Nine Lodging Options Offer Diversity in Yellowstone National Park

Entrance to Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone. Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park Lodges
Entrance to Old Faithful Lodge in Yellowstone. Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park Lodges

Fall is a great time to visit Yellowstone National Park. Not only is the autumn landscape in all its glory, there are fewer people, less cars, and more availability at the various lodging venues. Many are open into October.

Surprisingly, there are nine places to stay, each one very different from the other, and 12 campgrounds. You can choose from rustic cabins to a classic elegant hotel.

Lake Yellowstone Lodge

Lucky me. . .I was fortunate to stay at the latter last summer, the beautiful 125-year-old Lake Yellowstone Hotel on Yellowstone Lake, the oldest lodging in the park. Its Colonial Revival design with huge white columns reminds me of the grand old hotels you find on the east coast.

 Lake Yellowstone Hotel. Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park Lodges
Lake Yellowstone Hotel. Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park Lodges

You can watch the sun set over the lake from the spacious sun room while live music plays. . .

Sunroom at Lake Yellowstone Lodge. Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park Lodges
Sunroom at Lake Yellowstone Lodge. Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park Lodges

or from the veranda.

Lake Yellowstone Hotel veranda at sunset. Photo by Claudia Carbone
Lake Yellowstone Hotel veranda at sunset. Photo by Claudia Carbone

It’s so refined!

The dining room is equally as upscale, serving gourmet dishes prepared with food sourced within 500 miles or with sustainable and/or organic ingredients.

Lake Yellowstone Hotel dining room. Photo by Claudia Carbone
Lake Yellowstone Hotel dining room. Photo by Claudia Carbone

Other Lodges in Yellowstone

Old Faithful Inn

Built in 1903-04, this intricate log and stone building is the largest log structure in the world. The huge stone fireplace in the center of its massive lobby makes me wonder: did they build the fireplace first and then build the logs around it or vice-versa?

Old Faithful Inn.Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park Lodges
Old Faithful Inn. Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park Lodges

The 327-room inn features modern rooms as well as rustic rooms in the original Old House with shared bathrooms down the hall. Book as early  as a year ahead, as this is the most popular lodge in the park.

Room in The Old House. Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park Lodges
Room in The Old House. Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park Lodges

The dining hall is almost as massive as the lobby and has a stone fireplace as well. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner here.

Dining Hall at Old Faithful Inn. Photo by Claudia Carbone
Dining Hall at Old Faithful Inn. Photo by Claudia Carbone

The Inn is close to Old Faithful Geyser that erupts regularly about every 60-110 minutes. This clock in the Inn’s lobby lets visitors know approximately when the next eruption will be – give or take 10 minutes.

Old Faithful Geyser clock. Photo by Claudia Carbone
Old Faithful Geyser clock. Photo by Claudia Carbone

Old Faithful Lodge Cabins

Close to Old Faithful Inn, this log and stone cabin built in the 1920s also has great views of the Geyser.

Roosevelt Lodge Cabins

Named for President Teddy Roosevelt who used to camp near where these cabins were built in 1920, they have an Old West vibe.

Lake Lodge Cabins

Rustic cabins surround a main lodge with rocking chair views of Lake Yellowstone.

Grant Village

Six two-story buildings make up this lodging complex that has two restaurants, a lounge and a gift shop. No elevators in each of the 50-room buildings that were named for President Ulysses Grant.

Sustainability

Canyon Lodge & Cabins

Canyon Lodge near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone is the largest (500 rooms/cabins) complex in the park and the most sustainable of all the national parks. All five new lodges are LEED certified and feature recycled or renewable materials. For example, the carpet pad is 100 percent pre-consumer recycled content. In addition, an original mid-century modern building has been converted into a restaurant, lounge and gift shop. The parks are doing a good job of being green.

Recycle bins. Photo by Claudia Carbone
Recycle bins. Photo by Claudia Carbone

Winter Lodges in Yellowstone

Though winter can be severe in the park, it’s also a unique winterscape, full of mystery and beauty.

Water features in Yellowstone. Photo by Claudia Carbone
Water features in Yellowstone. Photo by Claudia Carbone

And plenty of wildlife.

Bison foraging for grass in the deep snow. Photo by Claudia Carbone
Bison foraging for grass in the deep snow. Photo by Claudia Carbone

It’s also a lot of fun with winter activities like cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and excursions on the snow coaches. This photo is from January, 2008, when our snow coach got stuck!

Yellowstone Snowcoach. Photo by Claudia Carbone
Yellowstone Snowcoach. Photo by Claudia Carbone

Two summer lodges reopen for the winter season in mid-December.

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel & Cabins

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel & Cabins. Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park Lodges
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel & Cabins. Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park Lodges

Old Faithful Snow Lodge & Cabins

Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park Lodges
Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Photo courtesy of Yellowstone National Park Lodges

Off the Grid

Be mindful that Yellowstone has no TV or radio and very limited WiFi and cell service. “This is something we are working on,” said Rick Hoeninghausen, director of marketing and sales for Xanterra Hospitality, the company that runs the parks’ lodging operations. “But we’re not there yet.”

For more information on Yellowstone lodging, visit YellowstoneNationalParkLodges.com

Claudia Carbone is an award-winning travel writer based in Denver. Read about other hotels she’s visited in Sleepin’ Around.