12 Best Places to Stay in Yellowstone [for Families]

Is your family ready to tackle the best of what Yellowstone National Park has to offer? With its explosive geysers, glorious wildlife, and impressive hot springs, it’s no surprise that this place sees over 3.2 million visitors every year (so, what are you waiting for?!).

After all that exploring, you’ll need somewhere to rest your head. So, you’re probably looking for the best places to stay in Yellowstone National Park from someone who’s been there and DONE THAT.

I doubt I’m alone in this, but I’ve always found that the best places to stay in Yellowstone National Park for families are inside the gates. Not only does staying onsite give you more time to see the parks, but there’s usually less driving involved for the kids (always a plus!).

From campsites to luxury lodges and old-school hotels, this list of the best places to stay in Yellowstone National Park will make planning your itinerary a breeze.

I’ll even give you a few tips on lodge-hopping (my favorite way to see the park as an experienced National Parks Mama Bear!) that’ll cut down your driving time significantly.

family on the porch at Roosevelt Lodge in Yellowstone National ParkPin

How to Choose the Best Places to Stay in Yellowstone National Park

Choosing the best places to stay in Yellowstone National Park is tricky as no two families have exactly the same itinerary.

To try and avoid constant driving to and from our accommodation, our family typically lodge-hops. It’s not an official term, but it basically means we check into a new place every night or every couple of nights.

Lodge-Hopping is the best way to see all there is to see in Yellowstone.

Heather Thibodeau, founder National Parks Mom

Remember, Yellowstone is a HUGE park (the size of Delaware + Rhode Island combined!). By lodge-hopping, we’re sightseeing on-the-go and get to spend quality time in each area (instead of rushing back to the hotel!). This also helps to avoid double-backing or long drives at the beginning or end of each day.

I get that living out of a suitcase won’t be for everyone. But if you pack wisely (and light) with the right road trip gear and great snacks, it’s by far the best way to go.

Plus, lodge-hopping lets you experience lots of different lodges around the park. They’re all unique and really incredible in their own rights, so it’s definitely worth thinking about!

person seen taking picture through side mirror of car in yellowstone national parkPin
A Yellowstone trip involves lots of driving, there’s no way around it. That’s why I highly recommend lodge-hopping to make the most of your time in the park! It maximizes your ability to see more of the park without double-backing just to head back to a hotel.

Where to Stay in Yellowstone: Interactive Map

Because I’m a big fan of hotel/lodge-hopping in the park, I wanted to share this interactive map with you. On it, you’ll see where each of the available lodging opportunities are within the park. I recommend making your way around the park, staying a night or a few nights in multiple locations.

The road around the park is basically a big figure-8. Plan your lodging with that in mind to minimize unnecessary driving and maximize time spent in the park doing all the awesome activities that are available.

How to Use This Map:

Click on any of the lodging/campground recommendations marked with the bed or tent icon in this color. A popup will open discussing the hotel/lodge or campground in greater detail.

Clicking the star next to the name of the map will save the map to your google account. To access it later on a computer or your smartphone, open google maps and select “Your Places”.

Best Places to Stay in Yellowstone National Park

1. Mammoth Hot Spring Hotels and Cabins (West/North Yellowstone)

Type of Accommodation: Hotel and cabins

Address: Yellowstone National Park, 2 Mammoth Hotel Ave, Mammoth, WY 82190

Nearest Entrance: North Entrance

Capacity for Guests: Cabins can sleep up to 6

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel is in northern Yellowstone and is on the expensive side. But the hotel rooms are large, cozy, and offer good facilities.

exterior of Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, Yellowstone National ParkPin
Front of the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel (Yellowstone National Park from Yellowstone NP, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Be warned that the basic-level cabins don’t have bathrooms, and you’ll need to upgrade for TVs and private bathrooms.

exterior of typical cabin at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, Yellowstone National ParkPin
Exterior of a typical cabin at Mammoth Hot Springs (Yellowstone National Park from Yellowstone NP, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

If you’re feeling bougie, upgrade to a suite with 2 queen beds, mini fridges, a separate sitting area, and a private bathroom.

elk cow (female) hanging out by the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel sign in YellowstonePin
Elk sightings, like this sow, are extremely common in the town of Mammoth Hot Springs. This one looked like she was part of the welcoming committee for hotel guests, stationed right by the hotel sign! Here you can see the proximity between the hotel and the actual hot springs…they are that hilly area in the background of this picture! About a 10-20 minute walk from the hotel/cabins.

If choosing between the hotel rooms and cabins, definitely choose the cabins if you’re looking for an authentic, rustic, national park trip!

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A quick tour of our family’s two room Mammoth Hot Springs Cabin (without bathroom)

The hotel rooms are fine. Kind of standard, run-of-the-mill hotel-y, if you will.

typical room at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, Yellowstone National ParkPin
Typical hotel room at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel (Yellowstone National Park from Yellowstone NP, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

But the cabins have personality! Some of them have their own bathrooms, and others have a communal bath.

We’ve stayed in both cabin types, and honestly, I love both. Yes, the communal bath is a bit of a pain, but it’s all part of the experience, and not nearly as painful as you’d think it might be ;).

cow elk with a baby walking through the town of Mammoth Hot Springs behind the hotel and by the cabinsPin
Elk and cabin guests wandering to the Mammoth Hot Springs cabins that are located behind the hotel, as seen above.

It’s not in the “heart of the park” per-say. From Mammoth, you’ll be about 2 hours (minus any bison jams) from Old Faithful geyser.

But you can’t go wrong spending a night, (or a few) in this area of the park.

It’s a great location to see the north end of the park, explore the Mammoth Hot Springs (not just the town, but the actual hot springs), Boiling River, and have the opportunity to see elk grazing outside the restaurants – it’s fabulous.

family at Mammoth Hot Springs, Yellowstone National ParkPin
The Mammoth Hot Springs are a not-to-miss experience at Yellowstone! Staying in Mammoth Hot Springs at either the hotel or cabins is the most convenient way to visit this part of the park.

2. Roosevelt Lodge Cabins

Type of Accommodation: Rustic cabins

Address: 100 Roosevelt Lodge Rd, 101 Roosevelt Lodge Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Nearest Entrance: Northeast Entrance

Capacity for Guests: Up to 6 people (perfect for larger families!)

I’ll be real and say that Roosevelt Lodge Cabins is most definitely one of the best places to stay in Yellowstone National Park (and it happens to be my personal favorite!).

dining in Yellowstone National Park: inside Roosevelt LodgePin
Two of my kids hanging out by the fire in the lobby of Roosevelt Lodge…there’s no “lodging” inside the lodge – but there is a restaurant (highly recommend), bathrooms, a huge front porch with over a dozen rocking chairs, and a nice, cozy fire where your family can play cards.

Although the name of this place is “Roosevelt Lodge” – there is actually no lodging in the lodge. The lodge building hosts the restaurant and restrooms…and that’s about it.

kids sitting on the front porch at Roosevelt LodgePin
Our kids enjoying the scenery from the front porch of Roosevelt Lodge (no cell phones to be found! They don’t work here anyhow 😉

The lodging at Roosevelt lodge is made up entirely of rustic cabins. These cabins are bookable from early June to early September (AKA: the summer season).

In my eyes, this place truly feels like stepping back in time with its Old West decor, porch rocking chairs, and family-style restaurant.

three kids sitting outside a Roosevelt Lodge cabinPin
Sitting outside our cabin at Roosevelt Lodge

You can either book the Frontier or Roughrider Cabins. The Frontier Cabins offer 2 double beds, a bathroom with a shower, heat, and a fan.

Single Roughrider Cabin - Roosevelt Lodge Yellowstone NPPin
Single Roughrider Cabin Interior

The Roughrider Cabins have between 1 and 3 double beds and don’t have a bathroom (you’ll use closeby communal bathrooms, which aren’t bad at all).

Double Frontier Cabin - Roosevelt Lodge Yellowstone NPPin
Double Roughrider Cabin

If you can stretch your budget, the Frontier cabin option is great for the bathroom. Although if I’m being honest, I kinda love the exposed wood, pot-belly stove and overall look of the interiors of the roughrider cabins better (if you can stand walking to the bathroom).

YouTube video
Peek inside a double Frontier Cabin at Roosevelt Lodge

Activity-wise, you can check out the bison on the open plains, head out on a stagecoach, or ride through the sagebrush on horseback! You’ll also have easy access to Tower Falls, Slough Creek, and Lamar Valley (for the bison and wolves!).

Just so you know, you need to book the Old West Dinner Cookout that leaves from here. It’s one of the best dining experiences in Yellowstone, full stop.

It only runs during the summertime on the corral and typically books out quickly. It’s pricey, but you get a full steak dinner, a horseback or wagon ride, and live music from an authentic cowboy. In short, I think it’s worth every penny!

YouTube video

3. Canyon Lodge and Cabins (East Yellowstone)

Type of Accommodation: Hotel rooms and cabins

Address: 41 Clover Ln, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Nearest Entrance: North Entrance

Capacity for Guests: Up to 4 people

One of the best places to stay in Yellowstone National Park is Canyon Lodge & Cabins. It’s huge and boasts more than 500 rooms and cabins on the east side of the park.

The hotel is definitely less rustic than other Yellowstone lodging options, and much of the complex underwent a massive overhaul in 2016. The hotel rooms are a great option for younger families who want a reliable (and clean!) place to sleep. The guest rooms are spread across 5 hotel-style lodges, with the 100+ cabins being the more rustic options.

Canyon Lodge Exterior YellowstonePin
Exterior of Canyon Lodge (there are multiple buildings for lodging, but this is the one where you check-in). Photo Yellowstone National Park, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The only downside is that this place books out FAST. That’s because it’s near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone which is possibly the most popular place to visit aside from Old Faithful. You’re also right by the Yellowstone River at the center of the park, which is a huge plus if you’re looking to head back to the hotel for afternoon naps.

Double Occupancy Room at Canyon Lodge, Yellowstone NPPin
Our hotel room at Canyon Village

Oh, and did I mention that you’ll have easy access to Hayden Valley for early morning and evening wildlife-viewing opportunities? And don’t forget Norris Basin and Mount Washburn that are within easy driving distance.

In terms of amenities, you can expect full bathrooms in all accommodations except the standard lodge room. However, even the top-tier suites don’t have air-conditioning, so bear that in mind. They do provide fans, and we’ve stayed here in July/August, and never sweltered at night with the windows open and fans going.

If you’re looking for more space, I recommend booking the Western Cabins or a Deluxe Porch New Lodge Room that have 2 Queen beds and roomy porches.

4. Canyon Campground

Type of Accommodation: Camping

Address: 27 Andesite Ln, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Nearest Entrance: North Entrance (near the small town of Gardiner)

Capacity for Guests: As many as your RV holds or up to 4 in a large tent.

Canyon Campground is one of the best places to stay in Yellowstone National Park for families wanting a summer camp-type feel. I also love that it’s set against an enormous pine forest which keeps it shaded.

Canyon Campground Welcome Sign - Yellowstone NPPin
Yellowstone National Park from Yellowstone NP, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Like Canyon Lodge, this spot is near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Hayden Valley. It’s usually open between late May and mid-September and offers 270 tented and RV sites. It’s an an elevation of 7,900 feet, so just be aware that the nights can be on the cooler side (bring a jacket!).

Canyon Campground typical site - Yellowstone NPPin
Typical camp site at Canyon Campground (Yellowstone National Park from Yellowstone NP, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

It’s not overly glamorous, but there are paid showers and laundry facilities to keep the family comfortable. There’s also food storage, firewood, flush toilets, a dump station, potable water, and regular trash collection.

Although some families might prefer private bathrooms and larger spaces, what makes this place a winner is its affordability. The nightly fee is super reasonable at just $39, and you can’t beat the location. So, if you’re traveling with slightly older kids, it’s a great option.

Canyon Campground bahtroom facility - Yellowstone NPPin
One of the bathroom facilities at Canyon Campground (Yellowstone National Park from Yellowstone NP, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

5. Lake Yellowstone Hotel (and Cabins)

Type of Accommodation: Hotel

Address: 235 Yellowstone Lake Rd, 236 Yellowstone Lake Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Nearest Entrance: East Entrance

Capacity for Guests: Up to 4

With its beautiful views over Lake Yellowstone, this Colonial Revival hotel is up there with the best places to stay in Yellowstone National Park.

Lake Yellowstone HotelPin
Beautiful and historic Lake Yellowstone Hotel, which faces Yellowstone Lake

There are guest rooms in the main hotel, but you can also book a cabin for a more authentic and private experience (my preference). All cabins have two double beds, and bathroom with shower.

YouTube video
Peek inside a cabin at Lake Yellowstone Hotel

It’s incredibly elegant (it’s a National Historic Landmark that dates back to 1891!), and you can’t beat the amenities. It was also renovated in 2014, so the rooms are in great shape. If you have cash to splash, the suites are perfect for larger families.

our family getting ready to play a game in the lobby of the Lake Yellowstone HotelPin
Evenings at Lake Yellowstone Hotel are wonderful! There is often live music in the lobby, huge windows looking out to sunset on the lake, board games to borrow, and a nice bar for your happy hour cravings.

This spot is usually booked by couples as there are hot tubs, a piano bar, and a top-notch restaurant.

interior of Lake Yellowstone Hotel Dining Room
The elegant dining room in Lake Yellowstone Hotel – it’s fancy, but don’t worry…like all restaurants in Yellowstone, you can show up here in your hiking gear without anyone batting an eye!

That doesn’t mean it isn’t suitable for families, but the experience might be wasted on toddlers and very young children. It’s also extremely expensive during the summer months, so keep that in mind.

typical room at Lake Yellowstone Hotel - this one with one queen bedPin
Typical room in Lake Yellowstone Hotel – this one with one queen bed

6. Madison Campground

Type of Accommodation: Camping

Address: 30 Madison Campground Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Nearest Entrance: West Entrance

Capacity for Guests: Up to groups of 60, but it depends on your tent!

If you want to be close to Old Faithful without paying premium prices, Madison Campground is a great option.

Although it’s on the rustic side, the wildflower meadows and wandering bison are huge selling points. Just so you’re aware, it’s around 16 miles north of Old Faithful. The site is also well-paved (which is great for strollers!), and you’re right by the West Entrance.

Madison Campground, Yellowstone National ParkPin
Madison Campground (Yellowstone National Park from Yellowstone NP, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

There are 117 tented sites available out of 276 total sites. There are no electrical hookups, but you’ll get trash collection, food storage, firewood, and a dump station. Flush toilets are also a bonus!

I honestly don’t recommend staying here for long as a family as there aren’t any showers (get lodge-hopping!). So, a single night for access to Old Faithful should be good enough. Plus, the location for the price is hard to beat at just $33 a night!

What I also love is that the campground is open early and closes late in the summer season. It’s open from late spring through to October, and you don’t see that everywhere in Yellowstone.

ranger preparing for a program at Madison Campground Ampitheater, Yellowstone National ParkPin
Ranger preparing for a program at Madison Campground Ampitheater (Yellowstone National Park from Yellowstone NP, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

7. Lake Lodge Cabins (Yellowstone Lake)

Type of Accommodation: Cabins

Address: 459 Lake Village Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Nearest Entrance: South Entrance

Capacity for Guests: Up to 4

Lake Lodge Cabins is one of the best places to stay in Yellowstone National Park for excellent (and quiet) facilities with a rustic edge. You’ll find 186 cabins here and it closes during the wintertime.

Yellowstone Lake Lodge
Yellowstone Lake Lodge

The location is beautiful on the shores of Lake Yellowstone, and it feels off the beaten track…no one really ventures down the road to the lodge except those staying at this property…though it’s actually less than a five-minute drive from the Lake Yellowstone Hotel.

Lake Lodge lobby, Yellowstone National ParkPin
Lake Lodge Lobby

At just 30 miles from the Old Faithful Geyser, it’s relatively convenient to some of the top park attractions. But if you want to cover the park quickly and head back to the hotel during the day, it may not be your best option.

bar inside Lake Lodge, Yellowstone National ParkPin
bar and lounge area inside Lake Lodge

You can book the Western Cabins, Frontier Cabins, or Pioneer Cabins depending on your needs. I’ve always found the Western cabins best for families as they have modern furnishings, private bathrooms, and 2 Queen beds. If you want to save cash, the Pioneer Cabins are simple and reliable, with one or two double beds .

You won’t get TVs, radio, or air-conditioning at any of the cabins, but inside the lodge building there’s a lovely lounge area with a big fireplace, and a huge front porch with rocking chairs on-site for decompressing. The hotel deli and Wylie’s Canteen serve light bites and quick (but hearty) meals.

porch of Lake Lodge, Yellowstone National ParkPin
The front porch of the Lake Lodge is a great place to take in the scenery, enjoy a drink, and a game or two with your family.

8. Grant Village Campground

Type of Accommodation: Camping

Address: 550 Sculpin Ln, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Nearest Entrance: West Entrance

Capacity for Guests: It depends on the size of your tent or vehicle!

Another one of the best places to stay in Yellowstone National Park on a budget is Grant Village Campground. It’s right off Grand Loop Road on the shores of Yellowstone Lake and offers 430 tented and RV sites at an affordable $39 a night.

Grant Village Campground welcome sign, Yellowstone NPPin

There’s not much going on here in terms of amenities, but it’s away from most of the crowds. There’s also cell reception, food storage lockers, a seasonal store, firewood, laundry, a dump station, flush toilets, and potable water.

Grant Village Campground office, Yellowstone NPPin
Grant Village Campground Office

It’s quite old-school, but I don’t think it’s anything that will bother young kids. It might be a little basic for teenagers though, as they’re likely to want more privacy.

If you need help at any point, you can also head to the Grant Visitor Center which is just down Grant Campground Road. And the views of West Thumb and Yellowstone Lake from the edge of the campground? Stunning.

9. Grant Village Lodge (West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake)

Type of Accommodation: Lodge

Address: 24 Rainbow Loop, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Nearest Entrance: West Entrance

Capacity for Guests: Up to 4

No list of the best places to stay in Yellowstone National Park would be complete without Grant Village Lodge! Like many other accommodation options, this place is only open for the peak season between late spring and early fall. But as you’re just 30 minutes from Old Faithful, the location is GREAT.

View from above of Grant Village LodgingPin
Lodging units at Grant Village; Jim Peaco; September 1987

In my opinion, it’s an improvement on the nearby campground as it has 300 well-furnished guest rooms split across 6 lodges. The only downside is that none of them have elevators, and this can be a drag with strollers (or tons of luggage) in tow. If you can, ask for a room on the ground floor!

lodging building at Grant Village, Yellowstone NPPin
Grant Village lodging; Jim Peaco

Inside the Lodge, you’ll find a gift shop, full-service restaurant, a casual lakeside restaurant, and a relaxing lounge. In the rooms, expect to find 2 double beds (or a Queen bed), a full bathroom (or shower only – be careful!), a mini-fridge, and a hairdryer.

In my book, it’s a simple and reliable accommodation that should see you through a couple of comfortable nights.

10. Old Faithful Lodge Cabins (Upper Geyser Basin)

Type of Accommodation: Cabins

Address: 725 Old Faithful Lodge Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Nearest Entrance: West Entrance

Capacity for Guests: Up to 4

Old Faithful Lodge is a budget-friendly alternative to the pricier Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Old Faithful Inn. There are wonderful views of Old Faithful from here, and you can easily catch the first eruption of the day with the kids (it saves you schlepping down later).

front of the Old Faithful Lodge which faces Old Faithful geyser
Front of Old Faithful Lodge, which faces Old Faithful geyser (via Yellowstone NP, USA, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Now, there are shared bathroom facilities (this drives the cost down) and that could be a deal-breaker. Personally, I think it’s safer and easier to book a lodge with private bathroom facilities. But as long as there’s a parent to accompany kids at all times, it might be worth saving a considerable amount during the summertime and booking a no-bath option.

inside Old Faithful Lodge lobby
Lobby of Old Faithful Lodge

Overall, I think this is one of the best places to stay in Yellowstone National Park if you need to be by Old Faithful.

It’s also right next to the Visitor Center, which helps if you want to get started early while the kids are energized. However, the rooms are dated and still a bit overpriced – so, weigh up how important location is to you!

Old Faithful Visitor Education CenterPin
The Old Faithful Visitor Education Center is right next door to both Old Faithful Inn and Old Faithful Lodge (it’s also just across the street from Old Faithful Snow Lodge)

11. Old Faithful Inn (Upper Geyser Basin)

Type of Accommodation: Hotel/Lodge

Address: 3200 Old Faithful Inn Rd, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Nearest Entrance: West Entrance

Capacity for Guests: Up to 4

Old Faithful Inn has been around since 1903 and is gives off a quintessential log cabin vibe that’s super cozy. It’s a National Historic Landmark, and that’s largely down to it’s towering central lobby, stone fireplace, and hand-crafted copper and wrought-iron clock. In short, it’s one of the best places to stay in Yellowstone National Park if you’re after elegance.

Old Faithful InnPin

You need to book up to a year in advance for this place as it’s probably the most iconic accommodation option onsite. Plus, it lets you explore all the geyser basins around the Upper Geyser basin (including the Grand Prismatic Spring).

Old Faithful InnPin
view of Old Faithful geyser from the 2nd story geyser viewing balcony of Old Faithful Inn

Along with a convenience store, gift shop, and a lounge, there’s also a restaurant onsite with glorious views of the geyser. You may even be able to see a geyser eruption from your room (depending on how much you’re willing to spend!).

inside the lobby of Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone National ParkPin
Old Faithful Inn lobby

The only thing that still shocks me about this place is that there aren’t any private bathrooms in the older rooms. You can access shared ones in the hallway or book a pricier room.

inside the dining room of Old Faithful Inn, Yellowstone National ParkPin
Fine dining national park style at Old Faithful Inn – you can dine in your activewear without getting judgey looks from the waitstaff! My kind of elegance 😉

To be honest, as far as lodging in the Old Faithful area goes, for my money, I’d much rather book at the Snow Lodge across the street, or Old Faithful Lodge next door for a fraction of the cost.

You can still enjoy an awesome dinner and/or breakfast at Old Faithful Inn (make sure to book reservations), as well as hang out on the epic geyser-viewing balcony while enjoying a lovely cocktail at sunset. Then retreat to your more reasonably priced accommodations across the street, or next door after enjoying a geyser eruption and the rest of your cocktail.

view from the second story terrace of Old Faithful Inn to Old Faithful, Yellowstone National ParkPin
One of our family’s favorite spots in Yellowstone – the geyser viewing deck at Old Faithful Inn – the perfect place to unwind at the end of the day with your family, and a cocktail!

12. Old Faithful Snow Lodge (Upper Geyser Basin)

Type of Accommodation: Hotel/Lodge

Address: 2051 Snow Lodge Ave, Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190

Nearest Entrance: West Entrance

Capacity for Guests: Up to 4

Old Faithful Snow Lodge is the most recent lodging addition to Yellowstone National Park, completed in 1999. It’s one of the best places to stay in Yellowstone National Park if you’re heading there in winter. In fact, it’s one of your only options aside from Mammoth Hotel!

Old Faithful Snow Lodge at nightPin
Old Faithful Snow Lodge

You can snowmobile up to the lodge entrance and easily get to the slopes at the Old Faithful Ski Area (which offers around 70 miles of ski trails).

Old Faithful Snow Lodge in winterPin
Old Faithful Snow Lodge in the winter (Yellowstone National Park, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons)

Unlike other Yellowstone spots, this place is open year-round (aside from a short period between March and April and October and early December).

Old Faithful Snow Lodge standard roomPin
Typical Old Faithful Snow Lodge hotel room

It has both hotel room-style and cabins that are cozy and conveniently-located next to Old Faithful.

Plus, kids under 11 stay entirely free when they’re accompanied by at least one adult (which is a huge saving for most parents!). Overall, it’s cheaper than Old Faithful Inn, but more expensive than Old Faithful Lodge.

Interior of a frontier cabin, Old Faithful Snow LodgePin
Interior of a Frontier Cabin at Old Faithful Snow Lodge

Along with the quick-service grill, you’ll also find a 2 full-service dining rooms, a bake shop, and a deli. I also really appreciate that there are full, private bathrooms available in all but the Frontier Cabins which have a shower-only layout. If you’re traveling with tons of luggage or a stroller, you can also use elevators to access the upper floors (phew!).

Yellowstone Lodging FAQ’s

Is it Better To Stay INSIDE Yellowstone, or OUTSIDE the park?

family at the North Entrance Yellowstone National Park signPin

For families traveling to Yellowstone, I HIGHLY recommend staying INSIDE the park.

Yellowstone is larger than the size of Rhode Island + Delaware combined! If you stay outside the park, you’ll be shortchanging valuable time spent in Yellowstone. And with so much to see and do in this park, you don’t want to miss out on ANY opportunity.

Not to mention the lodging options INSIDE the park are incredible! From the rustic ambiance of Roosevelt Lodge, to the historic luxury of Old Faithful Inn, there are awesome options in the park for every family, and every budget.

How far in advance should I book lodging in Yellowstone?

Ranger Bob with three children at Yellowstone National Park visitor centerPin

To maximize your options, I highly recommend booking your lodging a year in advance, if you can. Xanterra, the company that manages all in-park lodging for Yellowstone, opens their reservations on the 5th of each month for the same month the following year.

In other words, if you’re planning a trip for July 2025, you’ll be able to book that stay as soon as July 5, 2024.

Summers book up the quickest, so if you’re planning to go in peak season (and I do recommend a summer trip…the “crowds” in Yellowstone aren’t awful because the place is so huge!) definitely book early, if possible.

How many days do I need in Yellowstone?

Grand Prismatic Overlook from Fairy Falls trail in Yellowstone National ParkPin

The short answer? As many as possible.

Our family has been to Yellowstone 3 times, for a total of nearly 2 months, total. While you CAN rush through the park and bang out the highlights in 3 days, that would be stressful, and you’d be missing the forest for the trees, literally!

Give Yellowstone AT LEAST 5 days of your family’s time, preferably an entire week (or more).

Part of the wonder of this park is giving yourself the opportunity to SLOW DOWN. Breathe. Look around and enjoy the quiet, and the incredible awe-inspiring nature around you that you’ll miss if you scurry through the park on a mission to hit the highlights, take your selfies, and scram.

You cannot get bored in this park if your family enjoys being outdoors and discovering things they’ve never encountered before (raging waterfalls, breathtaking bison and grizzly bears, hot springs with every color of the rainbow, geysers that bellow and belch thousands of gallons of water at unexpected times, and hundreds upon hundreds of miles of the most gorgeous hiking and scenery you’ll ever see).

Where are the best places to stay OUTSIDE the park?

typical glamping tent, Under Canvas North YellowstonePin

I ONLY recommend staying OUTSIDE the park on the front or tail end of your family vacation in order to maximize the time you have in the park.

Glamping is an awesome lodging option that’s in keeping with the spirit of a Yellowstone family vacation. I have an article highlighting my top recommendations for Yellowstone glamping here.

If you’re coming into the park from the north: look at Under Canvas Paradise Valley, and options in the awesome little town of Gardiner, Montana.

From the west: there are lots of options for lodging in the fun, kitschy town of West Yellowstone, Montana. Don’t miss the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center while you’re there.

From the south: spend some time in the Grand Tetons, and stay in the town of Jackson, Wyoming. I’d highly recommend staying inside the park there as well. Both Jenny Lake Lodge and Jackson Lake Lodge are family-favorites.

Is an RV for Yellowstone a good idea?

couple sitting in a travel trailerPin

It could be! Then again, it may not be.

My personal bias as a mom with three kids is that for the size of RV I’d want to take in order to be comfortable for a longer Yellowstone trip, I wouldn’t be excited to haul that size rig into the park.

To me, Yellowstone is great for small campers, pop-ups, and camper vans. If you like traveling like that, then book your sites early, and go that route.

But if you have a larger party, need a larger site, and want to haul a larger rig through the park, think twice. There aren’t as many sites in the park that will accommodate larger travel trailers and RV’s.

And there are lots of very windy, narrow roads in Yellowstone that as a fairly cautious mom give me heartburn even in a minivan, let alone a huge RV.

No overnight camping is allowed in ANY of the pull-outs along roadways in the park. You must spend the night in designated campsites, so boondocking is a no-go.

For more info on the ins and outs of rv-ing in Yellowstone, check out this article.

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About Heather Thibodeau

Heather Thibodeau is the founder and mom behind nationalparksmom.com.

She and her husband Dave (AKA Tib) are on a mission to travel to as many US national parks with their three kids in tow as they possibly can, doing their best to keep the little ones out in nature and off of screens in an increasingly digital world.

Heather has earned degrees in biology & chemistry from Virginia Tech (Go Hokies), and holds master's and doctorate degrees in physical therapy from Duke University (Go Blue Devils).

Heather is also the creative force behind The Heathered Nest where she shares her love of all things DIY and home decor.

Her work has been featured in Better Homes and Gardens, House Beautiful, Good Housekeeping, This Old House, Today.com, The Washington Post, Boston Globe, and more.

2 thoughts on “12 Best Places to Stay in Yellowstone [for Families]”

  1. Thanks for this awesome overview! Since you have 3 kids, did you book two rooms in the places that only sleep up to 4? Did they allow you to request rooms nearby each other?

    • Hey Carolyn! GREAT question. Five can be a rough number to travel with, for sure. And national park lodges can be even tougher because lots of places still have twin beds, or accommodate fewer people. Truthfully (and now we’ll likely get booted out of the parks for admitting this) we book one room, and just have the kids draw straws for an air mattress. It’s too $$ and a logistical nightmare to book two rooms if they can’t guarantee they’ll be next door, and lots of older lodges etc. don’t have real adjoining rooms, so we “rough” it in one room. You can certainly request rooms to be near/next to each other, but often, it won’t work for that to actually happen, so we pack the air mattress.


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