Frequently Asked Questions About Yellowstone
Where should I stay when visiting Yellowstone National Park?
You can stay in Jackson, WY as it is a nice area to stay near Yellowstone and youll find the best hotels, like the Parkway Inn or Wyoming Inn, and activities plus the road trip to the park is full of unique sights.
Which part of Yellowstone is the best?
The best of Yellowstone is the Geyser Paradise, definitely the most scenic spot here and the closest area in order to access it easily, you can stay in West Yellowstone.
How many days do you need in Yellowstone?
In order to experience all the amazing adventures during your trip to Yellowstone, I would stay between 5-7 days.
Can you stay at Yellowstone National Park?
Yes, you can stay at a Yellowstone hotel, lodge or cabin, inside the park, however, you should make sure you check for spots many months in advance as there isnt much availability.
Are the best hotels inside or outside of Yellowstone National Park?
Although some of the hotels inside the park are quite special, the hotel choices around Yellowstone in the villages nearby are much cheaper and they offer more facilities.
What is the best family hotel near Yellowstone National Park?
The Parkway Inn is one of the best hotels near Yellowstone for families, the rooms are very spacious and the hotel is located just 5 minutes away from the historic downtown in Jackson Hole.
Have a good journey,
Grand Teton National Park
The Grand Tetons offer some of the most picturesque scenery in the world. This rugged mountain range stretches as high as 13,775 ft. Of all the parks in the country, this is definitely one of my favorites. There are over 1,000 drive-in campsites, rare wildlife, numerous lakes and more than 200 miles of hiking. You can also find some of the best trout fishing in the world. One of our favorite activities here is picnicking by one of the pristine lakes. Its only about an hour south of the south entrance to Yellowstone. A must-see if youre visiting Yellowstone!
Castle Gardens Petroglyph Site
Castle Gardens Petroglyph Site is located in central Wyoming, and is known for its unusual formations. Visitors have been drawn to this locale for thousands of years due to the windblown sandstone creations that are reminiscent of the turrets and towers of castles.
The area is filled with Native American rock art, better known as petroglyphs, specifically featuring the Castle Gardens Shield Style. These are the oldest and most well-known illustrations of shield-bearing warrior figures, and have been characterized as elaborate and carefully made figures. The unusual technique and distinguished style are what make them unique to Wind River and Bighorn Basin.
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Budget Friendly Condo In Big Sky: Town Centre
This chic condo is offered at a very affordable rate, letting you enjoy a stylish environment without breaking the bank! It was recently remodelled, so all the furnishings and appliances are of high quality. As part of a local community, youll also get the chance to mingle with locals and have a truly authentic Big Sky experience.
When To Book Your Accommodation Near Yellowstone
This is definitely a case of do what I say not what I do. We did a last minute trip to Yellowstone so had no choice when it came to where to stay as lots of places were fully booked or hideously expensive for what they were. Therefore if you can my advice would be definitely to book as early as you can. Accommodation for the following year opens usually a year in advance from May. If you want to stay on site then be sure to find out the exact date to avoid disappoint. I would recommend starting to plan your Yellowstone trip at least 18 months in advance to ensure you have a great pick of accommodation however we are proof that you can do a last minute trip to Yellowstone.
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How Long In Advance To Book Yellowstone Accommodation
You can book Yellowstone accommodation from the 1st of May of the year before you travel. So if you are traveling to Yellowstone in 2022, you can book your stay from May 2021. If you are planning a visit in the summer of 2023, you can book your accommodation from May 2022, etc.
Further below, at the bottom of this article, we have some tips on how to secure Yellowstone lodging if its fully booked and how to get the best deals.
But first the best places to stay in Yellowstone National Park and also where to stay near the park. Read on!
Places To Visit In Wyoming: Buffalo
Historic Buffalo, Wyoming, is a symbol of Old West heritage tucked away in the Bighorn Mountain foothills. Buffalo is at the eastern end of the 47-mile Cloud Peak Skyway Scenic Byway that runs through Bighorn National Forest and the Bighorn Mountains to the town of Ten Sleep.
History buffs will appreciate over a dozen buildings in town which are on the National Register of Historic Places, including the 1880 Occidental Hotel where the protagonist in the western novel, The Virginian, caught his man. Visitors can view over 15,000 Old West artifacts at the Jim Gatchell Museum, and visit the nearby Hole-in-the-Wall Outlaw Hideout of the Sundance Kid, and the Wild Bunch.
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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.
How Many Days Should You Spend In Yellowstone
We think four days is a good amount of time for exploring Yellowstone, which is why we wrote our 4 day itinerary. Youll have plenty of time to explore without feeling rushed, catch prime wildlife viewing at dawn and dusk, and tackle some of Yellowstones hikes.
If you have more time, great! But wed recommend no less than four days, since there is so much to do and see in the park.
Plus, if you add on 3 days in Grand Teton National Park, it makes for a nice weeklong Wyoming adventure. Check out our Yellowstone and Grand Teton itinerary to see how to combine the two.
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Large Budget Stays In Yellowstone
Old Faithful Snow Lodge
On the east side of the park, OldFaithfulSnowLodge is one of the most popular places to stay inside Yellowstone. Fitted with geothermal heating, the floors will keep you warm even when its freezing outside. Enjoy the view from your rooms as you stare out over the expansive pristine landscape. Completed in 1999, this is the newest hotel located inside the park. They have full-service dining and its only a four-minute walk to the Old Faithful geyser. If youre wanting to see many of Yellowstones geysers, this is an ideal location!
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel
On the north side, Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel is another fantastic choice to spend a few days. It is nearby the hot springs that are popularly visited by tourists throughout the year. Be sure to check their website as its open limited days/hours. The hotel is great. It has all of the accommodations of any modern hotel. It was remodeled in 2019 and its location makes it perfect for observing wildlife right from your room. Every time Ive visited this part of the park, there are countless Elk roaming the property. You are also within walking distance of ski opportunities in the winter. Another benefit of this location is its great for visiting the area most popular for wildlife viewing.
Lake Yellowstone Hotel
Yellowstone National Park Lodges
Unique Tiny House In Gardiner: Roosevelts Roost
Tiny houses are a popular trend across the United States, and its easy to see why! For couples and solo travellers on a tight budget, they offer all the home comforts of a cabin without the sky-high costs. This tiny house can only fit a bedroom, but guests have access to the kitchen and bathroom facilities in the main property.
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Where To Stay In Cooke City
Blink and you could miss this small former mining community in the forest. A quiet strip of local restaurants, bars, and motels, Cooke City-Silver Gate is minutes from the Northeast Entrance. Its a closer kick-off point for exploring Yellowstones Lamar Valley than many of the park lodges.
On the strip, the pet-friendly High Country Motel and Cabins offers a variety of cozy cabins built in the 1950s. Or opt for Elkhorn Lodge, with spacious rooms, beautiful views, and DirecTV. Nature lovers will appreciate the serenity of staying on the outskirts of town at the woodsy Skyline Guest Ranch, a rustic lodge with guide services available.
Where To Stay Near Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone is our planet at its most communicative. At the Brink of the Lower Falls â in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone â you can listen to the rage of the water, a chorus of 635,000 gallons spilling over the falls edge every second. On the maze of boardwalks surrounding the Midway Geyser Basin, tune your ears to the bubbling and boiling beneath and above the surface. Move your attention to somewhere far away in the distance, where a coyote howls from the calderas ridge and the wind rushes through the lodgepole pine.
Here, the Earth is alive. Youre standing on an active supervolcano, a hot spot thats formed one of the largest calderas on the planet. Look at the rim above you â a remnant of a massive explosion 640,000 years ago â as you scan for bison and gray wolves in the grasses of the Lamar Valley. Under foot, the planet is churning, blowing off steam at Old Faithful, forming hot, bubbly mud pots and multi-colored travertine terraces at Mammoth Springs, and creating rainbows at Grand Prismatic Spring. Its alive with people, too. Traffic builds up in âbison jams, hundreds gather every hour or so to witness Old Faithful, and crowds flock to magnificent overlooks like Artists Point â especially in the warmer months. But with an area bigger than both Rhode Island and Delaware combined, you should be able to carve out your own Yellowstone adventure.
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Yellowstone National Park Lodges And Campgrounds
While this isnt a town, lodging inside the national park is something you will probably consider when deciding where to stay near Yellowstone. The benefit to staying inside the park is proximity to some of the attractions, though others will still be over an hour away. You also wont have to wait at the park entry booths in the morning, since youll already be inside the boundary.
For accommodations inside the park, you can check the availability here. Yellowstone hotels book out months ahead and are pretty expensive. Most of the hotels are located in Canyon Village, by Lake Yellowstone, at Mammoth Hot Springs, and around Old Faithful.
There are also 12 Yellowstone campgrounds, and the eight that take reservations also book up months ahead of time.
Staying Outside Of Yellowstone National Park
Because Yellowstone has five different entrances into the park, its easy to stay close to the park without actually being in the park. I recommend staying outside of Yellowstone if you want nicer amenities, cheaper prices, or more dining and activity options.
But heres the disclaimer not all entrances to the park are created equal! If you stay outside of the park, be sure to pick a town that wont add a ton of driving to your day. Youll already be driving a lot to see the sights in Yellowstone, so its best not to add more driving just to get to the park entrance.
Staying in West Yellowstone
So that being said, West Yellowstone is hands-down my favorite place to stay outside of the park. Its location right outside of the West Entrance makes it super easy to get into the park.
West Yellowstone is located along the road that travels right through the middle of Yellowstone, making it easy to visit the sights in both the northern and southern portions of the park without too much extra driving.
Staying in Gardiner or Cooke City
If you dont want to stay in one place for your entire trip, consider staying in a few different gateway towns. Gardiner and Cooke City make great jumping-off points for exploring some of the parks more scenic areas, such as the Lamar Valley or the Beartooth Highway. It may be worth it to stay a few nights in one of these areas and then moving further south.
Staying in Cody
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Final Thoughts On Where To Stay In Yellowstone
Yellowstone National Park is an epic reminder of all the outstanding places to visit in the United States! Youve probably already heard about the geysers and hot springs but we also love the quirky little villages, winter sports activities, and stunning mountains in the region. If youre desperate for a vacation this year, you dont have to let the fact you cant travel abroad stop you from having an incredible experience.
Choosing the best place to stay is pretty tricky, but if you want to be right in the heart of the action, then you have to stay in the region surrounding Yellowstone Lake! You will get up close and personal with the out-of-this-world geothermal attractions, and youre not too far from great ski destinations, either.
That being said, all the areas mentioned in this guide have their pros and cons it really just depends on what you want to get out of your trip. If you dont mind travelling a bit further and want to save some money, you should also check out our guide to Grand Teton National Park.
We hope weve helped you come up with an unforgettable itinerary for your upcoming trip to this seismic wonderland.
Did we miss anything? Let us know in the comments!
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Teton Village Wy: Teton Club Residences
If youâre looking for a luxury, ski in-ski out accommodation, Teton Clubcondominiums fit the bill. Located in Teton Village at the base of Jackson Hole Resort, the Teton Club offers stocked kitchens, expansive views of the Jackson Hole Valleys rolling sagebrush terrain on one side and Rendezvous Mountain on the other, and access to the coffee shops, restaurants, and nightlife of Teton Village.
Catch live music at the Mangy Moose or partake in a little retail therapy in the Teton Village shops, like Rodeoâa specialty womenâs clothing boutique and SkyWolfâs fine jewelry featuring Native American and Western art. In addition to world-class skiing, there are plenty of tours into nearby Grand Teton National Park where you can snowshoe, cross-country ski, heli-ski, or go dog sledding. Hole Hiking Experience has been covering all of the above since 1989 and their expert guides will set you up for an individualized experience you wonât soon forget.
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Yellowstone Lake Best Place To Stay In Yellowstone For Families
Want to stay in the heart of the park? The area surrounding Yellowstone Lake is the place for you! This is a massive region, so youll find the accommodation is quite spaced out. Thankfully, the road network is much more developed in the southern half, so youll have quick access to all the best attractions and towns.
When you think of Yellowstone National Park, chances are its the southern end that you imagine. This is home to Yellowstones geothermal attractions. For this reason, Yellowstone Lake is a great spot for families that want to make an educational experience out of their trip just make sure the younger ones stay well back from the barriers.