Figuring out where to stay in Yellowstone can be tricky due to the number of options both inside and outside the oldest national park in the United States.
However, if you’re visiting Yellowstone during the summer, I recommend booking well in advance, as the best hotels in Yellowstone, Wyoming, fill up right away.
I visited Yellowstone for 10 days and changed accommodation almost every night. Since Yellowstone is such a large national park, at 3,471 mi², this is the best option to make sure you see all of the park. Although it isn’t the best way to get cheap hotels, I recommend renting a car and staying in different areas of Yellowstone instead of just staying in one place.
Another option is to stay in one of the campsites in Yellowstone, which will allow you to get closer to the incredible fauna that live there; the sheer variety of animals makes Yellowstone one of the best national parks in the United States.
We were very sad because we couldn’t visit it on our first 10-day West Coast USA road trip, but it’s a place that you need a lot of time to properly experience. On our 10-day Yellowstone and Grand Teton trip, we spent most of our time at the former rather than the latter. Even so, we didn’t have a single dull moment, since there are many things to do in Yellowstone.
To help you choose where to stay in Yellowstone, in our guide you will find:
- Where to stay in Yellowstone National Park
- West Yellowstone, the best place to stay near Yellowstone
- Gardiner, hotels in Yellowstone all year round (North entrance)
- Cooke City, cheap accommodation in Yellowstone
- Cody and Wapiti, great options to stay in Yellowstone
- Grand Teton, another option to stay in Yellowstone
- Best campsites in Yellowstone
Where to stay in Yellowstone National Park
There are only 9 hotels in Yellowstone National Park, and they are quite expensive compared to those in the surrounding areas. However, they’re the best option, since you’ll be close to the natural wonders of the park.
In case you haven’t booked early enough, or are travelingon a budget, below you’ll also find the best options for staying in Yellowstone outside the park boundaries.
Please note that almost all hotels in Yellowstone National Park are closed during the winter, so be sure to check your travel dates.
Old Faithful Inn, the best place to stay in Yellowstone
Old Faithful Inn is undoubtedly the most popular hotel in Yellowstone. It was built a few feet from Old Faithful Geyser, which gave it its name, in 1904. However, in addition to its unique location by hot springs and fumaroles, what makes this the best hotel in Yellowstone is its architecture. It was built with logs and stones from the area and is considered the largest wooden building in the world.
Its imposing lobby is a must-see, even if you’re not staying at this Yellowstone lodging. You will be amazed by the incredible stone fireplace and a handmade clock made of copper, wood, and wrought iron. The hotel has 327 rooms and is only open from May to October.
Old Faithful Lodge, cheap accommodation in Yellowstone
Old Faithful Lodge is very close to the previous hotel and is the best option if you’re looking for cheap accommodations in Yellowstone. Here, you can rent a cabin with a private bathroom, or a shared one if you want to save some money.
In addition, from the reception of this hotel, you get beautiful views of Old Faithful Geyser, making this place the best option if you’re looking for a cheap hotel in Yellowstone.
Old Faithful Snow Lodge, one of the few hotels in Yellowstone that’s open in winter
Old Faithful Snow Lodge is one of the few hotels in Yellowstone that is open in winter. But it isn’t open year round since it’s closed in March, April, May, and November.
During winter, the road to Old Faithful is closed, so the only way to get to the hotel is via one of the snow coaches that depart from Mammoth, which you can book here.
Along the route, you will make different stops to see the incredible winter landscapes of this national park, making it the best accommodation for staying in Yellowstone in winter. In addition, like the previous two hotels, it is located next to Old Faithful Geyser, making it one of the best options to stay in Yellowstone in summer as well.
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Cabins, Yellowstone hotel open year-round
The Mammoth Hot Springs are near the northern entrance to the park, which is the only entrance to the park that remains open year-round. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Cabins, a hotel that dates back to 1936 where you can book everything from luxury suites to charming little cabins, is close to that entrance and is certainly a good alternative to stay in Yellowstone all year round.
In the hotel’s surroundings, in addition to the famous travertine terraces found in Mammoth, there are different restaurants, a gas station, and the park visitor center.
Canyon Lodge and Cabins, one of the best hotels in Yellowstone
Canyon Lodge and Cabins open only open in summer. It’s the largest hotel complex in Yellowstone, with more than 500 rooms of different categories. Plus, it’s the largest eco-friendly and sustainable hotel in all of the US national parks, making it the perfect place to stay in Yellowstone.
Best of all, it has an unbeatable location, just a short distance from the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Here, in addition to imposing waterfalls, you can see smoky rhyolite mountains and landscapes that look straight out of a painting.
Roosevelt Lodge Cabins, the best place to stay in Yellowstone for “spotters”
Roosevelt Lodge Cabins is in a prime location, near the Tower Falls area, the Petrified Tree, and the start of the road leading to Lamar Valley. This valley is the most popular place to spot the fauna of Yellowstone, and it’s where hundreds of “spotters” gather to spot the most elusive animals in the park: grizzlies and wolves, among others.
This set of cabins is, without a doubt, one of the hotels that I recommend in Yellowstone if you want to get to know the park’s amazing fauna.
Its exterior porches and its interior fireplace are perfect for relaxing and feeling comfortable, something common among the hotel offers in Yellowstone. There’s also a restaurant where you can try local food and a guest lounge where you can chat, rest, and meet other travelers.
Lake Hotel and Cabins, a hotel overlooking Yellowstone Lake
The Yellowstone Lake area is beautiful, although it is not the most visited. Unless you spend more than 7 days in Yellowstone, you likely won’t have time to explore this region of the park, although in its surroundings, there are such interesting places as the Natural Bridge hike and the Mud Volcano, where there are pools of boiling mud.
If you stop by, Lake Hotel and Cabins is a great option to stay in Yellowstone to have magnificent views of this huge lake and even see bison grazing in the wild.
The complex has both lakeside cabins and hotel rooms and suites.
Lake Lodge Cabins, the best place to stay in Yellowstone for families
Lake Lodge Cabins is adjacent to the previous hotel. In this case, all the accommodations are cabins, although there are cabins of different capacities and categories. In any case, it is a very special place to stay in Yellowstone.
The main building, where the reception is located, has a beautiful porch overlooking Yellowstone Lake. It also has a charming living room with two fireplaces where you can sit and chat.
Grand Village, the last hotel within Yellowstone National Park
Grand Village is also next to Yellowstone Lake, which you have beautiful views of from the hotel. However, it is located further south, at the beginning of the road that connects Yellowstone National Park with Grand Teton National Park, making it a great option if you’re going to visit this other national park. Here is my article on where to stay in Grand Teton in case case you prefer to stay in this other park, which Yellowstone borders tothe south.
The hotel was built in 1984 and has 6 buildings with 2 floors each (no elevator) and a total of 50 rooms per building. Near the Grand Village, I recommend you visit the West Thumb Geyser Basin geothermal area, where the beautiful Abyss Pool is.
West Yellowstone, the best place to stay near Yellowstone
As I mentioned, there are only 9 hotels within Yellowstone National Park, so in peak tourist season, most travelers only find accommodation outside the park.
Of all the nearby towns, West Yellowstone is the most popular. It is located next to the park’s west entrance, and it’s the closest town to Old Faithful Geyser, Yellowstone’s main attraction. It will only take you an hour to get there, and you will also be very close to the other wonders of the park. Firehole River, Norris Geyser Basin and Lower Geyser Basin, the incredible Grand Prismatic Spring, and Firehole Lake Drive scenic road are all highlights.
If you are looking for places to stay in Yellowstone and you haven’t booked well in advance, West Yellowstone is the best option. There are numerous hotels in West Yellowstone, so you can always find good deals. Also, the restaurants and shops are much cheaper here than inside the park, and there’s gas too, so remember to refuel before entering the national park.
Of all the hotels in West Yellowstone, these are the ones I recommend:
- Premium option: Kelly Inn West Yellowstone
- Standard option: Stage Coach Inn
- Low-cost option: Al’s Westward Ho Motel
Gardiner, Yellowstone hotels all year-round (north entrance)
Gardiner, in Montana, is located next to the northern entrance to Yellowstone, which is the only entrance that remains open throughout the year. In addition, it’s the most popular entrance to the park since, if you arrive at Bozeman Airport, the closest international airport to Yellowstone, you will enter from the north.
Nearby are the famous Mammoth Hot Springs, where you can find Minerva Terrace and Canary Spring. Also, not far away is Boiling River Hot Springs, a thermal river where you can bathe for free. Another advantage of staying in Gardiner is that some of the cheapest hotels in Yellowstone are here.
These are the hotels in Yellowstone Gardiner that I recommend:
- Premium option: Yellowstone Gateway Inn
- Standard option: Travelodge by Wyndham
- Low-cost option: Absaroka Lodge
Cooke City, cheap accommodation in Yellowstone
Cooke City is one of the best places to stay in Yellowstone if you’re traveling to see wildlife. This town is located near the northeast entrance of the park, which is only open during the summer. You’ll pass Lamar Valley, the most scenic drive in Yellowstone, where you can see many of the park’s animals: grizzlies and black bears, bison, wolves, and all kinds of deer.
Plus, some of the best cheap hotels in Yellowstone are here. There aren’t many options, so I recommend you book well in advance.
- Premium option: Silver Gate Lodging
- Standard option: Alpine Motel of Cooke City
- Low-cost option: Soda Butte Lodge
Although it’s unusual to enter Yellowstone Park from the east, since Cody Airport is much smaller than Bozeman Airport in Montana or Jackson Hole, if you access the park through this entrance, it can be a good idea to stay in Cody or Wapiti. Also, both are great options if you are looking for cheap accommodation in Yellowstone.
From there, you will be very close to attractions such as West Thumb Geyser Basin and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The best accommodations in this area of Yellowstone are as follows:
Grand Teton, another option for where to stay in Yellowstone
Grand Teton National Park is located south of Yellowstone and is a national park that I really recommend visiting, since its landscapes, framed by the Teton mountain range, look like paintings.
Of the 10 days we spent in Yellowstone, we slept in Grand Teton for one night, although we wanted to spend more time getting to know the park in depth. Although I have written a specific article about where to stay in Grand Teton, if you are looking for accommodation in Yellowstone and you do not find anything interesting, it may be useful to take a look at the following accommodations:
- Premium option: Jackson Lake Lodge
- Standard option: Colter Bay Village
- Low-cost option: Headwaters Lodge & Cabins at Flagg Ranch
Best campgrounds in Yellowstone
There are 12 campgrounds in Yellowstone that are scattered throughout the national park. We chose this option most nights, and I can assure you that camping in Yellowstone is an incredible experience. You will need to bring your own camping gear or RV, but it will be much cheaper, since the sites usually cost between 15 and 30 dollars per night.
Of these campsites, 5 must be reserved in advance. At the rest, the sites are filled on a first-come, first-served basis. In total, there are 2,000 sites to stay in Yellowstone. However, during peak tourist season, you may not find a free pitch if you don’t book in advance or arrive early enough to the campsite.
We didn’t book any campsites, and, even though we arrived early in the morning and it was May, not peak tourist season, there were some nights where we didn’t get a site at any of the campsites where we wanted to stay, since they had filled up before we arrived.
To make reservations and check the opening dates (most sites are closed during winter), I recommend you check the park’s website. Additionally, you’ll be able to check what time each campsite was filled the day before to get an approximate idea of what time you should arrive at the campground to get a plot.
We camped at Mammoth, Tower Fall, Canyon, Bridge Bay, Madison, and Norris campgrounds. It’s hard to choose, but I think our favorites were Norris and Mammoth. In any case, I think the best option is to move from one area to another of the park and not stay in the same Yellowstone campground the entire trip.
That’s it. Now that you know the best places to stay in Yellowstone, all you have to do is choose the one you like best and book it. Check also our map of Yellowstone National Park to know which attractions you are going to have close to your accommodation.