Whether you want to swoosh down ski slopes of fresh white powder or hike the hills under a summertime sun, a getaway to a mountain lodge can be just what the doctor ordered. Miles from the noise of civilization, a mountain vacation helps folks become one with the Great Outdoors. But sifting through the masses of rental cabins and lodging options can be overwhelming, so we have rounded up our favorite mountain lodge getaways for the next time you need a home away from home -- at 10,000 feet.
Mt. Rainier National Park, Washington
This Mt. Rainier National Park staple, which first welcomed guests in 1917, recently underwent a $22.5-million facelift -- a necessity after the impacts of several earthquakes took their toll. After closing its doors in fall of 2005 and reopening in late spring 2008, the resort now boasts glossy fir floors and a more polished interior, though regulars and employees say the ambience is the same and key decorative elements, like the old grandfather clock in the lobby, remain. In addition to 118 guest rooms, guests will find a 200-seat dining room, a gift shop specializing in Northwest crafts, a snack bar and the Glacier lounge located within the perimeter of Paradise Inn. A delicious brunch is offered to visitors each Sunday, and a cluster of hiking trails diverge from the lodge. Located just an hour's drive south of Seattle, Paradise Inn is the signature property for Mt. Rainier, a launching point for climbers attempting to reach the summit, as well as a favorite spot for mountain lovers all over the world.
Mohonk Mountain House
New Paltz, New York
Situated atop the Shawangunk in upstate New York, Mohonk Mountain House is more of a village than a mere lodge. The property features a golf course, tennis courts, carriage rides, an ice-skating rink, trail rides, rock-climbing, fishing, boating, an abundance of snow sports, as well as swanky lodging. Amenities range based on room choice: Some rooms may include balconies, fireplaces, four-poster canopy beds and sweeping vistas. Rates for all accommodation include three meals daily in one of three dining rooms, and an afternoon tea-and-cookies spread. On top of the various other offerings, Mohonk houses a world-class spa, with 16 treatment rooms, heated indoor and outdoor pools, a solarium and a fitness center with an abundance of classes on the schedule.
Mount Hood, Oregon
Located midway to the summit of Mount Hood, Timberline Lodge's timber and stone structure dates back to 1936 and was constructed entirely by hand by unemployed craftspeople hired as part of the Federal Works Progress Administration during the Great Depression. One of the four-story, 12,350-square-foot lodge's unique attributes is that no two rooms are the same: Every inch of space in the building was utilized, and rooms feature original artwork and handcrafted furnishings created by the same workers who built the facilities. Guests can choose from twin, queen, corner, fireplace or chalet rooms; all include a television, telephone, heater, iron, and complimentary toiletries, as well as access to the Jacuzzi, sauna and swimming pool.
Le Conte Lodge
Great Smoky Mountains, Tennessee
Part of the Appalachian Mountains that straddle the North Carolina-Tennessee border, Great Smoky Mountains National Park lies blanketed in a dramatic, bluish haze. The mountains welcome hundreds of thousands of visitors a year who visit the Smokies with the intention of hiking the Appalachian Trail, visiting Clingman's Dome (Tennessee's highest point), tubing the many rivers and creeks that trickle down the slopes, or biking Cades Cove. Le Conte Lodge, resting at 6,593 feet elevation, is the park's only lodging option other than campgrounds. Though its location is prime, Le Conte is designed for the no-frills traveler and can accommodate 50 guests a night, who are distributed throughout rough-hewn cabins and cozy group-sleeping facilities. Rooms are lit and heated by kerosene lamps and propane heaters, and guests bathe in basins (though they often opt out of cleaning entirely, as temperatures in the Smokies dip dramatically at night).
The Lodges at Deer Valley
Park City, Utah
Home to the famed Sundance Film Festival held annually in January, Park City, UT, was founded as a silver-mining town in 1869, and is now lauded as one of the best ski destinations in the United States. Considered one of the town's elite resorts, the Lodges at Deer Valley is convenient to downtown Park City, while still located on the premises of Deer Valley Ski Resort. On site, the lodge features a ski rental shop, ski storage, local shuttle service, a 24-hour fitness center and a pool and hot tub that are open year-round. In winter, a daily continental breakfast is served up piping hot. You have your choice of a standard or deluxe hotel room, or condos that consist of one bedroom; one bedroom and a loft; two bedrooms with or without a loft; or three bedrooms. All quarters come equipped with a kitchen, gas fireplace, hair dryer, telephone, wet bar, coffee maker, microwave, and washer and dryer set.