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Stay at these hotels near national parks using points

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National park visits have exploded in popularity in recent years: More than 325 million visitors enjoyed U.S. national parks in 2023, up 4% from 2022.

Typically, the largest — and most prohibitive — expense involved with visiting a national park is lodging.

Many national parks are in remote places, and finding a major chain hotel where you can redeem points in the vicinity can be a challenge. However, you’ll often find that you can use your points from World of Hyatt, Marriott Bonvoy, Hilton Honors, Choice Privileges and other hotel loyalty programs to stay near some of the country’s most-visited national parks, especially those close to midsize or major cities. And don’t forget, the National Park Service has many properties in its portfolio that go beyond its famed national parks, including national monuments and historic sites. (Plus, they offer free admission six days per year.)

If there are no nearby places where you can use hotel points, consider using fixed-value currencies such as Chase Ultimate Rewards points, which can be racked up with the Chase Sapphire Reserve® or Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card.

If you plan to travel to national parks in the future, here’s how you can use your points and miles to make these trips more affordable by saving on hotel stays.

White Sands National Park

White Sands National Park in New Mexico. TETRA IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES

White Sands National Park joined the national park roster in 2019 and covers 275 square miles of desert in New Mexico’s Tularosa Basin. Visitors can traverse otherworldly dunes of gypsum sand — you can even sled down them there. However, if you’re more into sightseeing than sledding, consider motoring down the scenic, 8-mile-long Dunes Drive.

El Paso International Airport (ELP) is the closest major airport to White Sands and is a little less than 100 miles south. Luckily, there are a few affordable hotels close to the park:

Where to stay

  • Fairfield Inn & Suites Alamogordo — from $147 or 18,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night
  • Courtyard by Marriott Las Cruces at NMSU — from $159 or 38,500 Marriott Bonvoy points per night
  • Hilton Garden Inn Las Cruces — from $149 or 30,000 Hilton Honors points per night
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Las Cruces I-10 — from $134 or 30,000 Hilton Honors points per night

Related: Best national parks to visit with your kids

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Indiana Dunes National Park

Geologist Laura Brennan poses in Indiana Dunes National Park in Indiana. LUCIE AUBOURG/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Not many people realize Chicago is less than an hour’s drive from one of America’s newest national parks: Indiana Dunes National Park. Formerly known as Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore, the area received national park status in 2019. Indiana Dunes stretches 15 miles along the shore of Lake Michigan and is a popular summer destination for beachgoers and hikes alike.

Related: Drives from Chicago every traveler will love

Visitors from Chicago can easily make a daytrip to Indiana Dunes National Park, but you can also set up a home base in a neighboring Indiana town, such as Chesterton or Portage, where budget and moderate hotels are available.

Where to stay

  • Fairfield Inn & Suites Valparaiso — from $145 or 45,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night
  • Hyatt Regency McCormick Place — from $160 or 18,000 World of Hyatt points per nights (since this is a Category 4 hotel, you can use a Category 1-4 certificate awarded on the cardholder anniversary of the World of Hyatt Credit Card)
  • Hilton Garden Inn Chesterton — from $151 or 35,000 Hilton Honors points per night
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Portage — from $158 or 32,000 IHG One Rewards points per night

Related: Enjoy free national park visits — here’s how to save

Gateway Arch National Park

Gateway Arch National Park in St. Louis. MIKE KLINE/GETTY IMAGES

St. Louis‘ Gateway Arch National Park is another relatively recent addition to the national park system’s inventory. The area around the arch underwent a major renovation in 2018: 11 acres of parkland and 5 miles of biking trails and walking paths were added.

Since it’s in a major city, there are many hotel options available near Gateway Arch National Park.

Where to stay

  • Hotel Saint Louis, Autograph Collection — from $195 or 82,00 Marriott Bonvoy points per night
  • Hyatt Regency St. Louis at The Arch — from $127 or 8,000 World of Hyatt points per night (Category 2)
  • St. Louis Union Station Hotel, Curio Collection by Hilton — from $263 or 50,000 Hilton Honors points per night

Yosemite National Park

Half Dome at Yosemite National Park in California. NICK RAINS/GETTY IMAGES

Yosemite National Park, located in Northern California about 170 miles east of San Francisco, needs no introduction. It’s the most visited national park in the Golden State and is home to famed landmarks like Half Dome — it’s on many travelers’ bucket lists.

Related: A gondola ride away from the slopes: A review of the Westin Mammoth in California

During peak summer travel dates, long lines can form at the park’s entrances, and it can take as much as 45 minutes to drive anywhere within Yosemite. If you have flexible points available, consider redeeming them for a more accessible stay within the park or somewhere close by. However, there are still some places where you can redeem hotel points near Yosemite National Park.

Where to stay

  • Quality Inn Yosemite Valley Gateway — from $157 or 30,000 Choice Privileges points per night
  • Sierra Sky Ranch, Ascend Hotel Collection — from $305 or 30,000 Choice Privileges points per night
  • Best Western Plus Yosemite Gateway Inn — from $246 or 40,000 Best Western Rewards points per night
  • The Westin Monache Resort, Mammoth — from $301 or 108,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night

Everglades, Dry Tortugas and Biscayne national parks

Everglades National Park in Florida. CASSIDY ATHOS/EYEEM/GETTY IMAGES

South Florida is home to three magnificent national parks that are unlike anything you’ll find elsewhere in the country: Everglades National Park, Dry Tortugas National Park and Biscayne National Park.

Everglades National Park is an easy, 40-mile drive southwest of Miami and is home to wildlife like banded water snakes, Florida softshell turtles and little grass frogs. Dry Tortugas and Biscayne, however, both require some additional effort to reach, as they protect areas that cover vast tracts of water.

If you want to hit all three in a single trip, Key Largo will be your most central spot to find lodging. Or, you could spend a few days in the Miami area to visit the Everglades and Biscayne national parks, and then drive down to Key West, where you can see the Dry Tortugas on a day trip.

Where to stay

  • The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, Miami — from $398 or 110,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night
  • Hyatt Regency Miami — from $144 or 9,000 World of Hyatt points per night (Category 3)
  • Courtyard Key Largo — from $166 or 88,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night
  • Hyatt Centric Key West Resort & Spa — from $331 or 40,000 World of Hyatt points per night (Category 8)
  • Casa Marina Key West, Curio Collection by Hilton — from $348 or 93,000 Hilton Honors points per night

Zion National Park

Zion National Park in Utah. THE GOOD BRIGADE/GETTY IMAGES

Interest in Zion National Park has exploded in recent years, making it one of the nation’s most visited national parks.

NPS statistics show that more than 4.6 million visitors entered Zion in 2022 — and for good reason. In addition to gorgeous, Instagram-worthy views, Zion offers some of the most unusual trails in the country, including Angels Landing and the Narrows. There are also plenty of family-friendly hiking and biking opportunities for travelers with younger kids.

For points travelers, Zion is also one of the easier national parks to visit. The town of Springdale, Utah, is steps from the park’s main entrance, and moderately priced chain hotels abound.

Where to stay

  • Hampton Inn & Suites Springdale/Zion National Park — from $220 or 60,000 Hilton Honors points per night
  • Cliffrose Springdale, Curio Collection by Hilton — from $341 or 90,000 Hilton Honors points per night
  • SpringHill Suites by Marriott Springdale Zion National Park — from $273 or 127,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night
  • Best Western Plus Zion Canyon Inn & Suites — from $251 or 40,000 Best Western Rewards points per night
  • The Lodge at Zion County — from $220 or 173,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night

Related: This hotel near Zion National Park may be the best SpringHill Suites on Earth

Hawaii Volcanoes National Park

Hiker on the Kilauea Iki trail in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. YIMING CHEN/GETTY IMAGES

The landscape at Hawaii Volcanoes National Park was permanently altered in March 2018 after the on-site, active shield volcano Kilauea erupted. There’s no longer visible lava in the park, but the crater is dramatically bigger as a result of the eruption.

There are no major hotels near the park, so you can either book a basic cabin in the park or stay at Volcano House, which operates in partnership with the National Park Service. During the summer, rooms are often available for $285 per night (crater views cost a little extra). Or, you can rent a small cabin for less than $100 per night. Either way, you’ll want to use your fixed-value points to cover that cost. Otherwise, Hilo is less than an hour away and has many more hotel options.

Where to stay

  • Grand Naniloa Hotel Hilo — A Doubletree by Hilton — from $281 or 50,000 Hilton Honors points per night
  • Mauna Kea Beach Hotel, Autograph Collection — from $849 or 173,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night

Grand Canyon National Park

Rafting on the Colorado River in Grand Canyon National Park. MERRILL IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES

Perhaps the most iconic national park of all, the Grand Canyon is massive in size and popularity. The canyon has two rims, and there are many lodging options based on where you plan to visit. And although you can camp in the Grand Canyon or reserve other lodging within the park, competition is often fierce.

Here are our picks for the best points hotels near the Grand Canyon.

Where to stay near the South Rim

  • Squire Resort at the Grand Canyon, BW Signature Collection — from $181 or 40,000 Best Western Rewards points per night
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Grand Canyon, an IHG Hotel — from $231 or 43,000 IHG One Rewards points per night

If you’re planning a multinight visit, remember that the IHG One Rewards Premier Credit Card will give you a fourth reward night free.

Where to stay near the North Rim

  • Courtyard Page at Lake Powell — from $216 or 97,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night
  • Holiday Inn Express & Suites Page — Lake Powell Area, an IHG Hotel — from $189 or 39,000 IHG One Rewards per night
  • Days Inn & Suites by Wyndham Page Lake Powell — from $245 or 15,000 Wyndham Rewards points per night
  • Best Western Plus at Lake Powell — from $182 or 32,000 Best Western Rewards points per night

Related: Visiting the Grand Canyon with a family: Where to camp, stay and play

Shenandoah National Park

Doyles River Falls in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia. SAM SPICER/GETTY IMAGES

Charlottesville, Virginia, is an ideal jumping-off point for a number of nearby national park adventures, including Shenandoah National Park and the Blue Ridge Parkway. Although the area is popular in summer, I love visiting in the fall, when some of the prettiest leaf colors in the country can be found.

For travelers interested in the Civil War, there are two historic sites within an easy 90-minute drive of Charlottesville: Appomattox Court House National Historic Park, which commemorates the place where the Civil War ended, and Manassas National Battlefield Park, the site of two major (and bloody) Civil War battles.

Where to stay

  • Residence Inn Charlottesville Downtown — from $168 or 84,000 Marriott Bonvoy points per night (a good place to use a 35,000-point certificate)
  • Hyatt Place Charlottesville — from $162 or 8,000 World of Hyatt points per night (Category 2)
  • DoubleTree by Hilton Front Royal Blue Ridge Shadows — from $124 or 35,000 Hilton Honors points per night.

Related: Not quite ready for commencement: A review of the Graduate Charlottesville hotel

Bottom line

Our country is blessed with many fantastic national parks, monuments and outdoor spaces.

If one of the U.S. national parks is on your summer 2024 wish list, now is a good time to make hotel reservations in or near a park using points.

Considering a national park trip this year? Other articles of interest:



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