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With more U.S. travelers seeking adventures in their own backyard, national parks like Yosemite and Yellowstone will be jammed this summer. Consider a more isolated, but no less iconic, sojourn in Monument Valley Navajo Tribal Park in Arizona or Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska. For the first time, visitors can overnight (sans tent) within the boundaries of both parks.
Blending in with the rusty-red earth of northern Arizona, the 90-room, earth-toned View Hotel (pictured above), open since December, provides panoramic vistas of the monolithic “mitten” buttes, which are instantly recognizable to anyone who has seen director John Ford’s classic westerns. Each room has an unobstructed view and a balcony. Family owned, the hotel follows mandates as noteworthy as the views: maintaining eco-friendly policies and keeping close ties with the Navajo Tribal Nation. From $179/night; 435-727-5556.
When it opens in June, Kenai Fjords Glacier Lodge will be the only lodge within the Kenai Fjords National Park in Alaska. Tucked within a Native-owned wildlife sanctuary, it can be reached from Seward after a 4- to 5-hour boat trip that doubles as a glacier-and-marine-wildlife tour. The 16 cabins and main lodge offer arresting views of Pederson Glacier, but with guided outings such as sea kayaking and skiff excursions included in the rate, guests are unlikely to remain sedentary for long. From $425/person, for 2-day, 1-night stay, including all meals, tours, activities, and transfer from Seward; 800-334-8730.
From the April/May 2009 issue of Sherman's Travel magazine