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Deal alert: 30% off rooms at Death Valley and Grand Canyon lodges

The El Tovar Hotel in Grand Canyon National Park is a historic park lodge, built in 1903.
(Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)

National parks are slowly restarting their lodges and hotels amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Death Valley and the Grand Canyon have rooms available now through September, with prices discounted as much as 30%.

California remains under a stay-at-home order, but travelers may want to make late summer plans to take advantage of the Pick Your Park offer. If you’re unable to go, you can cancel without penalty.

Even without discounts, you stand a chance of snagging a room this summer because of pandemic-fueled cancellations at lodges and inns at parks such as Yellowstone, Zion and Glacier.

One last thing: The views at national parks haven’t changed, but the way you visit has. Xanterra, the private company that operates most national park hotels and inns, has shared details about its new cleaning and sanitizing protocols, and asks guests to practice social distancing during their stay.

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Death Valley

The Oasis at Death Valley includes the ranch, which is reopening, and the inn, which won't reopen until October.
The Oasis at Death Valley includes the ranch, which is reopening, and the inn, which won’t reopen until October.
(Xanterra Travel Collection)

The longer you stay, the more you save at the Ranch at Death Valley, which reopens Thursday during the park’s hottest season. Travelers get 10% off a single night stay (use the code STAY1), 20% off two nights (STAY2) and 30% off three nights (STAY3).

The offer is good through Sept. 30. The posh sister property, Oasis at Death Valley Inn, will remain closed until Oct. 1.

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Tested: I found availability for three-night stays in June, July, early August and September. For example, a stay from June 28 to July 1 for a standard room with two queen-sized beds would cost $104 a night, excluding tax and the $22 per night resort fee. The same room Sept. 1 to 4 would cost on average $115 a night, excluding fees and taxes.

Booking requires a refundable deposit for the first night. You can cancel 48 hours prior to check-in for a full refund.

The park recently started to open trailheads, scenic overlooks and bathrooms along Highway 190 and Daylight Pass Road. All other roads remain closed. It’s also the super-hot season when tourists need to take precautions against triple-digit heat, such as staying off hiking trails after 10 a.m.

Info: The Ranch at Death Valley

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Grand Canyon

The Buckey O'Neill Cabin at Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
The Buckey O’Neill Cabin, built in the 1890s, is one of the most coveted units at Bright Angel Lodge on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon.
(Courtesy Bright Angel Lodge/Xanterra)

Travelers also can save up to 30% off a three-night stay at El Tovar Hotel, Bright Angel Lodge and Cabins and three other lodges on the South Rim. The offer is good through Sept. 3 (use the code STAY3 when making a reservation).

Tested: The deal is more widely available at Kachina, Maswik and Thunderbird lodges, which even has availability over July 4.

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Availability for the deal at El Tovar and Bright Angel Lodge is more limited. I found availability for a three-night stay from July 6 to 9 at El Tovar with an average nightly price of $247, excluding tax. A three-night stay in a historic cabin at Bright Angel over the same dates would average $125 per night, excluding tax.

Info: Grand Canyon National Park lodges

The Grand Canyon Railway

The Grand Canyon Railway runs between the South Rim of the canyon and Williams, Ariz.
(Xanterra Parks & Resorts)
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The Summer Getaway Package is widely available in July and August. It takes 30% off train tickets through Sept. 2 when you stay one or two nights at the Grand Canyon Railway Hotel in Williams, Ariz. The package for two people costs $348 and includes a one-night stay, breakfast and dinner at the hotel’s Fred Harvey Restaurant, and coach-class train tickets. Tax and entrance to Grand Canyon National Park cost extra.

It may be easier to book this deal by calling; I found it difficult to adjust train ticket dates on the website.

Info: Grand Canyon Railway, (800) 843-8724


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