When you are planning your Yellowstone trip you have to figure out where to stay, of course. It’s a big park and unless you live nearby, like we do, you aren’t going for a day trip. While staying inside the park is great, you should also consider the best places to stay near Yellowstone National Park.
Staying inside the boundaries of Yellowstone is fun and gets you close to the things you want to see, but sometimes you either can’t get a reservation (Yellowstone reservations fill up fast) or you want to see more than just the parks.
It can also be a lot quieter outside the park. In some cases, like the places to stay in West Yellowstone, may be even more centrally located than hotels in Yellowstone.
When I help people with their Yellowstone vacation ideas, I encourage them to explore beyond the park borders. Not only will the crowds be thinner, but the experience will be more expansive. Yellowstone is surrounded by National Forest, stunning mountains, alpine lakes, and blue ribbon trout streams.
Once you know where you are going to stay, check out my free five-day Yellowstone and Grand Teton itinerary or one of my detailed Yellowstone itineraries and guidebooks. Or join me in a Vacation Coaching session to plan a bespoke Yellowstone National Park trip.
Towns Near Yellowstone
Like I said, some of the best places to stay Yellowstone has to offer are outside the park. But you have to understand where the towns near Yellowstone are located to understand the best hotels near Yellowstone Park.
Best Hotels Near Yellowstone National Park
Now that you have an idea of the towns surrounding Yellowstone, we can get to the nitty gritty of the best place to stay near Yellowstone on your family vacation (or couple vacation or solo vacation or friend vacation).
Best Hotels Near Yellowstone North Entrance (Gardiner, Montana)
To quickly and easily access the Yellowstone National Park North Entrance, you’ll want to stay in Gardiner, Montana. Every year there seems to be more north Yellowstone hotels. Gardiner is still a small town, but like many towns at the gateway to National Parks, it is packed with tourist amenities.
This is where you’ll find the Roosevelt Arch, the Boiling River hot springs, and Mammoth Hot Springs area.
Mammoth was the original and current headquarters of the park, and in addition to having some amazing hot spring terraces; there are historic buildings from the time when the Army managed Yellowstone Park.
It’s also a great location to explore the northeast corner of the park, including Tower Falls, Roosevelt Lodge, and the fabled Lamar Valley where you are guaranteed to see wildlife.
In winter, the area between Gardiner, Mammoth, and the Northeast Entrance is the only place accessible by car.
For Yellowstone North Entrance hotels, you can choose from a standard chain hotel, to a boutique hotel, to countless vacation rentals.
Park Hotel Yellowstone
For Yellowstone North Entrance lodging we like the Park Hotel Yellowstone. From the Main Street location of The Park Hotel, you are only steps from Yellowstone. After a day in the park, snuggle up in the historic, but modern, rooms.
The nine-room guest house was built of rock by a Cavalry Captain in the days when Yellowstone was managed by the U.S. Army. From the cozy hotel at Yellowstone’s front door, you can walk to restaurants, shops, bars, the Roosevelt Arch, and the Yellowstone River. Be sure to stop by Yellowstone Forever, the official non-profit partner of the park, to educational displays, park programming, and a gift shop. See more reviews and the best deals on a stay at Park Hotel Yellowstone here.
Best Western By Mammoth Hot Springs
For a more standard accommodation near Yellowstone National Park, try the Best Western By Mammoth Hot Springs in Gardiner. The Best Western Yellowstone is just what you’d expect from a Best Western – flat screen TVs, WiFi, clean rooms, a swimming pool, and free breakfast.
If, like us, you prefer a vacation rental when you travel, you are in luck. Gardiner is chock full of vacation rentals. A couple great things about choosing a house or cabin as your accommodation near Yellowstone National Park are being able to cook or prepare food there and have a comfortable place to kick back and relax between adventures.
Best Hotels Near Yellowstone Northeast Entrance (Silver Gate- Cooke City, Montana)
When you plan to visit Yellowstone National Park, where to stay can be a tricky decision. Silver Gate is one of my favorite places for Yellowstone cabin rentals. It’s a little farther away from Old Faithful and the big Yellowstone attractions, but it is a mountain getaway that you won’t forget. For wildlife and wilderness lovers, it’s the place to be.
That’s the reason it is my favorite place to stay for lodging near Yellowstone. We always see wildlife in the area. You may see moose, bison, bear, mountain goats and other critters right in town – or our your window. And you are just minutes away from the fabled Lamar Valley and its wolves, elk, bison, bear, coyotes, and so much more.
Silver Gate is just outside the Northeast Entrance to the park and Cooke City is six miles further. Silver Gate is super tiny and Cooke City isn’t very big. The area is a good place to look for cabins near Yellowstone National Park.
In winter, wolf watchers know where to stay near Yellowstone to be first on the scene in the Lamar Valley – Silver Gate or Cooke City. In summer, it’s still a great place to access the wildlife in the Lamar Valley, but also drive the Beartooth Highway to Red Lodge or the Chief Joseph Highway to Cody.
Lamar Valley Cabins
Every autumn, my friend and I stay in one of these cozy Yellowstone cabins. Our friend Jeff built both of the Lamar Valley Cabins himself and they were designed and decorated by his wife. They are comfy, but roomy; cozy and well appointed. My favorite thing is to wake up and gaze at the mountains out the bedroom window.
- The Lamar sleeps six in two bedrooms and a window bed on the upstairs landing.
- The Silver Falls sleeps six in three bedrooms.
Both have patios for grilling and gorgeous views. Read more about our stay at the Lamar Valley cabins.
Cooke City Hotels
There are several motels near Yellowstone to be found in Cooke City, including a Super 8, the Soda Butte Lodge, and the Alpine Motel. None of them are great, but they are all ok. If all you care about is finding hotels in Yellowstone National Park area, they will work. They aren’t like the Lamar Valley Cabins where the hotel is part of the stay, but they serve as a base for venturing out.
Best Hotels Near Yellowstone Park East Entrance (Cody, Wyoming)
For where to stay when visiting Yellowstone, East Entrance, Cody can be the logical choice. One thing to know about Cody is that it is about an hour drive to Yellowstone’s East Entrance and then another 50 minutes to Fishing Bridge Visitor Center at Yellowstone Lake. To Old Faithful, it’s almost three hours from Cody.
That said, there is a lot to do in and around Cody. You can horseback ride, visit a dude ranch, tour the Buffalo Bill Center of the West, watch a shootout on Main Street, and so much more Western fun.
It might not be the best place for lodging near Yellowstone National Park if all you want to do is tour the park. Honestly, there is so much else to see, though, that I think it’s worth it.
There are a bunch of things to do in Cody, Wyoming without even heading into the park. You could start your vacation there and then move into Yellowstone.
Buffalo Bill’s Irma Hotel
When we want hotels around Yellowstone National Park and want to be in Cody, we stay at the Irma. It’s a cool, historic hotel with an authentic Western feel.
The historic Irma hosted Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show tryouts and European nobility who headquartered there for hunting trips. The historic section of the hotel offers 15 renovated rooms that housed some of the most famous personalities the world has ever known. We found our room a little clanky (watch the video!). Still, we think it is a fun place to stay.
You can even stay in Buffalo Bill’s private suite, or in a host of other historic or non-historic rooms, all with up-to-date amenities.
Best Hotels Near Yellowstone South Entrance
Honestly, there are not many Yellowstone South Entrance Hotels. That’s because the Roosevelt Parkway and then Grand Teton National Park are immediately adjacent to the South Entrance. That’s awesome, of course, because it means there is a whole lot of public land to explore.
For hotels near Grand Tetons and Yellowstone National Park, you can stay at a few places that hold Forest Service leases or inholdings on National Forest land. I’ll share a couple of my favorite Yellowstone resorts and dude ranches that will allow you to easily access both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.
Brooks Lake Lodge and Spa
Brooks Lake Lodge is one of the closer places for lodging near Yellowstone South Entrance, though it is still a bit of a (very scenic) drive.
My family and I spent a couple nights here and had a great mountain getaway. We rode horse, shot arrows, hiked, relaxed in the spa, and ate like Western royalty. You can read about our adventures in this Outdoor Families Magazine article.
This dude ranch is ideal for a family vacation near Yellowstone on your way to or from the park. And thanks to all the amenities and activities, it’s our favorite lodging near Yellowstone south entrance.
Headwaters Lodge and Cabins at Flagg Ranch
In terms of hotels near Yellowstone National Park South Entrance, the closest you can get is Flagg Ranch. Their lodging and camping is along the Snake River in the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway, only a few miles from both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks – they are right between the two. For hotels close to Yellowstone and Grand Teton, you can’t be more centrally located than this.
They have RV sites (with full hook-ups), tent sites, camper cabins, and cabins for rent near Yellowstone and Grand Teton. There is no cell service or wifi, which could be great or not great, depending on what you are looking for. You can just get off the grid and enjoy the great outdoors.
There is a restaurant, saloon, convenience store, and morning coffee bar, so you don’t have to totally rough it. Read more reviews and find the best deal on Headwaters Lodge and Cabins at Flagg Ranch.
Best Hotels Near Yellowstone West Entrance (West Yellowstone, Montana)
Staying in West Yellowstone may be your best bet to access the most popular places to see in Yellowstone – Old Faithful, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, Norris Geyser Basin, etc.
West Yellowstone is the most visited gateway to Yellowstone National Park because of its easy access to the park in both summer and winter (in winter, you’ll go in on an over-snow vehicle or snowmobile).
The hotels near Yellowstone National Park West Entrance are abundant, and while you probably won’t find any cheap hotels near Yellowstone National Park, West Yellowstone had the biggest selection of hotels. (The Stagecoach Inn tends to be one of the few cheap hotels near Yellowstone and it’s still pretty decent.)
For Yellowstone adjacent places to stay, West Yellowstone is a popular choice. In addition to its proximity to the park, the western-styled town is full of souvenir shops, ice cream parlors, restaurants, and activities like zip-lining and horseback riding.
It’s a little crowded in the summer, so if you are looking for solitude or a nature escape, you might want to look elsewhere.
Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone
The staff at the Explorer Cabins will organize a tour into the park or get you set for hiking, rafting, fishing, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or ice fishing nearby. And the bonus is, when you get back to the Explorer Cabins you can roast marshmallows around campfire.
The Yellowstone camping cabins are clustered in groups of five, making it ideal for extended family or a group gathering. Cross the street to visit the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center where bears and wolves that can’t survive in the wild make their home. The grizzly bears are used to test whether bear-proof trash cans and other items really are bear-proof. Next door, Yellowstone Giant Screen (formerly IMAX) shows both recent releases and documentaries about Yellowstone and the area.
For one of the best places to stay, West Yellowstone can be proud of the Explorer Cabins. Each private cabin boasts stylish décor, fine linens, a flat-screen TV and a kitchenette for whipping up your favorite meals. WiFi is available in the cabins and throughout the property. Dog-friendly cabins are available. Find more reviews and the best deals on the Explorer Cabins.
Holiday Inn West Yellowstone
Another of our favorite Yellowstone West Entrance lodging options is the Holiday Inn West Yellowstone. We tend to stay here in the winter because it’s close to the Rendezvous Ski Trails, but it’s convenient for summer, too. West Yellowstone is small enough that no matter where you are staying, you are close to everything.
As expected from motels near Yellowstone National Park, the Holiday Inn has all the basics: renovated guest rooms and suites, indoor pool, hot tub, in room microwaves, mini fridges, and free WiFi. The full service restaurant offers Montana cuisine and a full bar. Find more reviews and the best deals on the Holiday Inn West Yellowstone.
Best Western Yellowstone
The Best Western Desert Inn is just two blocks from the West Entrance, making it one of the hotels close to Yellowstone National Park. The rooms are big, if a little dated. Some rooms have kitchenettes, which is nice for easy meals or prepping picnic supplies for the day.
There is a pool, hot tub, WiFi, guest laundry, and laundry services. If you are looking for the closest hotel to Yellowstone National Park, this might be it. It’s also close to shopping, restaurants, the Imax Theater, and the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. See more reviews and find the best deals on the Best Western in West Yellowstone.
Vacation Rentals in West Yellowstone
The best places to stay in West Yellowstone could be the vacation rentals. You get your own home away from home to spread out and relax. I am constantly surprised at how many houses for rent in West Yellowstone pop up each year.
If you want to scan all the places for rent in West Yellowstone, check out this page.
A few of the best places to stay in or near West Yellowstone:
- This beautiful log home. This historical log cabin has been completely restored and has three bedrooms and two baths.
- This condo in the Arrowhead Lodge. It’s clean, modern, and has two bedrooms and one bath.
- This new second floor condo downtown. This thoughtfully styled unit has three bedrooms and two baths.
More Hotels in the Yellowstone National Park Area.
This is only a very few of the hotels near Yellowstone National Park, WY. If you want to go a little farther afield, there are several other towns with hotels in the Yellowstone area.
Hotels Outside of Yellowstone
We think Livingston, Montana is one of the best places to stay around Yellowstone, but that might be because we live here. It’s about an hour drive north of the park, and a scenic one at that. For hotels in Montana near Yellowstone, it’s not as close as Gardiner, but it has a lot to offer, including incredible fly fishing, art galleries galore, tasty restaurants, and scenic beauty.
A Stone’s Throw Bed and Breakfast
If you are kid-free and looking for a bed and breakfast near Yellowstone, you need to stay at A Stone’s Throw Bed and Breakfast. I wrote about our stay at A Stone’s Throw on my other site. For beautiful, comfortable rooms, local art, and gourmet food, you can’t beat A Stone’s Throw. You can make your reservation on their site.
Sweetwater Guest House
Because we sold our house to travel the world, whenever we are home in Livingston, we have to find a place to stay. We have spent many months in the Sweetwater Condo. It’s right on the edge of downtown and just blocks from the Yellowstone River.
The renovated, historic, modern, Western townhouse is incredibly comfortable and has everything you need in lodging near Yellowstone. You can read more about it and make a reservation here.
On the other end of Yellowstone, about an hour and fifteen minutes south of the South Entrance is the town of Jackson, Wyoming. You don’t get much more “Old West meets the Great Outdoors,” than Jackson Hole. I used to live there, too.
Grand Teton National Park sits between Jackson and Yellowstone, so there are plenty of places to stay near the Tetons, while still having access to Yellowstone.
Be forewarned, that while you can get to Yellowstone in an hour or so if there isn’t any wildlife or slow RVs in the way, you still have quite a way to get from the South Entrance to Yellowstone Lake or Old Faithful. I know people do it as a day trip from Jackson, but you really have to enjoy sightseeing from your car.
Snow King Resort Hotel and Condos
If you never left Snow King Resort, you could alpine slide, zipline, ride the Cowboy Coaster, and hike and mountain bike. End your day at the in-house spa, pool, hot tubs, or restaurant. Of course, all of Jackson with its light-strewn antler arches and variety of restaurants is just down the street.
We like Snow King for resorts near Yellowstone National Park because it’s so comfortable, full of amenities, and well located to trails and downtown Jackson. See more reviews and the best deals on Snow King Resort and Condos.