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RV or Hotel

Houston
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5 posts
33 reviews
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RV or Hotel

Which would be more enjoyable with kids, RV or national park hotel?

Old Faithful Inn
Old Faithful Inn
#1 of 1 B&Bs / Inns in Yellowstone National Park
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel & Cabins
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel & Cabins
#1 of 6 hotels in Yellowstone National Park
Dunraven Lodge
Dunraven Lodge
#2 of 6 hotels in Yellowstone National Park
USA
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9,465 posts
44 reviews
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1. Re: RV or Hotel

Do you have your own RV with tow-vehicle capacity?

Otherwise, perhaps a cabin within the park (book with Xanterra only) would be family-fun.

When are you planning this trip, as lodging within the park can fill up fast?

Houston
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5 posts
33 reviews
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2. Re: RV or Hotel

Our family travels quite a bit, and I can't get over how horrible the hotel rooms look within the park. We've actually stayed at a national park hotel in the past (Zion)--not pleasant. We don't own an RV, but I'm totally willing to rent one to avoid staying at one of these hotels. I've also been looking at vacation rentals, but it appears most of the decent rentals would be in Jackson Hole or Big Sky. We live in Texas, so we are accustom to driving long distances, but I would like to avoid commuting 1 to 2 hours just to enter the park.

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Big Sky
Big Sky
Montana
Texas
Texas
United States
Cinnaminson, New...
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588 posts
2 reviews
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3. Re: RV or Hotel

I don't know where you are getting your opinion of the "hotels" in the park, but they are far from horrible. I would never consider NOT staying in the park. If you are used to staying at the Ritz, then yes, you would say the rooms are horrible. But the places I stay (Roosevelt, Canyon, Old Faithful, etc.) have always been CLEAN and a great place to stay. Yes, they are rustic, but that's the point.

If you refuse to stay in the park, there are close gateway towns, such as Gardiner, Cooke City, and West Yellowstone which are not 1-2 hours from the entrance. Most are based right at the entrances.

Finally, getting an RV is NOT recommended for Yellowstone. The terrain is very steep and the pullouts are not ideal for the large size of the RV. If you do rent an RV, the best thing to do would be to tow your car. Park the RV at a campground and drive your car. Driving your RV all throughout the park is a bad idea.

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Yellowstone Nat...
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
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2,449 posts
19 reviews
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4. Re: RV or Hotel

<< I can't get over how horrible the hotel rooms look within the park. >>

Wow. Maybe you answered your own question, but I agree with Tom K about RV's in Yellowstone.

Los Angeles...
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16 posts
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5. Re: RV or Hotel

Hi Tom

I wonder if you can give me some advice related to this topic. My family will be visiting Yellowstone this summer. I have a reservation at the Yellowstone River Motel in Gardiner. It has fairly good reviews, seems close enough, and to be honest my kids would get a kick out of having an excuse to say they also visited Montana. We are staying just for one night - the plan is to enter the park from the south on day one, spend the night in the Geyster Basin and Mammoth area, be in Gardiner on the 1st night, then spend day two on the north and eastern half of the park, so that we end up in Cody on the 2nd night. At the time I made the reservation all the hotels in Yellowstone were booked (and today they are as well) but I have noticed that periodically a room opens up. Would you recommend grabbing one of those rooms instead if it becomes available? I guess the question is does staying in Gardiner add or take away from the Yellowstone experience? Thanks

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Yellowstone River Motel
Yellowstone River Motel
206 Reviews
Gardiner, MT
Gardiner
Gardiner
Montana
Montana
Montana
United States
Cody
Cody
Wyoming
Cinnaminson, New...
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588 posts
2 reviews
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6. Re: RV or Hotel

I will always recommend staying in the park, if possible. You may benefit in your case if you can get a room in Canyon since it's centrally located. Roosevelt is also another option. I would recommend actually calling Xanterra and see if any rooms are available. Call several times a day even. While the website may show full, they may have something available.

If not, Gardiner isn't a bad option.

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Gardiner
Gardiner
Montana
Los Angeles...
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16 posts
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7. Re: RV or Hotel

Thank you for your reply. I just read that you're on your way. Have a great trip.

Bloomington...
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11 posts
49 reviews
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8. Re: RV or Hotel

I tried, really tried to like the lodging at Zion and Grand Canyon..Awful lodging with terrible service..my boot camp as a Marine had better racks (beds). Each one I've tried has been disappointing and I look for alternatives.

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North Carolina
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222 posts
15 reviews
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9. Re: RV or Hotel

We really enjoyed the cabins just outside the park at http://wagonwheelrv.com/ in West Yellowstone. Great reviews here on TA and just 5 minutes from park gate. We looked forward to the drive every day from the West Yellowstone gate to Madison Junction, as that is where we saw the most wildlife. Liked being able to cook some of our own meals and the cabins were absolutely spotless.

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10. Re: RV or Hotel

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