West Yellowstone is a small town located right at the Yellowstone West Entrance, one of the most popular ways to get into the park. Although it is a small town, it has a disproportionate number of hotels. This is because lodging in West Yellowstone is an excellent base from which to explore Yellowstone National Park. As the admission fee to Yellowstone National Park gives you access to the park as well as Grand Teton National Park for seven days, it is worthwhile to stay for a while in the vicinity as you explore the oldest national park in the US.
The busiest season at West Yellowstone is during the summer, when the most tourists flock to Yellowstone. Finding a deal on lodging in West Yellowstone at this peak season can be difficult. During the spring and fall, while it is still possible to drive your car through Yellowstone National Park, it is possible to find some discounts. During the winter, many roads in the park are closed to ordinary cars, though some roads reopen for snowmobiles and snowcoaches. During this time, it is possible to find some very good package deals.
Lodging in West Yellowstone varies from campgrounds and RV parks, to luxury lodges and resorts. If you want something rustic, between a tent campground and a hotel, you can stay in one of the West Yellowstone Montana cabins. One establishment that offers cabin accommodation is Moose Creek Inn and Cabins, located just four blocks from the Yellowstone West Entrance. Many of the rustic wooden cabins can accommodate an entire family, and they are comfortably equipped with beds and linens, a kitchen area with fridge and stove, and your own bathroom. This can be an economical choice for a small family on an extended stay.
The Wagon Wheel RV Campground and Cabins also offers rustic log cabins nestled within the trees. They are fully furnished, include a kitchenette and bathroom, and some even feature hot tubs. The Faithful Street Inn has a variety of cabin sizes—the largest cabin can sleep eighteen guests and includes its own dining room, as well as multiple bedrooms and bathrooms. It also has cabins that can sleep six people, and townhouses that include a full kitchen and living room. Before booking a cabin, make sure you inquire about any minimum night stay.
Other lodging in West Yellowstone includes many mid-range hotels and several chain hotels and motels. Staying at the Comfort Inn, the Ramada, or the Yellowstone Park Hotel is a good balance of budget and comfort. There are also several resort-type hotels available. The Clubhouse Inn, for example, is a three-star hotel with comfortable furnishings in a "Western" style—that is, a rustic style reminiscent of the great outdoors. Rooms come with queen or king beds, whirlpool tubs, wireless internet, and other amenities including a pool and fitness center. Breakfast is included, and during the winter you can take advantage of special deals that include snowcoach transportation to and from the park.
The rustic three-star Three Bear Lodge really feels like a Yellowstone lodge, with its stone and log construction and handmade furniture made from reclaimed wood. There are two options for accommodation: at the lodge itself and at the motel. Rooms at the Lodge are newly renovated, spacious, and many come with Jacuzzi tubs. The motel option is surprisingly clean and pleasant, and guests at the motel have access to most of the Lodge's common facilities, making this a good economy option. Three Bear Lodge is a great place to stay during the winter, and you can find some amazing package deals that include snowmobile rentals, and perhaps even movie tickets to the West Yellowstone IMAX theatre.
Although visitors stay in West Yellowstone primarily because of its proximity to the Yellowstone West Entrance, don't miss the Grizzly Bear and Wolf Discovery Center in the town. This underrated attraction is possibly your best opportunity to see grizzlies and wolves up close, and supporting this nonprofit helps to preserve the wildlife in the Yellowstone Area.
Image: Three Bear Lodge