Lodging Inside Yellowstone

by Mary Freeman

Unlike many other national parks, Yellowstone National Park is rife with lodging options. Xanterra Parks and Resorts operates all of the accommodations and almost half of the campgrounds, so you must make reservations through them, not the National Park Service. While a bucolic theme runs throughout all of the park's housing -- there are no televisions or radios -- each accommodation has its own distinct atmosphere, amenities and conveniences.

Historic Lodging

Yellowstone has its fair share of historical landmarks, some of which you can even spend the night in. The most famous and requested lodging in the park is Old Faithful Inn, which offers interpretive tours of the hotel. The original portion of the hotel was erected in 1904; by the 20s, the rest of the inn was completed. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Cabins sits right below the limestone terraces of the same name, but that is not the hotel's only claim to fame: It was once Fort Yellowstone. Built in the 1920s, the Old Faithful Lodge Cabins feature massive logs and stone pillars. Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Cabins, which sit on the shores of Lake Yellowstone, are on the National Register of Historic Places. One of the most elegant lodging choices in the park, the hotel has "sun room" windows offering views of the park, a string quartet that plays in the lobby and an elegant restaurant.

Rustic Lodging

At Yellowstone, you have the opportunity to stay in the very same portion of the park where President Theodore Roosevelt loved to stay. The Roosevelt Lodge Cabins try to recapture the spirit of the Old West with a corral operation, stagecoach adventures, Old West Dinner cookouts and some of the most rustic cabins in the park. Cabins feature log stoves and have no bathrooms -- communal showers and toilets are located nearby. Lake Lodge Cabins offer a family-friendly atmosphere, with a cafeteria, lounge and cabins with private bath. The previously mentioned Old Faithful Lodge Cabins provide more than just a historical context for the park: Their cabins have only the most basic necessities and come with or without bathrooms.

Lodging with Modern Conveniences

If you require some modern conveniences during your stay, Canyon Lodge and Cabins, Grant Village and Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins can provide it. All of the accommodations have accessible rooms for the disabled. In addition to cabins, Canyon Lodge has motel-style buildings arranged in a loop, as well as a cafeteria, restaurant, and gift and deli shops. Grant Village is expansive, with six two-story buildings housing 50 rooms each. The complex also has two restaurants featuring pub-style fare like burgers, beef and bison. Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins is the newest addition to Yellowstone's lodging options. It has received the Cody Award for Western Design and "Inn of the Month" designation from "Travel and Leisure." The lodge has wildlife- and park-themed rooms.

Camping and RVs

Yellowstone has 11 campgrounds and one RV park. Xanterra Parks and Resorts operates four of the campgrounds and the RV park. The other seven campgrounds can be booked through the National Park Service Reservation System. Altogether, the park has hundreds of campsites with various amenities. Some sites have flush toilets, generators and dump stations. The RV park has electrical and sewer hookups and accommodates RVs up to 40 feet in length.

About the Author

Mary Freeman is a freelance writer. She has held several editorial positions at the print publication, "The Otter Realm." She traveled throughout Europe, which ultimately resulted in an impromptu move to London, where she stayed for eight months. This life experience inspired her to pursue travel writing. Freeman received a degree in human communication from California State University.