Just in time for Mother's Day, as well as Father's Day, is the 7th edition of The Complete Guide To The National Park Lodges. Along with updates in the rundown on park lodges is the insertion of full-color images from lodges and settings in the national parks.
Written by those road-weary park warriors, David and Kay Scott, this edition should be part of any national park lover's personal library. If you're going to be spending north of $100 a night for a room in a park, you definitely want to know what that lodge, and its rooms, are like.
Regular Traveler readers will recognize many of the photos in this brand-new edition, as many of the images graced our pages last year as David and Kay, our lodging experts, filed dispatches from the field as they worked their way from coast-to-coast.
Also new in this edition is an entry on Cavallo Point. This high-brow "lodge at Golden Gate" isn't for everybody, particularly in light of the rates -- rooms start around $265 and go up from there. Quickly.
As with past editions, the Scotts open this one with some things to keep in mind when considering where to spend the night. For instance, they note that some lodge rooms don't have phones or televisions in them, some rooms require the use of a communal bathroom, and while it might be called a "lodge," the rooms might be unattached units that can appear both rustic or motelish.
Also within the covers you'll find information on how best to go about reserving a room so your vacation is dictated by when you went to go, not when a room is available; details on pets; how to save some dollars (take the room without the bath), and; even information on Wi-Fi or cellphone access (it's spotty at best).
The chapters on the parks open with a short travelogue narrative about that park, whether there's an entrance fee for the park, and a quick blurb on what lodging is available. After that intro, you'll find a color map of the park with the lodge located and a longer narrative exploring and describing the lodge(s).
Within that narrative you'll find such helpful details as the variety of rooms available, wheelchair accessibility, whom to call for a reservation, rates, season, food price ranges, transportation options, even activities right out the door.
And, of course, there are color photos and sidebars sprinkled throughout. For instance, did you know that Kalaloch Lodge in Olympic National Park served as a U.S. Coast Guard outpost during World War II? Or that the Swiftcurrent Motor Inn in Glacier National Park is located on "the site of what was once a tepee camp established in 1911 by the Great Northern Railroad. Here guests slept on army cots in replicas of Blackfoot Indian tepees."
This is a solid, well-written, and informative resource that will prove invaluable to park visitors.
If this book appeals to you, you can help the Traveler out a teensy bit by purchasing it through the link below the book's cover, as get a smidgeon of a commission.