Where to stay in Yellowstone National Park

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Picture the size of Yellowstone National Park — holding over 2 million acres (more than some US states) packed with breathtakingly beautiful mountains, valleys, lakes and rivers — and you’ll quickly realize that you want to stay inside its boundaries. Luckily, there are nine lodges available within Yellowstone National Park. Unfortunately, these often sell out long in advance and its nightly rates (location, location, location) can be steep.

Let’s be crystal clear here. To explore Yellowstone, staying inside the park is highly advantageous, at least for a few nights, as it avoids exhausting in-and-out drives. However, the park’s gateway towns, in fact, offer a good dose of Wild West charm, making them not only convenient but also fun stops on the way to or from Yellowstone.

Now, let’s dig into all the in-park Yellowstone lodging (totaling 2000 plus rooms) and those alternatives outside the gigantic adventurer’s paradise that Yellowstone National Park is.

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Lodging inside Yellowstone

Wake up to the sound of the splashing Yellowstone Lake or watch an iconic Old Faithful show before breakfast — that’s what you can do if you bed down inside Yellowstone National Park. But because of its enormous size and diversity, “staying in Yellowstone” is as unspecific as “staying in Rhode Island“.

The nine in-park Yellowstone lodges are spread across six areas: Old Faithful, Canyon Village, Lake Village, Grant Village, Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Fall. Think of these as different destinations, with distinctive characteristics and adjacent attractions, within Yellowstone.

Winter visitors: Only two of Yellowstone’s nine lodges are open during the winter season, the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel.

Old Faithful

In the southwest corner of Yellowstone, the Old Faithful district comprises the park’s most renowned collection of geysers, the Upper Geyser Basin. The biggest drawcard among them all, the reliable Old Faithful on average erupts every 90 minutes, meaning you won’t miss the show even if you check in late.

Get from Old Faithful to sights:

  • Old Faithful: You’re already there
  • Grand Prismatic Spring: 20 min
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: 1 h 10 min
  • Hayden Valley: 1 h 20 min
  • Mammoth Hot Springs: 1 h 30 min
  • Lamar Valley: 2 h 10 min
Wooden Old Faithful geyser sign in front of trees and a boardwalk
Get seated folks.

Old Faithful Inn

A national historic landmark completed in 1904, the elegant Old Faithful Inn — one of the world’s largest log cabins — is the highest demanded property within Yellowstone National Park. Scan its East Wing, West Wing and Old House (all connected) for availability on your dates; if you find something, quickly snap up that cozy suite or room.

Old Faithful Lodge

Expect basic rooms at the 1920s Old Faithful Lodge, featuring frontier cabins and budget cabins without private bathroom. The best spot to hang out is the on-site cafeteria, boasting unique views of the Old Faithful.

Old Faithful Snow Lodge

Completing the Old Faithful offering, the 1999 Snow Lodge provides a low-key range of lodge rooms, western cabins and frontier cabins. Evenings are best spent chatting or planning next-day excursions around a fireplace in the rustic lobby brimming with pioneering spirit.

The Old Faithful geyser spouting towards the blue Wyoming sky
Spouting Old Faithful.

Canyon Village

Where Yellowstone’s northern and southern loops meet, Canyon Village puts you within a few miles of both Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Hayden Valley. Enjoy spontaneous day trips across the park; none of the main attractions sits more than roughly an hour away — this is the most central option for where to stay in Yellowstone National Park.

Get from Canyon Village to sights:

  • Old Faithful: 1 h 10 min
  • Grand Prismatic Spring: 1 h
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: 5 min
  • Hayden Valley: 10 min
  • Mammoth Hot Springs: 50 min
  • Lamar Valley: 1 h

Canyon Lodge & Cabins

If your friend has visited Yellowstone, its likely that they stayed at Canyon Lodge & Cabins, which with 500 plus rooms and cabins sleeps more guests than any other park establishment. Choose from spacious suites, comfy lodge rooms (some with porch) and western cabins — all located in the front row for the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

Yellowstone River flowing through Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
Canyon Village-adjacent Grand Canyon.

Lake Village

In Yellowstone’s southeast, its biggest lake — with 110 miles (180 km) of shoreline — calmy splashes. Whether you crave for a rustic log cabin or an elegant hotel, Lake Village, beautifully set on Yellowstone Lake’s northern shore, has you covered.

Get from Lake Village to sights:

  • Old Faithful: 1 h
  • Grand Prismatic Spring: 1 h
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: 40 min
  • Hayden Valley: 20 min
  • Mammoth Hot Springs: 1 h 30 min
  • Lamar Valley: 1 h 40 min

Lake Lodge Cabins

A quintessential great-outdoors porch facing Yellowstone Lake welcomes visitors to the log-built Lake Lodge Cabins. Behind the main lodge, 186 uncomplicated cabins of western and frontier style hide.

Lake Yellowstone Hotel & Cabins

Its commanding views of Yellowstone Lake and historic elegance — acknowledged as a national historic landmark — are both strong reasons to check in at Lake Yellowstone Hotel & Cabins. The lakeside suites and rooms are the hottest items, while parking lot-facing rooms, rooms in the Sandpiper Lodge and cabins are other options.

A placid Lake Yellowstone in Yellowstone National Park, WY
Feel the soothing Lake Yellowstone vibe.

Grant Village

Grant Village rests at the western end of Lake Yellowstone, near the West Thumb, the lake’s biggest geyser basin. While this outpost provides the Yellowstone lodging closest the next-door Grand Teton National Park, keep in mind that it’s still an hour’s drive to the southern neighbor’s Moran Entrance Station, with additional driving required to reach most hot spots down there.

Get from Grant Village to sights:

  • Old Faithful: 40 min
  • Grand Prismatic Spring: 40 min
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: 1 h
  • Hayden Valley: 50 min
  • Mammoth Hot Springs: 1 h 50 min
  • Lamar Valley: 2 h

Grant Village

Grant Village, a lodging facility with the same name as the area, offers 300 simple rooms spread across six two-storey buildings named after local animal species. For dinner, choose from the Grant Village Dining Room and, directly on the lake, Grant Village Lake House Restaurant.

Mammoth Hot Springs

Summer or winter, visitors flock to Mammoth Hot Springs, situated only a 15-minute drive from Yellowstone’s only gate accessible by car year round, the North Entrance. Wander on boardwalks and feel the awe-inspiring steam of the surrounding hot springs — forming the Upper Terrace and Lower Terrace — with a crust that resembles an inside-out cave.

Get from Mammoth Hot Springs to sights:

  • Old Faithful: 1 h 20 min
  • Grand Prismatic Spring: 1 h 10 min
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: 1 h 10 min
  • Hayden Valley: 1 h
  • Mammoth Hot Springs: You’re already there
  • Lamar Valley: 1 h

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel & Cabins

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel & Cabins features suites, rooms and cabins within walking distance of the area’s iconic travertine terraces. Not only humans love the steaming location; wildlife in general and elk and bison in particular often roam the property.

Mammoth Hot Springs overlooking Mammoth Hot Springs & Cabins
Mammoth Hot Springs overlooks its lodge.

Tower Fall

In Yellowstone’s northeast, Tower Fall brilliantly plunges 132 feet (40 m) against the backdrop of lava-flow-created rock columns. A stone’s throw away, Tower Junction connects the park’s northern loop road with the route leading to the bison-dotted Lamar Valley.

Get from Tower Fall to sights:

  • Old Faithful: 1 h 40 min
  • Grand Prismatic Spring: 1 h 30 min
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: 40 min
  • Hayden Valley: 50 min
  • Mammoth Hot Springs: 40 min
  • Lamar Valley: 20 min

Roosevelt Lodge Cabins

President Theodore Roosevelt used the Tower Fall area as his Yellowstone base, and you can too. Available at Roosevelt Lodge Cabins are old-fashioned yet comfy frontier cabins and, for those who don’t mind shared bathroom facilities, roughrider cabins. Visit the adjacent Roosevelt Corral to travel Yellowstone like in the good old days, on horseback or by stagecoach. For a ride crowned by a hearty western meal, book an Old West Dinner Cookout.

Grazing bison in Lamar Valley in Yellowstone National Park, WY
Pick Roosevelt Lodge for Lamar Valley access.

Lodging near Yellowstone

Bedding down outside Yellowstone inevitably means staying further from the action that you come for, but it has its upsides too. Opt for a base outside Yellowstone to enjoy more bang for your buck, including more amenities and cheaper lodging rates.

While there are five Yellowstone entrances, the towns at the West Entrance, West Yellowstone, and North Entrance, Gardiner, provide the most convenient out-of-park vantage points. These put you within minutes of the park border and an easy drive from several main sights.

Yellowstone’s five gates:

  • West Entrance: West Yellowstone, Montana
  • North Entrance: Gardiner, Montana
  • Northeast Entrance: Cook City-Silver Gate, Montana
  • East Entrance: Cody, Wyoming
  • South Entrance: Grand Teton NP, Wyoming

Winter visitors: The North Entrance is the only gate reachable by car from the outside world during the winter season.

West Yellowstone, Montana

The name of West Yellowstone gives it away; this Montana town dutifully guards the West Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. Two reasons make West Entrance the most popular Yellowstone gate: It’s generally the easiest entrance for roadtrippers traveling from the Southwest, and it offers comparatively good access to Yellowstone’s top sights (most are within 1.5 hours’ drive).

West Yellowstone has adjusted to the demand and offers an array of charming lodges, tasty eateries and fun shops that make life simple for all passing through. The town’s compromise between untamed-nature access and modern-day amenities appeals to everyone from outdoor lovers to city slickers.

Get from West Yellowstone to sights:

  • Old Faithful: 1 h
  • Grand Prismatic Spring: 40 min
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: 1 h
  • Hayden Valley: 1 h 10 min
  • Mammoth Hot Springs: 1 h 20 min
  • Lamar Valley: 2 h

Faithful Street Inn

There’s no shortage of space at the Faithful Street Inn, providing self-contained vacation homes. The smallest are three-bedroom houses, while the biggest is the massive Buffalo Creek Cabin accommodating up to 18 guests.

Golden Stone Inn

You can enjoy a modern Yellowstone stay; just ask the Golden Stone Inn. Embrace cabins, each with its own porch, designed for the visitor who crave for the combo of timeless nature and contemporary living. They call it “Modern Mountain”.

Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone

A West Yellowstone institution, Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone boasts 50 bright cabins with kitchenette. Community fire pits, perfect for roasting s’mores and socializing with fellow adventurers, elevate the experience.

Kelly Inn West Yellowstone

You hard-earned dollars tend to last longer at the Kelly Inn West Yellowstone, providing rooms across two buildings: The Canyon Building (year round) and Grizzly Building (seasonal). Highlights here — on top of that value — include the general cleanliness, inviting indoor pool and free breakfast.

Grand Prismatic Spring in Yellowstone National Park radiating vivid colors
Get from West Yellowstone to this in 40 min.

Gardiner, Montana

Cut in two by Yellowstone River, Gardiner marks the North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park, which is the second most popular gateway to Yellowstone (after the West Entrance). Because the North Entrance is the only gate accessible by car from the outside world through winter, this final frontier has a unique year-round attraction.

But Gardiner, boasting several nice grills to refuel after a long day out, makes a great base no matter when you visit. Mammoth Hot Springs — a 15-minute drive away — is the closest major Yellowstone attraction, and all the park’s top sights are available within 1.5 hours’ drive.

Get from Gardiner to sights:

  • Old Faithful: 1 h 30 min
  • Grand Prismatic Spring: 1 h 20 min
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: 1 h
  • Hayden Valley: 1 h 10 min
  • Mammoth Hot Springs: 15 min
  • Lamar Valley: 1 h 10 min

Yellowstone Gateway Inn

This is rusticness at a whole new level: Think tastefully furnished suites with living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms where you gladly spend your time off the park. Families especially appreciate the (extra) roomy two-bedroom suites sleeping up to eight guests.

Yellowstone Riverside Cottages

Set on a property directly on the rippling Yellowstone River, an exciting range of compact studios, free-standing cottages and spacious suites grab your attention. Some suites feature river views, but there’s also a common river-fronting terrace excellent for enjoying the grand surrounding landscape.

Roadtripping to Yellowstone? Tick off the best sights along the way with our Denver to Yellowstone itinerary.

Cooke City-Silver Gate, Montana

Tiny mountain outposts, Cooke City and Silver Gate, quietly lie at the Northeast Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. These towns are generally further away from the park’s main sights than Gardiner and West Yellowstone, making them less convenient if you plan to day trip in and out of Yellowstone.

What still makes the pair attractive to park visitors is that they are located on the jaw-dropping Beartooth Highway (open in summer) that beautifully twists its way into Yellowstone. So if you plan on driving Beartooth Highway, consider spending a night either in Cooke City-Silver Gate (along the route) or in Red Lodge (a livelier town where it begins).

Get from Cooke City/Silver Gate to sights:

  • Old Faithful: 2 h 30 min
  • Grand Prismatic Spring: 2 h 20 min
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: 1 h 30 min
  • Hayden Valley: 1 h 40 min
  • Mammoth Hot Springs: 1 h 30 min
  • Lamar Valley: 30 min

Alpine Motel of Cooke City

Alpine Motel of Cooke City is just like its home town, humble but possessing a one-of-a-kind location. While its rooms feel dated, the unique Beartooth Highway location makes up for it.

Beartooth Highway twisting its way through Montana and Wyoming mountains
Drive Beartooth Highway to Cooke City-Silver Gate.

Cody, Wyoming

Let the estimated driving times speak for themselves; With the Grand Prismatic Spring and Mammoth Hot Springs 3-hour drives away, Cody just isn’t a convenient base for exploring Yellowstone National Park. From here — the town closest to Yellowstone’s East Entrance — driving in and out of the park daily quickly gets exhausting.

Rather consider Cody as a fun side trip on your Yellowstone adventure. This town — founded by Buffalo Bill in 1896 — radiates Wild West vibes. Embrace the Wild West yourself at the extensive Buffalo Bill Center of the West and, if you visit in summer, enjoy nightly rodeo.

Get from Cody to sights:

  • Old Faithful: 2 h 50 min
  • Grand Prismatic Spring: 3 h
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: 2 h 20 min
  • Hayden Valley: 2 h
  • Mammoth Hot Springs: 3 h
  • Lamar Valley: 2 h 10 min

The Cody

Check in at The Cody for a luxurious take on the Wild West that would make Buffalo Bill himself proud. Soak up the pleasant atmosphere in the western-themed lobby containing a baby grand piano, plunge into the refreshing indoor swimming pool and sleep like a king in your comfy bed knowing that a complimentary breakfast awaits the next morning.

Chamberlin Inn

Set in a 1901 red-brick building at the heart of town, Chamberlin Inn greets you with swaying flags. Step inside to find casual western elegance boosted by the sociable on-site cocktail bar. Enjoy your drink in the courtyard, conservatory, library, main parlor or second-floor sun room.

The front of Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming
Stay in Cody for its Wild West attractions.

Flagg Ranch, Wyoming

Yellowstone’s South Entrance watches Yellowstone’s eye-catching neighbor, Grand Teton National Park. In Grand Teton, you can paddle Jenny Lake and tour the historic Mormon Row Historic District while admiring the park’s signature granite peaks — there are eight peaks over 12,000 feet (3,658 m) in the majestic Teton Range.

An 8-mile (13 km) stretch of John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway is all that separates Yellowstone’s southern border from Grand Teton’s northern border. Along this stretch, you find an interesting lodging option for those who want one place to stay for both Yellowstone and Grand Teton — Flagg Ranch.

Get from Flagg Ranch to sights:

  • Old Faithful: 1 h 10 min
  • Grand Prismatic Spring: 1 h 20 min
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: 1 h 40 min
  • Hayden Valley: 1 h 30 min
  • Mammoth Hot Springs: 2 h 20 min
  • Lamar Valley: 2 h 40 min

Headwaters Lodge & Cabins at Flagg Ranch

Nestled between Yellowstone and Grand Teton, Headwaters Lodge & Cabins at Flagg Ranch lets you enjoy two iconic American parks from one location. It’s only 2 miles (3 km) to Yellowstone and 5 miles (8 km) to Grand Teton, but keep the distance to Yellowstone’s northernmost attractions in mind. Stretch your budget with a standard cabin, or pay extra for a premium cabin boasting Snake River view.

Headed for the towering sister? See our complete guide on where to stay when visiting Grand Teton National Park.

Where to stay in Yellowstone FAQ

Which are the best places to stay in Yellowstone National Park?

The best places to stay in Yellowstone National Park include Old Faithful Inn, an enormous log building, Canyon Lodge & Cabins, handy at the heart of the park, and Mammoth Hot Springs & Cabins, with some of the parks most famous springs within walking distance.

Which are the best places to stay near Yellowstone National Park?

While in-park lodging is favorable for sightseeing, you don’t get away from the fact that the gateway towns bring more amenities, and often cheaper rates, to the table. Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone and Golden Stone Inn offer national park-like coziness in West Yellowstone, and Gardiner’s Yellowstone Gateway Inn provides upscale rusticness.

What part of Yellowstone is best to stay in?

Each slice of Yellowstone has its own charm, and its best part depends on your preferences. Choose from the six distinctive areas of Old Faithful, Canyon Village, Lake Village, Grant Village, Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Fall.

What is the closest city to stay near Yellowstone National Park?

The towns nearest Yellowstone National Park are West Yellowstone (West Entrance), Gardiner (North Entrance), Cook City-Silver Gate (Northeast Entrance) and Cody (East Entrance). Among these, West Yellowstone and Gardiner provide the most attractive vantage points for taking in Yellowstone’s main sights.

Are there campgrounds in Yellowstone?

There are more than 2,000 campsites spread across 12 campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park. These are, just like the in-park lodges, highly popular, and advance reservations are essential.

Where to stay in Yellowstone in winter?

There are only two year-round lodges in Yellowstone National Park: Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. While most park roads are closed to automobiles during Yellowstone’s long winter season when oversnow travel is the primary way of getting around, the route from Gardiner through the North Entrance — via Mammoth Hot Springs and Lamar Valley — to Cooke City remains open to cars throughout the year.

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