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help: lodging related, pls recommend places, not searches...

Seattle
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help: lodging related, pls recommend places, not searches...

Just adopted three children! Let’s go to YNP!

Feeling overwhelmed.

I’m internet savvy yet our decision to take our family of seven (youth: 12-19 yo) to YNP during this last week of August is stressing me out because I've never had to think of a "we need either two rooms or a place big enough for..." New territory.

We are planning to stay 5 nights specifically for YNP.

1. My search and impulse so far has me thinking: nail down accommodations ASAP before your options narrow more; then consider itinerary. But I've read in several posts that some travelers switch lodging within their stay to have better access to some part of park. What are the pros and cons of staying put versus staying in one place with my clan? Do you really save a LOT of driving time by moving around? It seems from anywhere outside the park it's prepare to “drive, drive and more drive" to see the sights, yes?

2. Can someone recommend specific VRBOs which provide good access to the park and were wonderful to come home to in the evening? A view would be great.

There is Absaroka Lodge, which is not a vrbo, but fits our budget, places us in adjacent rooms and says it has great views. But even better lodging would make mommy very, very happy if it’s out there to be had and we can afford it.

If we spent a little more than $250 (for absaroka’s 2 rooms) does someone have a place I should look into from personal experience or recommendation to you? Budget: will pay up to $350 inclusive of taxes for something more special and less than an hour from park entrance.

Thank you so much in advance!

st louis
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1. Re: help: lodging related, pls recommend places, not searches...

Try looking in Gardnier at the vrbo site. A lot of the places are booked but they are still a few left that sleeps 6-8.

Seattle
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2. Re: help: lodging related, pls recommend places, not searches...

Thanks for taking a moment to reply, yet wishing to learn about specfiic vrbos; I appreciate that I have the option to individual searches by city.

Atlanta, Georgia
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for Road Trips
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3. Re: help: lodging related, pls recommend places, not searches...

We stay in West Yellowstone- check out Three Bear Lodge or check with West Yellowstone Chamber of Commerce- they have a website and have always been super helpful.

Me niece and her family of 6 have rented a condo/house in West Yellowstone area. I will check with her about the name and how she found it.

Here is a website to help you plan your trip- must sees in YNP-

www.yellowstone.net/topten

Enjoy your trip.

Santa Fe, New Mexico
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for Santa Fe, Mesa Verde National Park, Boulder, New Mexico
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4. Re: help: lodging related, pls recommend places, not searches...

I would consider West Yellowstone, plenty of lodging and dining options and still fairly close to the park. Also Grizzly/Wolf Discovery Center would be a great place to visit with the kids. Possibly the IMAX. Next trip we would like to spend a few days in W YS at Hibernation Station, the cabins look nice. www.hibernationstation.com

In park lodging options may already be full, but do call Xanterra to check. We spent 3 nights in YS last summer, staying in the same place (camping in Madison CG). Didn't bother us too much traveling back to the same spot.

Sometimes keeping the "same" place is good for kids, they can start to relax knowing they are headed back to somewhere familiar. This may be important with newly adopted older kiddos. Keeping the stress to a minimum any way you can! Also get a cooler and carry lunch supplies, snacks and water every day, so you can eat when you need to. Maybe get the kids each a camera to document the trip.

Green Valley...
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5. Re: help: lodging related, pls recommend places, not searches...

#1: Even at this late date see if you can get rooms inside the park, including two cabins in one location. Call often, you might luck out. Note though how many beds are available inside these cabins for you and the kids. Otherwise, Gardiner and West Yellowstone are your best bets for not only lodging but easy access to major park areas. You are right on, you don't want to drive more than a few minutes to get into the park, it is too big and requires much driving. With your clan's size I don't think you'll have much choice inside the park to get, much less change, lodging, so research what appears to work for you before you call Xanterra. I'd lodge anywhere in the park except Grant Village; it's too far from everything, you'd be better off in the cities mentioned. You do not want to drive the park in the dark, so plan your days accordingly.

#2: Cannot answer. You might have to wing it and trust the reviews on VRBO and the like. Absaroka Lodge sounds like it would work, especially units with kitchens, and the location is quite good. Also nice is that you'll have two routes once in the park to see the two sides of the park. Less backtracking (which is not a bad thing in YNP).

Editing: Just saw CasaAzul's comments, agree with all of them. Don't know cabins she refers to but the website is fairly descriptive. I'd call them as well and see how you fare with meeting your family's needs.

Edited: 08 July 2011, 00:15
Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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6. Re: help: lodging related, pls recommend places, not searches...

We stayed at the Absaroka Lodge in 2009 and were highly unimpressed. Yes, the rooms are large, but the entire property needed a facelift, and I found the staff very lacking in customer service.

You mentioned views..don't get too excited by their description. When we visited, the grass was so tall that you couldn't even enjoy the views for all the gnats.

The park is large, and splitting your time is helpful, particularly for wildlife viewing. Gardiner is closer to the Lamar Valley, but West is more convenient for the geyser basins. West has many more dining and lodging options also. We like the Alpine Motel, but it's very popular, and you might have a hard time booking there. They book weeks in advance.

Green Valley...
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7. Re: help: lodging related, pls recommend places, not searches...

Here is the West Yellowstone Hotel page on TA:

tripadvisor.com/Hotels-g45399-West_Yellowsto…

I stayed at Lazy G and wrote a review. Very reasonable.

Pitman, New Jersey
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for Rapid City, South Dakota
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8. Re: help: lodging related, pls recommend places, not searches...

I have also stayed at Lazy G, but it's been years. It was a bit dated, but very, very clean. The owner was great! It would certainly be acceptable for a Yellowstone stay, since you will probably spend little time in the room. You can get rooms with kitchens there, which would be good for a your large group.

Fort Worth, Texas
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9. Re: help: lodging related, pls recommend places, not searches...

We love West Yellowstone...lots of places to eat and cute shops ....great easy access to park via west entrance .......stayed several places there..Always love it!

Scranton...
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10. Re: help: lodging related, pls recommend places, not searches...

My husband & I have been to YNP twice. Once we did the moving around thing staying in 3 locations around the park and once we stayed solely in Gardiner at the Montana Buffalo Ranch. It is a little removed (about 20 minutes into the downtown area of Gardiner) but we loved the ability to have coffee in the morning & watch the wildlife out the huge front window. It was absolutely wonderful & we have been talking about returning in the not so distant future.

There are 2 cabins available and they are located on a family ranch in the mountains. We stayed in the smaller one & it was an open floor plan down stairs with a loft upstairs. The whole cabin was comprised of 3 double beds & 1 queen with one bath & a small kitchen. The second cabin had 3 or 4 bedrooms & 2 baths with a large kitchen & outdoor hot tub. Prices were very reasonable. For the smaller cabin in 2009 we paid about $750 for 7 nights. Here is the link to the website. montanabuffaloranch.com/cabin.html#ancCabin

Good Luck!