Which is the fastest access into YNP coming from Alberta Canada. And the best palce to settle so that we are close to the best place in the park
From Calgary CAN-2 to the border and US-89 all the way. GoogleMaps suggests CAN-4 to border and I-15 to Great Falls is faster but US-89 will pass by Glacier NP giving a chance to view that along the way and is not that much longer, if any.
Entry to YNP would be via Gardiner and North Entrance. Inside the park accomodations that are most central are probably already booked for the summer season. The two primary outside the park towns are Gardiner and West Yellowstone of which West is probably a little more central to many of the more popular geothermal sites. On the other hand Gardiner is a little closer to the Lamar Valley where wildlife viewing is popular. Also very close to Mammoth Hot Springs.
How many days in YNP?
Though the lodging might well appear full on the website, you can often, through repeated calling, get rooms/cabins as other folks cancel.
For centrality, I prefer Canyon and Lake, in that order.
A night at Old Faithful area is worthwhile, but not necessary - closer to the geothermal areas.
You could reserve a room in, as proposed above, Gardiner and/or West Yellowstone, and keep trying for inside the park lodging. BUT, read cancellation policies carefully if you do this.
Official Lodging and Tour Vendor for Yellowstone National Park (Call them frequently, cancellations occur. Don't use other agencies, they charge a service fee and, in the end, they have to call Xanterra themselves, which you can do for free.) Locations, costs, lodging descriptions are all here.
This official park website contains a lot of very good information.
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