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OFI room choice, Canyon Lodge and alternatives?

Mesa, Arizona
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OFI room choice, Canyon Lodge and alternatives?

I have a week-long trip coming up in June. I admit my mistake in perhaps waiting to late for a reservation but here is where I am at:

1. Old Faithful Inn has rooms available for 2 nights, and there is only a $1 price difference - either East Wing queens or Geyserside Queens. Any difference? I gathered Geyerside does not necessarily mean geyser view.

2. Canyon Lodge is available for 4 nights, they have Western Cabins available as well as Lodge rooms, any difference there - anyone better than the other? I like the idea of a Western Cabin but the reviews are mixed - at best.

3. Headwaters at Flagg Ranch at the far north end of Grand Teton has 3 nights available, is this a good alternative? How long does it take to drive to Yellowstone Old Faithful area? How long from Flagg down to Jackson Lake? I know mileage numbers are very different than driving times.

4. Is staying in a border town like Gardiner or West Yellowstone so bad? West Yellowstone did not look appealing to me, but some of the lodging on the bluff overlooking the River in Gardiner has some Western charm and good views - not to mention lower prices and modern amenities.

I don't mind forgoing TV, phone, internet - looking forward to the break, but I would like a nice comfortable bed and a quiet location and something with character would be nice. Any lodging tips based on my 4 questions above are greatly appreciated.

Its going to be 71 degrees here in Austin, if anyone heads this way I've got lots of local tips! Cheers.

Spery, Iowa
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1. Re: OFI room choice, Canyon Lodge and alternatives?

I would go for 2 nights OF, 2 nights Canyon. Reviews are sometimes mixed because the reviewer had unrealistic expectations. The website does a pretty good job explaining all the rooms. I have not stayed in Canyon for a while, or an OF room, we always go for the least expensive and spend very little time in the room. OF and Canyon are not "quiet" during the day, but when the crowds go back to town, you should be fine. I have never had an issue with noise- most people are exhausted at the end of the day, lol.

Flagg is too far. If you don't NEED the TV & internet, no reason not to stay in the park. Advantages of being there morning and evening are priceless in my opinion.

Happy Planning- and I am going to Fort Worth if you have tips for me!

Edited: 12 March 2013, 13:57
N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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2. Re: OFI room choice, Canyon Lodge and alternatives?

Thbergs covered everything, so I will just add you should split up your lodging so you are staying at least 2 places in Yellowstone.

Regarding Flagg Ranch, the most spot on comment about Flagg Ranch's location was from TetonBill who said (and I'm paraphrasing here) the best thing about the location is that it is totally inconvenient for BOTH parks!

Pam

jackson, miss
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3. Re: OFI room choice, Canyon Lodge and alternatives?

Personally, I would stay on the geyser side. We did one year and could see Old Faithful erupt from our room--the kids loved it. Also the East wing is confusing with many turns and half staircases to get to your room. So pay the extra dollar and get the geyserside rooms.

I have not stayed in the Canyon Lodges, but I have stayed in the western cabins at Canyon. I liked them. They a e large motel rooms set back in the trees. They are in a quad setting. They have been recently renovated and the beds are comfy and the bathrooms clean--my two must haves for a hotel room. As with the other lodging in the Park, they is no wifi or tv (and little cell service). I had one where if you stood outside, you could hear upper falls through the trees and there was a path to the upper falls right outside my room. This is not luxury lodging but I quite liked it.

Be sure to stop at the grill in the General Store there for tasty milkshakes!

Edited: 12 March 2013, 14:22
West Yellowstone...
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for Flagstaff, West Yellowstone
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4. Re: OFI room choice, Canyon Lodge and alternatives?

OF Inn is wonderfully charming, so if that's on your wish list, you are in luck. The only noise issues I've experienced was when we stayed in an Old House room. They look like a log cabin inside, but there is very little insulation between rooms and we could easily hear the conversations of our neighbors. Fortunately, they quieted down by the time we were ready to go to sleep. It was from that room, btw, that we had a full-on view of Old Faithful (which did require standing in front of the window, not sitting in a comfy chair) which was quite wonderful. That room did not have a private bath, but it was oozing charm and did have an in-room sink and bathrobes to get to/from the toilet/shower room without struggling to be modest.

I've also stayed in both lodges at Canyon and found them to be perfectly comfortable. I have never stayed in the cabins at Canyon.

An alternative to Canyon that is scenic and relaxing is the Lake area. I think it is quieter than Canyon and there are beautiful views of the lake from the hotel lobby. Cabins are available at both Lake Hotel and Lake Lodge. We stayed in Lake Hotel cabin once, but it was many years ago and I suspect (hope) they have been renovated since then.

You have clearly done your homework and I'm sure you also noted that we often say that last-minute reservations can be had with diligence. I've never had problems scoring a place to stay within the park if I check the website daily. I'm not a fan of calling for stuff like this, although others state that you may have better luck doing so. If you decide to do this all online, just be prepared that you will be charged for the first night of each reservation as a deposit. That means that if you get one night in OFI and see a second night available at a later check, it will be considered a second reservation and you will pay in full up front for it, as well. I think if you call, you can avoid that by asking them to combine reservations.

Just as a comparison, W. Yellowstone will take a minimum 1-hour drive to get back to Old Faithful.

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5. Re: OFI room choice, Canyon Lodge and alternatives?

friendly,

You are correct when you say that a geyser side room does not neccassarily mean a geyser view. Some of the rooms on the geyser side have trees in front of the windows, blocking the view of old faithful.

For me, the western cabins at Canyon are preferable over the lodges because you have a porch outside and at the back of the loop where the western cabin are, there is a 1/2 mile hiking trail that takes you to the North Rim Drive of the Canyon with a view of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. Perfect for an afternoon or evening activity.

Cork, Ireland
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6. Re: OFI room choice, Canyon Lodge and alternatives?

I actually have a quick question, I was going to start a new thread, but hopefully friendlyinsomniac won’t mind me tagging on!

I have two nights booked in the Old Faithful Lodge Frontier Cabin, I have started to think that it would be nice to stay in the Old Faithful Inn for the historic aspect. My dates are all booked up, but I will keep looking. However if I can’t get a room in the Inn, how far away is the Lodge from the Inn? I would like to spend some time in the glorious lobby in the Inn and I am just wondering if that would be walking distance from the Lodge?

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7. Re: OFI room choice, Canyon Lodge and alternatives?

ncmc,

Luckily, everything in the Old Faithful Area is fairly close together. The walk from the Old Faithful Lodge Cabins to the Inn is a 1/4 mile at most and should take 10 min. or less. The two are on opposite sides of Old Faithful Geyser from eachother. You might even be able to see the Inn from your cabin depending on which cabin you stay in.

If you would like to spend time at the inn, there is a bar and barista on the second floor of the lobby and a balcony outside with plenty of seating and a view of Old Faithful Geyser. Very Relaxing! A few times a day, there is a free informational tour of the lobby that meets in front of the fireplace. Inquire at the front desk about times that the tour begins.

Edited: 13 March 2013, 12:57
Cork, Ireland
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8. Re: OFI room choice, Canyon Lodge and alternatives?

Thanks Craig, that answers my next question about whether there was somewhere you could get a drink! That sounds a perfect way to spend an evening. Since it's so close, I think I will keep my OF Lodge reservation and put the money saved towards a nice cold cocktail ;)

Spery, Iowa
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9. Re: OFI room choice, Canyon Lodge and alternatives?

You can always visit and spend time in all of the park Lodges/Hotels/Inn, even if you are not staying there (or even in the park). So, check out the Inn, and if you are looking for an evening activity, there is often musical entertainment.

We often recommend the second floor deck with an icecream break (or beverage), lounging on the porch of the Roosevelt Lodge or Lake Lodge and enjoying the view. The Lake Hotel is being renovated, so someone needs to give us an update of that! Old Faithful Lodge has a lounging area that has a view of Old Faithful, Snow Lodge has a fireplace and checker tables. Mammoth Hotel has a great Map Room. No matter where you stay, I hope you spend very little time in your actual room! Enjoy the park!

(I don't spend time in Canyon Village except the grill, so someone else can chime in there) And it is morning here :)

Edited: 13 March 2013, 13:24
West Yellowstone...
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for Flagstaff, West Yellowstone
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10. Re: OFI room choice, Canyon Lodge and alternatives?

There is a lounge at Canyon, but I don't recall any views or particular charm. It's a place to sit and have a drink, use the wi-fi and wait for your dinner reservations to come up. We sat there for quite awhile on one visit to use the wi-fi.

The Canyon lodges each have a smallish (compared to the other hotels you mentioned) sitting room. I believe there is a fireplace, but nobody to watch over it, so I'm doubting it is ever operated unless there was to be a special program going on. There are comfy chairs and couches and small tables in these where one could sit and play cards, but the windows were not oversized and did not afford particularly good views. However, if one wanted to sit and relax with family, the lodges are accessible to anyone that wants to trek to them and sit a spell.

I can't think of any other lounges in Canyon Village.