Colorado: Celebrate Earth Day with a deal at Mesa Verde National Park

Colorado: Celebrate Earth Day with a deal at Mesa Verde National Park










The National Park Service is celebrating the 40th anniversary of Earth Day by letting visitors in for free later this month to more than 100 parks that usually charge entrance fees.  At some parks, you’ll also find discounts for the week on lodging, shopping and activities, thanks to park concessionaires, including Aramark Parks and Destinations.

Deal: During the April 17-25 National Park Week, Aramark is offering “Fee Free Days” deals at five locations, including Mesa Verde National Park in southwestern Colorado.

Known for its hundreds of cliff dwellings, Mesa Verde is a popular hiking destination. Under the “Fee Free Days” deal here,  you pay $99 for your first night at the in-park Far View Lodge, with the second consecutive night free; there’s a two-night limit.

This lodge really lets guests decompress, with TV-free rooms and no cellular reception. (The lobby offers Wi-Fi for those who cannot bear to disconnect completely.)  Guests will also get 40% off certain recycled T-shirts at shops from April 17-25.

Dates: Good for stays April 22-30.


Tested: I found the deal widely available, but there was some confusion about it. The online reservations page said the deal was for a midweek stay, but I found it available the weekend of April 23-25.

Tip: If you want a discounted getaway for more than two nights (the limit at Far View Lodge), try Olympic National Park in Washington, known for its mineral springs at Sol Duc, the Quinault rainforest and Kalaloch Beach. You can stay up to eight nights, with four of them free, at Sol Duc Hot Springs Resort, Kalaloch Lodge and Lake Crescent Lodge, subject to availability. Rates start at $157 per night. When I tested availability, Sol Duc Hot Springs and Kalaloch had great availability, while Lake Crescent only had limited dates open.

Contact: Aramark Parks and Destinations, (866) 292-8295 (for Mesa Verde)

– Terry Gardner, Special to the Los Angeles Times

Photo: Cliff dwellings at Mesa Verde National Park in Colorado. Credit: Aramark Parks and Destinations

By LA Times

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