon, one of the seven natural wonders of the world. This year, the park celebrates its 100th anniversary, so 2019 is a special time to experience its splendor.

El Tovar is a historic hotel dramatically perched on the canyon’s South Rim. Long considered the most elegant hotel west of the Mississippi River, it opened its doors in 1905, one of a chain of hotels built by the Fred Harvey Company in conjunction with the Santa Fe Railway. In 1987, it was designated a National Historic Landmark. Today, guests can enjoy a fine dining room, concierge services and individually appointed rooms and suites. Rooms are still available throughout the summer.

Grand Canyon Lodge - North Rim; Courtesy of Grand Canyon Lodge - North Rim

8. Grand Canyon Lodge – North Rim – Grand Canyon National Park, AZ

The remote, less crowded North Rim offers guests a more serene Grand Canyon experience, with far fewer facilities than at the South Rim. The North Rim Visitor’s Center is open from mid-May to late October, with a range of seasonal programming.

The Grand Canyon Lodge is the only overnight facility at the park’s North Rim. Located at Bright Angel Point, it was declared a National Historic Landmark in 1987. Don’t expect televisions, but do expect plenty of retro charm as you settle into either a log cabin or a timbered guestroom. The nightly summertime Chuck Wagon-style dinner features slow-cooked beef brisket, freshly baked biscuits and live entertainment. There is limited availability in both cabins and rooms throughout the summer.

Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park; Courtesy of Wuksachi Lodge

9. Wuksachi Village and Lodge – Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Park, CA

Everything is bigger in California, especially at these adjoining parks, famed for giant sequoia trees. Whether you hike in the towering forest or horseback ride through a breezy meadow, you’ll share the park with wildlife, including mule deer and black bears. In summer, there’s a full schedule of ranger-led activities.

Wuksachi Village and Lodge is located on a hillside just south of the Giant Forest area of Sequoia National Park. It’s a quick shuttle ride to the General Sherman Tree, the largest tree by volume on the planet. Rooms are attractively furnished and provide heat and ceiling fans. The dining room has a large stone fireplace and a wall of windows providing excellent vistas. Summer season is booking up fast, but rooms are still available, particularly in August.

The Majestic Yosemite Hotel; Courtesy of Yosemite Hospitality

10. The Majestic Yosemite Hotel – Yosemite National Park, CA

Iconic Yosemite attracts millions of visitors annually. It’s a place to admire earthly bounty, whether you’re hiking a trail or viewing El Capitan. From adventurous rock climbers to limited mobility visitors enjoying nature’s eye candy from the tram, there are a multitude of experiences.

The dignified Majestic Yosemite Hotel was designed to highlight its natural surroundings, including Yosemite Falls and Glacier Point. The Great Lounge, with its high-beamed ceiling, stained-glass windows and massive stone fireplaces, is the hotel’s focal point. Rooms, suites and quiet cottages are loaded with creature comforts. The dining room serves three meals daily and a popular Sunday brunch. Summer is the high season so expect a big crowd. There’s still availability in August.

Jackson Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park; Courtesy of Jackson Lake Lodge

11. Jackson Lake Lodge – Grand Teton National Park, WY

Grand Teton National Park is a treasure chest of snow-capped mountains, alpine lakes and the fast-flowing Snake River. Abundant wildlife, including moose, bison and elk, roam freely.

Jackson Lake Lodge is located in the heart of the park. It’s a hub of activity with dining options, a swimming pool and exhibits featuring Native American artifacts. Floor-to-ceiling windows in the main lodge provide glimpses of the lake and Teton Range. Most accommodations are cottages, but there are some lodge rooms and suites. Committed to sustainable practices, guests may forgo housekeeping services and receive a small discount. There is still availability this summer.

Volcano House in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park; Courtesy of Volcano House

12. Volcano House – Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, HI

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park displays the results of millions of years of volcanic activity, from lava rockscapes to rainforests. The park is a refuge for the state’s lush native flora.

Volcano House lays claim to being Hawaii’s oldest hotel and the only property inside of the park. Each of the 33 rooms presents colorful island-style décor, some with dramatic crater views. Additionally, there are 10 straightforward cabins located at the campsite a few miles from the hotel. The dining room is committed to serving island-grown produce and locally sourced meats. The hotel has complimentary bicycles to pedal around the park. There is availability all summer.

Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and Cabins in Glacier National Park; Courtesy of Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and Cabins

13. Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and Cabins – Glacier National Park, MT

Glacier National Park’s sapphire lakes, misty valleys and kaleidoscope of wildflowers are sublime. Going-to-the-Sun Road, the only road bisecting the park, takes motorists on a journey filled with poetic visuals. Ride a vintage Red Jammer Bus and get an excellent overview of the park.

Swiftcurrent Motor Inn and Cabins is an economical lodging option. It serves as a trailhead for several popular hikes, making it a favorite with hiking enthusiasts. The cabins and motel-style units are rustic, yet adequate. The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. The park is extremely popular in summer, with occupancy nearly full throughout the season. Swiftcurrent opens for the season on June 11, with the best but still limited availability during the first days.