Inside The Park Accommodation Sell Out Ridiculously Far In Advance
For some travelers, nothing else will do but to stay within the parks boundaries. This gives them a choice of historic national park inns like the Old Faithful Inn and the Lake Yellowstone Hotel.
In all, the National Park Service operates nine hotel or cabin-style lodging facilities within the park. Several of these are quite luxurious and gracious, but some of the cabins give visitors a more rustic flavor.
All of these lodgings operate between the late spring and throughout the fall. Wintertime visitors have their choice of either the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel or the Old Faithful Snow Lodge.
Many of these lodges include all sorts of services and amenities, including swimming pools, playgrounds, restaurants, guided tours, shops and other things that you might expect.
Because they are located inside the park, these are among the most popular places to stay in Yellowstone. Accordingly, the wise traveler plans well in advance of their arrival date and is prepared to pay a premium price, especially in the summer.
If you prefer a more rustic experience, Yellowstone also boasts numerous campgrounds.
This is a much less expensive option than staying in a lodge, but be aware that these campgrounds fill up fast and early.
Just as you would if you were reserving a room or cabin at a lodge, be sure to book your campsite as early as you can.
Where To Stay In Livingston
- Econo Lodge Livingston Econo Lodge Livingston is a large hotel with spacious rooms that provides a lot of value for money for visitors to the Yellowstone Area. The rooms here feature wooden bed heads and white, crisp linen for a comfortable nights sleep. Theres even an indoor swimming pool for a refreshing swim, and a gym so you can keep up with those workouts. A buffet breakfast each morning means you can fill up before you head out to explore the park. Location-wise, its just off Interstate 90 for easy road trip access.
West Yellowstone The Best Place To Stay In Yellowstone Near The Park
Located immediately adjacent to the West Entrance to Yellowstone National Park, this is one of the most convenient places to stay in Yellowstone without actually being in the park.
West Yellowstone actually is a complete destination in its own right. In the summer, visitors can hike and mountain bike for mile after mile.
Numerous ATV trails are located in the area, and the fishing for brown and rainbow trout simply is unbeatable. Clearly, this is a paradise for anyone who loves outdoor recreation.
Popular attractions in the town include the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center, an educational wildlife park that features opportunities to observe and learn more about otters, squirrels and birds of prey in addition to wolves and bears.
The Museum of the Yellowstone is located in West Yellowstone as well. Fascinating exhibits concerning the history of visiting Yellowstone are on display as are exhibits about bears in the park. Visitors also have a chance to learn more about the 1959 earthquake and the 1988 forest fire.
Also, visit the Yellowstone Giant Screen Theatre to view the film Yellowstone and the educational exhibits in the lobby. The film brings the areas ancient history to life as people discover what Yellowstone was like 100,000 years ago.
All of that time spent in the outdoors and exploring popular attractions is bound to work up an appetite. Thankfully, West Yellowstone has restaurants to accommodate anyones preferences.
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Snow King Resort Hotel And Condos
Its no wonder why this next one is so popular. The Snow King Resort Hotel and Condos is the perfect place for your family to set up base camp in Jackson. The property itself has beautiful panoramic scenery, and also has many outdoor activities that your whole family will enjoy, no matter what time of year you are visiting.
Though youll quickly discover that skiing and snowboarding are incredibly popular. Your room features a private balcony, comfy bedding, pool access, and free high-speed internet. Theres even a bar/lounge area. A must-stay!
Lodges In Grand Teton National Park
If youre looking to stay south of Yellowstone National Park, your best bet is staying inside Grand Teton National Park. I highly recommend spending several days in Grand Teton National Park before or after your Yellowstone vacation.
If you plan to spend most of your time in Grand Teton and only make a day trip to Yellowstone National Park, I recommend staying in one of these lodges in the northern part of Grand Teton, closest to Yellowstone.
Drive Time to Popular Attractions from Colter Bay in Grand Teton National Park:
- Old Faithful: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Grand Prismatic Spring: 1 hour 30 minutes
- Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: 1 hour 50 minutes
- Hayden Valley: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Mammoth Hot Springs: 2 hours 40 minutes
- Lamar Valley: 2 hours 50 minutes
These are the best places to stay in the northern part of Grand Teton National Park:
- Headwaters Lodge & Cabins at Flagg Ranch, a mountain hotel in the far northern part of Grand Teton , featuring 92 guest rooms and an onsite restaurant and bar
- Colter Bay Village, a family-friendly property featuring 46 one and two-bedroom cabins with two restaurants and bars, plus laundry facilities on site
- Jackson Lake Lodge, a luxury lodge featuring 385 guestrooms, suites, and cottages with incredible views of the Tetons, plus three onsite restaurants and bars
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East Entrance Cody Wy
Cody, WY is a much larger town with a host of hotel and dining options on offer. You will have far greater control over your stay in Cody and you can visit the Buffalo Bill Center of the West Museum, which is really interesting.
We spent 2 days in Cody and have recommendations. Rawhide Coffee is great for a morning coffee and Fat Racks BBQ joint is awesome for dinner.
Cody is 1 hour and 45 minutes from East entrance and even longer if you enter via Northeast entrance as we had to due to road closures.
Therefore, we dont recommend you use Cody as a place to stay between days inside Yellowstone. The night before or the night after, Cody works perfectly.
Cody is the perfect place to spend a night on a road trip from Mount Rushmore to Yellowstone. Spend a night here, wake up early and enter via East entrance.
Lets take a look at your top hotel options in Cody, WY:
- Cody Legacy Inn Check prices on Booking.com / Expedia
- Big Bear Motel Check prices on Booking.com / Expedia
Things To See And Do In Big Sky:
- Hit the slopes! Big Sky was purpose-built as a major skiing town, with a huge array of slopes you can also book some lessons for the few easy pistes.
- Ousel Falls is a must-visit for photographers the entire waterfall freezes up during the winter, creating a crystalline wonderland that will give you some truly unique shots.
- Just down the highway, you will find Big Sky Golf Course its on the small side, but definitely one of the most scenic courses in the country.
- Lone Mountain Ranch is a dream for outdoor enthusiasts seeking the latest hiking, snow sports, and fishing gear.
- There are a few great restaurants in the area, but we particularly love Cinnamon Lodge for their mind-blowingly good Mexican cuisine.
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Unique Places To Stay In Yellowstone
While planning for a trip, you need to have an idea about the accommodations that you will choose to stay at, before leaving for your destination. If you have been considering visiting Yellowstone, we are here to help you select the perfect lodging facility that meets your needs.
Yellowstone doesnt only offer thrilling activities it also provides a diverse set of hotel and lodging options. There is a huge variety of distinctive and unique places to stay in Yellowstone. Therefore, we have provided details for a few of those below:
Fishing Bridge Rv Park
If you either own an RV or have rented one, the Fishing Bridge RV Park is the perfect place to opt for staying in the area. It is the only camping site in Yellowstone that provides you with water, sewer, and electrical outlets. This RV Park has a limited amount of only 310 sites present, so make sure to reserve in advance before reaching your destination.
In addition, this site is created solely for RV owners as no tent campers are allowed to stay at this location. The Fishing Bridge RV Park is located near Lehardys Rapids, a part of the Yellowstone River, and is the geological boundary of the Yellowstone Lake.
Other popular attractions near the RV Park include Pelican Creek Trail and Storm Point Trail, which is frequented by hikers because it makes for the perfect resting spot for them.
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Staying Inside The Park: Expensive + Convenient
There are nine lodges / inns / hotels inside the park. Here they are, from north to south, along with their relative cost and things to know.
Remember how we split the park up above? Keep that in mind as youre considering which places to stay. Youll want to choose one in the northern half of the park for part of your trip, and one in the southern half for the other part.
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel: Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel has a range of rooms, both in terms of size and price. They have cozy cabins with shared bathroom facilities, which are some of the most affordable places to stay inside the park. They also have bigger cabins with private bathrooms, which are a good mid-range option, and hotel-style rooms which are kind of boring, at least to us.
Roosevelt Lodge : These cabins were built in 1920 near dear old Teddy Roosevelts favorite place to camp in the park. While they are a little outdated, they probably fit in your budget. Some have shared bathroom facilities, some have ensuite private bathrooms. The roughrider cabins dont have heat, but they are equipped with a wood burning stove. The frontier cabins are more expensive, but have heat and private bathrooms.
Canyon Lodge and Cabins:I was reading reviews about this place and came across one that basically said like a Holiday Inn in a national park, but not as nice. Its not rustic. Its not sexy. But its the most central location in the park, which is worth something, right?
Breathtaking Places To Visit Near Yellowstone National Park
In the summer months there are 5 entrances that can get you into Yellowstone National Park. While there are endless things to do and see inside the park, there are also amazing things to do near Yellowstone National Park by the entrances. If you are planning a trip to Yellowstone you cant miss these awesome things to do near the park!
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What Do You Plan To Do During Your Stay
Yellowstone National Park is obviously your main reason for coming to the area, but there are a lot of other activities that you might not have known about. For many people, the journey into the Yellowstone area only happens once or twice in a lifetime. Here is a list of highlights that you should consider.
Lewis & Clark Caverns
Lewis & Clark Caverns State Park is Montanas first state park featuring one of the most decorated limestone caverns in the Northwest. These spectacular caves are highlighted with stalactites, stalagmites, and columns. They are electrically lighted, safe to visit, and provides an experience that wont be forgotten.
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Ravens Heart Charming Cabin
Ravens Heart is a sweet and cosy cabin, sleeping four on a double bed and sleeper sofa. Theres an outdoor area with a grill and its a popular spot for fishing. Conveniently located in the Old Town of West Yellowstone and close to the park entrance.
What the guests say: This little cottage was a perfect fit for my husband and I to enjoy our trip to Yellowstone. It had everything we needed and more to get by for 4 days. The house was extremely clean and the host left some great little welcome gifts.
Location was perfect with a nice little restaurant/bar next door. We had a great time and hope to return some day to stay longer in this wonderful cottage in a great down to earth little town.
Price: From $225 per night
Sleeps: 4 people
Overall Best Places To Stay In Yellowstone National Park
Theres a lot of accommodation options for places to stay inside Yellowstone National Park. Before diving into all the details in the next section, I wanted to share some highlights.
The best place to stay in Yellowstone will depend on your interest. Here are my choices for the best places to stay depending on your priorities:
- One Day in the Park: Old Faithful Inn
- Two to Three Days in the Park: Canyon Lodge & Cabins
- Four or More Days in the Park: Move around to multiple hotels
Dont miss this Yellowstone itinerary post for more recommendations on popular places to stay for every night of your trip.
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East Entrance: Cody Wyoming
Cody is probably the biggest town that is close to Yellowstone. There are a bunch of stores and shops, big and small, a grocery store, restaurants, fast food, and a nice little playground right in the center of town.
Cody is about an hour outside of the east entrance and has plenty to offer. We left Yellowstone for a weekend for a camping trip at Buffalo Bill State Park North Shore campground which is right on the Buffalo Bill Reservoir just outside of Cody. This campground was really neat. It was right on the water, surrounded by mountains, and all the campsites were positioned towards the water.
One of the bigger attractions in Cody is the Buffalo Bill Center of the West museum. This is actually like 6 museums in one the Buffalo Bill Museum, the Draper National History Museum, the Whitney Western Art Museum, the Plains Indian Museum, the Cody Firearms Museum, and the McCracken Research Library.
When we entered the Art Museum area with our family and my sister-in-laws family the security guard quickly called in reinforcements. Seriously, we saw the look of fear in his eyes when 6 kids under 8 years old entered. Another security guard showed up and they followed close behind until they realized that NO, we were not going to let our kids run wild in here. We found the perfect place for them to sit and draw pictures in the art museum.
Follow up the shoot-out with a trip to the rodeo. Cody features a nightly rodeo with gates opening at 7pm!
West Yellowstone Mt: Yellowstone Park Hotel
At Yellowstone Park Hotel, youre three blocks from the parks west entrance â that puts you at less than an hours drive to Old Faithful . The center of town is right here, making this a convenient home base for tours and trips out of West Yellowstone.
When you tire of the park, youll come back to 49 TVs and a warm soak in the hot tub, the heated indoor pool, or up in your room. Even standard rooms come with king beds and plenty of space â if you need more, head to the outdoor fire pits to roast some smores. Theyre complimentary! Otherwise, hit up the new game room â âLevel Zero â or take advantage of the free bike rentals and get back to exploring the great outdoors on the Riverside Bike Trail, just inside the West Entrance.
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Successful Yellowstone Vacation Planning
The key to successful Yellowstone vacation planning is to be as organized as you possibly can be. What we mean is book your hotels, cabins or campgrounds the minute you have concrete travel dates.
Accommodation is expensive in the most popular Yellowstone villages, so you will have to decide if budget or convenience is more important.
Using an example of a typical 4 day itinerary visiting from North to South, here is the most efficient way to visit Yellowstone:
- Night before Day 1: Outside the park
- Spend Day 1 in Lamar Valley, Tower-Roosevelt and Mammoth
- Day 1 night: Stay at Mammoth Hot Springs
- Spend Day 2 in Mammoth, Norris Geyser Basin, Mt Washburn and Canyon
- Day 2 night: Stay at Canyon Village
- Spend Day 3 in Canyon, Hayden Valley, Yellowstone Lake and West Thumb
- Day 3 night: Stay at Old Faithful
- Spend Day 4 in Lower, Midway and Upper geyser basins, drive through Grand Teton
- Day 4 night: Stay in Jackson, WY
- Spend Days 5 and 6 in stunning Grand Teton national park
If youre visiting on a budget, the example above is the most cost effective plan if you want to stay inside the park. You can choose to spend each night in a town outside the park to save further.
But if budget isnt too much of a concern for your vacation, you have more flexibility to spend additional nights at Mammoth, Canyon and Old Faithful.