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National Parks


LAST MINUTE TRAVEL: Winter Packages and Deals in Estes Park, Colorado

Spring may be right around the corner, but in Estes Park, CO., located adjacent to Rocky Mountain National Park, winter is far from over.  And unlike pricey, hard to access ski towns, in Estes Park, an easy 90-minute drive from Denver, off-peak prices make for some of the best winter deals in the Rocky Mountains.

Here are 4 discounted winter sport packages still available for a last minute winter getaway:

Snowcat Overnight Package 

Estes Park Outfitters offers private, customizable snowcat adventures with accommodations at the exclusive, luxurious High Mountain Cabin – inaccessible outside of the package.

Snowcat Overnight Package, Estes Park, CO

DEAL (Save $350): A private two-hour snowcat adventure, a chef-prepared dinner, a one night stay and breakfast. Adventures can be customized to include private cross-country or back-country skiing.The package is available while weather permits. Rates start at $695 a night for up to four people.



National Park Trips On Sale At Holiday River Expeditions

In Celebration of National Parks Week 2013 adventure travel outfitter, Holiday River Expeditions, is offering great deals on several of their National Park biking and rafting trips.

Holiday River Expeditions/Canyonlands National Park.

Book space on select Cataract Canyon Rafting or Combo Cataract Rafting & White Rim Trail Mountain Biking trips by April 26, 2013 and save $200 OFF the Adult Fare.

Or, for the ultimate mountain biking adventure, save $100 OFF the Adult Rate on their White Rim Trail Mountain Biking trip.



Celebrate National Park Week With Summer Savings On Bike Raft Adventures

I’ve got a serious crush on our National Parks and now, Holiday River Expeditions, for choosing to celebrate National Park Week by making it easier, and cheaper, for travelers to enjoy one of their National Park rafting and biking adventures this summer.

Where Canyonlands National Park and Dinosaur National Monument.

Why go Ultimate access to the hidden treasures of our national parks.

The experience Adventure, exhilaration, natural history, kids activities, delicious meals, impeccable gear and expert guides. 

Deal details Book select Cataract Canyon Rafting,  Combo Cataract Rafting & White Rim Trail Mt Biking, Yampa River or Combo Yampa Bike & Raft trips and save $200 OFF the Adult Fare. Or if you just want the ultimate mountain biking adventure you can save $100 OFF the Adult Rate on their White Rim Trail Mt Biking trip. National Parks Week Special Ends April 27, 2012.  

For booking and information, visit




Free Admission To National Parks

Start your new year with a free visit to a national park! All 397 national parks across the country will offer free admission from January 14 - 16 to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, plus 14 other days in 2012.

You can literally walk in Dr. King’s footsteps at Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site  in Georgia, the Selma to Montgomery National Historic Trailnbsp; in Alabama, or the Lincoln Memorial

Other parks that will hold special events honoring Dr. King that weekend include the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial in Washington, DC, Morristown National Historical Park in New Jersey, Fort Donelson National Battlefield in Tennessee, and Frederick Douglass National Historic Site in Washington, DC.

“Dr. King led the fight to realize his dream of a nation free of discrimination, where every citizen was able to enjoy the inalienable rights promised to all Americans,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis.  “Dr. King’s story and those of so many others whose efforts changed our country are preserved in the national parks, places where history happened.  I hope every American can take advantage of the upcoming fee free weekend and visit their parks to experience their history firsthand.”



Yellowstone Lodge Rooms as Low as $49 This Winter

Experience Yellowstone National Park this winter at budget-friendly rates. 

Yellowstone National Park Lodges is offering a special rate of $49 for rooms with shared bathrooms in the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel Jan. 4 through March 6, 2011 with the exception of Feb. 18-21, 2011. Rates are normally $87 per night for single or double occupancy.

Yellowstone’s winter season began Dec. 18, 2010 with the opening of Old Faithful Snow Lodge. The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel opens Dec. 21, 2010. The lodges provide the only wintertime accommodations within the park. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel will close for the season March 7, 2011, and Old Faithful Snow Lodge will close March 6, 2011.

To qualify for the special rate rooms must be reserved before January 14, 2011 using the promotional code “WOB49.” Reservations can be made by calling 1-307-344-7311 or toll-free 1-866-439-7375 or online using the promo code box. This rate cannot be combined with other specials or packages. 

The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel is located five miles inside the park’s northern entrance and is convenient for visitors who want to drive to the Lamar Valley to view wolves, bison, elk and other wildlife. The road from Gardiner, Mont. to Mammoth Village and on to Cooke City, Mont. is the only road plowed all winter. Just outside Mammoth Village are groomed cross country ski trails and access to the park’s interior via snowcoach and snowmobile.

Complete details about winter accommodations, restaurants and activities in Yellowstone can be made by calling (1) 307-344-7311 or toll-free 866-439-7375or online at


Source: Xanterra Parks & Resorts



Grand Canyon Railway Drops Package Rates up to 36 Percent in Winter

Grand Canyon Railway package rates have dropped for the winter and will drop again on Jan. 1, 2011. The rates for packages – which include train travel, accommodations and more – will be as much as 36 percent lower during the winter season.

All Grand Canyon Railway packages feature roundtrip train travel to Grand Canyon National Park and accommodations at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams, Ariz. Several packages include meals, and some also include accommodations and/or narrated motorcoach tours at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. The Grand Canyon Railway also offers reduced winter rates for RV packages that include stays at the Grand Canyon Railway RV Park.

The following rate examples are per person based on double occupancy in a standard hotel room and for coach-class train travel. Upgrades are available. Rates for children ages two to 15 and single occupancy vary. Taxes and gratuities are not included.

The Railway Express features roundtrip train travel and one night of lodging at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel. The rate is $119.50 per person through Dec. 31, 2010 and $89.50 per person Jan. 1 through March 14, 2011.

The Railway Getaway features roundtrip train travel, one night of lodging at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel and one breakfast and one dinner per person in the Grand Depot Café. The rate is $148.50 per person through Dec. 31, 2010 and $118.50 per person Jan. 1 through March 14, 2011.



End 2010 with $20.10 Rates on the Olympic Peninsula

The cozy and intimate surroundings of Olympic National Park set the stage for a relaxing winter getaway, and this year it’s more affordable than ever.  With the End 2010 with $20.10 Deal, visitors can stay one night at Lake Quinault Lodge or Kalaloch Lodge for $99 and get the second night for ONLY $20.10 for November and December travel! Rates like this won’t last long, and visitors must book the deal by Nov. 30.

Although it’s one of the wettest regions in the Northwest, there are plenty of indoor and outdoor activities available to complement an Olympic Peninsula winter escape, rain or shine. Included below are a few highlights…

  • Storm watching from a cozy cabin at Kalaloch Lodge, as wild Pacific waves crash against boulders.
  • Taking a rain forest tour at Lake Quinault Lodge, when fall and winter downpours create the most vibrant setting of the year.
  • Watching for the region’s diverse bird species including crossbills, dippers, warrbleers, chichadees, nuthatches and thrusthes.
  • Indulging in the culinary delights of Chef Patrick Norris at Lake Quinault Lodge’s Roosevelt Room, featuring contemporary twists on Northwest fare.
  • Relaxing fireside in both lodge’s fireplace rooms or the grand fireplace in Lake Quinault Lodge’s lobby.

The package is valid for visits from Nov. 1 to Dec. 30, 2010 and blackout dates include Nov. 23-26 and Dec. 22-26. Reservations for both lodges can be made by visiting or by calling (866) 297-7367. 


Source: ARAMARK Parks and Destinations

Photo: Lake Quinault Lodge, courtesy of ARAMARK Parks and Destinations.



National Parks Waive Entrance Fees On Veterans Day

In honor of veterans, National parks waive entrance fees for all on November 11, 2010.

Visit one of America’s almost 400 national parks FREE on Veterans Day. In recognition of current and former servicemen and -women, all national parks are waiving entrance fees on November 11, 2010.

“From everyone in the National Park Service, I extend gratitude to all who have served in the U.S. armed forces and defended the people, freedoms, and resources of this country,” said NPS Director Jon Jarvis.

“In honor of veterans, entry to the national parks, which preserve many of our nation’s finest natural and cultural resources, will be free on Veterans Day, November 11. I invite everyone to take advantage of this opportunity and savor places that our veterans have kept safe for us.”  

The national parks hold something for everyone—hardcore hikers and campers and people who like to explore history, take a leisurely nature walk, or simply pack a picnic lunch and get away from it all. For a complete list of activities available in national parks, consult the National Park Service’s Events Calendar for 2010.

Veterans Day is the last of 2010’s free entrance days in the national parks.

photo courtesy of the National Park Service 


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Grand Canyon Lodges Offer Romance and Reduced Rates for Winter

A winter vacation to the Grand Canyon is pure magic. Think mist and snow, sky and rock, silence and solitude, and the warmth of a crackling fire. Check out these reduced rates from Xanterra South Rim L.L.C.*, operator of lodges, restaurants and activities in Grand Canyon National Park, and leave the crowds and costs to the Canyon’s summertime masses.

The Winter Value Rate is $85 per night plus tax at Maswik South and Yavapai West, and $110 per night plus tax at Maswik North and Yavapai East. The Winter Value Rate is available from Nov. 10, 2010 through March 10, 2011, excluding Nov. 24-27, 2010, Dec. 24, 2010 through Jan. 1, 2011 and Feb. 19-Feb. 21, 2011. The rates are valid for single or double occupancy. The cost for each additional person in the room is $9. Children 16 and under stay at no extra charge.  Lodge and room type are subject to availability and seasonal closures. Summer rates at these hotels range from $90 to $170 per night.

The El Tovar Romance Package at the elegant and historic El Tovar includes one night in a standard queen room, a bottle of California sparkling wine and fruit basket in the room and dinner for two with a bottle of Grand Canyon label wine in the El Tovar Dining Room. The base package cost is $375 plus tax subject to availability. Guests may upgrade to a deluxe room or suite, based upon availability, for an additional charge. The Romance Package is available Nov. 28, 2010 through Feb. 14, 2011, excluding Dec. 11, 2010, Dec. 24, 2010 through Jan. 1, 2011 and Jan. 12, 2011. When booking the Romance Package online, guests must enter the promo code “ROMANCE.”

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Xanterra Suggests Free, Nearly Free and Priceless National Park Experiences

Some of the best things in life truly are free, particularly in our national parks. And even those things that aren’t free are still an incredible value, in part because every item with a price tag in every U.S. national park has the approval of the National Park Service.

Here’s a few budget-friendly ideas from National Park concessioner Xanterra Parks & Resorts:

Free experiences:

Spot an owl. Or a bear, elk, wolf, otter, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, coyote, bison or trumpeter swan. The Lamar Valley in the northern part of Yellowstone National Park is often called the “American Serengeti” because of its abundant wildlife. Some good binoculars and a little patience are all you need to observe the wonders of the park’s wildlife. Xanterra also offers a variety of guided wildlife-watching experiences.

Go low. At 282 feet below sea level, Badwater Basin in California’s Death Valley National Park is one of the lowest places in the world. The vast salt flats are typically bone-dry but can turn into a ready-made lake after a big rainstorm. Look up at mountainside sign marking sea level posted well above the Badwater Basin viewpoint. No, up a little higher. Feeling small yet?

Walk in the footsteps of presidents. Six presidents – and Three Stooges – have stayed at Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Inn. It was built for $140,000 in 1904 and is one of the most famous buildings in any national park. A Xanterra historian tells travelers about the inn’s colorful history during free walking tours offered several times a day throughout the summer.


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Wild West Winter Savings at Teton Springs Lodge & Spa

Winter, Wild West Style

4 Night/3 Day Teton Springs Lodge & Spa Winter Ski Package

Teton Valley, Idaho, had been one of the west’s best kept secrets to vacationers for many years. However located just 25 minutes away from Jackson Hole, Wyoming, this fast growing tourism destination is thriving today, offering an abundance of outdoor recreation possibilities for any season.

Teton Springs Lodge & Spa is proud to be the area’s first luxury accommodation with an atmosphere that complements the scenic and tranquil setting of the majestic Teton mountain range. Equidistant (about 25 minutes) from two of the nation’s best mountains – Grand Targhee Resort and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, the resort offers a four night, three day ski package with accommodations in a cozy lodge room plus three full days of skiing (Grand Targhee or Jackson Hole) and a complimentary continental breakfast each morning.

Guests have access to outdoor hot tubs, a state-of-the-art fitness center and use of the Stillwaters Spa. For those in need of a day off the slopes, the resort is happy to offer a $50 credit towards any spa treatment. This package starts at $520 per person, based on double occupancy. Valid December 15, 2008 thru March 30, 2009. Based on availability and not valid with any other offers or promotions. Offer does not include taxes or resort fee.

Call toll-free, 1-877-787-7887, to book this special winter package.

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Canyon de Chelly Lodge Drops Rates for Winter


When the thermostat goes down, so do the room rates at Thunderbird Lodge in Canyon de Chelly National Monument in northeastern Arizona. The 74-room lodge drops its winter-season rates by up to 43 percent off summer rates. The reduced rates are in effect from Nov. 1, 2008 through March 1, 2009.
In addition to reduced rates, guests who stay Saturday, Sunday or Monday nights receive a complimentary continental breakfast, 10 percent off canyon tours and 10 percent off gift shop purchases.
Rates per night are $63 for a single room, $69 for a double, $75 for a triple and $81 for a quad. Suites are also available starting at $94.50 for two people. Rates do not include taxes.