Complete Guide to the National Park Lodges

I just got The Complete Guide to the National Park Lodges out of our local library and I am enjoying looking at it. You can find a lot of the same information on the internet now, but the book is nice because it is all in one place. They include phone numbers, web addresses, prices, dining info and some of the history of the buildings. Amazon has the newest edition with color photos. If you are a fan of Parkitecture like I am, you will want to check this book out.

 

Parkitecture in the National Parks

Parkitecture is an architectural style that developed in the early and middle 20th century in the National Park Service. The NPS wanted to create buildings that worked in harmony with the natural environment and historic surroundings.  There are a lot of elements in common with the Arts and Crafts movement- for example architects used a lot of native wood and stone. The Parkitecture style can be found in many National Park structures like entrances, lodges, and visitor centers. Many of these buildings are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

I really love the buildings in our National  Parks designed by architects like Mary Colter and Robert Reamer. The Desert View Watchtower in the Grand Canyon National Park and the Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone are amazing. It is part of the National Park experience to stay at one of the amazing lodges like the Ahwahnee, the Bryce Canyon Lodge or the Wawona Hotel. I will never forget my first stay at the Old Faithful Inn and our visit to the Crow’s Nest!

I am excited to get a picture whenever I see the entrance signs to the parks, and the Roosevelt Arch at the North Entrance of Yellowstone is beautiful. 

Have fun exploring when you visit our parks and take plenty of pictures of the great PARKitecture.


The Ahwahnee Hotel

One of the places we stayed at on our California road trip was the historic Ahwahnee Hotel. We only booked a night since it was so expensive, but we really wanted to have time to check it out.

The Ahwahnee is in the Yosemite Valley in an amazing spot. It is in a meadow surrounded by The Royal Arches. Ahwahnee means “Place of a Gaping Mouth” which the Miwok Indians called Yosemite Valley. It opened in 1927 and became a National Historic Landmark in 1987. The Ahwahnee was designed by Gilbert Stanley Underwood who also designed the Zion Lodge and Bryce Canyon Lodge. It was a real undertaking at the time to build the Ahwahnee because Yosemite was so remote.

The interior designers were Dr. Phyllis Ackerman and Professor Arthur Upham Pope. Several artists also worked on murals, floors, beams, etc.  Some of the Ahwahnee interiors were used as templates for the sets of the Overlook Hotel in the film The Shining.

We stayed in one of the newer cabins towards the back of the hotel. It was nice and quiet and the cabin was large. There is a small pool, a beautiful restaurant with floor to ceiling windows, a smaller tavern, outside dining and a few bars. A shuttle stops in the parking lot, but it can get crowded in the summer with people visiting.  

I look forward to staying at The Ahwahnee Hotel again in the future! The Sunday Brunch was great.