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National Park Lodges

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    • National Park Lodges

      Tomorrow, my wife and I are off for three days at Glacier NP. We are staying at the newly renovated Many Glacier Lodge. I am a sucker for classic NP lodges. We have also stayed at Big Meadows (SNP), Rock Harbor Lodge (IRNP), Yosemite Lodge at the Falls, and Grand Canyon Lodge (north rim). We have visited, but not stayed at Paradise Lodge (MRNP), Zion Lodge, Bryce Canyon Lodge, Awahane (YosNP), Colter Bay Village (GTNP), and Canyon Lodge, Roosevelt Lodge, and all the lodges at Old Faithful (YelNP).

      Of these, I found the Awahane to be the most elegant, Grand Canyon the best located, Rock Harbor and Roosevelt the most serene, but most stunning was the Old Faithful Inn. On my wish list, Phantom Ranch, El Tovar and Bright Angel (GCNP), Volcano House (VNP), Wuksachi Lodge (SEKI), and Crater Lake.

      Do you have favorites?
    • I've stayed at the small cabins North Rim, Phantom Ranch Cabin, Bright Angel, Masawick and the other GC lodges except El Tovar. We have dined in El Tovar. Phantom Ranch is way cool. Been to the South Rim 4 or 5 times, North Rim once- I really loved the remoteness and serenity of the North Rim. Definitely going back.
      "Dazed and Confused"
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    • Wise Old Owl wrote:

      Take lots of picks show us the devastation from the 2017 fire
      We didn't get over to the Lake McDonald area. We were planning to go over there on Monday afternoon (our last day), but while on our Monday pre-breakfast hike up to Red Rock Lake from the Swiftcurrent Lodge Trailhead, we heard from another hiker that they had closed the west side due to a fire that had started by lightning on Saturday night. Sunday was very windy so it got out of hand very quickly. They even evacuated the Lake McDonald Lodge. We were lucky to be at Many Glacier on the east side which was still open, although the visibility due to smoke was very poor at times. The Going-To-The-Sun Road was only open up to Logan Pass. So instead we hiked from Sunrift Gorge down to Baring Falls, then along the Lake up to St Mary Falls, then back up tot he St Mary Shuttle Stop and rode the shuttle back to our car at Surift Gorge. That is a great little day hike that goes through an area that had also burned recently, although I don't know when. They seem to have some part of the park that burns just about every year. As they recover, you get a nice range of habitats. Because this area had burned recently, it was quite open and sunny with good view of the lakes and lots of Huckleberries and Thimbleberries. On Sunday we hiked up to Grinnel Lake through a climax Spruce/Fir forest which is one of the few places that hasn't had a fire and still has large old tree. It was much darker.

      St Mary Falls is just up the river from the end of this lake. Logan Pass is on the horizon to the right. Gunsight Pass is the gap in the middle of the horizon. That would be the direction of the fire at Lake McDonald. The visibility in this picture isn't that bad. It was much worse at times.

      Here is a burned out hollow stump that hikers were filling with rocks (they left a trace). See all the Thimbleberries!!!!
    • Here is the Many Glacier Lodge. It just celebrated its 100th birthday a few years ago and was recently restored. They have done a good job of keeping the original rustic feel while making it reasonably modern. Nevertheless, despite the unfortunately high cost, our room was still quite small and the shower was the size of a phone booth (for those old enough to remember how big a phone booth is). The rooms have no TV, no phone, no radio. The lodge has WiFi in the lobby, but it doesn't really work. And there is no cell phone service. I was fine being off the grid for a few days. It really bothered my wife, although she won't admit it. You are paying for the view. We splurged to get a lake-view room with a balcony. Here is a panorama view from our balcony.

      The lodge is quite large, so this is not the cozy quiet experience you might get at a place like Phantom Ranch, nor do you get your own cabin set off from the main lodge building as you would at the Grand Canyon Lodge (north Rim) or Bright Angel Lodge (south rim). The GN Railway that developed this park was going for a Swiss Chalet feel. In the early 20th century they marketed this as an alternative to traveling to Switzerland. I think that I much prefer the American Arts and Crafts style architecture (i.e. National Park Rustic or "Parkitecture" of other lodges early 20th Century railroad lodges, such as Zion, Bryce, Grand Canyon Lodge, and Old Faithful Inn. This is the view we had from the lake during the boat trip we took.

      The lobby was a large atrium supported by tree-trunk pillars. There were several pianos around the public areas you could play (if you are able, which I am not). There is a large back porch and water-front area that was popular all day with people lounging around. It was only hotel I stayed at where everyone got up so early. We were up at 6 AM one day and the lobby was already full of people getting ready to go out on their day's excursions. To keep up the original Swiss Alp theme, the Bell Hops wore Lederhosen (there is a glimpse of one in the lower right. I could do without the lederhosen.

      The post was edited 2 times, last by odd man out ().