The national parks: Best deals for "America's Best Idea"

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Autumn is arguably the best season for visiting national parks. The weather is crisp and beautiful, and summer's crowds and peak-season prices have both disappeared.

If you have parks on the brain, you're not alone. PBS is now showing the new documentary from Ken Burns entitled "The National Parks: America's Best Idea." This past Saturday, September 26, was also National Public Lands Day, when admission to all 391 national parks was free.

If you're feeling inspired to get out into nature, check out these lodging deals for fall and winter at three of our greatest national parks:

Grand Canyon

Room rates at the Grand Canyon's Maswik and Yavapi Lodges are usually $90 to $170 in the summer. From November 29 through March 4, however, prices start at $82 per room and top off at just $105. (Note there are blackout dates for these special rates around Christmas and New Year's.) The special seasonal rates are valid for single or double occupancy, and kids 16 and under stay free. For bookings, call 888/297-2757 or visit


At the historic Wawona Hotel, located between Yosmite Valley and the giant trees in the Mariposa Grove, rooms with shared baths start at just $79 for midweek stays from October 25 through November 24. Earlier in October, many dates are available for $89 a night. Check out the calendar of special rates here, or call 801/559-4884.


To celebrate its one-hundredth year as part of the national parks system, Zion is offering $100 rooms at the Zion Lodge from October 28 through November 24. (Rates are normally $159.) When booking, be sure to reference the promotion code "100FOR100" to get the discount. Visit or call 888/297-2757 for more details.

National parks: Deals inspired by Ken Burns' new doc

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