Where to Stay in Yellowstone National Park: Hotels, Lodging, and Campgrounds

Old Faithful Inn in the background of Yellowstone National Park geothermal features

Yellowstone National Park is one of the largest (and most visited) national parks in the United States. Covering nearly 3,500 square miles, Yellowstone has no shortage of places to see and things to do. 

But in such a big park, where you stay can be a crucial decision. For example, staying in the right spot in Yellowstone can save you hours of driving per day. 

This guide covers where to stay in Yellowstone National Park, including lodges and campgrounds inside the park and hotels outside the park. You’ll find everything here, from budget-friendly lodging to more luxurious stays. 

By the end of this guide, you’ll feel prepared to book the perfect lodging option for your upcoming trip to Yellowstone National Park.

Are you looking for more ideas for your trip to Yellowstone National Park? Don’t miss these posts!

This post may contain affiliate links, where I may a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read more in this disclosure policy.

Yellowstone National Park At-A-Glance

Before diving in, here are a few highlights to help you plan your trip:

  • Best Time to Visit: Summer is a great time to visit thanks to warm weather and all park amenities being open, but it is also the most crowded time of year. Avoid crowds by visiting in September or early October.
  • Where to Stay: Yellowstone has eight lodges inside the park, plus several campgrounds. The Old Faithful Inn and Canyon Lodge are my favorites, both close to all the most popular places to see in the park. Outside the park, look for hotels in West Yellowstone, Montana.
  • How to Get There: The closest airport is in West Yellowstone (WYS), serviced by both United and Delta Airlines. Other major airports in the region include Jackson Hole (JAC), Bozeman (BZN), and Salt Lake (SLC). Use Skyscanner to browse flights and find the best price.
  • How to Get Around: The easiest way to get around Yellowstone is by car. Use Rentalcars.com to browse deals on rental cars or rent an RV or campervan with Outdoorsy.
  • Best Self-Guided Tour: My favorite way to learn more about the park is with GyPSy Guides, a narrated self-guided tour perfect for road trips and scenic drives. The Yellowstone Guide and the Yellowstone/Grand Teton Bundle both provide incredible commentary and detail about the history and geology of Yellowstone.
  • Don’t Forget: Be sure to get an America the Beautiful National Park Pass ahead of time. This $80 pass is valid for 12 months and get you into all 400+ national park sites (including both Yellowstone and Grand Teton!).

Overview of Where to Stay at Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is located in the northwestern corner of Wyoming, with small parts crossing into Idaho and Montana. 

The park’s 2 million acres is home to plenty of incredible things to do, all connected by Grand Loop Road. This “Figure 8” road connects all the park’s top attractions, lodges, and campgrounds

Road turns around a rock face overlooking a forest in Yellowstone
Yellowstone’s Grand Loop Road

If you’re interested in staying inside the park, you’ll find most of the lodges and campgrounds in these areas:

  • Old Faithful – home to 2 lodges close to Old Faithful, Upper Geyser Basin, and Grand Prismatic Spring
  • Canyon Village – features an inn and a large campground close to Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Hayden Valley
  • Grant Village – home to a lodge and campground near West Thumb Geyser Basin and Yellowstone Lake
  • Lake Village – features two lodges and a campground along Yellowstone Lake
  • Mammoth Hot Springs – home to an inn and campground near Mammoth Hot Springs and the Northern Entrance in Gardiner, MT 

The Grand Loop Road also connects the park’s five entrances. If you plan to stay outside the park, consider staying near these entrances:

  • West Entrance in West Yellowstone, Montana – best overall as it’s only minutes outside the town of West Yellowstone, Montana.
  • North Entrance in Gardiner, Montana – best for visiting Mammoth Hot Springs and flying in from Bozeman (also the only entrance open year-round)
  • Northeast Entrance in Cooke City, Montana – best for visiting Lamar Valley and driving the Beartooth Highway
  • East Entrance near Wapiti, Wyoming – best for visiting Yellowstone Lake and flying into Cody
  • South Entrance near Moran, Wyoming – best for those also visiting Grand Teton National Park or flying into Jackson Hole

West Yellowstone and Gardiner will have the most options for lodging. Overall, West Yellowstone lodging is the most popular place outside Yellowstone National Park.

If you have the option, I highly recommend staying inside the park instead of outside. Staying somewhere central like Old Faithful or Canyon Village will save you hours of driving each day. 

Read More: 22 Best Things to Do in Yellowstone

Multi-colored rainbow hot springs - Grand Prismatic in Yellowstone

When and How to Book Lodging Inside Yellowstone

Yellowstone National Park is incredibly popular, and lodging inside the park sells out very quickly, often the same day reservations are released. 

If you’re visiting Yellowstone in the summer and want to stay inside the park, you should book 13 months in advance.

Yes, you read that right. Beginning in April 2022, reservations will be released on a 13-month rolling basis. On the 5th of each month, reservations will be released for the entire month the following year. 

On the 5th, reservations will be released at midnight (mountain time) via the online booking system. You have the best chance of getting a reservation using the online system as phone bookings encounter long wait times.

You can read more about the new reservation window here.

For winter trips from December 2022 to March 2023, reservations will be made available on March 15, 2022. Going forward, reservations for winter visits in 2024 will be released on a rolling 13-month basis.

For trips from April 2023 to December 2023, these are the dates you’ll need to book lodging inside the park:

  • April 5, 2022, for trips from April 1 to April 30, 2023
  • May 5, 2022, for trips from May 1 to May 31, 2023
  • June 5, 2022, for trips from June 1 to June 30, 2023
  • July 5, 2022, for trips from July 1 to July 31, 2023
  • August 5, 2022, for trips from August 1 to August 31, 2023
  • September 5, 2022, for trips from September 1 to September 30, 2023
  • October 5, 2022, for trips from October 1 to October 31, 2023
  • November 5, 2022, for trips from November 1 to November 30, 2023
  • December 5, 2022, for trips from December 1 to December 31, 2023

For trips in summer 2022, it may be too late to secure a reservation inside the park via the online booking platform. That said, you may be able to snag a cancellation. Both lodging and camping reservations through Yellowstone Lodges require a 30-day notice to receive a full refund. 

Calling is the best way to secure a cancellation as they aren’t always posted online. Around 30 to 60 days before your trip, try calling the reservation office at 307-344-7311. 

Read More: Best Time to Visit Yellowstone National Park

Essential Tips for Your Stay in Yellowstone National Park

  • Pick the best location to minimize driving time. If you have three days or less, I recommend staying in Canyon Village. If you are visiting Yellowstone for four or more days, I recommend splitting your time between two accommodations to save driving time. Outside of the park, West Yellowstone is the closest to most attractions. 
  • Visit in the summer when lodging is open. Most lodges and campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park don’t open until May and close in October. If you choose to visit in winter, your only options inside the park are Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel or Old Faithful Snow Lodge.
  • Save money by staying outside the park. If you’re on a budget, consider staying in nearby towns like West Yellowstone or Gardiner. Lodging inside the park can be expensive due to high demand and limited options. I recommend using Hotels.com to find budget lodging available during your trip dates.
  • Avoid crowds by starting your day early, especially if you stay outside the park. From June to September, trails and attractions are packed by 10 AM. Lines form at the park entrances after 9 AM. Beat the crowds by starting around sunrise.

Looking for more tips on what to pack for your trip? Check out my guides on the best hiking gear, what to pack for a road trip, and essential camping gear for all my favorite gear picks and tips to make packing for your trip a breeze!

Early morning sunrise as Old Faithful erupts in Yellowstone
Yellowstone’s Old Faithful Geyser, one of the most popular attractions

How Many Days Do You Need in Yellowstone?

You need at least two days to see the highlights of Yellowstone National Park. Several days give you enough time to cover the most popular areas like Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic Spring, and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

In 3 or more days, you can see more of Yellowstone and explore off the beaten path. The extra time allows you to cover Yellowstone Lake, Lamar Valley, and Mammoth Hot Springs.

Read More: Yellowstone Itinerary for 1 to 5 Days

Overall Best Places to Stay in Yellowstone National Park

There are a lot of accommodation options for places to stay inside Yellowstone National Park. Before diving into all the details in the next section, I wanted to share some highlights. 

The best place to stay in Yellowstone will depend on your interest. Here are my choices for the best places to stay depending on your priorities:

Don’t miss this Yellowstone itinerary post for more recommendations on popular places to stay for every night of your trip.

Best Lodges and Hotels in Yellowstone National Park

These are the nine lodges and Yellowstone National Park hotels, ranked by proximity to the best things to do:

  • Old Faithful Inn, a luxury inn and national historic landmark walking distance to Old Faithful and Upper Geyser Basin
  • Old Faithful Lodge & Cabins, a more budget-friendly lodge walking distance to Old Faithful and Upper Geyser Basin and open year-round
  • Canyon Lodge & Cabins, a community of hotels and small cabins a short drive (and scenic drive!) from Hayden Valley and Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
  • Old Faithful Snow Lodge & Cabins, a genuinely unique lodge near Old Faithful that, while open in the summer, is best visited in the winter via snowmobile
  • Lake Yellowstone Hotel & Cottages, a higher-end hotel overlooking Yellowstone Lake located 30 minutes from Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and 1 hour from Old Faithful
  • Lake Lodge Cabins, more budget-friendly cabins along Yellowstone Lake located 30 minutes from Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and 1 hour from Old Faithful
  • Grant Village Lodge, a waterfront hotel near West Thumb Geyser Basin found 30 minutes from Old Faithful and the Upper Geyser Basin
  • Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel & Cabins, a quaint hotel in the picturesque town of Mammoth, walking distance to Mammoth Hot Springs
  • Roosevelt Lodge & Cabins, a rustic lodge about 30 minutes away from Lamar Valley, Mount Washburn, and Mammoth Hot Springs

Psst… Are you finding that lodging inside the park is booked? Consider staying in an Airbnb outside Yellowstone National Park instead!

Yellowstone's Old Faithful Inn from a distance
Old Faithful Inn inside Yellowstone National Park

If you’re visiting Yellowstone National Park in the winter season, most lodging options in the park are closed. Due to the intense, snow-filled winter weather, the park consolidates its operations into two lodges.

From mid-December to early March, you have two options:

  • Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. This lodge only steps away from Mammoth Hot Springs provides easy access, allowing visitors to drive here on plowed roads, even in the winter. From here, you can snowshoe along the Upper Terraces of Mammoth Hot Springs.
  • Old Faithful Snow Lodge. As the name implies, this lodge is the perfect snowy getaway near Old Faithful. Visitors have to be transported in via snowmobile, but once in the park can enjoy skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating near Old Faithful. In addition, the lodge offers ski shuttles to other areas like Mammoth Hot Springs and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

Are you visiting multiple national parks in the next year? The America the Beautiful National Park Pass gets you into 400+ national park sites, including all 63 national parks, for a full 12 months!

Get your national park pass ahead of time for only $80.

Best Hotels Near Yellowstone National Park

While staying inside Yellowstone National Park saves driving time, there are several benefits to staying outside the park, including:

  • There’s more availability, and reservations don’t need to be made as far in advance
  • Hotels offer more amenities and are more budget-friendly
  • There are more dining options, which is particularly important given staffing constraints at Yellowstone’s dining facilities this past summer

The entrances to Yellowstone National Park are open 24 hours a day, giving you unlimited access to the park even if you’re staying outside the park boundaries. 

These are the best places to stay outside of Yellowstone National Park. 

Hotels in West Yellowstone, Montana

West Yellowstone is a great place to stay outside Yellowstone National Park. It’s convenient to most of the top attractions, provides plenty of accommodation and dining options, and is minutes from the West Yellowstone airport. You’ll also find the fascinating Wolf Discovery Center here – well worth a trip!

Drive Time to Popular Attractions:

  • Old Faithful: 55 minutes
  • Grand Prismatic Spring: 40 minutes
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: 1 hour 10 minutes
  • Hayden Valley: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Mammoth Hot Springs: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Lamar Valley: 2 hours 20 minutes

Read More: How to Get to Yellowstone

1872 Inn near Yellowstone National Park
1872 Inn in West Yellowstone

The best hotels in West Yellowstone, Montana include:

  • 1872 Inn, an updated adults-only hotel with 18 guest rooms only minutes to the park entrance
  • The Evergreen, a mountain-inspired lodge with 17 guest rooms in the heart of West Yellowstone
  • Elkhorn Cabins and Inns, rustic cabins with 15 guest rooms just outside the Yellowstone park entrance
  • Kelly Inn, a budget-friendly hotel with 78 guestrooms, an indoor pool, and a great location in downtown Yellowstone
  • Explorer Cabins, resort-style cabins with 50 guest rooms and an indoor pool, perfect for families
  • Yellowstone Park Hotel, a more luxurious hotel with 66 guestrooms, an indoor pool, and a fitness center located a few minutes outside West Yellowstone

Are you planning a national park trip but don’t know where to start? Get my free 28-page national park ebook where I break down everything you need to know to visit all 63 USA national parks.

Download your free ebook here.

Hotels in Gardiner, Montana

Gardiner is located just outside the North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park. If you’re spending several days in Yellowstone, you could spend a few nights in West Yellowstone and a few nights in Gardiner. 

This town is closest to Mammoth Hot Springs and about an hour to Lamar Valley. Gardiner is also an excellent option for a one-night layover if you’re going or coming from Glacier National Park or other adventures in Big Sky Country. 

Drive Time to Popular Attractions:

  • Old Faithful: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Grand Prismatic Spring: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Hayden Valley: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Mammoth Hot Springs: 15 minutes
  • Lamar Valley: 1 hour 10 minutes
Hotel in front of a mountain at the Yellowstone Basin Inn near Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone Basin Inn in Gardiner, Montana

The best hotels in Gardiner, Montana include:

  • Yellowstone Basin Inn, a quaint bed and breakfast with 14 guest rooms and a complimentary buffet breakfast a few miles north of downtown Gardiner
  • Park Hotel Yellowstone, a historic hotel with nine guest rooms and fire pits in downtown Gardiner, walking distance to Roosevelt Arch and the North Entrance
  • The Roosevelt Hotel, a property with 29 standard hotel rooms and several two-bedroom cabins located along the Yellowstone River just outside downtown Gardiner
  • Yellowstone Big Rock Inn, a no-frills, budget-friendly hotel with 51 guest rooms, some featuring kitchenettes, located near the North Entrance to Yellowstone

Hotels in Cooke City-Silver Gate, Montana

If you’re looking to stay outside the park near Lamar Valley and Beartooth Highway, a great option is Cooke City-Silver Gate, Montana. That said, there aren’t many quality offerings here. Cooke City-Silver Gate is a small town without many amenities.

Frankly, I only recommend staying here if convenient to your next destination, or you can’t find lodging in West Yellowstone or Gardiner.

Drive Time to Popular Attractions:

  • Old Faithful: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Grand Prismatic Spring: 2 hours 20 minutes
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Hayden Valley: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Mammoth Hot Springs: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Lamar Valley: 30 minutes
Cabin at Silver Gate Lodging near Yellowstone National Park
Cabin at Silver Gate Lodging in Cooke City-Silver Gate

The best option in Cooke City-Silver Gate is Silver Gate Lodging. This property offers 30 rustic mountain cabins with private bathrooms that can accommodate 2 to 10 people. In addition, the property features a game room, picnic area, grills, and small general store.

Hotels in Cody, Wyoming

This old west town is located in northwestern Wyoming, about an hour from the East Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Since it’s located further from the park, I don’t consider it the best place to stay for exploring Yellowstone.

If you’re heading out to explore more of Wyoming or South Dakota after visiting Yellowstone, staying in Cody is an excellent option for a one-night layover. 

Drive Time to Popular Attractions:

  • Old Faithful: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Grand Prismatic Spring: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: 2 hours
  • Hayden Valley: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Mammoth Hot Springs: 3 hours
  • Lamar Valley: 2 hours 10 minutes
Best Western hotel room near Yellowstone National Park
Best Western Premier Ivy Inn & Suites in Cody, Wyoming

The best places to stay in Cody, Wyoming include:

  • Best Western Premier Ivy Inn & Suites, a high-end, updated hotel with 70 guest rooms, plus an indoor pool, onsite restaurant, and bar 
  • Chamberlin Inn Cody, a luxury hotel featuring 22 guest rooms, including both suites and standard rooms, with an onsite restaurant and bar
  • Hampton Inn & Suites Cody, a recently updated chain hotel that offers excellent value with its 92 guest rooms, indoor pool, fitness center, and location to downtown
  • The Cody Hotel, a cozy hotel with 75 guest rooms, an indoor pool, fitness center, and free buffet breakfast in downtown Cody, Wyoming
  • Cody Cowboy Village, rustic property in downtown Cody with a mix of 50 standard hotel rooms and one-bedroom cabins, featuring an outdoor spa pool and hot tub

Lodges in Grand Teton National Park

If you’re looking to stay south of Yellowstone National Park, your best bet is staying inside Grand Teton National Park. I highly recommend spending several days in Grand Teton National Park before or after your Yellowstone vacation.

If you plan to spend most of your time in Grand Teton and only make a day trip to Yellowstone National Park, I recommend staying in one of these lodges in the northern part of Grand Teton, closest to Yellowstone.

Drive Time to Popular Attractions from Colter Bay in Grand Teton National Park:

  • Old Faithful: 1 hour 25 minutes
  • Grand Prismatic Spring: 1 hour 30 minutes
  • Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone: 1 hour 50 minutes
  • Hayden Valley: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Mammoth Hot Springs: 2 hours 40 minutes
  • Lamar Valley: 2 hours 50 minutes

Read More: 7 Day Grand Teton & Yellowstone Itinerary

Cabins at Headwaters Lodge near Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park
Cabins at Headwaters Lodge between Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park

These are the best places to stay in the northern part of Grand Teton National Park:

  • Headwaters Lodge & Cabins at Flagg Ranch, a mountain hotel in the far northern part of Grand Teton (closest to Yellowstone), featuring 92 guest rooms and an onsite restaurant and bar
  • Colter Bay Village, a family-friendly property featuring 46 one and two-bedroom cabins with two restaurants and bars, plus laundry facilities on site
  • Jackson Lake Lodge, a luxury lodge featuring 385 guestrooms, suites, and cottages with incredible views of the Tetons, plus three onsite restaurants and bars

Read More: 35 Best Places to Stay in Grand Teton

Best Campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park

There are a dozen campgrounds inside Yellowstone National Park. Some of the campgrounds are managed via Recreation.gov, while Yellowstone National Park Lodges manage the others.

The campgrounds managed by Yellowstone National Park are reservable 13 months in advance via the online reservation system. Unlike lodges inside the park, campgrounds don’t fill up quite as quickly. That said, I still recommend booking campgrounds at least six months out for trips in the summer months.

Read More: 12 Best Campgrounds in Yellowstone

RVs in the distance at Yellowstone National Park campground
  • Canyon Campground in Canyon Village, near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Hayden Valley. This campground is open from late May to mid-September and offers 270 tent and RV sites, accommodating RVs up to 40 feet long. There are also paid showers and laundry facilities here.
  • Bridge Bay Campground near Lake Village, close to Yellowstone Lake and West Thumb Geyser Basin. This campground is open from late May to early September and offers 400 tent and RV sites, accommodating RVs up to 40 feet long.
  • Fishing Bridge RV Park near Lake Village, close to Yellowstone Lake and West Thumb Geyser Basin. This campground is open from late May to early October and offers 310 RV-only sites, accommodating vehicles with combined length (RV and tow vehicle) up to 95 feet long. There are also paid showers and laundry facilities here.
  • Grant Village Campground in Grant Village, close to Yellowstone Lake, West Thumb Geyser Basin, and the South Entrance. This campground is open from early June to mid-September and offers 400 tent and RV sites, accommodating RVs up to 40 feet long. There are also paid showers and laundry facilities here.
  • Madison Campground near the Firehole River, Grand Prismatic Spring, and the West Entrance. This campground is open from early May to mid-October and offers 270 tent and RV sites, accommodating RVs up to 40 feet long.

There are four campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park managed by Recreation.gov. You can book these sites on a 6-month rolling basis. 

  • Mammoth Campground in Mammoth, near Mammoth Hot Springs and the North Entrance. This campground is open year-round and offers 85 tent and RV sites, accommodating RVs up to 30 feet long. Reservations are only available from May to October.
  • Slough Creek Campground, near Lamar Valley and the Northeast Entrance. This campground is open from mid-June to mid-October and offers 16 tent and RV sites, accommodating RVs up to 30 feet in length.
  • Pebble Creek Campground, near Lamar Valley and the Northeast Entrance. This campground is open from mid-June to late September and offers 16 reservable tent and RV sites. In addition, there are 11 sites available on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • Norris Campground in Norris, near Norris Geyser Basin. This campground was closed in 2021. If open in 2022, it offers 111 tent and RV sites, accommodating RVs up to 50 feet long.

The remaining three campgrounds are available for first-come, first-served camping.

  • Indian Creek Campground between Mammoth and Norris, near Mammoth Hot Springs and Norris Geyser Basin. This campground is open in the summer and offers 70 tent and RV sites, accommodating RVs up to 35 feet long.
  • Lewis Lake Campground near the South Entrance, near Lewis Lake and Grand Teton National Park. This campground is open in the summer and offers 84 tent and RV sites, accommodating RVs up to 25 feet long.
  • Tower Fall Campground in Tower-Roosevelt, near Tower Fall and Lamar Valley. This campground is open in the summer and offers 31 tent and RV sites, accommodating RVs up to 30 feet in length.

It’s important to note that the only campground in Yellowstone that offers electricity, water, and sewer hookups is the Fishing Bridge RV Park.

For more information on the pros and cons of each campground, check out this post on camping in Yellowstone National Park.

If you’re also visiting Grand Teton, don’t miss this post on the 7 best campgrounds in Grand Teton!

Frequently Asked Questions About Places to Stay at Yellowstone

What’s the best place to stay in Yellowstone National Park?

The best place to stay in Yellowstone National Park is Canyon Village. This area provides a convenient, central location to most of the park’s top attractions. However, if you’re only visiting Yellowstone for one day, consider staying in Old Faithful instead.

What hotels in Yellowstone have nice views?

Lake Yellowstone Hotel has nice views of Yellowstone Lake, especially from the historic lounge area at the front of the building. Old Faithful Inn provides unparalleled views of Old Faithful geyser from the upper deck, a perfect spot for lunch.

Which entrance of Yellowstone is best to stay at?

The best entrance to stay at near Yellowstone National Park is the West Entrance in West Yellowstone, Montana. This entrance is closest to top park attractions like Old Faithful and Grand Prismatic Spring.

What are the best cities to stay at in Yellowstone?

The best cities near Yellowstone National Park are West Yellowstone at the West Entrance and Gardiner at the North Entrance. Both towns offer plenty of hotel options, restaurants, and close access to the park.

Final Thoughts on Where to Stay in Yellowstone National Park Lodging

The perfect place to stay in Yellowstone will depend on your interest. Here’s a quick recap of the top places to stay in and near the park:

If you can’t find accommodations inside the park, consider booking a hotel in West Yellowstone instead.

If you want to learn more about Yellowstone National Park, check out these posts!

Are you planning a national park trip but don’t know where to start? Get my free 28-page national park ebook where I break down everything you need to know to visit all 63 USA national parks.

Download your free ebook here.

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