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Why Stay Nearby, When You Can Stay in Yellowstone?

Why Stay Nearby, When You Can Stay in Yellowstone?

Written by: , November 01st, 2023
Categories: Plan Tips

Lodges in Yellowstone National Park

Lodging and accommodations inside Yellowstone National Park aren’t just places to stay, they are monuments to a long-standing ideal that special places should be set aside and preserved for future generations. Staying in Yellowstone is the best way for visitors to experience everything the park has to offer. With nine lodging facilities offering over 2,000 rooms in the summer, accommodations in Yellowstone are plentiful for those wishing to experience the national park in its summertime glory. In the winter we open two lodges for exploration of a winter wonderland. From the most famous lodging facility in a national park—the Old Faithful Inn—to the ol’ western rustic cabins of Roosevelt Lodge, guests will find an incredible variety of places to bunker down for the night.

Old Faithful Inn at dusk with Old Faithful geyser erupting in the background

Historic Old Faithful Inn welcomes guests at dusk with an eruption of the Old Faithful geyser.

Once you arrive in Yellowstone, you’ll never want to leave—and since you’ll be staying in the park you won’t have to! By not wasting time commuting into the park, you’ll have more time to explore 3,500 square miles of Yellowstone wilderness, from mountains and forests to colorful hot springs, mud pots, and geysers. You’ll have more time to spend enjoying park activities both on land and on water.  And once the day-trippers have left, the park remains for the in-park lodgers—your own private Yellowstone!

Here’s why staying in Yellowstone, rather than nearby, can help you make the most of your park visit this summer:

Wake up to Wildlife

Don’t spend your morning driving to Yellowstone, wake up to wildlife instead. Dawn is the best time to search out the wild animals in Yellowstone; this is when the park’s wildlife is most active. Yellowstone is home to more free-roaming wildlife than almost anywhere else in the Continental U.S. Visitors have the opportunity to see varied species of animals: gray wolves, bison, bears, otters, bald eagles, deer, elk, moose, ravens, foxes, raccoons, squirrels and many more.

Frost sprinkles the top of a bison on a fall morning

Frost sprinkles the top of a bison on a fall morning in Lamar Valley.

Lamar Valley in Yellowstone’s Northern Range is one of the best places for spotting wildlife. Its broad vistas provide great opportunities to spot wildlife grazing along the Lamar River and on the open hillsides. If the wildlife is lying low, the spectacular scenery is sure to please!

Bench for viewing the Lower Fall of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

Have a seat and marvel at the beauty of the Lower Falls from Artist Point in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

Yellowstone is at Your Doorstep

Not only will you be able to cut out the commute to spend more of your time enjoying park activities, but you’ll also beat the majority of the visitors. The boardwalks and trails of the park’s major attractions are less used in the early mornings and in the evenings after all of the day-trippers have gone. By staying in Yellowstone you’ll get a 24/7 park experience, sort of a behind the scenes pass.

Castle Geyser night eruption with Milky Way

Castle Geyser erupts against the night sky.


Far from the city lights, you can look up to the night sky and see the Milky Way in all of its glory, the heavens filled with constellations, glittering stars beyond count and even comprehension.

Stargazing is a unique experience often only enjoyed by those who lodge within Yellowstone. Since the park focuses on minimizing light pollution, you won’t have to go too far from any developed area or lodge to find a truly dark location from which to enjoy “the show.”

Lake Yellowstone Hotel in the evening

Historic Lake Yellowstone Hotel at dusk.

Sleep in an American Icon

In these fast-moving times, reinvention and making room for the ‘new’ has become a way of life, but with Yellowstone National Park Lodges you’re able to be sleeping in history—with modern conveniences, of course.

Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the Lake Yellowstone Hotel first opened its doors to guests in 1891. In June 2014, the hotel went through an extensive interior renovation to restore it back to its Colonial Revival style.

Lobby of the Old Faithful Inn

Designed by architect Robert C. Reamer and opened to the public in June 1904, Old Faithful Inn is one of Yellowstone’s most famous lodging facilities. It was constructed from local logs and stones and is considered to be the iconic symbol of rustic architecture in national parks.

Exterior of Roosevelt Lodge

Roosevelt Lodge welcomes you to the northern range.

Roosevelt Lodge Cabins were built in 1920 near an area favored by President Theodore Roosevelt in Yellowstone’s Tower Fall area of the northern range. Grant Village was built in 1984 and named after former President Ulysses S. Grant, who signed Yellowstone into law on March 1, 1872, making Yellowstone, the world’s first national park.

Reception desk at Lake Yellowstone Hotel

Reception desk at Lake Yellowstone Hotel

Yellowstone National Park Lodges’ staff live in Yellowstone

Knowledgeable staff can help make the most of your Yellowstone experience; Xanterra’s in-park operations are staffed with people who live in the park. You’ll be able to access insider tips and tricks on the best times and places in the park to visit. And with easy access to park tours and activities, combined with friendly staff, you’ll have an advantage over most visitors to Yellowstone. So next time you are ordering food in one of our dining facilities or buying a gift at one of our retail shops, be sure to ask the staff for their insider tips.


For A World of Unforgettable Experiences® available from Xanterra Travel Collection® and our sister companies, visit

Want to experience Yellowstone in-depth? See what makes Yellowstone National Park a great place to work for a season or longer!

A flock of geese fly past a brilliant orange sunrise.

Bridge Bay Campground

May 17 - September 2, 2024
The area is quite scenic, with wooded areas, open meadows, and some limited views of the lake.

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Canyon Campground

May 31 - September 15, 2024
The Canyon Campground is a favorite due to its wooded setting and relatively central location within Yellowstone Park.

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Canyon Lodge & Cabins

Canyon Lodge & Cabins

May 17 - October 27, 2024
Canyon Lodge and Cabins is a sprawling facility featuring the most accommodations in Yellowstone with more than 500 rooms and cabins.

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Fishing Bridge RV Park

May 10 - October 13, 2024
The newly remodeled Fishing Bridge RV Park is located near the mouth of the Yellowstone River as it leaves Yellowstone Lake.

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Grant Village building exterior

Grant Village

May 31 - October 6, 2024
Grant Village was built in 1984 and named after Ulysses S. Grant, president when Yellowstone became the world’s first national park in 1872.

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Family enjoying a sunset near Black Pool in West Thumb Geyser Basin

Grant Village Campground

June 7 - September 8, 2024
The campground offers a relaxing setting with easy access to many services and amenities.

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

Lake Lodge Cabins

June 10 - October 6, 2024
The main lodge is constructed of logs and is the focal point of this classic and comfortable building.

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Lake Yellowstone Hotel Exterior

Lake Yellowstone Hotel & Cabins

May 10 - October 6, 2024
Upon arrival, the hotel’s massive white columns welcome you to a time of classic, yet casual elegance.

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Sunset on the Madison River

Madison Campground

May 3 - October 20, 2024
The area is known for its great fishing and is a convenient location to Old Faithful and the Upper, Midway, and Lower Geyser Basins.

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Renovated Exterior of the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel & Cabins

Winter: December 15, 2023 - March 4, 2024
Summer: April 26 - October 14, 2024
The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Cabins—named after nearby springs—offers a warm welcome to summer and winter visitors.

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Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel & Cabins (Winter)

The Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Cabins—named after nearby springs—offers a warm welcome to winter visitors.

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Old Faithful Inn at dusk with Old Faithful geyser erupting in the background

Old Faithful Inn

May 3 - October 14, 2024
Built in 1903-1904 with local logs and stone, the Inn is one of the largest log-style structures in the world.

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Entrance to Old Faithful Lodge

Old Faithful Lodge Cabins

May 10 - October 6, 2024
This historic cabin facility is located near Old Faithful Inn and includes a one-story main lodge built in the 1920′s featuring massive logs and stone pillars.

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Old Faithful Snow Lodge Exterior

Old Faithful Snow Lodge & Cabins

Winter: December 16, 2023 - March 3, 2024
Summer: April 26 - October 27, 2024
Completed in 1999, the Snow Lodge is the newest of the park’s full-service hotels, and is open in both winter and summer.

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Old Faithful Snow Lodge Exterior Winter

Old Faithful Snow Lodge & Cabins (Winter)

Stay in the heart of Yellowstone National Park in winter.

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Roosevelt Lodge Exterior

Roosevelt Lodge Cabins

June 7 - September 2, 2024
Roosevelt Lodge Cabins, built in 1920 near Yellowstone's Tower Fall area, is located near a campsite once used by President Theodore Roosevelt.

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