The Best Hotels and Lodging In and Near Yellowstone National Park
If you plan to visit Yellowstone National Park in the summer—when grizzly bear sightings, hot spring treks, and Grand Teton Mountain vistas are at their peak—remember to reserve a room far in advance. With their guided tours and unparalleled access to nature, these lodges fill up fast.
North Rim Drive
After a $90 million expansion that unveiled five new lodges and raised the facility’s total number of rooms to 590, Canyon Lodge & Cabins, in Canyon Village near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, has more accommodations than any other hotel in the park. The new LEED-certified structures were modularly built with sustainability in mind, incorporating countertops constructed of recycled glass and fly ash (a by-product of coal burning) and trim made with beetle-damaged wood from blue-colored pine bark, which would have otherwise gone to waste. The new lodges also feature two bedroom suites (king/queen) that include a sitting room with sofa bed; some have walk-out patios and decks. Budget-minded visitors who don’t want to sacrifice canyon views opt for the nearby cabins, which are modest yet comfortable. There’s also a $6 million refresh of the lodge’s food service on tap, with new cafés and restaurants offering updated menus and Mad Men–era Mission 66-inspired design.
Located in the northwest corner of the park, just below the travertine terraces of the hot springs that gave the property its name, Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel has recently broken ground on the second phase of a two-part renovation that is updating the historic 1936 structure’s 97 guest rooms. The 118 basic-but-comfortable cabins are still available in the meantime. While some have en-suite bathrooms (a few enjoy an enclosed six-person hot tub), others require sharing lavatory and shower facilities. All guests have access to the hotel’s restaurant and grill—a good spot for sipping a huckleberry margarita at the end of the day—but most can be found observing the elk and bison that roam free on the grounds from their cabins’ small front porch. If you need a break from wildlife viewings, self-guided tours of old Fort Yellowstone, built for the Army cavalrymen who once protected the land and which today houses the park’s headquarters, are available.
1 Grand Loop Road
No one stays at Old Faithful Inn for the amenities: With no Wi-Fi, air conditioning, or TVs in the rooms—some don’t even have private bathrooms—all you can do is watch bison graze unperturbed by the busloads of tourists pulling up, or the namesake geyser spout. The lack of luxury doesn’t seem to deter the crowds, though, who come to sleep under the roof of the original log-and-stone building, which was completed in 1904, and launched the iconic architectural style known as National Park Service rustic, or Parkitecture. Though an east wing was added in 1914, and a west wing in 1927, the lodge remains much as tourists saw it a century ago, with its soaring, open lobby surrounding an enormous four-sided, 86-foot stone fireplace. The pre-existing Crow’s Nest that leads to the roof terrace is off-limits now, but two mezzanine-level interior balconies are coveted seating areas for unwinding with nightly piano performances. While the two wings have better views of Old Faithful and the geyser basin, you can’t beat the Old House for its historic charm.