The sound of birds, stargazing at a darkened sky, hiking remote trails…. Sometimes we just need to get away, and what’s more restful and inspiring than getting away to a place where we can immerse ourselves in nature?
For those craving a trip to a place where there are more animals than people, this list is for you. These are the 30 best lodges in North America where you can get back to nature. Some of our included lodges offer guests the highest level of luxury (think private helicopter tours and five-star chefs), while others are just as impressive, but available to those on a budget. One thing each of our lodges has in common, however, is a love of the outdoors and a location in one of earth’s most stunning places.
Canyon Point, Utah
You may have seen Utah’s incredible rock formations before, but we assure you, you haven’t seen them like this. Tucked into the stunning natural landscapes of Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument, Amangiri is an eco-conscious resort well-known for its marvelous architecture, overwhelming sense of luxury, and its incredible views. Speaking of which, floor-to-ceiling windows ensure guests always have the best vantage point for admiring the local geology. Knowledgeable Amangiri staff include resident geologists and archaeologists. They organize for each guest a customized itinerary. Possible activities include:
- horseback riding
- hot air balloon rides
- rock climbing
Of course, one could always spend the day lounging by the one-of-a-kind cliff pool, too. Prices vary by suite and date, and range from $2,600 per night to upwards of $9,000 per night.
Amansala Eco-Chic Resort
Tulum, Quinana Roo
Zen and relaxation are the key words at Amansala Eco-Chic Resort in Tulum, Mexico. When you’re not sunbathing on the white-sand beaches (steps away from your bungalow door!), cycle 20 minutes to the nearby Mayan ruins, grab drinks at a beachfront bar, or join a yoga retreat. If all else fails, simply spend the day lounging in your bungalow, enjoying the views and the cool sea breeze. Room rates begin at $165.
Bathurst Inlet Lodge
Bathurst Inlet, Yellowknife, Northwest Territories
Bathurst Inlet Lodge is a nature lodge in the truest sense. After all, it’s located 30 miles north of the Arctic Circle — practically on top of the world! Owned by Glenn and Trish Warner since 1969, Bathurst has worked closely with the local Kingaunmiot Inuit community for decades, a relationship that directly benefits the lodge’s visitors. Guests spend their days trekking the rocky landscape, kayaking forest rivers, and tracking caribou. The rooms aren’t fancy, but they’re steeped in comfort and charm. Seven-day trips for two start at $5,580, including all meals and activities.
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Nearly four million people visit Yellowstone National Park each year, but the few who are able to stay at the Bentwood Inn experience the famed national park in a whole new way. Located in Jackson Hole and constructed with pines salvaged from the park in 1988, this stunning lodge ensures guests get up close and personal with the local nature. Moose and other wildlife frequently cross right through the property, while local ingredients tend to be the stars of the daily breakfast buffet. The excellent staff is well known for their experience and local knowledge, and can point you in the right direction for whatever it is you hope to experience while you’re in the area. Bentwood Inn has only five rooms, so book as early as possible. Room rates range from $160 to $460 per night.
Birch Pond Lodge
It’s situated on 100 acres of spruce and paper birch trees. It boasts incredible views of Mount McKinley. Alaska’s Birch Pond Lodge provides the perfect environment if you want to get back to nature. The lodge’s wild surroundings impart frequent sightings of moose, otters, loons, beavers, bald eagles, lynx, and even grizzly bears. Guests sleep in cabins made of felled trees, while breakfast consists of pancakes with syrup hand-tapped from local birches. There’s even homemade ice cream for dessert! A night at Birch Pond Lodge starts at $440 for a double room, a rate which includes meals and activities.
Look up reviews for Canoe Bay in Chetak, Wisconsin and you’ll find descriptions such as “a magical experience.” Considering time spent in Canoe Bay includes such pleasures as delicious cuisine, a romantic atmosphere (have we mentioned no children are allowed here?), and tons of wildlife, we’d say “magical” is pretty apt. During the peak summertime, guests at Canoe Bay can take part in activities like canoeing, kayaking, swimming, sunbathing on the shores of the lake, fishing, golfing, and just about anything else you can think of. If winter is your preferred time to visit Wisconsin, grab a ski pass for some downhill skiing located nearby, go snowshoeing on Canoe Bay’s expansive property, or book a guided ice fishing excursion. Various all-inclusive packages are offered, with prices starting from $999.
Located up in the Canadian Arctic, the town of Churchill is one of the last remaining places on earth that can be considered truly wild. Fortunately, there are nature lodges like Churchill Wild that allow us to experience such a place. Open from July to November, this cozy, comfortable lodge is perched right on the shores of the Hudson Bay. Guests can see polar bears, beluga whales, and caribou on walking safaris, boat tours, or the “rhino,” an open-air safari vehicle. After a long day of exploring, visitors to Churchill Wild can relax with top-notch meals and gorgeous views of the night sky. Friendly staff members are always willing to tell exciting tales of life on the tundra.
Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
Clayoquot Sound, British Columbia
British Columbia’s Clayoquot Wilderness Resort offers guests a luxurious resort experience in the truest sense. That is, Clayoquot runs its very own adventures and activities for the convenience of all. Guests stay in one of 25 luxury tents, where they receive top-notch service from a staff consisting of trained wilderness guides, food and beverage artisans, and others skilled in hospitality. Available activities include:
- hiking the rainforest
- horseback riding
You can also visit the nearby Ahousaht First Nation, with whom the resort enjoys a close working relationship. All-inclusive packages are available in 3-, 4-, and 7-night stays, and peak season adult prices range from $6,600 (3 nights) to $14,300 (7 nights).
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Concordia Eco-Tents in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands has been offering guests the chance to get back to nature since 1976, when Bronx native Stanley Selengut founded the resort with little more than 14 tents. Today, the sought-after eco lodge consists of 125 modern structures. Each is equipped with heat-repelling roofs, solar showers, futon beds, and incredible views from its cliff-top location. Speaking of location, Concordia’s prime spot offers its guests easy access to Maho Bay, one of the best places in the entire Caribbean for snorkeling. Double tents can be reserved starting at $85 per night.
Cree Village Ecolodge
Moose Factory, Ontario
If getting away is the goal, then Cree Village Ecolodge is the place. This extremely remote lodge is located far up in northern Canada. Guests have to access it via water taxi or seaplane. The simple rooms are delightfully rustic, while the long list of local activities includes whale watching, guided river trips, cultural tours, and in the winter, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing trips. Rates vary by room type and season.
El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa
Taos, New Mexico
Time spent at El Monte Sagrado Living Resort and Spa is sort of like time spent in the future. Located in the desert of New Mexico, this beautiful resort features 38 adobe-style casitas made of gunnash, the ash produced by coal mines. Though villas made from ash may sound rather primitive, the overstuffed sofas, satellite TV, and solar-powered everything make it all feel decidedly modern. Guests can enjoy activities both on and off the resort’s property (including an in-house psychic!). They can spend the evenings dining on yak steaks and various exotic fruits grown in El Monte Sagrado’s biolarium. Doubles start at $300 per night.
Fogo Island Inn
Joe Batt’s Arm, Newfoundland
Fogo Island Inn in Joe Batt’s Arm, Newfoundland is, as they say, located “far away from far away.” It was designed by architect Todd Saunders to be both contemporary and a celebration of all things traditional Atlantic Canadian. Fogo Island Inn offers guests clean and modern rooms with furniture, quilts, rugs, and decor all made by local craftsmen. Visitors to Fogo Island will find that their trip here is as much about becoming part of the centuries-old local culture as it is about resting and relaxing. Days are spent fishing for cod, hiking local trails and foraging for berries. They can watch local boat makers at work, catch an impromptu concert of a local musician, and much more. Rates start at $1,400 per night, though solo travelers receive a $200 discount.
Forest House Wilderness Lodge
Air Ronge, Saskatchewan
Forest House Wilderness Lodge is uniquely located in the midst of Saskatchewan’s famed Boreal Forest. Upon their arrival, guests to the lodge will find carefully constructed log buildings, myriad wilderness trails, and pristine natural views that include the region’s Precambrian shield. Days can be spent hiking over trails that include forest, meadows of wildflowers, and the natural Precambrian geology. Nights can be spent observing the stars and relaxing. Room rates start at $89.
Free Spirit Spheres
Qualicum Beach, British Columbia
Ever thought of sleeping in a spherical treehouse located high up in the trees of British Columbia? If you haven’t, Free Spirit Spheres is sure to change that focus. This totally unique nature lodge has received worldwide renown, and for good reason. Guests can spend evenings sleeping among the trees and birds, and days exploring the stunning rainforest environment of Vancouver Island. Rates for the spheres vary, but start at $299 per night.
Granite Park Chalet
Glacier National Park, Montana
You haven’t seen Glacier National Park from this view before! Built in 1914, Granite Park Chalet is nestled into the glacier-carved mountains of one of the most beautiful regions in the world. Practically at the Chalet’s doorstep are four trails just perfect for spending your days trekking and exploring. One such trail is the Highline Trail, a 7.6-mile hike that leads along the Continental Divide and offers stunning views of glacier peaks and the famous Garden Wall. The Chalet itself is quite simple, but that’s okay — people come here for the unbeatable views and park access. Prices to book vary by season, but generally run approximately $110 for the first guest, and $80 for any additional guests in the same room.
Playon de Mismaloya, Jalisco
Guests at Hotelito Descondocido are truly able to get away at this beautiful and well thought out nature lodge. Designed to look like an old Mexican fishing village, Hotelito Descondocido consists of 29 thatched palafitos, fire pits for relaxing, tiki torch-illuminated pathways, and cabanas on stilts housing spas and eating areas. No electrical devices — including phones — are allowed here, but don’t worry. Guests can simply raise a red flag outside of their palafito should they need or desire anything at all. When they’re not relaxing, guests can take part in bird watching, sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, and mountain biking, among a long list of other activities. Double rooms start at $230 per night.
The Lodge at Primland
Meadows of Dan, Virginia
The Lodge at Primland takes the appeal of spending relaxing time on the farm and turns it into a dream getaway. Primland is located in the midst of a 12,000-acre resort, and is surrounded by the picturesque Blue Ridge Mountains. The Lodge at Primland consists of 26 guest rooms, suites, and even treehouses, each of which has been custom designed to fit the refined luxury of the property. When they’re not relaxing, guests can take part in a variety of activities, including nature hikes, mountain biking, and even geocaching. Rates range from $340 for a traditional room to $1,040 for a luxury treehouse.
Miraval Resort & Spa
If pure rest and relaxation is your aim, then Miraval Resort & Spa is worth your consideration. This luxurious resort located in Tuscon, Arizona offers guests myriad options, all based on overall wellness. Pilates and yoga classes are offered frequently. There are also options to go mountain biking, hiking in nearby Catalina State Park, or any of more than 120 other activities. Even the rooms are designed to be as soothing as possible. Rates for the all-inclusive Miraval vary by month, but generally cost anywhere between $500 and $750.
Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort
Mount Waddington, British Columbia
Nimmo Bay Wilderness Resort is located among the most secluded part of the old growth forests of British Columbia’s Great Bear Rainforest. It requires a little bit of work in the form of a helicopter or floatplane to get there. Fortunately, that little bit of work is worth it. Upon their arrival to the resort, guests will find soul-stirring views of huge granite mountains, waterfalls, private beaches, and misting fjords. Days can be spent exploring nature via hiking, kayaking, or taking a helicopter tour. You can also take a boat to search for orcas, bears, and sea lions, among other natural wonders. Evenings are spent enjoying top-notch coastal cuisine, stargazing from the hot tub, or socializing to the background sounds of live music. A stay at Nimmo Bay is luxury at it’s finest, and all-inclusive packages begin at $1,995 per person, per day.
Post Ranch Inn
Big Sur, California
A nature escape is possible even in busy California, as proven by the excellent Post Ranch Inn. Perched on a cliffside about 1,200 feet above Big Sur, Post Ranch Inn consists of 40 architecturally impressive rooms and suites (and even some luxury treehouses!). Each has a stunning view of either the mountains or the Pacific, a fireplace, a private deck, and an indoor spa tub. There are not, however, any televisions. Guests are left to entertain themselves with nature hikes, star gazing, spa treatments, swimming in the heated infinity pool, or taking a yoga class. Rates begin at $1,025 per night.
Red Mountain Resort
Spend the day exploring Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and Snow Canyon State Park. Then head back to the relaxing Red Mountain Resort. Located within easy access of Utah’s most beautiful natural areas, this pretty resort offers comfortable rooms and stunning views of the characteristic red-tinged rocks of southern Utah. If spending the day relaxing on property is more your style, Red Mountain Resort has a beautiful pool, spa and salon, yoga and fitness classes, and excellent dining options. Room rates begin at about $150 per night.
The Resort at Paws Up
The Resort at Paws Up offers guests the chance to experience life on an actual Montana ranch. But don’t worry, this isn’t the rough-and-tumble cowboy lifestyle you’ve seen in the movies. The 37,000-acre property consists of luxury tents where guests can sleep under the stars without exposing themselves to the elements. They even come with a butler. Such impressive lodgings ensure that visitors receive the best possible night’s sleep so that days can be spent taking part in activities like horseback riding and hot air balloon tours.
Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge
You’ll have to take a water taxi to Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge, located near Homer, Alaska. Once there, you’ll see pretty quickly why this beautiful area is known as the “bear viewing capital of the world.” Sadie Cove Wilderness Lodge runs on hydro power and non-polluting wind. It’s all-inclusive, and guests can organize guided activities or tours of Kachemak Bay State Park. Summertime rates are $550 (if booked directly through the lodge) or $650 per person, per night, plus $150 per person for a roundtrip water taxi ticket. If you’re lucky, you may get to stay in Sadie Cove’s most famous “room,” converted from a rescued sailboat.
Salish Lodge & Spa
As you’re sitting on your balcony overlooking the impressive Snoqualmie Falls, you’ll find it hard to believe that you’re only about 30 miles from Seattle. Salish Lodge & Spa, in Snoqualmie, Washington, sits perched practically on the edge of the scenic waterfall. It provides guests in the 84 well-designed rooms both stunning views and the constant relaxing sounds of rushing water. Guests who manage to drag themselves away from the cozy lodge will find there is plenty to do in the surrounding area, including:
- mountain biking
- fly fishing
- river rafting
There’s also golfing at the only Jack Nicklaus-designed course in the Northwest. Not every room at the lodge comes with a water view, though it’s worth the extra charge. Room rates start at $300 per night.
Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort
70 Mile House, British Columbia
Experience Canadian cowboy country with a visit to Siwash Lake Wilderness Resort in British Columbia. The resort is surrounded by lake-dotted meadows, and consists of a log ranch house, various canvas cabins, and 360 degrees of stunning natural views. Days can be spent exploring the surrounding 80,000 acres of nature on either foot or horseback. Evenings can be spent enjoying the sounds of nature while sitting and socializing around the campfire. This luxurious resort is family friendly, and packages can be purchased for 3, 4, or 7 nights. Rates for these all-inclusive packages start at $4,485 for adults and $2,985 for children.
Sonora Island, British Columbia, Canada
Whether you get to the secluded Sonora Resort by helicopter, seaplane, or good old-fashioned boat, everything about this stunning resort is meant to impress and relax. The Sonora is situated smack dab in the midst of some of British Columbia’s most beautiful and untouched natural scenery. Book your choice of a lake-view room, suite, or private villa, then spend your days partaking in a long list of incredible activities, including:
- eco adventures
- spa treatments
- grizzly bear tours
- salmon fishing
- fly fishing
- ocean kayaking
- helicopter glacier tours
Prices start at $920 per night, based on double occupancy.
Triple Creek Ranch
The award-winning Triple Creek Ranch offers guests the opportunity to immerse themselves into the Wild West while relaxing under the vast Montana sky. Guests of this luxurious and modern resort have access to decked-out private cabins, an on-site gourmet restaurant, and a spa which offers in-room massages. Speaking of massages, you’ll definitely want to book one after you spend your days exploring Montana’s beautiful natural scenery on the back of a horse. With so much to offer in such a beautiful place, it’s no wonder Travel & Leisure named Triple Creek Ranch the #1 hotel in the world as part of its World’s Best Awards 2014. Prices range per cabin, though full-experience vacation packages can also be booked.
Trout Point Lodge
East Kemptville, Nova Scotia
Located within an easy travel distance of both Halifax and Portland, Maine, Trout Point Lodge offers guests an eco vacation at a quintessential wilderness retreat. Trout Point has also been the recipient of countless awards in luxury travel. It’s Canada’s only current member of Small Luxury Hotels of the World, and has been recognized by National Geographic. Guests staying at Trout Point can fill their trip with:
- delicious meals made by top-notch chefs
- canoeing and kayaking trips
- guided hiking
- forest bathing
- cooking classes
- swimming in the river
- stargazing sessions led by expert guides
Room rates begin at $300, with a two-night minimum stay.
Tweedsmuir Park Lodge
Stuie, British Columbia
Located only a few hours from downtown Vancouver and nestled between Mt. Stupendous and Mt. Mellikan is Tweedsmuir Park Lodge. This blissful escape offers guests:
- nine authentic timber chalets
- hot tubs
- a sauna and sweat lodge tepee
- a kid-friendly fishing pond
- stunning natural scenery
A plethora of family-friendly activities can be booked through the lodge’s concierge, including bear-viewing safaris, horseback riding, and during the winter, heli-skiing. Rates vary based on type of accommodation, time of year, and activities.
Valemount, British Columbia
Interested in heli-skiing? Then British Columbia’s Valemount Lodge has you covered. Located at the gateway to the Caribou Mountains, this luxurious nature lodge is considered one of the heli-skiing industries best-kept secrets. Of course, even if you aren’t interested in jumping from a helicopter and taking off down a steep alpine slope, Valemount still has plenty to offer. If you choose to visit during the warmer months, expect meadows full of wildflowers, biologist-led hikes through the terrain, and a lodge experience of unbeatable luxury. Rooms start at $1,499 per night, but package deals are often made available.