Pisgah Inn Wins Title of Best National Park Lodge

Many Glacier Hotel, Jackson Lake Lodge, El Tovar and Lake Crescent Lodge in top 5

There are fewer than 100 national park lodges in the USA, and after four weeks of reader voting, the winners of the Best National Park Lodge have been named.

  • Chisos Mountains Lodge
    Big Bend National Park

    Modern motel-type units and several older stone and adobe cottages sit in an isolated and beautiful setting resulting in a special national park experience. The park is especially appealing to hikers and individuals who want to avoid the crowds found in many of the popular national parks. Big Bend is a favorite destination for birdwatchers. A variety of guided tours of the park are offered.
    Photo courtesy of Clinton Steeds/Flickr

  • Ahwahnee
    Yosemite National Park

    Many travelers consider the Ahwahnee to be the crown jewel of national park lodges. Opened in 1927 as an upscale hotel, the Ahwahnee offers 123 rooms in the main lodge and adjacent cottages. Located in the heart of spectacular Yosemite Valley, the hotel’s beautiful dining room with a 34-foot-high beamed ceiling and Great Lounge make for a memorable stay.
    Photo courtesy of Kenny Karst/DNC Parks & Resorts at Yosemite, Inc.

  • Paradise Inn
    Mount Rainier National Park

    This classic early 1900s lodge provides guests spectacular views of majestic Mount Rainier. It has 117 guest rooms, most of which are in a connected annex building constructed in the 1920s. The inn has a huge two-story lobby flanked on the ends by large stone fireplaces. Massive log beams frame a wrap-around mezzanine where complimentary cookies and hot tea are served for hotel guests each afternoon.
    Photo courtesy of Steve Brown/Flickr

  • Old Faithful Inn
    Yellowstone National Park

    This iconic inn dates from 1903 when the center section was completed. Wings that now contain most of the guest rooms were added in 1914 and 1927. The inn’s centerpiece is its huge lobby, with long beams and a vaulted ceiling that soars 77 feet above the first floor. Multiple overhanging balconies add to the effect. Rooms range from classic accommodations in the historic “Old House” to more upscale lodging in each of the wings.
    Photo courtesy of Old Faithful Inn

  • Crater Lake Lodge
    Crater Lake National Park

    Originally completed in 1915, the beautiful lodge celebrates its 100th birthday this year. The building was completely renovated in the mid-1990s, but retains its earlier rustic appearance. Located on the rim of Crater Lake, the lodge offers 71 rooms on four floors. Some rooms offer excellent views of America’s most beautiful lake. The best feature of the lodge is the Great Hall where, during afternoons and evenings, guests play cards, read and visit – all near a huge fireplace.
    Photo courtesy of Crater Lake Lodge

  • Lake Crescent Lodge
    Olympic National Park

    The historic main lodge is flanked by cottages with one- and two-story motel buildings a little further away. Several second-floor rooms in the main lodge offer excellent views of the lake. Adirondack chairs on a grassy lawn next to the lodge offer a relaxing place to read a book or visit. The laid-back atmosphere and picturesque setting on Lake Crescent make this a great place to spend several nights.
    Photo courtesy of Lake Crescent Lodge

  • El Tovar
    Grand Canyon National Park

    Completed in 1905, the El Tovar is the South Rim’s most elegant lodging facility. The hotel has 78 guest rooms that differ by size, shape and views. The hotel’s ground floor contains shops, a lounge and a beautiful dining room. A mezzanine offers a quiet place to read or visit. Walk out the hotel’s back door and view the splendor of the Grand Canyon, America’s most magnificent natural wonder.
    Photo courtesy of El Tovar

  • Jackson Lake Lodge
    Grand Teton National Park

    This large lodge offers nearly 400 guest rooms, some with excellent views of the Tetons, America’s most scenic mountain range. A limited number of guest rooms are on the third floor of the main lodge, but most are in numerous multiple-unit cottages that flank the lodge. Some of the cottage rooms offer great mountain views, but most do not. The huge lobby with enormous windows offers guests a picture-perfect view of the Tetons.
    Photo courtesy of Jackson Lake Lodge

  • Many Glacier Hotel
    Glacier National Park

    With perhaps the most spectacular views of any national park lodge, Many Glacier Hotel offers 213 guest rooms of varying size and views. The main floor is highlighted by a three-story lobby with log beams, interior balconies and a huge conical metal fireplace suspended from the ceiling. Many of the guest rooms offer excellent views of Swiftcurrent Lake and the surrounding mountains.
    Photo courtesy of Many Glacier Hotel

  • Pisgah Inn
    Blue Ridge Parkway

    One of two remaining park lodges operating on the 469-mile-long Blue Ridge Parkway, Pisgah Inn offers 50 guest rooms, most of which provide outstanding views of the distant mountains. The inn is at a 5,000-foot elevation, resulting in cool summer evenings that allow guests to sit on their balconies and enjoy the view. The inn is notable for the excellent meals served in its dining room.
    Photo courtesy of Pisgah Inn

It was a hard-fought and extremely close battle between the top two lodges for the title, but in the end, Pisgah Inn of the Blue Ridge Parkway took home top honors, thanks in part to its beautiful mountain views and excellent meals. The Blue Ridge Parkway is part of the National Park Service. Runner-up Many Glacier Hotel, located inside Glacier National Park, boasts some of the most spectacular views of any national park lodge.

The top 10 winners in the category Best National Park Lodge are as follows:

  1. Pisgah Inn - Blue Ridge Parkway
  2. Many Glacier Hotel - Glacier National Park
  3. Jackson Lake Lodge - Grand Teton National Park
  4. El Tovar - Grand Canyon National Park
  5. Lake Crescent Lodge - Olympic National Park
  6. Crater Lake Lodge - Crater Lake National Park
  7. Old Faithful Inn - Yellowstone National Park
  8. Paradise Inn - Mount Rainier National Park
  9. Ahwahnee - Yosemite National Park
  10. Chisos Mountains Lodge - Big Bend National Park

Kay and David Scott, authors of the Complete Guide to the National Park Lodges (currently in its 8th edition) served as the experts for this contest based on their extensive knowledge and experience traveling in U.S. national parks.

Other nominees included Skyland Resort in Shenandoah National Park, Glacier Park Lodge in Glacier National Park, Grand Canyon Lodge in Grand Canyon National Park, Lake Yellowstone Hotel in Yellowstone National Park, Inn at Furnace Creek in Death Valley National Park, Jenny Lake Lodge in Grand Teton National Park, Inn at the Presidio in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, Wuksachi Lodge in Sequoia National Park, Lodge at Bryce Canyon in Bryce Canyon National Park and the Argonaut in San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park.

10Best and USA TODAY extend their congratulations to all the winners. The contest was promoted on 10Best and USA TODAY.

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David and Kay Scott

David and Kay Scott

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