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Finding lodging inside the Yellowstone National Park


Apr 14th, 2013, 12:20 AM
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Join Date: Apr 2013
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Finding lodging inside the Yellowstone National Park

We will be travelling to Yellowstone with four children (13, 10, 7, 3) from June 16-23. Our goal is to minimize driving times and therefore stay inside the park. I have tried OFI and Canyon lodge in addition to some of the other well known lodges, but they are all booked. What other options do you think a family of our size has? We really don't want to live outside the park.

This is all I know. Are there other options that are not mentioned on this website?


Thanks much!

FamYou is offline  
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Apr 14th, 2013, 01:58 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Hi There! You are picking a really tough week to be in Yellowstone. It is not very family friendly inside the park for accommodations. There are no tvs, no more than two beds in the rooms (three beds are very rare, nearly impossible). My suggestion is to try West Yellowstone, although I know those dates are impossible there too. They book inside Yellowstone a year in advance and mid-June to mid-July is the most busiest time of the summer season for Yellowstone. I would recommend trying one of the less busy entrances of Yellowstone to ensure you get something. Cody, Wyoming has more options for hotels, especially for families. Gardiner, Montana is also a good location. The closest you will get to the Old Faithful area is West Yellowstone, Montana. Otherwise, I would recommend camping instead (renting an RV, if possible).

I have lived and travelled Yellowstone extensively and know it better than most people who work seasonally. Another gem you may want to check out is Cooke City, Montana up at the Northeast entrance. It's a small mountain town at about 8,500ft but sits at the other end of the Beartooth Highway and Chief Joseph highway. It is also located nearby the Lamar Valley in Yellowstone. There is tons of good hiking and activities to do in the area.

I am sorry about the lack of options for your family inside the park. Those are impossible dates now and there are no additional options other than the ones you listed on the link. I really recommend staying at one of the Gateway communities. You won't have any other options.

Good luck!
daff73 is offline  
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Apr 14th, 2013, 05:23 AM
Join Date: Jun 2003
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You need to start calling Xanterra everyday for reservations in Yellowstone - you can't use the online system when you are searching for cancellations. Lots of people cancel or change their reservations everyday. You'll very likely find rooms to suit your needs if you are vigilant and call as often as possible.

I'd suggest trying to find space in a few different places in yellowstone. We were there for a week a few years ago and stayed 2 nights each in Old Faithful (Snow Lodge), Mammoth (cabin), and Canyon (cabin). It worked out great, and I strongly suggest that you stay inside the Park. Otherwise, you'll be driving very long distances each day just to get back to your lodging. Yellowstone is a huge park - stay in the south part of the park for a few nights to spend time checking out all of the geysers/thermal features at OF and Norris. Be sure to visit the Lake and drive out along the shore to Fishing Bridge. This is where we had great grizzly bear sightings! You should take at least a day to drive through Grand Tetons - check Oxbow Bend for moose.

Then move up north to Mammoth or Tower/Roosevelt for a few nights. Lamar Valley is incredible - bring binoculars to view wildlife. Have a wonderful trip.
sharondi is offline  
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Apr 14th, 2013, 05:34 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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As mentioned above, inpark rooms just don't have enough for a family that large. However, if two rooms work or if you can somehow fit take heart. It just takes some time and effort.

The bad news is that people plan a year ahead and inpark lodging fills up quickly.

The good news is that when people book that far in advance there are always a fair number of cancellations. Also, tours book many rooms way in advance and then cancel the ones that aren't booked.

So the answer is to call Xanterra and find out which areas have accomodations that are acceptable (some have cabins with no bathrooms inside and shared, etc).

Then start calling daily and then several times a day. You want to make sure that when people start to cancel you are the one calling next for a room.


Eventually, you'll get your rooms.
Myer is offline  
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Apr 14th, 2013, 06:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Staying outside the park, especially with kids, is not a trip-ruining event. Keep trying the reservation numbers, but since you need multiple rooms this might be less likely.

There are all sorts of lodging options in West Yellowstone - which is really 2 minutes from Park entrance. Gardiner also has several options, equally close. I would consider making cancellable reservations in one or both places and then keep trying.
gail is offline  
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Apr 14th, 2013, 10:41 AM
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If I couldn't stay in the park, then I wouldn't go. That is totally my opinion and thousands go every year without staying in the park, but that is part of it to me. Camping is another great option though.

I do think finding multiple rooms would prove to be tough unless you book a year in advance.
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Apr 14th, 2013, 08:44 PM
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Thank you much for all the great responses. I think we will lock something in the West Yellowstone area. It appears that places like Gray Wolf Inn, Brandin Iron, Pines homes etc around the West entrance offer city like amenities. We will look at the bright side and focus on having fun. Thanks much.
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