As you can imagine, I perused the list with eager anticipation.
Here are the ten parks on MSNBC’s list:
• Ahwahnee Hotel (Yosemite National Park, California)
• Many Glacier Hotel (Glacier National Park, Montana)
• Banff Springs Hotel (Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada)
• Big Meadows Lodge (Shenandoah National Park, Virginia)
• Jasper Park Lodge (Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada)
• Crater Lake Lodge (Crater Lake National Park, Oregon)
• Jenny Lake Lodge (Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming)
• El Tovar (Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona])
• Cavallo Point ("Golden Gate National Parks", California)
• Paradise Inn (Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington)
I couldn’t help but notice that two of the first five lodges listed are not in the United States. This stretches the concept of “our” national parks a tad too far. No wonder the Canadians say we don’t give them enough respect!
I’ve got a bit of a problem with that ninth pick, too -- or rather, the specified location. Perhaps I’m being a tad curmudgeonly, but I feel the need to point out that there is no such place as “Golden Gate National Parks.” That’s the name that San Francisco Bay Area boosters expect the park to have some day, assuming that the “let’s upgrade it” campaign spearheaded by Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi holds sway in Congress. Meanwhile, it’s still Golden Gate National Recreation Area, just like it has been since October 27, 1972.
These things said, I have to agree that there are some mighty fine park lodges listed here. I’d be interested to know what our Traveler readers think of these choices. Also the prices. Peak season rates at Jenny Lake Lodge, for example, start at $550 a night for two people.
Disheartened, but not dissuaded, I will continue my quest for the perfect national parks lodge list.