Scattered across 29 states and two territories, the 63 U.S. national parks were created to showcase and preserve the country’s natural beauty, including its most striking geological features and unique ecosystems. From the longest cave system in the world in Kentucky’s Mammoth Cave National Park to Mount Denali, the tallest peak in North America in Alaska’s Denali National Park, our national park system brims with superlative-worthy awe.
However, because so many U.S. national parks are remote, finding standout lodgings nearby that aren’t campsites isn’t always easy. But a growing number of retreats across the country are offering accommodations with the creature comforts of an upscale or luxury hotel and specialized programming that maximizes their proximity to America’s favorite natural wonders.
Read on for five hotels located near national parks that’ll suit any kind of traveler.
Ulum Moab, Utah
- Location: 147 S. Looking Glass Rd., La Sal, Moab, Utah | Find on Google Maps
- Close to: Canyonlands National Park and Arches National Park
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Only half an hour away from Canyonlands is Arches National Park, which has more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches and 77,000 acres of red rock desert landscape peppered with giant balanced columns, colossal fins, and towering pinnacles. In 2019, the International Dark-Sky Association designated Arches an International Dark Sky Park, a place recognized for its quality night skies.
Ulum Moab, which opened in March 2023 and is the luxurious sister brand of Under Canvas, is half a mile from Looking Glass Arch. Ulum’s 50 tent suites each features a bedroom with king-size bed, a lounge area with a queen-size sofa bed, a private 70-square-foot deck, and an en suite bathroom with a pressured rain shower. Communal activities like guided morning yoga, on-site hiking, live acoustic music, and evening s’mores (with artisanal chocolates) provide socializing opportunities. There’s a full-service alfresco restaurant with options like short rib tacos and bison burgers, as well as an espresso and smoothie bar, all of which focus on sustainable, seasonal ingredients. Ulum Moab is available for bookings March through October.
- Close to: Yosemite National Park
- Location: 6323 CA-140, Midpines, California | Find on Google Maps
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Yosemite National Park almost needs no introduction. John Muir, Clare Marie Hodges, Mary Winslow, Ansel Adams, and Alex Honnold, to name a few, largely covered that. But for the uninitiated, 3 of the 10 highest waterfalls in the world are located in Yosemite. Canopies of conifers, valley wildflowers, and the February firefall have made the park’s 748,000 acres a year-round destination.
Located 40 minutes west of the Arch Rock entrance to Yosemite National Park in a woodsy, private setting, AutoCamp Yosemite appeals to a wide range of travelers. With 15 tents (sans bathrooms), 81 Airstreams, and 5 basecamps (a combination of tent and trailer), it’s possible to choose your own high-thread-count adventure. Don’t forget the two pine cabins, which come with a sitting room, private outdoor firepit, grill, and dining space. Designs are simple and sleek.
Nature therapy, a type of guided forest bathing, a children-focused forest touch and explore school, and forest meditation on Mondays are among the amenities within the full-bodied programming at the 36-acre AutoCamp Yosemite. Daily public shuttles provide direct access to the park, while the hotel outfits each suite with basic cookware and utensils if you want to make your own meals.
- Close to: Congaree National Park
- Location: 1619 Pendleton St., Columbia, South Carolina | Find on Google Maps
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“Wilderness is closer than you think,” or so goes the Congaree National Park tagline. Less than a half-hour drive from downtown Columbia, South Carolina, the 20,000-acre Congaree is the largest intact expanse of old growth bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the Southeast. Giant hardwoods, towering pines, and the floodplain forest can be explored via canoe or kayak. The park also offers excellent birding and fishing opportunities.
The Graduate Columbia, which has 119 guest rooms, is literally across the street from the University of South Carolina. From the wallpaper to the sofas, the Gamecock-inspired headboards to the curtains, it’s a textural feast for the eyes. The Graduate offers Southern hospitality and has an on-site restaurant, the Trophy Room, which serves American comfort food like fried chicken and meatloaf as well as fun cocktails like Shrub A Dub Dub, a mule-inspired drink that includes dashes of mezcal and blackberries.
- Close to: Acadia National Park
- Location: 20 ME-3, Bar Harbor, Maine | Find on Google Maps
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The first national park east of the Mississippi River, Acadia National Park, aka the “crown jewel of the North Atlantic Coast,” spans 47,000 acres and is a mosaic of rocky beaches and woodlands with 125 miles of hiking trails and carriage roads for travelers to explore. It’s also possible to hike, bike, snowshoe, cross-country ski, or even travel by horse-drawn carriage.
A two-minute drive from the park entrance, the 40 maritime-inspired accommodations at Salt Cottages include 30 stand-alone cottages ranging from studios to two bedrooms, plus 10 boutique motor lodge rooms. Playing on the coastal Maine theme, Salt Cottages leans heavily into nautical decor—white picket fences, striped oars, and antique ocean paintings. When you’re not hiking or catching glimpses of peregrine falcons at Acadia National Park, you can play lawn games like bocce, badminton, and frisbee golf or deal a game of poker or blackjack with one of the decks of Acadia NP–themed playing cards available for guests to use on property.
Eleven Winterlake Lodge
- Close to: Denali National Park and Lake Clark National Park and Preserve
- Location: Finger Lake, 29 air miles west of Skwentna, Alaska | Find on Google Maps
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At 6.1 million acres, to call Denali National Park “rugged” is a bit of an understatement. A mountaineering hot spot, 15 percent of the park’s land area is covered with glaciers. Grizzly bears, wolves, moose, caribou, and Dall sheep call the park home and make for thrilling wildlife spotting. To the south, Lake Clark National Park and Preserve protects more than 4 million acres of diverse habitats ranging in elevation from sea level to over 10,000 feet. The preserve has two active volcanoes and an intact ecosystem at the headwaters of the largest sockeye salmon fishery in the world.
Set on mile marker 194 of the Iditarod Trail, Eleven Winterlake Lodge is most easily accessible by heliplane or float plane. The six lakefront log cabins, decorated in rustic manner, were largely built by hand and face the Alaska Range and Tordrillo Mountains while offering nestled-in-the-trees privacy. Trek across glaciers or fish for all five species of Pacific salmon, or ride the class III rapids, and come back to the wood-burning fireplaces that greet guests upon their return each evening.