The oldest national park in the United States boasts the Grand Canyon and the Old Faithful geyser, as well as cozy cabins, luxury-camping retreats and upstyled motels in Wyoming and Montana. Book your stay now with Culture Trip.
The first American national park should be on every traveler’s bucket list. The landscape of Yellowstone National Park – golden rolling hillsides with geyser mist and grazing bison – is beautiful and otherworldly. Taking a dip in a bubbling, warm river, hiking down into the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, with its thunderous waterfall, and witnessing the world’s most famous geyser, Old Faithful, spew boiling water 130ft (40m) up in the air, are just a few highlights in this vast wilderness. While camping in the park is always an option, hotel options abound, from the grand and historic to dude-ranch-style stays. Here are the best hotels near Yellowstone National Park.
Considered the largest log structure in the world, the Old Faithful Inn, a National Historic Landmark, was built between 1903 and 1904 out of local wood and stone. The 76ft-tall (23m) lobby, with a mammoth stone fireplace and a handmade copper and wood clock, is something to behold. The inn remains the most requested accommodation in the park, and rooms for the busy summer season book out well in advance, including the suites with sitting rooms and the basic rooms in the Old House that come with communal bathrooms and showers. Note, there are no televisions, but you won’t lack entertainment with Old Faithful and the park’s marbled beauty just outside your window.
Mere minutes from the Yellowstone West Entrance, this rustic, adults-only hotel is a good choice for travelers who want to spend a lot of time in the park but prefer a plush mattress to a sleeping pad. Guest rooms have an authentic Montana feel. Local artisans made the dark-wood headboards and desk chairs, but this is no cabin: fireplaces, double showers and flat-screen TVs add a luxe touch. A filling breakfast of eggs, pastries, granola and coffee is served each morning.
Holiday Inn West Yellowstone is an affordable and comfortable option close to the park’s West Entrance, the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center and the Yellowstone Giant Screen Theater. Cozy triple-sheeted beds provide a good night’s rest between days spent bison- and elk-spotting. Rooms also have a microwave and mini-fridge for rustling up post-trail beers and bites. Like most Holiday Inns, this edition has a heated indoor pool, a whirlpool and a fitness center.
The Dreamcatcher Tipi Hotel, 100yd (91m) from the Yellowstone River, is Instagram gold. A luxury-camping retreat, each tipi (which can sleep four) comes with an electric fireplace, a decorative rug, a rainfall shower and the all-important free s’mores to roast at the nightly campfire. The hotel is in picturesque Paradise Valley in the town of Gardiner, 5mi (8km) from Yellowstone’s North Entrance. Far less tourist-trodden than West Yellowstone, Gardiner has just 800 residents and lays claim to the famous Roosevelt Arch park entrance built in 1903.
At Bar N Ranch, Travelers can pretend they’re a character in the Kevin Costner-starring Yellowstone series. The 200-acre (81ha) estate, located in a valley 6mi (10km) from Yellowstone’s West Entrance, is a traditional Western “dude ranch”, with fly-fishing on the property, rescue horses roaming free and frequent fox and antelope sightings. It also delivers the hearty Wild West dining of your dreams: crispy trout fritters and bison short rib with wild mushroom risotto. The Main Lodge has a Great Room with log-beam ceilings and seven upstairs bedrooms with Western decor and fireplaces. Guests can also choose to stay in cabins.
Far from the typical motel, Absaroka Lodge’s guest rooms overlook the meandering Yellowstone River in Gardiner, two blocks from the Roosevelt Arch. All rooms have luxurious USA-made Englander mattresses, balconies, microwaves and mini-fridges. Double Queen Kitchen Suites also have a kitchenette with a dining table for four. Don’t forget to snag some complimentary coffee, tea and hot chocolate in the lobby.
Guests can choose between two very distinct stays at Roosevelt Lodge & Cabins. In Gardiner, there are 25 rooms and five cabins, with a view of the Yellowstone River or the Gallatin Forest Mountain Range, done up with pedestal sinks, wooden high-backed bed frames, linens and patios or balconies. Or, stay at the more private timber-framed cabins a block from the main hotel, each with two bedrooms and full kitchens. Guests of both can look forward to on-the-house coffee and pastries.
Let’s just say the three bears might feel right at home in the luxurious, whimsical log cabins at the Hibernation Station in West Yellowstone. The cabin vibes are on full tilt inside, where rooms sport handmade beds, painted armoires and quilts (yet they also have Jacuzzi tubs). With standalone cabins separated by a grassy strip and tall trees, Hibernation State feels like a private village conveniently located a few blocks from the park entrance. Better still, if you’re bringing your trail dog, some cabins are pet-friendly.