Sunday, July 27, 2014

Historic Lodges of Glacier National Park

We planned our trip to Glacier National Park over a year ago so we could stay in some of the Historical Lodges inside the Park. I love architecture and also the idea of being so close to the trailheads. The first place we stayed was Lake McDonald  Lodge. It is located on the largest lake in the park. Here is the front of the building that backs up to the lake. When it was built in 1913, the only way to the lodge was by boat. All the lodges were built with a Swiss design by the Great Northern railroad. The idea was to get Americans to travel to the USA instead of Europe. This was the smallest with 65 rooms in the lodge. We actually stayed in a cabin right next to the lodge.

This was the most restful place on the trip. It was not crowded and you could walk along the paved walkway from the cabin to the lodge. There was a boat dock it you wanted a ride.

The interior of the main hotel was intended to give the impression of a hunting lodge. There was a massive fireplace inside so big you could stand up in it. It is a National Historic Landmark.

This was our cabin. It had a front porch with two tables and chairs where I ate my breakfast. 

This is the Prince of Wales Hotel in Waterton Lakes Canada. Part of Glacier Park is across the border calling it the Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park. The clientele that stayed here was a bit older with some tour groups. It was named after the Prince of Wales in an attempt to entice him to stay in the hotel on his 1927 Canadian tour. This was built by Mr Hill who kept changing his mind about the architecture that some parts had to be rebuilt four times.  

This was our view from our lakeside room. It was SSOO windy here that the windows rattled all night. It was fun to watch the tourists stand in front of the hotel by the lake getting blown around.

Hill wanted the building to resemble French or Swiss chalets. The final hotel has 86 rooms in seven stories with a 30 foot bell tower. In the interior lobby they hold a daily tea time next to the large picture window. There is a phenomenal view of the lake and mountains.  Many comfy chairs are available to read a book.

Here is the picture window to the lake. 

All the Bellman and women wore kilts and operated the elevator for you.
Our favorite Lodge was the Many Glacier Hotel. They had the best tour by the National Park ranger. This was another lodge built by the Great Northern Railroads. The location was chosen for the view. A gorgeous lake with perfectly symmetrical mountains behind them.

Here is the dining room. The decor had a starling combination of styles. Elements of the American west, swiss Alps, and the Orient.  Japanese parasols and dozens of Oriental lanterns hung overhead.

A beautiful reflection when we woke up one morning and looked out our window.
There were huge Douglas fir trees 36 inches diameter four floors high brought from Washington state. A skyway in the roof made you feel like you were outdoors. The energy here of the guests was very active/ young adult. Everyone was here to hike. Lots of places to hide out with your group to play games, read, eat and drink.

This was the Glacier Lodge Hotel located a block from the Railroad Station. It is still used today by Amtrak for groups.  The trees are used as supports in here as well. They were specially cut before the sap had risen in the trees to ensure the bark stayed attached.  They had live entertainment every night and the best wifi (actually worked).  

This was our Balcony. It was great to watch the storms roll in or to eat breakfast.

The front of the lodge had a beautiful flower garden, a nine hole golf course, and lap sized swimming pool.

I enjoyed looking at the artwork hanging on the second floor.  Different scenes from Glacier Park were illustrated by various artists. Back when these lodges were first built the only way to get to Glacier park was through the trains and then they took horses around the trails. People didn't hike back then.