Learn about Yellowstone lodging that is available to campers and travelers.
The National Park Service cites Yellowstone Park as America's first national park, created in 1872, and many visitors to the park take advantage of Yellowstone lodging opportunities. Three states -- Wyoming, Idaho and Montana -- provide home to the park and its natural beauty. With more than 3 million people flocking to the park each year to witness more geysers and hot springs than anywhere else in the world, visitors will have plenty of lodging options to retire to at the end of a long day. Traditional hotels and motels, campgrounds, hostels or plush resorts feature amenities and breathtaking views that are sure to please all types of travelers.
Yellowstone lodging options are reviewed at Yellowstone National Park Lodges. There are 11 campgrounds located within Yellowstone National Park. Four campgrounds -- Bridge Bay, Canyon, Grant and Madison -- allow visitors to reserve their camping spot, while the other seven sites do not. Bridge Bay campground is located 30 miles from the east entrance, near Yellowstone lake, Canyon campground is located near the center of the park, Grant Village campground is just 22 miles north of the south entrance and Madison campground is 16 miles north of Old Faithful, the most famous of Yellowstone's 300 geysers.
Campers can make reservations using the Yellowstone Reservation Center. Mammoth Campground operates year-round, while Fisher Bridge RV Campground offers water, sewer and electrical hook-ups. Campers should make reservations early, especially during the busy months of July and August when campsites fill up quickly.
Xanterra Parks and Resorts also operate several lodges within Yellowstone, with some operating only during the warmer months of the year and some available year-round, varying by accommodation. All dates are based on park approval and can change each year.
Yurts are portable homes built from trellis walls and covered with canvas or a like material. Visitors to the Yellowstone region can rent yurts for their overnight accommodations. Rendezvous Backcountry Tours arranges for overnight accommodations in yurts for people taking part in their guided tours. Yurts are also available to rent for experienced parties consisting of up to eight people. During the winter months, Yellowstone Expeditions provides guided cross-country skiing trips with sleeping accommodations at the Yellowstone Yurt Camp.
Cabins are available for rent outside the boundaries of Yellowstone. El Western Log Cabins and Lodges offers creek-side and mountainside cabins that are equipped with extra amenities, such as a telephone, cable TV and a hairdryer. Rates are based on four-person occupancy with extra charges for additional people.
Silver Creek Cabins consist of two cabins located just 30 minutes outside of the Yellowstone National Park in Bozeman, Mont. Each cabin gives the appearance of being rustic, but both cabins have modern amenities.
In order to experience the true culture of the region, many visitors opt to stay at a nearby dude ranch or guest ranch, where they can enjoy cattle drives, horsemanship rules, canoeing, boating and trail rides. The Granite Creek Guest Ranch (a member of the West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce) is located in Ririe, Idaho, and is a real working ranch. Guests stay in authentic homestead cabins, complete with private bath, shower and electricity. Traditional hearty meals are served in the lodge or around the campfire.
The 320 Guest Ranch in Big Sky, Mont., dates back to 1898, when it was the homestead of Sam Wilson. Lodging options at this ranch include chalets, two-bedroom riverfront log cabins, deluxe log cabins, three-bedroom luxury log cabins and the historic McGill Cabin. During the summer months, visitors enjoy trail rides and fly-fishing. Winter activities include sleigh rides, skiing and snowmobiling. Of course, touring Yellowstone Park is always an option, since the entrance is located just 30 minutes from the ranch.
The Historic Madison Hostel operates a youth hostel with gender-separated dormitory-style rooms. Guests enjoy a common area with a television, computers and high-speed Internet access. Visitors may also want to consider Yellowstone Yurt Hostel located on West Broadway Street in Cooke City, Mont. To check on availability at the Yurt Hostel, visitors should contact the hostel directly at (800) 364-6242.
The Teton Mountain Lodge and Spa is located one hour south of Yellowstone in Teton Village, Wyo. Accommodations include a kitchen, fireplace and oversized bathroom. The Solitude Spa has indoor and outdoor pools, five hot tubs, steam rooms, tranquility lodges and an exercise center. The Rusty Parrot Lodge and Spa claims to be Wyoming's only year-round, four-star and four-diamond hotel. Located in Jackson, Wyo., this resort is home to the Wild Sage Restaurant and the Body Sage Spa. The concierge guides visitors to the best activities in and around the resort. Another great resort option is the Rustic Inn at Jackson Hole, which offers luxurious rooms and suites decorated with a rustic décor. Guests can get pampered at the spa, which offers various services, such as deep tissue massages, aromatherapy, honey sugar scrubs and seaweed gel wraps.
Family dogs can also enjoy the sights, smells and sounds of Yellowstone, and many families opt to bring their pets along for the adventure. Fortunately, there are several housing options that accommodate families and their loyal companions. Teton Valley Cabins has log cabins that sit at the base of the Teton Mountains. These cabins are within driving distance of west Yellowstone. Buck's T-4 Lodge is another pet-friendly property located very close to Yellowstone Park.