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Yellowstone, stay near to the park

Bengaluru, India
7 posts
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Yellowstone, stay near to the park


I am planning for the July 4th holiday trip to Yellostone NP. Obvisiously the lodging inside the park is full and hence looking for other options nearby. I am travelling with my wife and two kids (8 and 2). First day, I have booked in Jackson and I am looking for something in the west side (original plan was for oldfaithful, which is not available now). Next day, the plan was for mammoth hotels, and the next day was for canyon village and then for Grant village.

Can someone give some suggestions for alternatives for Oldfaithful, Mammoth Hotels, Canyon Village and Grant Village? Looking for something near to the park so that we can avoid the travel.

Thanks in advance.

Green Valley...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park, Seattle
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1. Re: Yellowstone, stay near to the park

Here is some consensus information to guide your choices:

Lodging Inside and Outside YNP

For lodging INSIDE the Park - http://www.travelyellowstone.com/ This, Xanterra, is the Official and Only Authorized Lodging Vendor for Yellowstone National Park. Other agencies charge a nonrefundable service fee and they have to contact Xanterra themselves which you can do for free.

To get reservations (1) Monitor the website continuously, and if you can, (2) CALL at least once a day as cancellations often occur. Lodging and dining locations, costs, reservations, camping, , things to do and much more are on this website.

For lodging OUTSIDE the Park - If you cannot get or do not want lodging inside the park, try the gateway towns of West Yellowstone and Gardiner. See the hotel reviews on the TA Forum, left hand column, “Hotels”. Know the cancellation policies. Cancel those reservations if you do get Xanterra lodging. West Yellowstone has many services.

SPLITTING Lodging Locations – The park is vast so, if you have 3 or more days, consider two lodging locations. This will minimize your driving. Also, proximity to lodging could be safer because after dark driving makes it difficult to see wildlife.

Examples for splitting lodging locations – the following locations allow you to “center” your lodging in key areas. So choose any of the following:

o Old Faithful and either Canyon or Lake

o Old Faithful and either Roosevelt or Mammoth and, if not Mammoth, then Gardiner, MT.

o West Yellowstone and either Canyon or Lake

o West Yellowstone and Gardiner.

And, of course, West Yellowstone and Gardiner.

Edited: 01 May 2012, 04:58
Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
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27,750 posts
384 reviews
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2. Re: Yellowstone, stay near to the park

Great ideas from Voyaging- if staying out of the park then we prefer West Yellowstone- greater choice of lodging and restaurants.

If you stay in West Yellowstone eat breakfast at Running Bear Pancake House- delicious food!!!

Otwell, Indiana
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3. Re: Yellowstone, stay near to the park

Don't get discouraged... keep watching the Xanterra website and calling. I have had been trying for a room at Old Faithful -frontier cabins for the past 2 weeks. Finally scored last night !!!


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149 posts
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4. Re: Yellowstone, stay near to the park

I agree w?Nina066. Keep on trying Xanterra. We went last year and I just started calling everyday and eventually got the rooms. Also when you are there, just check in w/one of the Xanterra lodges, we were able to switch around our lodging. Its so much easier to be in the park since its so large.

Good luck!

Yellowstone Nat...
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for Yellowstone National Park
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5. Re: Yellowstone, stay near to the park

Some day Xanterra will get tired of all the calls and cancellations, but until they do, I say, "Bless their corporate hearts." Give kudos where kudos are due.

Fort Worth, Texas
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309 posts
53 reviews
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6. Re: Yellowstone, stay near to the park

We stayed in West Yellowstone on our last trip since we had 2 families since that allowed us to stay together. (We had 4 kids altogether: two kids were 2 years old, one 8 year old and one 9 year old). If you do stay outside the park, make sure it's close to the entrance. Some advertise that they are close, but are really 30 minutes or more away from the entrance. Also, do your best to get up early to get in the park without a long wait. My in-laws wanted to lounge around every morning and we often didn't get to the entrance until 11:00 am, and we sometimes had a 45 minute wait in line. You might want to secure lodging outside the park that is fully refundable. Then, if you can secure park lodging, you can cancel. If you can't secure loding in the park, do not worry. The drives are so scenic, you will see lots of animals. If we didn't stay outside the park, we would have missed out on some of our greatest Yellowstone memories. We are going back this year without the in laws and staying inside the park. :)

Having been there with a 2 year old, I would strongly recommend bringing a child leash, an umbrella stroller (you can used this on many boardwalks, but do not attempt a stroller at the Mammoth Springs area because there are too many stairs), and if you plan to do hiking, bring a framed backpack carrier. The framed backpack carrier came in handy at the Canyon Falls area. There are steep drop offs so we weren't comfortable with our son walking, and a stroller wouldn't work since it's not paved. The backpack carrier worked great and gives you some good exercise. Also, you might want to bring a portable DVD player with movies that the 2 year old will enjoy. There is a lot of driving, and 2 year olds aren't overly impressed with mountain scenery; however, ours did love seeing all the bison. Luckily, our son is very relaxed in the car because we love our road trips.

Also, make sure to stop for lunches at the many picnic areas. The kids all loved playing around these areas. With that being said, bring food and a cooler at all times. We often found ourselves no where near a restaurant when our family was hungry.

Have a great time!! :)

7. Re: Yellowstone, stay near to the park

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