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Yellowstone Accomodations

Old Feb 13th, 2006, 04:58 AM
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Yellowstone Accomodations

I plan to go to Yellowstone in September for about 5 days. I am weighing my options between staying in the park which would be convienient but probably has limited lodging and dining or staying in West Yellowstone with the daily drive but more dining/lodging choices. Any thoughts?
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Old Feb 13th, 2006, 05:07 AM
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You might want to consider staying in a couple places to enjoy the park. Perhaps a couple days at West Yellowstone and a couple days inside the park in the Lakes or Canyon Area. This is a beautiful part of the park which is a rather long drive from West Yellowstone.
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Old Feb 13th, 2006, 05:13 AM
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Road within Park is a figure-8 pattern - so if you stay in only one place you will be retracing your steps each day trip - and that can get tedious because of the size of the Park and frequent "animal jams" (several bison blocked our path for at least 30 minutes when we were trying to get back to airport - they do not move until they feel like it)

We stayed outside Park because we were unable to firm dates until too late for in-Park lodging. It worked fine - stayed in West Yellowstone, Gardiner and Jackson (for GTNP).
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Old Feb 13th, 2006, 05:18 AM
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I would always vote for staying in the park because it's part of the whole experience. If the historic Old Faithful Inn (not the lodge) is still open in the early fall, I'd jump on it. It's an amazing place -- you can get your coffee in the morning and step out on the deck and watch Old Faithful erupt, then head out on the geyser trail for as long or short of a walk as you want. There are good breakfast options at the convenience store/gift shop next door.

Splittling your time between two locations is also a popular plan. We've done it between Old Faithful and Mammoth, and a lot of people like Canyon and the Lake, too. The people on the reservations line are generally very helpful.

Regarding food, I'd rather focus less on fine dining enjoy the park, saving the long drives for a special night into West Yellowstone or Gardner for dinner instead of driving so far in every day to see the park.

September sounds like a great time to visit. I am jealous!
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Old Feb 13th, 2006, 06:02 AM
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I totally agree with Jayne about staying in the park. Unless the most important part of your trip is posh lodging and fine dining, you should really "experience" the whole park, and part of that is staying at the historical, unique lodges.

We also split our time between Old Faithful Inn and Mammouth and were able to experience the area at off times. Walking amongst the geyers at midnight in the moonlight or at 5 am was a very special treat.

I'm a real "foodie" but found the food to be perfectly acceptable in both places, OF Inn and Mammouth Lodge. If you head for the cafeterias, you'll get, well duh, cafeteria food.

Enjoy your trip.
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Old Feb 13th, 2006, 07:00 AM
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We stayed at both Gardiner and West YellowstoneThe drive to the park is not far and scenic. I would not want to stay in the lodge with all that crowd roaming around. The above two towns have more character.Paul
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Old Feb 13th, 2006, 10:25 AM
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I have been to the park 3 times and always stay IN the park....I find the rustic lodges full of atmosphere. The surrounding towns are just that...towns...what I am leaving behind at home. We like Old Faithful Inn and Lake Lodge. The cabins at the various sites are really tiny but always spotlessly clean and kind of fun as well. I liked the cabins at Roosevelt the best. Bring picnic food for durng the day and dine in the lodge at night. The food isn't gourmet but it is good and we enjoy talking with the student servers from all over the world who work in the park for the summer. I have great memories of walking beside Old Faithful after dark and of having my morning coffee on the shore of Yellowstone Lake...you can't do that in town. Have a great trip!
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 02:49 AM
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tovarich:

Where did you stay in Gardiner and West Yellowstone?

We're planning to be there in late May or early June, which we hope isn't a mistake.

Vermonter
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 03:09 AM
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In Gardiner we stayed at a place called Absaroka (I think that is spelling - if you can't find it, let me know and I will recheck spelling) Lodge - but it is really a motel.

Local, non-chain overlooking Gardner River - where we did a mile rafting trip. Clean, well managed, but certainly not resort-y. No complaints.

In West Yellowstone stayed at one of the non-=descript chains, I believe Comfort Inn. Had enormous "one-room suite" - at least size of 2 hotel rooms with refrig, m/w. Breakfast included. About a mile or so to entrance. Very nice staff - were able to help us deal with some documents that needed to be faxed and returned (long story - son lost his ID). Enjoyed being in downtown area in evening - went to rodeo, dinner.

Both of above certainly lacked atmosphere of being in Park, but for family with 2 teenagers worked (we made plans too late for in-Park reservations) and less expensive, able to shop at local supermarkets for lunch provisions.

In you go in late spring just make sure you have an ice scraper for AM car window (not kidding) - had to defrost windows in late August a year ago.
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Old Mar 21st, 2006, 03:45 AM
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In Gardiner we stayed at the Motel6 and in W.Yellowstone at the Best Western sunset motor inn.Paul
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