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Finding the Best Rates in Yellowstone: Do’s and Don’ts

Finding the Best Rates in Yellowstone: Do’s and Don’ts

Written by: , April 18th, 2024
Categories: Tips

Best Rates on Yellowstone Lodging

A visit to Yellowstone National Park is often considered “priceless.” But travel to the world’s first national park can be a significant investment of time and money. Much of the time investment likely involves planning and evaluating the many variables associated with the trip including, transportation, where to stay, available vacation time, personal interests, and price. Here are some tips, along with do’s and don’ts, for finding the best place for you to stay in Yellowstone.

In Yellowstone, there are over 2,300 rooms in the park when everything is open during the summer. The room types range from very basic rooms and cabins (with shared bathrooms) to historically elegant lodge rooms and suites. We also manage four campgrounds and a RV park for larger motorhomes. With this wide range of options we are sure to offer an economical option for experiencing Yellowstone from the inside out.

DO: Book your desired lodge or cabin ASAP. Reservations can be made one year in advance.
DON’T: Wait to book. Desirable dates during the summer book up quickly at certain lodges.

Reservations Agents in Yellowstone National ParkBook Direct!

There are many online reservation services and travel agencies that can book rooms in the park, but some charge a service charge in addition to the cost of the rooms and related services. We strongly encourage you to book online or you can call our central reservations number directly at 307-344-7311.

Having some flexibility in dates can potentially allow guests to find lower rates during their visit. Since rates are driven by demand, they may vary within a single week, even during busier times. It’s not unusual for one day to have lower demand sandwiched between many high-occupancy days.

Lodges and room types are another way to be flexible. Basic accommodations with shared bathrooms cost less. Geyser-side rooms in the Old Faithful area are the most popular and will cost more than those on the parking lot side. Since most visitors are spending their time out of their rooms exploring the park, room type and location might not be as critical. If you’re in the park, you’re still giving yourself a 24-hour in-park experience, even if the bathroom and shower is down the hall.

By using the flexible calendar option online, you’ll see the lowest rates available for any given property on any given day, along with any other available rates and room types. If you prefer to speak with someone, our agents are knowledgeable about Yellowstone National Park and can provide guidance and trip planning. Give us a call at 307-344-7311.

DO: Book directly with us to get the best rate without added fees. Flexible dates can get you the best savings.
DON’T: Book the wrong spot by accident. Some online booking sites feature lodging outside the park and are paid commission for doing so.

Bull elk bugling in a field in Mammoth Hot Springs

Bull elk bugling with his herd in a field at Mammoth Hot Springs during the fall rut.

Consider the Non-Peak Season for Visiting

Rates are highest during high-demand or peak periods when all the lodging and campgrounds are open and running at full capacity. Park roads in Yellowstone begin to open in late April and stay open through November. Hotels open and close for the season on staggered schedules with the peak season typically June-August. Early and late season demand is much lower than peak, and rates are lower as well. In fact, rates at some hotels can be 30%-50% less than peak season rates during lower demand times. This can mean a savings of hundreds of dollars off a typical stay. Early and late season also tends to be one of the best times to spot wildlife and experience a quieter park!

DO: Consider spring or fall in Yellowstone.
DON’T: If summer is your only option, don’t try to do it all in one day. Give yourself time to get around the park while enjoying the sights.

Two people sitting in rocking chairs on the porch of Lake Lodge

Enjoy early morning views of the Yellowstone Lake from the porch of Lake Lodge

Subscribe to Receive Yellowstone Email Offers and Updates!

It’s not unusual for us to offer special promotions when we see a period of lower demand for rooms. Sometimes these promotions are only offered to our email subscribers. In addition to lodging discounts, we regularly promote special product offers available through our online gift shop. Our e-newsletters also typically include interesting updates and articles about Yellowstone. Whether you’re interested in great Yellowstone stories, or simply looking for deals, you might consider subscribing.

Regardless of what rate you pay, staying inside the park is a special opportunity. The experience of walking out the front door to grazing elk or bison, or perhaps enjoying a short walk to erupting geysers or the largest alpine lake above 7,000 feet elevation, is something that can only happen in Yellowstone. There is great value in being in Yellowstone for any reason and at any price.


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