Christine Barnes &

Great Lodges Review & Profiles

By Christine Barnes
Photography By Fred Pflughoft & David Morris


The author, public radio contributor, and self-described indoorsy person falls for outdoorsy epics, ace historians, and one very unhinged memoirist.

As someone who makes a living writing books, my favorite thing to talk about is other people's books…Truth is, I love paging through architecture books, and I have included one of my favorites here, because I find being in and thinking about buildings to be gloriously nonverbal. All five of the titles speak of my fascination with history and geography, mostly the history and geography of the United States.

Great Lodges of the National Parks
By Christine Barnes

I'm an indoorsy person who grew up in Montana alienated from nature. In my hometown, the outdoors was the domain of those who could climb higher, bike farther, ski faster, and camp out forever. But after I moved to New York City and got homesick for the West, I found myself drawn to our come-as-you-are national parks. I fell in love the comforting, all-American beauty of the historic lodges pictured and described in this book. Having dinner at El Tovar after a sweaty day ogling the Grand Canyon, or reading a book in a rocking chair at the Old Faithful Inn after sulfurous hikes around Yellowstone---it's hard not to get swept up with an old-fashioned excitement about seeing the country. Also, turns out I have a thing for stuff made out of giant logs.

LOS ANGELES TIMES: As if, in this economy, you didn’t have enough reasons to feel grumpy about staying home to save money, now comes “Great Lodges of the National Parks, Volume Two” (Graphic Arts Press, $35) to a coffee table near you.

In these pages, behold Death Valley’s Furnace Creek Inn, Hawaii’s Volcano House, Alaska’s Camp Denali and seven other memorable outdoorsy lodgings, all west of Denver, in historic black-and-white and contemporary color.

While other park appreciators pause to sniff the flowers or watch the waterfalls, Barnes is busy nosing around stone fireplaces, tracing the rail delivery of iron roofing, parsing construction memos from the 1920s. In fact, architects and engineers may savor certain passages more than casual readers will. But there are always the pictures to rely upon — 190 of them in 176 pages — and the author’s enthusiasm is never in doubt.

Christopher Reynolds, Travel, Los Angeles Times

THE (NEW ORLEANS) TIMES-PICAYUNE: The natural beauty around them is the main attraction of these 10 lodges set in national parks in the West and featured in the PBS series of the same name.

In the turmoil we’re living through, it’s somehow comforting to read about the history of these classic places and see the beautiful photos of Fred Pflughoft and David Morris. I once stayed in Hawaii’s simple Volcano House, where I watched rivulets of steam rise from the Kilauea Caldera. Those who stay at Camp Denali, deep within Alaska’s Denali national park, have spectacular views of the Big One and sleep in cozy cabins, but get water from a spigot and use an outhouse. But there’s also Jackson lake Lodge in Wyoming’s Grand Tetons and The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park, Colo. Each is different. Each is a testament to America’s natural wonders.

Millie Ball, Travel, Dec. 7, 2008

SEATTLE POST INTELLIGENCER: The shopping days dwindle down to a precious few and books still remain a fine holiday option, especially in tough times. What follows is my annual grab bag of gift books with verve: Christine Barnes, an Oregon writer, and two lensmen continue their loving hymn to classic national park lodges in a second volume filled with glorious photos, past and present. Included in this book (companion to another PBS series) are Washington's Lake Crescent Lodge and Lake Quinault Lodge, and Oregon's Wallowa Lake Lodge.

By John Marshall, P-I book critic, Dec. 19, 2008

NATIONAL PARKS MAGAZINE: …check out Great Lodges of the National Parks, Volume Two by former journalist Christine Barnes. Historic black-and-white photographs illustrate the visitor experience over the decades: a couple at the turn of the century, enjoying tea at a window overlooking a grand Yellowstone landscape; wealthy park visitors gathered around early-model automobiles. We are pleasantly reminded that there's more to national parks than roughing it.

Fall 2008

LONGMONT TIMES-CALL, Longmont, Colorado: The job Christine Barnes has created for herself involves traveling around the United States to national parks and visiting their historic lodges.

She writes books about the structures, and her series on “Great Lodges” has grown into a brand. Three of her lodge books earned televised life as PBS programs. But her occupation isn’t all glamorous. She’s a rigorous researcher, and her practice of ferreting out primary sources in lodge archives often keeps her indoors within the great outdoors.

”I say it just not fair,” she laughed. “I’m in the basement in the archives.” Her sacrifice is the traveling public’s gain. Barnes recently released “Great Lodges of the National Parks, Volume Two,” her latest book, and one that brought her back to Colorado, where she grew up.

Quentin Young, Dec. 5, 2008

OLYMPIC NATIONAL PARK: What a spectacular book! Just a brief glance through the pages brought on an immediate desire to visit each and every one of the lodges. The melding of historical context and current use provides both a concise history lesson for each setting and insight into how each lodge was developed.

After being inspired by the splendid images and relevant data in this book, you will surely want to live a bit of history by visiting these special places yourself.

Gay Hunter, Museum Curator, Olympic National Park, Washington

THE OREGONIAN: A dozen years and a series of books and public TV shows later, (Christine) Barnes has become a leading authority on national park architecture and a prolific and popular author. Her new book "Great Lodges of the National Parks, Volume Two" is the companion to a two-part series produced by Oregon Public Broadcasting and picked up by PBS for national broadcast. The new book features lodges in Yellowstone, Grand Teton, Death Valley and Hawaii Volcanoes National Parks. Two lodges in or near Olympic National Park, Lake Crescent and Lake Quinault Lodges, are included along with three lodges in Alaska that are special favorites for Barnes.

Jeff Baker, Book Editor, The Oregonian, Portland, Oregon

STATESMAN JOURNAL: The latest book in the award-winning and best-selling series showcases some of the most spectacular and historically significant lodges of our glorious National Park system.

From the grand resorts such as the Lake Hotel in Yellowstone National Park and the Furnace Creek Inn in Death Valley National Park, to classic lake lodges such as Lake Crescent and Lake Quinault Lodges in Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, to the new visions such as Volcano House in Hawaii Volcanoes National Park and the Glacier Bay Lodge in Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve, this stunningly illustrated and meticulously researched volume offers new insights to these historic landmarks and the scenic American landscapes where they are located.

Michelle Maxwell, Statesman Journal, Salem, Oregon

"ONLY IN OREGON, Natural and Manmade Landmarks and Oddities"
By Christine Barnes
Photography By Jerry Barnes

The STATESMAN JOURNAL: "Book is a love letter to Oregon."

Author Christine Barnes describes wondrous and fun state destinations not often heard about.

“Only in Oregon” is a fun, enlightening and enjoyable trip through our state. It stops at the obvious and the obscure, the amazing and the what-in-the-world, the beautiful and the weird...There are lots of places here you will want to go after reading this book."

"Most of the photos in the book were taken by Christine’s husband, Jerry. He has captured the charm — the very soul — of each place. Credits are given at the beginning of the book for illustrations by other photographers, but only a few of them have the love of the place that Jerry Barnes’ photos reveal. That best describes this beautiful book. It’s a love letter to Oregon."

By Dan Hays, Salem, Oregon, August 15, 2004

By Christine Barnes

The STATESMAN JOURNAL: "This book is history made beautiful, an appreciation of the practical designed and executed as art. You may not get to visit all these impressive lodges, but "Great Lodges of the National Parks" will make you feel as though you have...The text is far more important than in most 'coffee table' books. It is deeply researched, accurate and extremely friendly."
By Dan Hays, Salem, Oregon, February 24, 2001
BOOKVIEWS.COM: "I have to tell you I was just blown away about Great Lodges of the National Parks ($35.00, W.W. West, Inc.) a companion book to the PBS Television series. The photos alone are just gorgeous, but the book is filled with information about these scenic getaways. There's Crater Lake Lodge in Oregon or Zion Park Lodge in Utah. Grand Canyon Lodge in Arizona is the place to stay if you visit this natural wonder. In Montana, there's the lodge at Glacier Park or Lake McDonald. The Ahwahnee lodge in Yosemite National Park, California, will take your breath away. With all the turmoil in the world, taking advantage of our own stunningly beautiful landscapes where you can get in touch with Nature strikes me as a very good idea."
By Alan Caruba, March 2002
THE BULLETIN: " 'Great Lodges' melds the natural beauty of some of the world's most scenic places and the man- (and woman-) made architectural treasures that complement them. The result is a compelling trek-richly illustrated tour of the national parks of the West. But what sets it apart are Barnes' insights into the conception, design and completion of these historic lodges."
By Jim Witty, Bend, Oregon, February 13, 2002

FEARLESSBOOKS.COM: "Created as the companion book to the PBS series on the same subject (scheduled for broadcast on Wednesdays in July 2002), this grand volume strikes a nice balance between concise prose describing the settings and histories of the great lodges and a wealth of stunning photographs. This is a patriotic coffee-table book of the first order, and there's nary a flag waving anywhere. While this book is well worth its price, beware of a potential hidden expense. If you're like me, you're going to come away from perusing this volume with the conviction that you've simply got to check out - and check in to - every one of these great lodges yourself."
By P. Miller,, March 2002

By Christine Barnes

CANADIAN Home & Country
By Suzanne Moutis

Little Retreats Vistas of mountains, evergreens and a cabin or two in the woods always bring to mind fall and winter, Hudson's Bay blankets and crackling fires. Great Lodges of the Canadian Rockies (Raincoast, $52), then, is the perfect book for this colder season. From majestic landmarks like the Banff Springs Hotel and Chateau Lake Louise to off-the-beaten-path places like Num-ti-jah Lodge and Shadow Lake Lodge, this book traces the history of Rocky Mountain hotels set amid the magnificent scenery of our national and provincial parks. History comes alive with narrative by author Christine Barnes, as 12 rustic yet elegant lodges beckon the reader in to curl up before a stone fireplace, hot toddy in hand after a day of hiking or skiing, and relive stories of our own wild and willful west, told by the legacy of pioneering mountain men. Best Lodge Lake: O'Hara Lodge, one of Canadian Pacific Railway's bungalow camps, where guests of the main lodge and the cabins scattered along the shoreline of the lake have been gathering in the central hall to hang out in its après-ski ambiance since 1926.

Literary Snapshot
"Great Lodges of the West" came out in 1997 and was a smash hit, selling about 35,000 copies and winning the 1998 Benjamin Franklin Award for best history book. "Great Lodges of the Canadian Rockies" is a sequel of sorts as Barnes, watercolor artist Fred Pflughoft and photographer David Morris moved north to Canada. Barnes did a bang-up job researching the construction of these beautiful lodges and included architectural plans and drawings that enhance the history behind the buildings. Architects noticed and have responded enthusiastically."
By Jeff Baker, The Sunday Oregonian, December 1999

Critical Pick
"Great Lodges of the Canadian Rockies" celebrates, in words and photographs, the history and beauty of 12 of these structures. From the majesty of great hotels, like Banff Springs and Chateau lake Louise, to the backcountry charm of lodges at Emerald Lake and Lake O'Hara, to remote retreats for hikers and skiers, like Skoki Lodge and Twin Falls Chalet, they share a remarkable organic relationship with their awesome settings. Illustrating each one's history are lush colour photographs, mixed with archival prints and in some cases, reproduction of original building plans.
By Laszlo Buhasz, Toronto Globe and Mail, January 12, 2000

On the Shelf
USA TODAY: "Since we can't export the scenery, we shall have to import the tourists," declared Canadian pacific Railway chief William Cornelius Van Horne. His foresight is credited with tapping into the growing wanderlust of the 19th century travelers, but getting them there was only half the task. Providing suitable shelter was the other. Great Lodges of the Canadian Rockies chronicles the development of these hostelries from architectural landmarks such as the Banff Springs Hotel, to backcountry lodges that continue to delight guests.
By Jayne Clark, USA Today, Dec. 10, 1999
Gifts of travel may be perfect fit
The BOSTON GLOBE: Another idea is to give a book about a place where your traveler is going or has been. Great Lodges of the Canadian Rockies, by Christine Barnes will certainly evoke memories of a visit there. Not only are the photos stunning, but also the stories about these lodges are fascinating. Most of these grand hotels were build to lure Easterners west.
By Jerry Morris, The Boston Globe, Dec. 19, 1999
Armchair Travel
THE (NEW ORLEANS) TIMES-PICAYUNE: The huge overpowering grand hotels of Canada-with their massive stone and sensitively placed sitings-exist because of Canada's rail system that cross the continent at the end at the end of the 1800s. The Canadian Pacific hotels began as "dining stations," places for passengers to eat, and expanded into places for them to stay and appreciate Canada's natural splendor. This book is worthy follow-up to Great Lodges of the West, written and photographed by the same team. For 159 pages, splendid color photographs accompanied by intriguing history of the railroad and the hotels entice readers to move in, at least in their minds. For those who are convinced they must visit the real thing, a Travel Guide pamphlet is a packet on the back inside cover leads the way with practical details.
By Millie Ball, The (New Orleans) Times-Picayune, Feb. 6, 2000

Judge's Comments upon Award Recognition

2000 Benjamin Franklin Awards: 2000 Benjamin Franklin Awards: "A fantastic book! The writing is clear and concise; the author clearly knows her material and how to present it in an informative, engaging manner. The amount of research that goes into such a book really commands my respect, and it is obvious from the first couple of pages that the author honed her skills as a journalist. The photography and watercolors are also stunning, and contribute greatly to the success of the overall package. The pullout travel guide in the back is a neat idea."
Judge’s comments, 2000 Benjamin Franklin Awards

By Christine Barnes

USA TODAY: "Great Lodges of the West by Christine Barnes (W.W. West Inc.) takes a glossy, large-format look at a dozen historic lodges that could be considered the castles of western North America. Most are in national parks, and their beauty is surpassed only by their stunning settings. Featuring wonderful color photography by Fred Pflughoft and David Morris, plus historical black-and-white photos, drawings and architectural plans, the book tantalizes with its visions of these wilderness lodges, many designated National Historic Landmarks and some in need of extensive restoration."
By Deirdre R. Schwiesow, USA Today
MEN'S JOURNAL: "Call them America's grand old castles Great Lodges of the West (WWWest) shows off 12 of the country's most majestic old wilderness outposts, mainly located in national parks left of the Mississippi. Photographs by Fred Pflughoft and David Morris, with text by Christine Barnes, this isn't just a handsome best-of guide…(it) is a testament to the grit of those who overcame a range of obstacles to craft these magnificent structures. Fall in love by armchair; consummate in person."
By Corey Seymour, Men's Journal

LOS ANGELES TIMES: "…here is a gift book to dazzle any national park traveler. Included are some historical photographs, but the heart of this coffee-table volume is its contemporary color illustrations of the old and romantic park lodges of the Western U.S. and Canada. I notice that all the modern photographs show our parks without crowds of people in ball caps and plaid shorts -- perhaps the most romantic notion of all.
By John Balzar, Los Angeles Times

THE (NEW ORLEANS) TIMES-PICAYUNE: "What a dream book! Just flipping through the 136 pages in this oversize book with its beautiful color photographs removed my weary mind from its focus on the office computer. Written by Christine Barnes, former features editor of the San Francisco Examiner, and photographed by Fred Pflughoft and David Morris, the book published by W.W. West Inc. opens with a warm picture of the fireplace in the lobby of Timberline Lodge in Mount Hood National Forest in Oregon and with a two-page photo of El Tovar overlooking Arizona's Grand Canyon at sunset. Looking at the pictures of 12 historic lodges, all built between 1904 and 1938, all in spectacular settings, reminded me again of why I vastly prefer gracious old hotels to glamorous new ones.
By Millie Ball, The Times-Picayune
SAN JOSE MERCURY NEWS: "Take an armchair tour of park lodges. The great Western hotels including Claifornia's own Ahwahnee at Yosemite, are lovingly presented in a new book by Christine Banres, a former features eidtor at the San Francisco Examiner. The book, "Great Lodges of the West, describes a dozen of the historic lodges in Western parks. The lodges are depicted in present-day color photos as well as historic black and white shots."

SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER: "The books is an open plea to preserve these lodges, some of which need major rehabilitation. You can't pick up this book without wanting to visit all 12 lodges."
By Bobbie Hess, San Francisco Examiner

THE REGISTER-GUARD: "The East Coast may have its marble monuments to American history, but according to (Christine) Barnes in this sumptuous new book, the national treasures of the West are timbered with fir, cedar and redwood and warmed by 50-foot fireplaces of locally-quarried stone. Blending historic photographs and drawings with ravishing new pictures and crisp, colorful histories, she has created a fitting tribute to this Western legacy."
By Faris Cassell, The Register-Guard
Family Newsletter : "Nana writes good words ."
By Jackson Barnes, Age 6


Great Lodges of the National Parks Volume Two - Great Lodges of the National Parks- Great Lodges of the Canadian Rockies
El Tovar at Grand Canyon National Park - Great Lodges of the West - Old Faithful Inn at Yellowstone National Park

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