Lodging Inside Yellowstone National Park
Within Yellowstone, you have several options for park lodging in the summer months if camping isnt your jam. Though, its good to remember that lodging in the park is typically a bit more sparse than you may be used to. Even the lodges and cabins are without televisions, radios, and air conditioning.
There are nine lodges that offer hotel rooms or cabins within the park boundaries that generally open in the late spring and stay open through the fall.
However, if youre traveling in the winter, youll only have two to choose from: Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Old Faithful Snow Lodge. All of these are booked through the Yellowstone National Park Lodges website.
Because of the pandemic, there are ongoing changes, that may include reduced amenities, limited availability and/or day use only. Please double-check here for the most current updates.
Roosevelt Lodge & Cabins
The 1920s Roosevelt Lodge & Cabins property is on the National Register of Historic Places, making it an important stop on your Yellowstone itinerary whether youre staying there or not.
The style at the cabins is very much Western, complete with chuck wagon dinners at the on-site restaurant.
I might consider it just for their giant sitting porch.
Note: The location is also ideal for hikers looking to tackle Mount Washburn, as its about half an hour north of that trailhead, and for those seeking some bison activity right outside their door.
Just dont get as close as people tend to in these situations.
When And How To Book Lodging Inside Yellowstone
Yellowstone National Park is incredibly popular, and lodging inside the park sells out very quickly, often the same day reservations are released.
If youre visiting Yellowstone in the summer and want to stay inside the park, you should book 13 months in advance.
Yes, you read that right. Beginning in April 2022, reservations will be released on a 13-month rolling basis. On the 5th of each month, reservations will be released for the entire month the following year.
On the 5th, reservations will be released at midnight via the online booking system. You have the best chance of getting a reservation using the online system as phone bookings encounter long wait times.
You can read more about the new reservation window here.
For winter trips from December 2022 to March 2023, reservations will be made available on March 15, 2022. Going forward, reservations for winter visits in 2024 will be released on a rolling 13-month basis.
For trips from April 2023 to December 2023, these are the dates youll need to book lodging inside the park:
- for trips from April 1 to April 30, 2023
- May 5, 2022, for trips from May 1 to May 31, 2023
- for trips from June 1 to June 30, 2023
- for trips from July 1 to July 31, 2023
- for trips from August 1 to August 31, 2023
- for trips from September 1 to September 30, 2023
- for trips from October 1 to October 31, 2023
- for trips from November 1 to November 30, 2023
- for trips from December 1 to December 31, 2023
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Essential Tips For Your Stay In Yellowstone National Park
- Pick the best location to minimize driving time. If you have three days or less, I recommend staying in Canyon Village. If you are visiting Yellowstone for four or more days, I recommend splitting your time between two accommodations to save driving time. Outside of the park, West Yellowstone is the closest to most attractions.
- Visit in the summer when lodging is open. Most lodges and campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park dont open until May and close in October. If you choose to visit in winter, your only options inside the park are Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel or Old Faithful Snow Lodge.
- Save money by staying outside the park. If youre on a budget, consider staying in nearby towns like West Yellowstone or Gardiner. Lodging inside the park can be expensive due to high demand and limited options. I recommend using Hotels.com to find budget lodging available during your trip dates.
- Avoid crowds by starting your day early, especially if you stay outside the park. From June to September, trails and attractions are packed by 10 AM. Lines form at the park entrances after 9 AM. Beat the crowds by starting around sunrise.
Looking for more tips on what to pack for your trip? Check out my guides on the best hiking gear, what to pack for a road trip, and essential camping gear for all my favorite gear picks and tips to make packing for your trip a breeze!
Lake Yellowstone Hotel & Cottages
Lake Yellowstone Hotel & Cottages is the more upscale option for your stay on Yellowstone Lake, which is made more obvious when you pull up to this place, all white columns and Colonial architecture.
The property also has National Historic Landmark status, boasting a 125-year-old history in the park. Former President Calvin Coolidge was reportedly a big fan, at least of the presidential suite at the hotel.
The 1920-era cottages on the property are more simple but still pricey.
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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.
About City Center Motel
We hope you choose the City Center Motel for your upcoming visit to Yellowstone National Park! As your hosts, we look forward to meeting you, and hope to make your stay as satisfying as possible. We both grew up here in West Yellowstone, and have an avid passion for Yellowstone National Park, and the surrounding area. Weve raised our children here, and now we are blessed to be able to help raise our grandchildren here as well. Scott was a professional guide in Yellowstone for 16 years, and loves to share his knowledge with guests, to help them get the most out of their vacation to the greater Yellowstone area. Heather was the General Manager for a Yellowstone National Park tour company for 16 years, and takes pride in making sure that you get the most out of your once-in-a-lifetime adventure in our region. Our mission is to provide a clean, comfortable lodging option, for you to rest between adventures into Yellowstone. We love answering questions, helping to arrange other activities, giving advice on areas to visit, routes to maximize your time, and suggestions for other out-of-way attractions. Let us help you have a successful trip to Yellowstone National Park!
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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!
Old Faithful Lodge Cabins
The Old Faithful Lodge Cabins are a more casual alternative to the inn while visiting the Old Faithful area, and historic in their own right.
Cabins come with or without private baths, so make sure you know what youre booking before you do so. These are simpler accommodations than some of the other options in the park, despite the high prices youll see. Youre paying for accessibility here.
The cabins location is the big draw, as youre basically sleeping next to the geysers at these.
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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.
Things To Consider When Looking For Lodging In Yellowstone
The first thing that people generally look at is price. At the City Center Motel , we try to keep our prices as affordable as possible, while still providing a clean, comfortable space to unwind and recharge each night. Location is also another consideration. As our name would suggest, the City Center Motel is centrally located in West Yellowstone, Montana. The entrance to Yellowstone National Park is 2 ½ blocks away, and the restaurants, gift shops, and other in-town attractions start right next door. Everything is within walking distance.
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Where Can You Stay In Cody Wyoming
Cody is much farther away from the park than West Yellowstone and Gardiner, but its a popular town in its own right, and its probably a little cheaper.
Set up by Buffalo Bill Cody, the guy who created his own Wild West show in the 1800s, shortly after Yellowstone was created as a national park. Ever the opportunist, Cody set up his own town near Yellowstone to take advantage of the expected increase in visitors.
Here are some suggestions for Cody:
Chamberlin Inn. This was established in 1900, and many famous people stayed here in the 1920s and 1930s during their visits to Yellowstone. They offer deals for advanced bookings, government and military employees, and AAA members. This is another boutique hotel, and reviewers rave about the fresh flowers in their rooms and other niceties.
Best Western Sunset Inn. Weve always liked Best Westerns, so much that we signed up for their membership program . This gets good reviews for being a family-friendly hotel and having a pool.
I cant emphasize the pool enough if you have children. Yellowstone can be very tiring for kids because youll spend almost all day in the park driving, walking, or waiting . Having a pool for them to play in at night is a massive release valve for their energy.
Best Western Premier Ivy Inn & Suites. This is a step up from the other Best Western, and it has a gym and offers babysitting, just in case you need a break from the kids as much as they need a break from you!
Big Sky A Favorite Year
Immediately to the northwest of Yellowstone National Park, youll find Big Sky, Montana. This is a favorite place to stay in Yellowstone for many repeat visitors. The Big Sky Resort is located here.
This is a favorite year-round destination thanks to its downhill mountain biking in the summer and downhill skiing in the winter.
Summertime visitors will find a great deal to keep them busy no matter how long their stay. Road biking and mountain biking are especially popular.
Visitors enjoy riding along the U.S. Highway 191, which includes scenic Gallatin Canyon or test themselves on the singletrack of trails like Mica Creek, Garnet Mountain and Porcupine.
When youre not cycling, consider taking a whitewater rafting adventure on the Gallatin River. Go out with an experienced guide so that you can test your mettle with anything from slack water up to class IV whitewater.
Some of the best fly fishing youll ever experience can be found around Big Sky. From alpine lakes to rivers and mountain streams, this is one of the best places in the world to catch trout. Hiring a local guide ensures that youll find all the best spots.
Your summer visit will also include opportunities for horseback riding, hunting, ziplining and hiking. If youre looking for a great round of golf, head to the Big Sky Resort Golf Course.
Are you new to skiing? Then sign up for ski lessons at the resort.
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The Best Towns To Stay Near Yellowstone National Park
The most prominent entry point to Yellowstone National Park as well as Grand Teton National Park, Jackson is a beautiful town set in the heart of Jackson Hole Valley. One of the most picturesque and modern towns, Jackson gives you access to two amazing places for the price of one. Travelers wishing to visit Yellowstone drive through the pristine lakes, wildflower fields, and rocky peaks of Grand Teton and find themselves amidst the ethereal landscape of the former. Many celebrities maintain stunning holiday homes in this town. A significant ski town, Jackson transforms into a ski haven during winters. Snow King and Jackson Hole are two such ski resorts that are flocked to by tourists during the ski season. However, do take time to explore the striking arches at the four corners of the Town Square, built from several hundred elk antlers.
Good for: All kinds of travelers.Other Highlights: National Elk Refuge, National Museum of Wildlife Art, George Washington Memorial Park, Virginian RV Park, Jackson Hole Childrens Museum, and Grand Teton Gallery.
Canyon Village Best Location For Sightseeing In Yellowstone
Canyon Lodge is a relatively new accommodation in Yellowstone. It contains 5 beautiful lodges with a total of 400 guest rooms, including spacious suites for big families. Note that only the lodges are recent, not the cabins.
But modern facilities and relatively new lodges is not the only reason why we recommend Canyon Lodge as the main accommodation in Yellowstone.
Canyon Village lodges have the best location for sightseeing in Yellowstone!
Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is just a few minutes drive from here. Hayden Valley, Norris Basin, Mount Washburn, Tower Roosevelt area, Yellowstone Lake, and even Lamar Valley and Mammoth Hot Springs all these places are easily accessible from Canyon Village.
So if you are looking for the best centrally located accommodation in Yellowstone, you cannot go wrong with staying at the Canyon Village. The only area that is a bit far for sightseeing is the Old Faithful and the surrounding geyser basins. But even the Old Faithful can be visited from your lodge in Canyon Village just expect some delays due to busy traffic.
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Where Can You Stay In West Yellowstone Montana
West Yellowstone is where most visitors stay when visiting Yellowstone. Its not a huge city or anything like that, but it has the most hotels and attractions outside the park. There are many places to stay, but here are our top three suggestions:
Kelly Inn. This hotel has a pool, seems very family-friendly, and its right across the street from the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center and IMAX theater. Its also pet friendly.
Days Inn. We have stayed here before, and we loved it. They gave us a HUGE suite for our big family. And they have a pool with a water slide, which is a HUGE hit with our kids. After a long day of driving and hiking, a water slide really makes it worth all the effort.
1872 Inn. This one is not kid-friendly, which might appeal to many adults! It is a boutique hotel, which means each room is different. Its more of a luxury hotel, with fewer than 100 rooms. Rooms are typically over $350 per night.
Under Canvas. This is glamping at its finest! You stay in the outdoors, covered with a canvas tent, but you get to sleep in a real bed. Costs $150-$300/night.
- We usually use Booking.com to find our accomodations .
Hotels In Gardiner Montana
Gardiner is located just outside the North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. If youre spending several days in Yellowstone, you could spend a few nights in West Yellowstone and a few nights in Gardiner.
This town is closest to Mammoth Hot Springs and about an hour to Lamar Valley. Gardiner is also an excellent option for a one-night layover if youre going or coming from Glacier National Park or other adventures in Big Sky Country.
Drive Time to Popular Attractions:
- Old Faithful: 1 hour 40 minutes
- Grand Prismatic Spring: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Hayden Valley: 1 hour 25 minutes
- Mammoth Hot Springs: 15 minutes
- Lamar Valley: 1 hour 10 minutes
The best hotels in Gardiner, Montana include:
- Yellowstone Basin Inn, a quaint bed and breakfast with 14 guest rooms and a complimentary buffet breakfast a few miles north of downtown Gardiner
- Park Hotel Yellowstone, a historic hotel with nine guest rooms and fire pits in downtown Gardiner, walking distance to Roosevelt Arch and the North Entrance
- The Roosevelt Hotel, a property with 29 standard hotel rooms and several two-bedroom cabins located along the Yellowstone River just outside downtown Gardiner
- Yellowstone Big Rock Inn, a no-frills, budget-friendly hotel with 51 guest rooms, some featuring kitchenettes, located near the North Entrance to Yellowstone
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