No place on Earth features Yellowstone National Park's thermal features such as geysers and fumaroles combined with snow-capped mountains and wildlife that includes grizzly bears and elk. Yellowstone Lake in the southeast section of the park offers several lodging options in the West Thumb, Grant Village, Fishing Bridge and Lake Village areas.
Private company Xanterra Parks and Resorts operates a few campgrounds around Lake Yellowstone. Both RV and tent camping is available at Grant Village and Bridge Bay, while the campground at Fishing Bridge is reserved for only RVs. This RV park is the only campground in Yellowstone that offers water and sewer hookups. It does not contain electrical hookups, however. The National Park Service recommends you make reservations in advance, especially if you plan to travel here in the summer during the height of tourist season. Call 866-439-7375 to make a reservation.
Lodges and Hotels
The Grant Village lodging complex contains 50 basic rooms, and two restaurants with views of the lake. Lake Lodge Cabins provide three tiers of cabins and prices, from the modern Western Cabins to the more rustic Pioneer Cabins that date to the 1920s. A cafeteria serves hungry travelers near roaring fireplaces. Lake Yellowstone Hotel sits on the shore in the Lake Village area and underwent renovations in 1990 to restore the hotel to its look and condition in the 1920s. A string quartet entertains guests in the lobby of this structure, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Several types of rooms are available, from suites to rustic cabins near the hotel.
Even if you stay in one of the hotels or cabins, you may be "roughing it" compared to what you normally expect from a room as none of the lodging options in Yellowstone contain televisions, Internet connections or air conditioning. Rates for most hotels and cabins exceed $100 a night as of 2010, with basic rooms inside Lake Yellowstone Hotel generally priced at more than $200.
Lodging options in the Yellowstone Lake area are close to some of the park's most famous attractions. Old Faithful erupts several times each day about 20 minutes west of West Thumb and Grant Village, while the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone -- site of several magnificent waterfalls -- is about 20 minutes north of Fishing Bridge and Lake Village. Each of these locations around the lake also offer plenty of fishing spots, hiking trails and picnic tables.
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images