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Where to stay for 3 nights?

Portland, OR
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10 posts
3 reviews
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Where to stay for 3 nights?

I'm planning a last minute trip and will be in Yellowstone from Sept. 16-19. I'll come in from the N. Entrance - staying in Gardiner the first night. Where should I stay for three nights after?

My options are:

West Yellowstone

Lake Yellowstone Hotel (in a cabin)

Grant Village

I'm willing to split up the nights, but am wondering if these hotels are okay? It's hard to tell from the reviews which is better? I don't need plush accomodations, just decent.

I've never been before! I can't wait!

Southeast PA
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194 posts
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1. Re: Where to stay for 3 nights?

Tho we stayed in West Yellowstone at Hibernation Station, which was very cute ... the Kelly Inn right beside us caught my eye as a very neat and clean place, also.

Seattle, WA
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3 posts
104 reviews
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2. Re: Where to stay for 3 nights?

Staying outside the park may be cheaper. You may also find better food.

However, the convenience of Grant, Lake Yellowstone, or Old Faithful to the attractions cannot be substituted.

They are comfortable and clean enough.

The 30 minutes to a couple hours savings in time is well worth some of the discomfort related in some of the reviews. We had some complaints but the convenience far outweighed them.

You need to stay at Old Faithfull area so that you can walk the trails around Old Faithful, and you may see two or three major geyers go off. The geyers are on their own time, so you have to plan your schedule around them.

Grand, Daisy, Riverside, Castle and Old Faithful has the times posted by the Park Rangers to when they are expected to go off.

We spent two half-days at the Old Faithful area and were lucky to see the Grand (twice), Riverside, Old Faithful (several times), Beehive, Extant?, and numerous other minor geyers go off.

The other attractions at Yellowstone do not need to be timed so you can go to those at your convenience.

Tower Falls and Lower Falls are spectacular. (You could hit these on the may from Gardiner to Lake Yellowstone ).

Mammoth Hotsprings was interesting, and somewhat of a letdown for me since I expected a full mountain side of spring activity. They are spotty, and where the springs are active, it is beautiful, and the remnants of of the springs are stunning.

We ran into wildlife (kids called it animal jam), without planning. We saw bison several different places, same with elk, moose on the way out towards Teton NP, Coyote near Old Faithful, numerous birds and other ground animals.

Los Angelees
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61 posts
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3. Re: Where to stay for 3 nights?

We stayed at Old Faithful Inn and at the Lake Yellowstone cabins. Liked them both; both clean and nice. I think they've been redoing a lot of the cabins in the park (not sure about Grant, but our lake cabin sure newly painted. We haven't been to West Yellowstone, but heard it has more amenities, shops, Imax, restaurants, etc. We liked being right in Yellowstone Park--walking around in the evening (this was summer) & hanging out in the inn, sunroom, etc. A lot of it depends on what you llike to see, since some areas in the park are better for wildlife viewing, some for thermal activity.

Lebanon, Oregon
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264 posts
17 reviews
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4. Re: Where to stay for 3 nights?

I agree with last reply, I would spend one night at the Lake yellowstone cabins and two nights at Old Faithful Inn. This is exactly what we will be doing next summer. We will be coming from Oregon stopping at Wallace,Idaho then spending three nights in Gardiner at the Absaroka Lodge, first day in Mammoth Hot Springs, second day whitewater rafting, third day horseback riding, then the next day to hike Mt. Wasburn Trail before going to Lake Yellowstone

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38 posts
3 reviews
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5. Re: Where to stay for 3 nights?

We just came back and although staying outside is cheaper, you can't imgine the distance you will have to drive to see the gysers. I agree with the person who said that you would be wise to stay at Old Faithful so you don't waste time back and forth. We stayed at Old Faithful Snow Lodge --it was very clean and neat. Old Faithful Inn was very loud and chaotic -- it reminded me of Grand Central Station. The lobby and other public areas were very, very nice, but don't know about the rooms.

You will have to decide what's more important. If you have a lot of time, then stay outside, knowing that you may have to travel 30-40 minutes each way. Travel is slow and YNP is large, larger than both Rhode Island and Connecticut combined.

YNP is an awesome place and you will definitely have a great time.

Great Smoky...
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12 posts
48 reviews
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6. Re: Where to stay for 3 nights?

You might consider staying one night in Cooke City and the other two in West Yellowstone. This time of the year you will be hard pressed to find decent food inside the park. Most of the cafes and lodges have already closed down. We are going to be there September 16 - 26 and we are breaking are trip into 4 nights in Cooke City and 5 nights in West Yellowstone. I advise against staying in Gardiner....you will be disappointed!