5 National Park Getaways

Western outposts that border wild and scenic parkland.


Stay: Cool off from the desert heat, and enjoy a picturesque Utah sunset at Red Cliffs Lodge. 435-259-2002, redcliffslodge.comEat: Chow down on some Southwestern-style grub at the Desert Bistro. 435-259-0756, desertbistro.comPlay: Explore Arches National Park and its more than 2,000 natural sandstone arches. nps.gov/arch.index.htm


Stay: Once a stagecoach stop, Big Creek Meadow Ranch exudes real Western charm. 209-962-1942, bigcreekmeadowranch.com
Eat: Fill up on the half-pound 49er burger at Buck Meadows Restaurant and Bar. 209-962-5181, buckmeadowsrestaurant.com
Play: Explore the rugged landscape at Yosemite National Park. nps.gov/yose.index.htm


Stay: Lajitas Golf Resort and Spa is nestled among the mountain vistas and the Rio Grande River. 432-424-5000, lajitasgolfresort.com
Eat: Chow down on a John Wayne breakfast burrito at Kathy’s Kosmic Kowgirl Kafe. 432-371-2164Play: Big Bend National Park is three parks in one with mountain, desert, and river (the Rio Grande) ecosystems. nps.gov/bibe/index.htm


Stay: Catch a breathtaking view of the Four Corners in the unique, luxury cave dwellings at Kokopelli’s Cave Bed and Breakfast. 505-860-3812. Eat: Enjoy authentic Mexican dishes at La Cabana. 505-327-1935. Play: Chaco Cultural National Historical Park is home to ancient indigenous sites Chetro Ketl, Pueblo Bonito, and Una Vida. Fajada Butte is particularly impressive. nps.gov/chcu/index/htm


Stay: Built by a countess and a cowboy, the Flat Creek Ranch is a Western wilderness hideout. 303-733-0603, flatcreekranch.com
Eat: Indulge in a home-cooked meal at this covered-wagon cookout. 800-772-5386, bart5.com. Play: Hike or ride the trails at Grand Teton National Park, where the Western Shane was filmed. nps.govgrte/index/htm

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