Yellowstone Park where to stay ?
Replies: 14 - Last Post: Feb 27, 2011 1:01 PM Last Post By: emagicmtman
Feb 25, 2011 9:02 AM
Yellowstone Park where to stay ?Hi All,
I am planning a trip in the west with friends in summer and we are thinking about spending a few days visiting Yellowstone park, what would be the best place to stay ? in or oustide the park ? which part ? west or east ? or south ?
We will have a transportation ( car or van ) and just looking for a clean affordable accomodation
Feb 25, 2011 9:57 AM
1The park is huge, and where is best to stay may depend on what you particularly want to see and explore. If you are able to get lodging inside the park it could save you 30-minutes drive time daily, each way, to/from your hotel. Even inside the park if you stay at only one place you'll find you may have long drives to return to your hotel. Be sure to check where road closures/construction is planned this year -- the park repaves a section of their roads yearly. We chose to reserve hotel rooms at a series of towns outside the park, and drive/explore sections of the park between those each day. The town of West Yellowstone, MT is just outside the west entrance, has a good variety of hotels and is probably the most centrally located for popular park features. On the the north side, Gardiner, MT also has a good selection of hotels. On the east side, Cody,WY is too far out to be a good site for day-trips, but was a great place to stop as we left the park after a full day of exploration.
Feb 25, 2011 10:11 AM
Feb 25, 2011 12:45 PM
3I usually stay in West Yellowstone. The accommodations are better for the price. As stated, no matter where you stay in the park, it is still a long drive to anywhere else. That's not a bad thing, pay attention while driving through the park and you will see a lot of wildlife. If you want to stay at a park concession just to say that you've "been there," make reservations NOW!
Feb 25, 2011 1:33 PM
4If you stay inside the park years ago we stayed a Canyon Lodge. I liked the location because it was basically in the center. Most of the sites in Yellowstone are on what could be described a figure 8 with Canyon being in the center. You can the take day trips up toward Mammoth Springs and down to the Old Faithful geyser basin.
Feb 25, 2011 2:06 PM
Feb 25, 2011 4:25 PM
6It's good to stay in more than one place since you have the time. In one trip, we stayed in Jackson, Cody, and a night in Mammoth and enjoyed them all. You can hang out in the lobby of the Old Faithful without staying there; definitely worth a stop in.
West Yellowstone is the cheapest option, with lots of ugly motels.
Feb 25, 2011 4:33 PM
7If you want to stay inside the park make reservations soon. We went one year and had to stay on the edges of the park. We started at Jackson then to Gardner and then back in to west Yellowstone. We planned the route in between to hit the things we wanted to see and limit repeat travel. It would have been better to stay in the park but nothing was left by the time we started planning. This was in the middle of summer.
Feb 25, 2011 5:04 PM
8We had the same dilemma traveling with 5 in June. You can go on the the national park website and see what is available. Most accommodations inside the park seem to have 2 double beds were taking a blow up mattress for a little one. After seeing the extra distance it was not worth it to me to stay outside the park. Look for cabins they say they are quieter then the lodges. We stayed at Signal Mt. Lodge in Grand Tetons. Have Fun
Feb 25, 2011 5:20 PM
9I would highly recommend staying inside of the park if you can get reservations. Yellowstone is large, as others have noted above, and there are different things to see and experience in each of the different areas. We stayed 3 nights inside the park, at three different areas: Old Faithful (staying in the historic inn next to Old Faithful and hiking around the geyser area was wonderful), Yellowstone Lake (we went on a fishing boat tour and enjoyed being out on the lake), and Roosevelt Cabins (we took a covered wagon ride to a western cookout and also did a wildlife dusk tour in that area). On the way from the lake to Roosevelt Cabins, we hiked the "Grand Canyon" of Yellowstone and also took a hike through some mudpots. On our last day leaving the Roosevelt Cabins, we traveled to Mammoth Hot Springs in the northwest corner and did some hiking there. It can take some time to travel from one part to another, especially if there are bison (or other animals) on or near the road. Enjoy your travels!
Feb 26, 2011 2:10 AM
10I traveled to Yellowstone last August and spent a week touring the park. I stayed at a private camp about five miles outside the eastern gate (about 40 miles west of Cody, WY). If I go to Yellowstone again I would stay at Canyon Lodge/Lake Lodge/Lake Hotel Xanterra Reservations . They are in about the center of the park and it's only about an hour drive from either spot to the extreme corners of the park. Because of rain, park goers traveling at 20MPH and animals clogging the roads you can expect longer drive times.
The food service at Canyon and the Lake areas also seemed to be the best. It ranged from very cheap buffets that were quality to normally priced sit down meals. I was amazed at the options, quality and price of the meals inside the park!
Feb 26, 2011 4:30 AM
Feb 26, 2011 8:16 AM
12Try to find a cabin inside the park, they represent the best compromise between cost and convenience.
If not, I'd aim for Cody, Gardiner, Livingston, and maybe Jackson. West Yellowstone is an ugly, tacky tourist trap - I remember seeing some clean, not too-expensive, places a little further west in the Island Park area.
You can always pitch a tent (or sleep in the van) at one of the first-come campsites. http://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/camping-in-yellowstone.htm
Feb 26, 2011 8:35 AM
Feb 27, 2011 1:01 PM
14Despite its tackiness, West Yellowstone puts you closest to Old Faithful, the Hayden Valley, and other mid-park attractions. It has the most hotel rooms and cabins, which are often significantly less expensive than in-park hotel rooms and cabins. Gardiner, at the northern gate, has a limited number of hotel rooms and cabins. Prices within the park run from approx. $80/night, for a "Roughrider" cabin at Roosevelt Lodge, to anywhere from $150 to $300+ for a hotel room (and $500+ for some,such as the best rooms at the Old Faithful Lodge, or the suite at Mammoth Hot Springs!) NOTE: NO CABLE or SATELLITE TV, or INTERNET SERVICE, w/in the Park (the Park Service doesn't want communications' towers dotting the landscape! Only exception: maybe at/near Mammoth Hot Springs. You might keept calling the Xanterra # above each morning around 8.00 MOUNTAIN TIME (when their reservation office opens) to see if there have been any cancellations. Try A.S.A.P., and keep trying, and you'll probably find an in-park reservation. Again, check to see which section of the "figure 8" will be closed off this summer (often starting in early August). I worked in the Park two summers ago (at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel). Really loved Livingstone, MT. about 60 mi. north of the northern entrance. Also visited Thermopolis, WY, a low-key, off-the-beaten track resort the best part of a day's travel east of the Park, and really enjoyed. Have a great trip!
Bags feeling light?
Coffee table looking bare?
Get your guidebooks, travel goods, even individual chapters, right here.
Yellowstone National ParkBook now
Yellowstone National ParkBook now
Yellowstone National ParkBook now