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Considering last minute trip; sleeping

Geneva, Switzerland
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87 posts
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Considering last minute trip; sleeping

Hello,

I have to go to Kalispell next month for a wedding (21st september) and would like to spend some days to see Yellowstone, probably from the 23 to the 25 as I come back to Europe on the 26.

Problem is that of course all the lodges in the park are totally full. I saw that I could try to call sometimes and maybe I could get lucky with cancellations, but I need to book my fly tickets as soon as possible, so I think I should try to see if it is possible to do the park without a room in these.

So my question is, do you think it is possible to see most of the park even if we've to spend these 2 nights in a hotel outside (but as close as possible) the park entrances? And would it mean having to drive much more?

Thanks in advance!

Rémy

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Kalispell
Kalispell
Montana
Spery, Iowa
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9,751 posts
151 reviews
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1. Re: Considering last minute trip; sleeping

Yes, you will have to drive more, but it is done by a lot of people. Gardiner or West Yellowstone would be your best gateway towns. Cancellations do happen, so check the out of park lodging cancellation policy if you want to keep looking for in park. Be aware that services are shutting down and weather may be cold, so be prepared. It is a great time to be in the park, so enjoy!

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N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
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23,792 posts
110 reviews
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2. Re: Considering last minute trip; sleeping

In addition to what thbergs has said, the park is really huge and you will fill the 2 days you have available but you will not see the whole park. If you have the chance to see a little I would encourage you to do so.

I sometimes worry when a person wants to visit the park later in the season due to the possibility of wintery weather. Noting your location, I am sure you have winter driving skills!

What are you thinking for your departure airport? Bozeman?

Pam

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Bozeman
Bozeman
Montana
Dunedin, Florida
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337 posts
210 reviews
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3. Re: Considering last minute trip; sleeping

Hey Remy, my husband and I decided last minute to go to Yellowstone (everything was booked first time we checked) but I checked each day starting about the same amount of time out from the dates we wanted to stay in the park and got cabins at both Old Faithful and Canyon. As I check I see availability on your dates you want in the park just not all at the same location for all 3 days you speak of. I would get back on the website and try again! Grant Village has a room on the 24th as well as the Lake lodge (a $75 cabin). I found that the calendar on the website would show nothing available when I plugged in a date but if I scrolled down the room types on the right side of the page there would sometimes be a room available. I checked first thing in the morning, over lunch, and then around 4-6 pm (Eastern time) and almost everyday a room would pop up available somewhere. They go quick though so jump right on them when you find them! Best of luck!

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Old Faithful
Old Faithful
3,943 Reviews
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Grant Village Lodge
Grant Village Lodge
1,013 Reviews
Yellowstone National Park, WY
N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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4. Re: Considering last minute trip; sleeping

I would recommend staying at West Yellowstone or Gardiner over Grant Village.

Here is a link to the Yellowstone map.

nps.gov/common/…

Pam

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Gardiner
Gardiner
Montana
Grant Village Lodge
Grant Village Lodge
1,013 Reviews
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Geneva, Switzerland
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87 posts
32 reviews
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5. Re: Considering last minute trip; sleeping

Great, I saw room also even i it's written as "sold out", I'll check what it is and maybe book it quick.

I'm a bit surprised by what Dobby said... we could already have a "wintery winter" september 25th?? I've to admit I checked already some things, but not the climate, looks like I should have. Just saw some hotels close 22nd of september, so it might make sense.

guess I still have some research to make.

By the way, if someone know something abut the drive from kalispell to yellowstone, I'd love to hear about it :)

N. Idaho
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for Yellowstone National Park
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6. Re: Considering last minute trip; sleeping

It can snow in any month in Montana and Wyoming. Generally it would not be bad enough to close roads, but it is something to be aware of. It is likely to be below freezing in the early mornings, so if you are out driving early you would just want to be aware that you might have some frost in shady areas and be careful about getting in a situation where you might need to brake quickly. You would want to check the weather forecast before you leave Kalispell.

Pam

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Montana
Montana
United States
Wyoming
Wyoming
United States
Kalispell
Kalispell
Montana
Dunedin, Florida
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337 posts
210 reviews
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7. Re: Considering last minute trip; sleeping

Hey Remy, I have been checking Old Faithful around the same times as you because my parents were so impressed with our trip we have planned they wanted to try to go last minute too. They are not shared bathroom kind of people but if you are interested Old Faithful Inn has a 1 queen bed room with a shared bath for all 3 days you mentioned in your original post. From what I have read that's one to snatch up while it's available!

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Old Faithful
Old Faithful
3,943 Reviews
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Old Faithful Inn
Old Faithful Inn
2,736 Reviews
Yellowstone National Park, WY
Geneva, Switzerland
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87 posts
32 reviews
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8. Re: Considering last minute trip; sleeping

It's weird, I went often the last fews days, but it's always full.

I booked the flights last week, and I'd be able to go to yellowstone leaving kalispell on the 16th, and having to be back on the 20th. I'm not sure yet if I'll spend all that time in the park or try to see something else, but I'll still need to sleep somewhere.

If I can't book a room inside the park, do you know near which entrance I should sleep to not lose too much time driving to and from the entrance?

Atlanta, Georgia
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for Road Trips
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9. Re: Considering last minute trip; sleeping

Can sleep in either West Yellowstone or Gardiner. Drive between Kalispell and Gardiner is not bad- a lot of interstates/highways if you take that route.

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Geneva, Switzerland
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87 posts
32 reviews
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10. Re: Considering last minute trip; sleeping

I actualy found a room in the canyon lodge for the first night. It looks like there are often rooms available for 2-3 days later when I looks at the reservation page, probably because people can cancel for free up to two days before the trip. So hopefully I will see on the 15th there are room for the 17. Then I'll be in the park, and we'll see how it goes, there seem to be many motels in WY or Gardiner, so worst case I could sleep there, depending where I'm in the park.

I didn't really do an itinary as I'm not even sure I'll really want to spend 3+ nights there (the park looks amazing, but I'm usually much more into going to cities or so, who knows, maybe I could be bored after 2-3 days of green grass, stones, and water lol). Looks forward to the trip however.

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Gardiner
Gardiner
Montana