Recent comments

  • Reader Participation Day: Which is Your Favorite National Park Lodge?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I quite liked Jackson Lake Lodge. However - I'm heavily biased about that big room with the window pointing at Jackson Lake. If there's one thing Underwood was good at, it was pointing his windows.

    I did stay at one of the Bryce Canyon cabins. Now those are some remarkable buildings. I heard that Underwood designed each one differently.

    I've also stayed at Maswik at Grand Canyon. The cabins were unremarkable, but very affordable. Their lodge building wasn't all that great compared to the other lodges with views of the Grand Canyon.

  • Endangered Species Coalition Lists 10 Species Endangered By Climate Change   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Thanks, Kurt.

    It's all sad, very sad, that most people, and most of our leadership it appears, simply aren't interested in climate change. With all the ostrich-headed deniers; unethical, quisling scientists-for-hire; cranial-rectal inverted politicians; barking-mad conservative media windbags; and arrogant humvee drivers disinterested in personal responsibility and funding mass transport, nothing will happen. These species are doomed.

    ======================================

    My travels through the National Park System: americaincontext.com

  • A Hike To LeConte Lodge in Great Smoky Mountains National Park Is Just Part of the Adventure   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Danny Bernstein
    www.hikertohiker.com
    Hi Haunted Hiker:
    Thanks for your comments.
    I hope you have a chance to come back east and enjoy the Smokies
    Danny

  • Reader Participation Day: Which is Your Favorite National Park Lodge?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Connie
    I love all the feedback! Our National Parks are true American treasures!
    Connie Hopkins

  • Reader Participation Day: Which is Your Favorite National Park Lodge?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    To help fill in some of the gaps....

    Lake Crescent Lodge -- Olympic. Nice lakeside setting. Restaurant was incredible last time I was there. Roosevelt Cabins seem to be the way to go.

    Kalaloch Lodge -- Restaurant's not bad, setting is great, I've really enjoyed the cabins on the bluff.

    Zion Lodge -- Western cabins are the way to go.

    Bryce Canyon -- Ditto on the cabins.

    Far View Lodge -- Mesa Verde. Haven't stayed in any of the updated Kiva rooms, but the standard rooms were nothing special when I was there. Restaurant is one of the better ones in the park system.

    Jackson Lake Lodge -- I'd quibble mightily with you, YPW, on this place. One of Underwood's worst creations, in my opinion, after all the work he did with parkitecture. The surrounding cottages are nice, though.

    Colter Bay Village -- Grand Teton. The cabins are charmingly rustic and perfect for the location, though they can be stiflingly hot in August.

    Lake McDonald Lodge -- Glacier. Rooms are small, restaurant is pretty good.

    Furnace Creek Inn -- Death Valley. Highly priced, but beautiful architecture and setting.

    Furnace Creek Ranch -- Nothing special, but affordable.

  • Reader Participation Day: Which is Your Favorite National Park Lodge?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I haven't necessarily stayed in these places, but maybe I can knock of my checklist of places I've visited. I'm not going to include any place where there didn't seem to be at least a proper lodge building.

    The Ahwahnee Hotel - Yosemite. Very expensive. Have dined there. Possibly the greatest building ever constructed in the "National Park Rustic" style.

    The Wawona Hotel - Yosemite. I have dined there during the winter. The lobby at night was filled with people drinking Irish coffee and hot mulled cider.

    Old Faithful Lodge - Yellowstone. Highly underrated. The view is as good as the Old Faithful Inn. Unfortunately I haven't been in the Old Faithful Inn for years. The last time I visited Yellowstone the Inn was undergoing seismic upgrades.

    Yellowstone Canyon Lodge. I didn't particularly like it. The strange International Style seemed way out of place. I do like the diner though.

    Yellowstone Lake Hotel and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. Similar styles. I guess those were constructed before the rustic style became popular.

    Roosevelt Lodge - Yellowstone. Mentioned before. Just a main commons building. Not snooty, which is a bonus in my book.

    Jackson Lake Lodge - Grand Teton. Now that's International Style that looks like it belongs there.

    Crater Lake Lodge. Really nice with a great view of the lake.

    Kalaloch Lodge - Olympic. Great view of the ocean. Good store but haven't tried the restaurant.

    National Park Inn - Mt Rainier. Somewhat secluded. Just get a drink and find a seat on the porch.

    Paradise Inn - Mt Rainier. Good lobby area. Nicely done in the rustic style.

    Bryce Canyon Lodge. The wavy roof lines make it rather interesting.

    Zion Lodge. Ate hear. I understand that the original building burned down and the newer one was reconstructed closer to the original design.

    El Tovar Hotel - Grand Canyon. I bit dark but definitely the nicest hotel at the South Rim.

    I know the Wuksachi Lodge at Sequoia NP gets a lot of criticism because it's so high priced and essentially replaced less expensive cabins that were at the Giant Forest Village. I found Cedar Grove Lodge at Kings Canyon NP rather unremarkable.

    I think that's about it. When I visited Everglades NP, the Flamingo Inn was already destroyed by a couple of hurricanes. It was before it was condemned, but I didn't get a good look.

  • Reader Participation Day: Which is Your Favorite National Park Lodge?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I've stayed in at least 15 lodges (not counting the Canadian lodges) and I have a 3-way tie.

    For pure National Park Lodge Awesomeness, I choose the Crater Lake Lodge. It's location can't be beat and it's construction is gorgeous and rustic.

    For location, I choose Jackson Lake Lodge. There is nothing cooler than the Teton range outside your window with a herd of elk in the foreground.

    For comfort and convenience, I choose Old Faithful Snow Lodge. I've stayed in 3 of Yellowstone's lodges, and the Snow Lodge is always the first choice if it's available. It's right in the middle of the geyser-basin activities, and its modern amenities make coming back to the lodge a joy. I can't wait till I get to do my "Christmas in Yellowstone" and stay there in the winter.

  • Reader Participation Day: Which is Your Favorite National Park Lodge?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Having never actually stayed in a lodge in any National Park, but having visited dozens, I would have to say my favorite one is at Oregon Caves National Monument. I blends in so well with its surroundings with the cedar bark siding, is smaller than many and just seems so right for the location. Having said that, every lodge I have visited has been memorable in some way, and I agree with all the others posted here, incredible locations with incredible scenery, how can you go wrong!

  • Endangered Species Coalition Lists 10 Species Endangered By Climate Change   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Kurt, thanks for putting this on the NPT blog. Excellent source and wealth of information on America's endangered species. It's current and up to date!

  • $25,000 Gift Made To Grand Teton National Park   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Great news for the Tetons. That is an approriate place for this help. With the climbing opportunities - accidents DO happen. Kudos!!

  • Reader Participation Day: Which is Your Favorite National Park Lodge?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Connie
    Are you referrring to the Old Faithful Snow Lodge? We will be leaving 2 weeks from today, staying at the Snow Lodge for 8 days, spending Christmas in Yellowstone! we stayed there in january for our very first Winter trip to Yellowstone. I haven't stayed at Roosevelt yet but we did do the Chuck Wagon dinner ride from there n 2004 and that was a lot of fun!

    I've never stayed at the Ahwahnee, I've been inside of it though! WOW! We always stay at Wawonna down around the marisposa Grove area when we hike in Yosemite!
    Happy Hiking!
    Connie

  • Reader Participation Day: Which is Your Favorite National Park Lodge?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Many Glacier Lodge - Glacier National Park Montana, spectacular setting surrounded by mountains and set on a beautiful lake, 5 story fireplace in the round, milky way in clear view at night and grizzly bears during the day all from the lodge deck, the best hiking in North America for any level of experience, glaciers, waterfalls, horseback riding, fishing, it's the ultimate outdoor experience

  • Reader Participation Day: Which is Your Favorite National Park Lodge?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I'd say Many Glacier Lodge in Glacier National Park. We have two special memories from there in 1996. First, the summer staff put on a wonderful musical of oldies that kept our whole family laughing and highly entertained. Also, since there was a noticeable creosote smell in the hotel, when we got to our third story room, my husband pointed out to our three children (ages 12, 10, and 7) the fire escape ladder outside on the brick wall. The next morning, while I had gone to the lobby and my husband was in the shower - the alarm went off! Our children dutifully did just what they had been told - complete with teddy bears in arm, and including a several-foot jump from the bottom of the ladder! Fortunately, a kind elderly couple on the ground floor saw what happened and helped get them back where they belonged.

    The lodge I'd most like to stay at is Crater Lake Lodge. I'd love to go in winter, with the white snow contrasting that indescribably blue water.

    We try to eat a meal at the lodges, because usually we are camping or just traveling through. The views are amazing at Grand Canyon North Rim and Grand Teton.

  • Reader Participation Day: Which is Your Favorite National Park Lodge?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I'm not sure what really qualifies as a "lodge". Many of the lodge buildings at NPS sites are really the central dining and front desk commons for self-standing cabins. Some are a combination of attached rooms with outside cabins.

    Of course the Ahwahnee is an amazing building which just oozes a different era when the elite would get their own little slice of Yosemite. They do happen to have a few cabins.

    If "lodge" isn't specifically defined, I'd say Roosevelt Lodge at Yellowstone. I just love the rustic charm, which includes water served in mason jars with handles as well as the employees all wearing cowboy hats. The old-fashioned front door adds a nice touch. While I suppose Old Faithful Inn is a fine building, Old Faithful Lodge next door is in my opinion a more remarkable building design (by Gilbert Stanley Underwood).

  • Reader Participation Day: Which is Your Favorite National Park Lodge?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I would have to say El Tovar at the Grand Canyon. The beautiful lobby, mezanine, rooms, and dining room are spectacular!! The memories of visiting the Grand Canyon will always be hand in hand with the El Tovar for all of the wonderful experiences we had there!

  • Reader Participation Day: Which is Your Favorite National Park Lodge?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Phantom Ranch may not have the granduer of Old Faithful Lodge or the overlook in Glacier but afterall you do have to work you tail off to achieve a night either in the cabins or bunk house. Starts 23 months in advance trying to get a reservation, from there, all down hill, literally, 9 miles before you can unstrap your boots and enjoy an ice cold tecate or ice tea. By the time the dinner bell rings you have been smelling the steaks grilling as the smoke drifts up the canyon tempting those starting their descent from the north rim. After dinner soak your feet in one of mothers natures true wonders, the ice cold Colorado River, quickly dispensing the pain and getting you pumped up for the 9 miles climb the next day unless you are blessed enough to spend a couple of nights below the rim.

  • Reader Participation Day: Which is Your Favorite National Park Lodge?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    It is difficult to beat the view from the Crater Lake Lodge. Its the only place you can stay overnight with a view of Crater Lake. Taking in sunset from a rocking chair on the back porch is sublime. Inside, the lodge was rebuilt in the rustic style matching the original stone fireplace. And the food's pretty good too.

  • Tioga and Glacier Point Roads in Yosemite National Park Closed for Winter   5 years 25 weeks ago

    It's a bummer to hear about the road closures. I guess it's time to break out the snowmobile!!

  • National Park Mystery Photo 16: Something Curious This Way Came   5 years 25 weeks ago

    John, you're close enough. The exact wording I was hoping for were the type of rock having been given a coat of "glacial polish." I'll provide more details tomorrow when I "reveal" the photo.

    As for its location, no, not Glacier.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 16: Something Curious This Way Came   5 years 25 weeks ago

    The layer on top appears to have an embedment of organic debris, a mix of mud and dirt perhaps. So if the base layer has been scrubbed by a glacier, are we in Glacier National Park?

  • Reader Participation Day: Which is Your Favorite National Park Lodge?   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Sperry Chalet in Glacier is a small gem. Unbelieveable setting, great food and friendly staff. As Connie Hopkins noted, It is tough to get one of its 16 rooms which become available in early winter and are often filled by January. My wife and I worked there in 1986 and returned in 2004 with our kids and grandkids. No TV but the GK s including teens loved it.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 16: Something Curious This Way Came   5 years 25 weeks ago

    And no, not petrified tree.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 16: Something Curious This Way Came   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Not volcanic glass, not amber, not pipestone. John's close, very close, but it's not sedimentary.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 16: Something Curious This Way Came   5 years 25 weeks ago

    Maybe its petrified tree showing some missing bark.

  • National Park Mystery Photo 16: Something Curious This Way Came   5 years 25 weeks ago

    I like the tree idea.

    I'm thinking in terms of a wound where an animal scraped/rubbed the bark off of a pine.

    My bet is a bear, rubbing to mark territory or to scratch an itch, but I won't feel bad if it is porcupine (obviously lower on the tree) or even other wildlife.