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9 luxury expedition hotels you can visit without leaving the US

Sept. 19, 2022
8 min read
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Adventures in the great outdoors have never been more popular.

By 2027, experts estimate that adventure tourism will have grown by 20%, with travelers spending more than $2.5 billion worldwide, according to a recent market report.

These types of trips, which often involve jetting off to a remote location for intense outdoor activities, can test travelers physically and mentally. It’s a full sensory experience that reawakens your love for nature while getting the adrenaline pumping. But you don't have to venture to the farthest reaches of the globe for an adventurous expedition. In fact, there are many resorts and lodges that can help you get in touch with Mother Nature without leaving the U.S.

And it’s not all tents and tiny houses, either. From glacier-top lodges in Alaska to lakeside log cabins in New York, these ultraluxurious expedition hotels will help you have a transformative journey in the great outdoors, no passport required.

The Green O in Montana

The Green O is an all-inclusive resort for adults in Greenough, Montana. THE GREEN O MONTANA/FACEBOOK

Serene and secluded, The Green O in Greenough is perfect for nature enthusiasts who don’t shy away from creature comforts. Its 12 stand-alone homes, called hauses, are camouflaged beneath the pines and range from a Tree Haus 23 feet above the ground to a Round Haus with curved views of the wilderness. This luxe, all-inclusive resort for adults is a sister property and neighbor to the popular Paws Up ranch. Here, guests can ride ATVs through the wilderness, try fly fishing or saddle up to horseback ride along the Blackfoot River by day and indulge in a 10-course fireside feast at the acclaimed Social Haus by night. Guests here also have their own Lexus to explore the 37,000 acres of land in style. Rates next year start around $2,200 per night, including round-trip airport transfers from Missoula Montana Airport (MSO) and three meals per day, including drinks.

Sheldon Chalet in Alaska

Stay at the Sheldon Chalet for a unique all-inclusive expedition within Denali National Park. SHELDON CHALET

From start to finish, a stay at Sheldon Chalet in Denali National Park is an all-inclusive expedition. After a helicopter tour arrival, up to 10 travelers can settle into this private, five-bedroom lodge perched on a glacier. Guests here have all 35 square miles of the Sheldon Amphitheater to explore on foot with expert guides. Depending on the season, you can try snow cavern spelunking, ice climbing, repelling, rock climbing or avalanche viewing. When you’re ready for hot cocoa prepared by your private chef, head back to the lodge for a sauna with Denali summit views. All-inclusive stays start at $75,000 for up to four people for an exclusive three-night minimum.

Camp Sarika in Utah

Camp Sarika by Amangiri. AMAN

A five-minute drive from the lauded Amangiri resort, in the remote desert of southern Utah, is its even more secluded glamping escape, Camp Sarika. Here, 10 tented pavilions sit alone against the rocky mesas. The perfect place for daily yoga sessions, it's also near a number of national parks, including Zion National Park and Bryce Canyon National Park. Guests can sign up for the Via Ferrata Challenge, an Italian-born style of mountain climbing with fixed ladders and ropes. Or, explore the incredible geology on horseback or hike the area’s slot canyons. Cool off in your private plunge pool before the sun sets and the fires of Camp Sarika are lit. Rates for the remainder of 2022 start at $3,200 per night.

Scarp Ridge Lodge in Colorado

Hidden away in Crested Butte, Scarp Ride Lodge has over one thousand acres of trails for skiers and snowboarders. SCARP RIDGE LODGE/FACEBOOK

At Scarp Ridge Lodge, a hideaway in Crested Butte, a custom-designed snowcat arrives at your doorstep daily to take you to the mountains. Guides show guests the best trails on over 1,000 acres of powder for all types of skiers and snowboarders. This property also has two on-mountain cabins for recharging. Kick-off apres back at the lodge, where five ultraplush guestrooms, an indoor saltwater pool, a private chef and hot tubs await. Rates start at $940 per night based on double occupancy in the summer, but for the winter experience, rates start at $21,400 per night to buy out the entire lodge (based on 10 guests with a two-night minimum stay). That includes breakfast, lunch and apres every day, plus gear for use during your stay, beverages and more.

Vermejo, a Ted Turner Reserve in New Mexico

Get a glimpse of the 1,200 wild bison that roam the Vermejo property on horseback. VERMEJO

There are more than 1,200 wild bison roaming Ted Turner’s luxury expedition reserve in northern New Mexico. On its staggering 550,000 acres of land, get a glimpse of them on horseback or go fishing in one of the property’s 19 lakes. Jump in a UTV to spot bear, elk, antelope, deer and more on a guided safari-like tour. There are dozens of unique activities, from geocaching around historic sights to a Survivor Challenge competition. Vermejo has four different types of accommodation and rates, which start around $1,500 per night, include all meals, nonalcoholic beverages and two daily activities.

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Reid Creek Lodge at Wagonhound in Wyoming

Reid Creek Lodge is ideal for adventurous travelers interested in learning to corral cattle on horseback and spend time in the Rocky Mountains. REID CREEK LODGE

At this working cattle ranch in Douglas, adventurers can corral cattle on horseback or paddleboard on an alpine lake. Bespoke itineraries can include e-biking, stargazing, archery and more to get your group of family or friends breathing the fresh air of the Rocky Mountains. Then, the group heads back to the private seven-bedroom, 8,000-square-foot lodge to roast marshmallows by the fire, play pool or soak in the tub. At Reid Creek Lodge, a private chef also caters to your group's culinary desires, including an optional campfire dinner in the mountains while the stars twinkle above. Rates start at $15,000 per night (up to 22 guests).

Tanque Verde Ranch in Arizona

Tanque Verde, the state's best dude ranch, offers horse-related activities like sunset rides and horsemanship lessons for all levels of rider. TANQUE VERDE RANCH

There’s no shortage of luxury expedition hotels in the Grand Canyon State. Operating for over 150 years, Tanque Verde is the state's best dude ranch. Located on 60,000 acres of Tucson desert, it offers swimming, hiking, biking and fishing, but horse-related activities are the star. Opt for a loping ride, a sunset ride, team penning or horsemanship for all levels of rider. This family-friendly escape has separate activities for kids including riding lessons and archery. Rooms can be booked for about $300 per night.

The Point in New York

The Point is hidden away in the Adirondacks on Saranac Lake. THE POINT

Built by the Rockefellers in the 1930s, this New York City getaway is an Adirondacks institution on Saranac Lake. Guests here are encouraged to do as much (or as little) as they desire in this plush log cabin hideaway. Outdoor activities here vary according to the season, from water skiing and badminton in the spring and summer to ice skating and curling in the fall and winter months. And, back at the log cabins, hot toddies and roaring indoor and outdoor fires draw guests in. In 2022, nightly rates at The Point (which are inclusive of equipment use, all meals, afternoon tea, wines and spirits for two adults) start at $2,050.

Little St. Simons Island in Georgia

Little St. Simons Island is an all-inclusive stay made to immerse guests in nature and the culture of St. Simons Island. THE LODGE ON LITTLE ST. SIMONS ISLAND/FACEBOOK

Tucked among the salt marshes and ancient live oaks, six distinct cottages and lodges sit on some of Georgia’s most protected conservation lands. Located on the state’s barrier islands, naturalists lead you on guided excursions like bird watching in remote marshes and fishing in tidal creeks. Guests at Little St. Simons Island can also venture off by themselves on any number of hiking trails or swim along the island’s 7 miles of oceanfront. This all-inclusive stay is made to fully immerse you in the nature, cuisine and culture of this lesser-known island paradise. We found rooms from $525 per night before the end of 2022. A two-night minimum is required.

Featured image by PHOTO COURTESY OF THE GREEN O MONTANA/FACEBOOK
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

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  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
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  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
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Best card for premium perks while traveling
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel
5X5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel.
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  • Intro Offer
    Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel

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  • Annual Fee

    $395
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    740-850
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Why We Chose It

The Capital One Venture X card is one of the best all-round travel credit cards ever launched. Not only is it offering a tremendous welcome bonus, but cardholders can earn tons of miles on everyday spending and receive a 10,000-mile anniversary bonus to boot. Its annual fee is $395, but cardholders can count on up to $300 in statement credits toward travel booked through Capital One Travel each year and other valuable benefits like access to Priority Pass lounges and Capital One’s own growing family of airport lounges.

Pros

  • Excellent welcome offer worth 75,000 miles after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first three months.
  • Up to $300 in annual travel statement credits toward bookings make through Capital One Travel.
  • 10,000 bonus miles (worth $100 toward travel) each account anniversary.

Cons

  • The $395 annual fee might be expensive for some, but this card’s benefits provide much more value than that.
  • If you don’t travel frequently, this might not be the best card for you.
  • Earn 75,000 bonus miles when you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening, equal to $750 in travel
  • Receive up to $300 back annually as statement credits for bookings through Capital One Travel, where you'll get Capital One's best prices on thousands of options
  • Get 10,000 bonus miles (equal to $100 towards travel) every year, starting on your first anniversary
  • Earn unlimited 10X miles on hotels and rental cars booked through Capital One Travel and 5X miles on flights booked through Capital One Travel
  • Earn unlimited 2X miles on all other purchases
  • Unlimited complimentary access for you and two guests to 1,300+ lounges, including Capital One Lounges and the Partner Lounge Network
  • Receive up to a $100 credit for Global Entry or TSA PreCheck®
  • Use your Venture X miles to easily cover travel expenses, including flights, hotels, rental cars and more—you can even transfer your miles to your choice of 15+ travel loyalty programs
  • Named editors' choice for "Best New Credit Card of 2021" by The Points Guy
  • Earn 10 miles per dollar when you book on Turo, the world's largest car sharing marketplace, through May 16, 2023