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Great Camps and Remote Lodges Across the U.S.

By AFAR Contributors

Dec 20, 2021

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At the Ahwahnee, suites and cottages come with fireplaces and views of Yosemite’s most famous sites, including Half Dome, Glacier Point, and Yosemite Falls.

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At the Ahwahnee, suites and cottages come with fireplaces and views of Yosemite’s most famous sites, including Half Dome, Glacier Point, and Yosemite Falls.

Be it a lodge in the Adirondacks or a hot springs resort in an old mining town, these luxury refuges will make any long, cold winter more palatable.

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Stone fireplaces and Pendleton blankets. Hot drinks and hotter springs. Solitude and starry nights. These are a few of our favorite things, conjured in the dead of winter when everyone seems to have a cough and a little hygge feels necessary. With that in mind, we rounded up a few of the Great Camps and remote luxury lodges across the United States to inspire your winter escapes. Some are historic; some only a few years old. One is on a glacier. All will leave you wanting more.

1. The Ahwahnee

Yosemite National Park, California

Book Now: expedia.com

This stone-and-timber lodge—arguably the finest example of U.S. “Parkitecture”—has long had a storied guest list since it opened in 1927 (John F. Kennedy, Lucille Ball, and Brad Pitt among them). It’s worth the splurge just to have this place to yourself after the swarms of Yosemite tourists have left for the day. Suites and cottages come with fireplaces and views of Yosemite’s most famous sites, including Half Dome, Glacier Point, and Yosemite Falls. The formal dining room, with its soaring ceilings and oversize windows, requires reservations, especially for the popular Sunday brunch. If you’d rather not plan ahead, you can grab a casual bite at the hotel bar, which features an outdoor area with breathtaking views of the park. —excerpted from Deb Hopewell’s review of the Ahwahnee

2. Sheldon Chalet

Denali National Park, Alaska

Book Now: sheldonchalet.com

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Want to sleep on a glacier—comfortably? The Sheldon Chalet, a five-room luxury hotel, was built, improbably, 10 miles from the summit of Denali National Park’s Ruth Glacier. It sits atop a ridge in the middle of a 35-mile bowl, or “amphitheater,” of compacted ice and snow. You can only get there by helicopter, and the 40-minute flight from a tiny airport 113 miles north of Anchorage in Talkeetna (population: 876) doubles as a sweeping aerial tour of the park. In 1966, bush pilot Don Sheldon built a small, rustic cabin on this remote spot; the stylish, hexagonal lodge that his descendants have added is a feat of ingenuity currently the the sole luxury lodge in Denali. —Alex Schecter, in What It’s Like to Sleep on a Glacier in Denali’s Only Luxury Lodge

3. Dunton Hot Springs

Dolores, Colorado

Book Now: expedia.com

Staying at Dunton Hot Springs resort feels like a trip back in time. The original cabins of an 1800s mining town, just across the mountain from Telluride, have been restored as guest rooms. (To wit: The former General Store is now a luxury cabin with its own hot springs out back.) More adventurous guests can opt to sleep in teepees scattered throughout the property; snowshoe or Snow-Cat into the San Juan Mountains; and fly-fish in the resort’s private river in warmer months. At night, guests gather for dinner in the old saloon, all sharing the same long table like cattle herders once would. Look closely at the wooden bar and you’ll see where Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid carved their initials. —excerpted from Jen Murphy’s review of Dunton Hot Springs

4. The Lodge at Blue Sky, Auberge Resorts Collection

Park City, Utah

Book Now: expedia.com

For all the beauty of Utah’s Wasatch Mountain Range, most of the area’s hotels are located in Park City to provide easy access to the ski slopes. But the remote setting of the Lodge at Blue Sky—a 25-minute drive from Park City deeper in the mountains—allows guests to feel truly immersed in the American West. Part of the Auberge Resorts Collection, the lodge features 46 rooms and suites, some with outdoor fireplaces, built from wood and limestone that blend with the landscape. Adventure seekers will love the cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and horse riding on the property’s 3,500 acres, but downtime is taken just as seriously: A 90-minute High West Whiskey Rubdown includes a shot of the local spirit. —Lyndsey Matthews in The Stay List: The Best New Hotels in the World

The view from an ocean house room at Post Ranch Inn

5. Post Ranch Inn

Big Sur, California

Book Now: postranchinn.com

There’s nothing quite like the 40-room Post Ranch Inn, set along California’s iconic Route 1 on Pacific-hugging cliffs. “Unlike most ‘luxury’ hotels, we don’t have televisions in the room because nature is the show,” says managing partner Mike Freed. Instead, they offer complimentary nature walks, yoga, and meditation sessions, “along with some of the best massage therapists.”

Food and wine is an essential part of the guest experience, and a two-acre chef’s organic garden provides 40 percent of the restaurant’s fruits and vegetables, depending on the season. Meanwhile, “the organic architecture—with reclaimed or repurposed redwood, steel, and stone elements—along with the touch of history, adds to the guest experience,” says Freed. “All of the hotel rooms are named after original settlers in Big Sur with a brief biography of the family written by a local historian.” —Annie Fitzsimmons in California’s Post Ranch Inn Continues to Innovate

6. Captain Whidbey Inn

Whidbey Island, Washington

Book Now: expedia.com

With its tranquil maritime charm, Whidbey Island, a two-hour car and ferry ride from Seattle, has always felt like a local’s secret. But the restored 113-year-old Captain Whidbey Inn just might change that. The main lodge was built from madrona and fir logs and has a large stone fireplace; the 12 upstairs rooms recently got a gentle refresh. The real draw, though, is a group of four new stand-­alone cabins—each designed by a different creative business from the Pacific Northwest. Edit, a modern home store in the town of Langley owned by David Price, curated its airy cabin with textile art from fabric designer Marcia Derse. —Aislyn Greene in The Stay List: The Best New Hotels in the World

7. The Point

Adirondacks, New York

Book Now: thepointresort.com

For a true Adirondack experience, spend the weekend at a historic “Adirondack Great Camp.” During the early 20th century, industrial behemoths of the Gilded Age vacationed in the Adirondack Mountains, where they built mansion-like log cabins decorated with granite fireplaces and furniture crafted from branches. Today, you can stay in a number of these lodges, including the Point, a Great Camp built by William Avery Rockefeller on 75 acres of Saranac Lake shorefront nearly a century ago. Now a Relais & Châteaux property with just 11 rooms, each with a lake view and a fireplace, it’s a surprisingly intimate haven with a staff ready to attend to your every whim. —AFAR Contributors in Best Weekend Getaways From NYC

>>Next: Retreat Like a Rockefeller at These Spectacular Adirondack Lodges

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