Skip to main content

The Best North American Hotels for Outdoor-Lovers

Location, location, location — for home buyers and travelers, this is what it all boils down to. For outdoor lovers, finding the right hotel to serve as a base of operations for an entire vacation’s worth of adventures is critical. To help you decide, here are four of our favorite adventure-centric hotels in North America.

Bugaboos Lodge (British Columbia)

For fifty years, Bugaboos Lodge has offered some of Canada’s best heli-skiing opportunities. Guests skip the traditional lift lines (because there are no lifts here) and instead ascend the jagged Purcell Mountains via helicopter. On any given day, it’s easy to carve a line down the mountain without seeing another soul. For guests who appreciate more relaxed pursuits, the hotel also offers plenty of modern, luxurious amenities that don’t involve waist-deep powder. There’s an on-site four-story climbing wall, a steam room, a dry sauna, more than 12 miles of cross-country trails, and a rooftop hot tub with one of the most stunning mountain views on the continent.

CMH Bugaboos Virtual Tour

Don’t miss: In summer, the lodge offers heli-hiking opportunities and professionally-guided outdoor photography workshops.

Ventana Inn (Big Sur, California)

Most sane Californians would agree that Big Sur is the most beautiful stretch of coastline in the entire state. Ventana Inn offers 62 rooms well-situated to explore the coast in almost complete solitude. The vibe is rustic and low-key, but with all the essential luxury amenities, including fireplaces, spa tubs, and private decks with stunning coastal views. But the real win for outdoor lovers is the inn’s ideal location on more than 200 acres of Pacific coastline. The property is at the intersection of 300 miles of hiking trails in the Ventana Wilderness.


Don’t miss: New for 2017, the inn debuted 15 safari-style tents where guests can luxury camp amid stands of centuries-old Redwood trees.

Taylor River Lodge (near Crested Butte, Colorado)

Travelers looking to get far off the beaten path can easily get lost at Taylor River Lodge. Tucked into Colorado’s rugged and remote Taylor Canyon, this “summer camp for adults” offers all the creature comforts of home amid world-class outdoor opportunities. The nearby Gunnison River is the base of much of the property’s activities, which include kayaking, rafting, and trout fishing (there’s even a private casting pond). On-site land-based activities include hiking, a climbing wall, mountain biking, rock climbing, and archery. Rates aren’t cheap, but the $1,000-plus nightly rate (in high season) is all-inclusive with airport transfers, food, beverages, all necessary gear, and guided activities.


Don’t miss: Every guest receives a customized itinerary designed around their preferred outdoor pursuits.

Granite Park Chalet (Glacier National Park, Montana)

There isn’t a hint of pretense or luxury at Granite Park Chalet. The biggest decision most guests will need to make is choosing which freeze-dried meal to order for dinner. The backcountry shelter is one of only two such surviving chalets in Montana’s breathtaking Glacier National Park. For more than 100 years, it’s served as the ideal jumping-off point for exploring hundreds of miles of hiking trails. Indeed, it lies at the intersection of four of the park’s most popular trails including the moderate, eight-mile Highline Trail.

Photo by Troy Smith on Flickr

Don’t miss: The view from the front porch — snow-capped peaks, glacier-carved valleys, and an endless expanse of wildflowers — is literally jaw-dropping.

Editors' Recommendations