Staying in Bozeman Versus Yellowstone National Park
There are multiple ways to visit Yellowstone National Park – and the proximity of Bozeman to both the West and North Entrances gives you several lodging options. Bozeman is ninety miles from West Yellowstone, a beautiful drive through Gallatin Canyon. From the West Entrance, you can see the majority of the Park’s geysers, including Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and Yellowstone Lake.
The North Entrance at Gardiner is 78 miles from Bozeman through the gorgeous Paradise Valley. Here, you’ll explore Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces, the Lamar Valley, one of the best wildlife-watching areas of the Park, and Cooke City and Silver Gate, two fabulous towns tucked outside the Northeast Entrance.
Staying in Bozeman
Some people opt to stay in Bozeman and experience the Park from both areas. If you’re flying in, you’ll likely arrive through Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport, although there are also direct flights from Salt Lake City to West Yellowstone in the summer months. Lodging options in Bozeman range from locally owned boutique hotels to national brands and are available at various price points. Staying in Bozeman has the added benefit of great shopping, dining, live music, and other entertainment, which is an excellent addition to your Montana excursion. Depending on the time of year, Bozeman can be pretty busy, so book early.
Staying in Yellowstone
The same is true if you stay within the Park boundaries. Reservations fill up well in advance, so plan ahead. During the summer months, Yellowstone has nine different lodging options, each with its own style. Lake Lodge has a lovely porch with rocking chairs looking out over Yellowstone Lake. Behind the lodge, 186 cabins are available to rent – one of the more rustic accommodations.
For a more refined experience, Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Cabins have been recently renovated, and the classic yet casual elegance has earned its spot as a National Historic Landmark. Enjoy the sunroom with beautiful views of Yellowstone Lake, along with a string quartet and fine dining in the formal dining room.
Old Faithful Inn, built between 1903 and 1904 using local logs and stones, is one of the most significant log-style structures in the world. The towering lobby boasts a massive stone fireplace and a hand-crafted clock made of copper, wood, and wrought iron.
For those looking to camp, there are five campgrounds in Yellowstone, with options for tent camping and RV hookups. Backcountry sites are available by permit.
Consider a winter visit and stay inside Yellowstone for an extraordinary time. Old Faithful Snow Lodge, near Old Faithful, is the newest of the Park’s full-service hotels and won the Cody Award for Western Design. During the winter, this area can only be accessed by guided snowcoach or snowmobile tours, adding to the remote feeling. Once you are there, enjoy cross-country ski and snowshoe rentals, lessons, or tours. Skier shuttles are available for more experienced skiers. An outdoor ice rink with free skate rentals is a popular pastime, as is spending time around the cozy fireplace with puzzles, books, or games.
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Cabins is also open throughout the winter and can be accessed via car. Newly renovated, this hotel has early 20th-century roots with modern-day touches. Don’t miss the signature map room, with live piano music. There are four cabins with private 6-person hot tubs for an intimate stay. Ski and snowshoe equipment, lessons, tips, and tours are also available, and another outdoor skating rink with free skate rentals is behind the hotel in the cabin area.
A daily winter shuttle is available from the Bozeman Airport to and from Yellowstone. Guests can make their shuttle reservations when booking their lodging.
If you enjoyed this blog, take a look at some of our other related articles:
- Myths of Yellowstone, Busted!
- 5 Can't-Miss Bozeman Hotels for Your Family Vacation
- Winter Activities in Yellowstone
In our never-ending quest to keep up with all things new in Bozeman, we have been producing content for years and can't possibly update every blog when new businesses open or existing businesses close. Please reference the publish date and do your own due diligence when making plans.