Visiting Yellowstone National Park makes for memories that last a lifetime. Staying overnight in the park, whether in a hotel, a cabin, or a campsite, allows you to enjoy Yellowstone's wildlife, thermal features, and landscapes outside of the most popular visitor hours, from the early mornings until after dark. If you choose to stay in one of Yellowstone's hotels, the unique location and architecture will only add to your experience. Each available hotel in the park has its own character and advantages. If you have the time, I recommend a stay at two or more different places in the park. Here are my top picks for hotels in Yellowstone National Park.
A visit to Old Faithful Inn will be a highlight of your Yellowstone adventure. The historic inn's lobby is a magnificent log structure, with staircases and railings constructed of gnarly, curved logs and a wrap-around mezzanine that offer wonderful places to sit and take it all in. One of the coolest things about Old Faithful Inn is the front porch that provides an excellent view of Old Faithful geyser. As a guest, you 'll be able to sit out and watch the geyser in the morning and evening when the crowds are gone. Old Faithful Inn is in the process of renovations - some rooms have been updated, others are waiting their turn. The rooms range from modest rooms without baths to deluxe suites with private baths.
Built in 1999, Old Faithful Snow Lodge offers the most modern lodging facilities in the park. Like the rest of the park, you won't find TVs or internet access, but you will find rooms with private baths and common areas that are rustically elegant and quite comfortable. Other amenities available to guests include the Obsidian Dining Room, the Firehole Lounge, the Geyser Grill, an extensive gift shop, and meeting rooms. As the name suggests, Old Faithful Snow Lodge is also open to winter guests.
While Lake Yellowstone Hotel's Southern colonial style and cheerful yellow hue seems a little out of place in a national park, this large and gracious hotel offers incredible scenery in a lakefront setting. The rooms, which come with and without private bathrooms, are comfortable and charming. You can relax and enjoy lake and mountain views through the walls of windows in Lake Yellowstone's large lobby.
The accommodations at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, while comfortable, are in need of renovation. The number of attractions and the incredible scenery around the Mammoth region more than make up for any deficiencies in your hotel room. During my visit, herds of elk wandered the grounds, pausing for a time just outside the Mammoth Terrace Grill during dinner (which was excellent). The nearby thermal features, including the Mammoth Terraces, are amazing in their shapes and colors. The Albright Visitor Center & Museum offers films and exhibits on the history of Yellowstone National Park. During your stay you can take a walking tour of Fort Yellowstone and other historic structures. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel is open in summer and winter.
Located in the heart of Yellowstone Park, Canyon Lodge offers two different hotel buildings - Dunraven Lodge and Cascade Lodge. Both were built during the 1990s; all rooms have private baths. As a guest at Canyon Lodge you'll be near the majestic scenery of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, which you can enjoy at a number of different viewpoints or on a day hike. The Canyon Visitor Education Center has interesting, interactive exhibits covering Yellowstone geology.
Grant Village is located on the southwest shore of Lake Yellowstone, 22 miles from the south entrance to Yellowstone National Park. The hotel at Grant Village was built in 1980s and offers rooms with private baths and telephones. Other amenities at Grant Village include lake-view dining, a general store, and a post office. The Grant Village Visitor Center focuses on the role that fire plays in the Yellowstone environment.