Best Wilderness Vacations

Earl Hamilton
• Monday, 09 November, 2020
• 8 min read

The Best hotels include Mancini, Layout Wilderness Resort, Fairmont Le Château Montebello, Old Faithful Inn, Post Ranch Inn, Ridge wood Wilderness Lodge, Sorrel River Ranch, The Resort At Paws Up, Trout Point Lodge, Under Canvas Yellowstone. Sort By These resorts enable you to be at one with nature, to stargaze into the limitless expanse of the night sky, far away from the hustle and bustle of the big city life.

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Visit the red-rock spans in Arches National Park, the sheer-walled river gorges in the Canyon lands, and the stunning buttes and mesas of Monument Valley. Blending with its dramatic surrounds of deep canyons and towering plateaus, this wilderness escape could not be more rugged.

Mancini’s trail system allows guests to explore the region’s striking desert scenery on foot. Perched on the clifftop of Big Sur, a rugged stretch of California’s coastline between Carmel and San Simeon, sits the breathtaking Post Ranch Inn.

This is the perfect overnight stop to break up the drive along this scenic Californian Highway between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Bordered to the east by the Santa Lucia Mountains and enormous redwoods, and to the west by the glittering Pacific Ocean, the Post Ranch Inn is a wood and glass structure built on stilts on the top of the hillside.

Other room options include the magnificent treehouses which are built on stilts nine feet off the forest floor with a stairway to each entrance. Trout Point Lodge is a wilderness retreat in Nova Scotia at the heart of the UNESCO SW Nova Scotia Biosphere Reserve and a picturesque 45-minute drive from Yarmouth Harbor, where you find the international ferry from Maine, USA & Yarmouth International Airport.

Here you might enjoy sightings of black bears, turtles, flying squirrels, grouse, deer, beaver, owls, loons, eagles, and even moose. The Lodge and grounds occupy 100 acres, and at night, light pollution is minimal, making stargazing sensational.

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The lodge has a star gazing platform where they organize special tours with an astronomer on staff and powerful telescopes. This indulgent but untamed wilderness resort is open from May to September and is located in the Layout Sound World Biosphere Reserve (within the Pacific Rim National Park).

Twenty guest and family suite tents showcase antique furnishings, opulent rugs, down duvets, remote-controlled propane powered wood stoves and luxurious amenities. This red rock resort doesn’t just look like a scene from the movies; it is a scene from the movies with multiple Hollywood blockbusters being filmed in the area since 1949, resulting in silver screen epics like the Rio Grande, The Comanches, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Hidden in the heart of the gorgeous, red rock wilderness and nestled against the banks of the Colorado River, this upscale 240-acre retreat lies just 17 miles from Moab, Utah, and slap bang in the middle of the adventure capital of the West. The accommodation at the resort is not what you’d expect from being in Canyon Country, rather than a standard room, you stay in charming log cabins which offer a mixture of rustic style and luxury with opulent pine beds complete with handcrafted four-posts, cattle horn wall hangings; artsy barbed wire chandeliers and more oak than you would see in a forest along with all the modern amenities you would expect in this level of the resort.

Depending on the season of your visit, you can also enjoy ATV rides, horseback riding with authentic, friendly wranglers (the resort even has ponies for younger children), rock art tours, hot air ballooning, scenic road cycling and golf at the picturesque Moab Golf Course. With its excellent one-of-a-kind cabins, spectacular views, therapeutic spa, gourmet dining, and riverside pool, this resort is the point at which luxury meets adventure.

Join the likes of Bill Gates and Warren Buffet, who chose Sorrel River Ranch as a base to explore this beautiful red rock country. Ridge wood Wilderness Lodge is a hand-crafted Alaska eco-lodge that sits in a secluded location in Halibut Cove adjacent to the Schema Bay State Park and Schema Bay State Wilderness Park, the Kenji National Wildlife Refuge and the Kenji National Fjords.

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Enjoy three wonderfully prepared meals each day, and highly personalized attention with majestic scenery, miles of beaches, and secluded saltwater coves right out the front door. At their Alaska Wilderness Lodge, Lucinda and Jess can arrange area eco-tours such including brown bear photography trips, halibut or salmon charters, guided kayaking, and flight seeing.

You can, of course, enjoy outdoor experiences like kayaking, rafting, horseback riding, and fly-fishing, but you will not have to rough it in the Under Canvas Yellowstone camp. Suites come complete with a private en-suite modern bathroom, including a sink, flushing toilet, and a roll-top bath, as well as a living room and a bedroom wing, with a King-size bed.

Become Goldilocks at Fairmont Le Château Montebello, Quebec, a gorgeous hotel in a forest, made out of wood! Stay here in the Autumn to see the leaves turn brown, yellow, and red or ski from a real log cabin in winter with nearby access to Mont-Tremblant, where there is another Fairmont hotel.

Families can spend their vacation snorkeling, exploring the coral reefs and coastline, and hiking the beaches and trails under the warm island sun. Located in Alberta’s Canadian Rocky Mountains, Ban ff National Park is so gorgeous it will make your family one with nature immediately upon arrival.

It’s hard to say whether summer or winter is the best time to visit because both the warm and cold seasons make for a great wilderness family vacation. With limited light pollution, the night sky and thousands of visible stars in Bryce Canyon is something spectacular for your family to see.

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The thin mountain air makes the stars more visible to the naked eye, but if you bring along a telescope, the sights will be out of this world. Families can take full moon hikes in Bryce Canyon, available twice a month, or learn more about the sky from a park ranger who focuses on astronomy.

Rocky landscapes, bridges and one-vehicle tunnels will make the drive interesting, and you will want to stop along the way to watch goats or bison cross the road, or explore a trail or cave. Close to several ski resorts, including Killing ton and Suicide Six, Woodstock is a quiet, charming town in the woods of Vermont.

Karl Weather / Getty Images Wilderness resorts are growing in popularity as more people and their families look to spend time away from their desk and in the outdoors. So why not trade in your luxury beach vacation for one of these comfortable lodges at one of these natural retreats in the USA this year.

From the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park to the awe-inspiring mountains of Washington, these 10 wilderness and natural retreats are among the best in the United States. Amenities range from outdoor hot tubs to log saunas, incredible views, and all food, beer, and wine included for one price.

This massive wilderness resort, tucked away in the Missouri Ozark Mountains, overlooking Table Rock Lake, perfectly combines contemporary luxury and natural beauty. Visitors can decide whether they want to spend their days hiking the trails and exploring the lost caves or relaxing on one of the sunset cruises.

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Other activities of interest here are wagon rides, fishing, stand-up paddleboarding, painting, cooking lessons, spa services, four golf courses, and regular ever-changing events like family campfires, games, and scavenger hunts. This wilderness resort offers the perfect experience for families who aren’t quite at the level of “roughing it” and still want exceptional amenities to keep the kids happy, such as the awesome lazy river and outdoor heated pools.

Visitors will be enthralled by the towering lobby that features a massive stone fireplace and handcrafted clock made out of copper and iron. Instead, visitors spend their time outdoors, embracing nature through hiking, boating, horseback riding, or taking guided tours.

Expect incredible customer service at this natural retreat in the USA that has won awards from both TripAdvisor and Height. Hiking, mountain biking, skeet shooting, rock climbing, swimming, star gazing, fishing, and Having are all potential activities.

Guests can stay in luxurious chalets complete with private hot tubs, stocked kitchens, and fireplaces that sleep anywhere from 2 to 14 people. Perhaps what is most astounding about this ranch though is the landscape, which varies from red rim rock to rolling foothills to aspen forests, limestone canyons, and mountain meadows.

The resort rests on the shores of the Hood Canal, surrounded by the Olympic Mountains, which is home to a plethora of wildlife including eagles, osprey, seals, and salmon. During the day guests are encouraged to take advantage of the Hood Canal and explore the waters by canoe or kayak to try crabbing or fishing.

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Back at the resort guests can indulge in the spa or glassed-in pool with mountain views, and wine and dine at the restaurant with its drool-worthy ever-changing menu. Once the former great camp of William Avery Rockefeller, it has maintained its natural charm with added exceptional luxury.

A 24-hour kitchen, top-shelf liquor and wine, stunning guest rooms with handcrafted furnishings, and gourmet dining complete with a twice-weekly black-tie affair; make this natural retreat in the USA stand out as one of the best. In the wintertime, guests enjoy sleigh rides, snowshoeing, skiing, and wildlife safaris that feature wolves, bears, and more.

Accommodations range from 2-4 person rooms in the inn, to 1-4 bedroom townhouses and 4-bedroom mountain villas, depending on your budget and the size of your party. Other amenities include outdoor hot tubs, fireplaces, the Wilderness Adventure Spa, heated pools, and incredible staff.

This remote lodge is located on the banks of the Talachulitna River and Judd Lake, and well within eye shot of two 11,000-foot volcanoes and iconic Mount McKinley. Visitors here can expect deluxe guest rooms, grand family rooms that create a cozy atmosphere for fireside chats, hand-selected wine from the 200-bottle cellar, a lakeside, wood-fire hot tub and sauna, professional massage services, and wireless Internet (something that you don’t always get at remote lodges!).

To avoid the crowds, check out the hiking routes on the North Rim; chances are you won't see anyone along the Kebab Trail. But today, those who catch sight of the area's geothermic wonders (like Old Faithful and the Mammoth Hot Springs) can attest to the explorers' description.

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And in the fall, visit the National Elk Refuge to hear the bugle calls of its residents. The picturesque peaks offer some of the best skiing in the country, while the crystal clear lake is ideal for kayaking, canoeing and boating.

The largest of Hawaii's islands boasts plenty of jungle to trek and not one, but five volcanoes (some of which are still active). You can snorkel and kayak off the island's coast or hike through Hawaii'i Volcanoes National Park and the Hakama Forest.

Anchorage showcases Mother Nature's adventurous side with the craggy cliffs of Church State Park beckoning to hikers, rock climbers, cross-country skiers and snowshoes. Families can get the kiddos in on the action by hitting the more novice Tony Knowles Coastal Trail.

As spring begins though, Tellurium’s options expand to include everything from hang gliding to mountain climbing to kayaking. Test the powder on White face, navigate the area's waters in a canoe or feed your need for speed on the bobsled runs at the Olympic Sports Complex.

Kick off your trip at The Hike House, where staff can help you pick a trail that suits your skill level. Located between San Francisco and LA, Big Sur is the longest scenic stretch of undeveloped coastline in the contiguous U.S. Home of the famous U.S. Highway 1, this California treasure attracts roughly the same number of visitors as Yosemite.

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Strict regulations have limited the number of commercial options available for adventurers, but hikers and view-junkies will be right at home here. Other heart-pumping adventures adrenaline junkies can enjoy: kayaking, biking, horseback riding or hiking El Dorado Canyon State Park.

Winter explorers can snowshoe, cross-country ski or snowmobile across the multitude of state parks that dot this destination. Warmer weather allows for boating, fishing, kayaking and other waterspouts, as well as viewing the area’s numerous waterfalls.

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