The following information is provided as a service to readers searching for lodging information. It is not intended to constitute an endorsement.
Students are back in school, the weather is turning, the leaves have mostly fallen. Also falling are the costs of booking a room in national park lodges for the next few months.
Here's a glance at some of the opportunities if you have the time:
*At the South Rim of Grand Canyon National Park, both the Maswik and Yavapai Lodges offer reduced rates. The Winter Value Rate is $78 per night plus tax at Maswik South and Yavapai West, and $94 per night plus tax at Maswik North and Yavapai East Lodges. The Winter Value Rate is available from Nov. 25, 2007 through March 6, 2008, excluding Dec. 21, 2007 through Jan. 5, 2008 and Feb. 15 through Feb. 17, 2008. The rates are good for single or double occupancy. The cost for each additional person in the room is $9. Children 16 and under stay at no extra charge. Lodge and room type are subject to availability and seasonal closures. Summer rates at these hotels range from $78 to $139 per night. For more information, check out this site.
* Visitors to the Grand Canyon can also arrive via Williams, Ariz. on the Grand Canyon Railway. The two-night “Canyon Limited” package features roundtrip coach-class train travel between Williams and Grand Canyon Village, one night of accommodations in Grand Canyon National Park, one night of accommodations at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams, a motorcoach tour of the Canyon’s South Rim with lunch, one breakfast and one dinner per person. Rates now through March 14, 2008 are $209 per person.
* From Dec. 1, 2007 through March 13, 2008, travelers can experience Zion National Park’s winter season at special “Zion in Winter” rates. The nightly rate for a Sunday-through-Thursday stay at Zion Lodge is $81 for a standard room, $91 for a Western cabin and $111 for a suite. On Fridays and Saturdays, the rate is $91 for a standard room, $101 for a western cabin and $121 for a suite. The rates are $10 higher than weekend rates during the holiday periods of Dec. 21-30, 2007 and Feb. 15-19, 2008. The “Zion in Winter” rate includes breakfast and is based on double occupancy and does not include taxes or gratuities. Each additional person in the room is $10 (room only). This offer is not available on Dec. 31, 2007 or Feb. 14, 2008. Other packages, however, are offered on these special occasions. Guests should mention the promotion code “WNTR” when making reservations.
* Yellowstone National Park's winter season begins Dec. 19, 2007 with the opening of the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel opens Dec. 21, 2007. The lodges provide the only wintertime accommodations within the park. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel will close for the season March 2, 2008, and Old Faithful Snow Lodge will close March 9, 2008. Both hotels offer ski and snow shoe rentals as well as ice skating rinks. Ski shuttles drop off and pick up guests at trail heads for ski and snow shoe enthusiasts of all abilities. Guided ski tours to various park trails are available as well as group ski lessons.
Snowcoach transportation is available daily to and from a variety of park locations, including both park hotels and in-park sites such as the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River. Snowcoaches also travel to and from locations just outside the park, including Flagg Ranch to the south and the town West Yellowstone, Montana. Except for the road from Gardiner, Mont. to Cooke City, Mont. via Mammoth Hot Springs, transportation within the park is limited to snowmobiles and enclosed heated snowcoaches during the winter.
Winter rates for single or double occupancy, plus tax, for individual room nights at Mammoth Hotel start at $78 for a room without a private bathroom or $105 for a room with a bathroom. Rates at the Snow Lodge are $180 for a lodge room, $127 for a Western Cabin or $87 for a Frontier Cabin, all with private bathrooms. To reserve rooms and activities, call (1) 307-344-7311 or toll-free (1) 866-GEYSERLAND (1-866-439-7375). Complete tour details are also available at this web site.
* The focus in winter in Yellowstone is on combining accommodations and specific experiences. Because most of the park closes to wheeled vehicles in the winter, many visitors look into Xanterra Park & Resort’s “Winter Getaway” and interpretation-based “Lodging & Learning” packages.
* “Trail of the Wolf” in Yellowstone is a package featuring guided snowmobiling in the interior of the park and wildlife watching by van in the park's Northern Range. This package includes three nights of lodging split between Old Faithful and Mammoth, a round-trip guided snowmobile tour between Old Faithful and Mammoth, a “Wake up to Wildlife” tour of the Lamar Valley and more. Rates start at $359 per person, plus tax, based on double occupancy for two nights at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and one night at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Rates start at $489 per person, plus tax, based on double occupancy for two nights at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and one night at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel.
* The Furnace Creek Inn & Ranch Resort in Death Valley National Park is offering the “Stay & Play” package. The package is for two people and includes overnight accommodations at the Furnace Creek Inn or the Furnace Creek Ranch, unlimited golf for one day, golf cart and club storage.
The package is available at the Ranch and the Inn with rates starting at $216 at the Ranch and $358 at the Inn through Nov. 21. From Nov. 25 through Dec. 20, rates start at $195 at the Ranch and $320 at the Inn. From Jan. 2 through Feb. 14, 2008 rates start at $199 at the Ranch and $328 at the Inn. Rates are for two people based on double occupancy and do not include taxes. Some blackout dates apply.
* The Furnace Creek Inn & Ranch Resort also is offering a progressive senior discount to guests aged 60 and over at both the Furnace Creek Inn and the Furnace Creek Ranch. For a one-night stay any day of the week, seniors receive a 10 percent discount off the room rate. For two-night stays, the discount increases to 20 percent for the room for both nights, and three or more nights will result in a 30 percent discount off the room. Some restrictions and blackout dates apply, and this offer cannot be combined with other offers.
* Lake Quinault Lodge on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula offers travelers a chance to visit the rainforest and maple glades for a spectacular show of stunning colors. Through November 28, 2007, Lake Quinault Lodge is offering a "Forest Fall Colors" package. Main Lodge View or Lakeside rooms are just $119 a night; and Main Lodge Non-View or Boathouse rooms are $109 a night – each representing a 25 percent discount. The special offer code for this package is: FALL.
* This winter, the Olympic Peninsula invites visitors to take advantage of the best of both worlds with the “Trees to Seas” package. Starting from $449, the package offers two nights’ lodging—one night in a Lakeside Room at Lake Quinault Lodge and one night in a cozy log cabin at Kalaloch Lodge—and breakfast and dinner for two at each location.
From now through January 31, 2008, visitors can take advantage of this special rate on weekdays, Sunday through Thursday. The weekend rate on Friday and Saturday begins at $499. To make a reservation, visit this site or call 888-831-0156 and use the request code: TREESTOSEAS.
* Lake Powell Resorts & Marinas is offering a tiered version of its Early Bird Special for 2008 that allows guests to save more than 40 percent off of peak season rates. The tiered special gives guests three different booking deadlines: Dec. 3, 2007, Jan. 7, 2008 and March 26, 2008, providing guests the opportunity to save more the earlier they book.
The Early Bird Special is valid on all Voyager, Adventurer and Discovery class houseboats, including the Discovery XL. The Discover XL features upgraded amenities from the standard version, such as deluxe patio furniture on the upper deck, a ten-cubic-foot electric freezer, a remote fuel tank pump to fuel water toys and powerboats and an electric inverter system to operate utilities without using the generator.
A 53-foot Adventurer houseboat, which sleeps 12, and 19-foot powerboat package features a five-day package for $4,300, OR a four-day package for $3,500, offering a savings of up to 35 percent, when booked by Dec. 3, 2007. Book the same package by the second booking deadline and save up 32 percent. Book the package by the final booking deadline and save 25 percent.
The 59-foot Discovery XL houseboat, which also sleeps 12, and 19-foot powerboat package includes a five-day value season package for only $3,400, OR a four-day package for $2,900, offering up to 44 percent in savings when booked by Dec. 3, 2007.
This year also allows for an upgrade from a 19-foot powerboat to 20-foot Baja powerboat for only $195 per day—$230 off of the regular price. All packages include in-person houseboat operation training and instructions and are valid on arrivals through 2008.