Staying in the Park
Immersing yourself in the Yellowstone experience means soaking up as much park as possible. One of the best ways to do that is to rest your weary bones right here after a day exploring the raw, wild nature of the park’s thermal features, deep canyons and pure rushing rivers. Wake up in a historic timbered lodge or a tent near steaming geysers, and take home a transformative story of discovery and awe.
Lodges and campgrounds are open for business in the warm season (with a few winter exceptions). Options range from the iconic Old Faithful Inn (a national landmark and the largest log building in the world) to the stately Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel to simple cabins, usually united with a central lodge.
Even with 2,000 drive-up camp sites spread over 12 camps, camping in Yellowstone can get a little competitive in July and August. Reserve ahead at the five campgrounds that allow it, or take an early-morning cruise through the seven first-come, first served campgrounds.
Fishing Bridge RV Park is RV-only, but both RVs and tents are welcome at almost all other park campgrounds. Some park campgrounds come with the works (showers, laundry, flush toilets) while others include only a vault toilet.
For the fearless, experienced and bear-aware, Yellowstone has over 300 primitive backcountry campsites. While backcountry permits themselves must be picked up in person at a ranger station within 48 hours of your stay (and not before), some campsites can be reserved several months in advance.
We’ll say it again: A summertime stay in the park is sought-after. We fill up quite quickly. Book early and sleep well.
For a little Yellowstone Country culture, stay just outside the park in one of our small gateway border towns of Cooke City, Gardiner or West Yellowstone. Pitch a tent or pop an RV. Several in-town campgrounds and RV parks are available.
West Yellowstone is the biggest entrance town and has the most lodging options. It’s also about 30 minutes from Old Faithful. Gardiner’s diverse lodging options all have two things in common—a western flair with the hospitality to match, and, it’s about 10 minutes from Mammoth Hot Springs. Or, stay in Cooke City at a rustic lodgepole cabin or small lodge, just 45 minutes from Roosevelt Lodge.
Also, don’t forget to explore beyond the park into the far corners, canyons and communities of Yellowstone Country for more wild adventures.