Looking for the best hotels near Yellowstone or are trying to figure out in which town or area to stay? This guide gives you an overview of the best towns to stay near Yellowstone National Park and the best hotels & cabins in each area. Find out!
When planning a trip to Yellowstone, it’s easy to get overwhelmed with all the Yellowstone lodging options or try to find something suitable for your vacation. Accommodations inside the park are usually fully booked a year in advance or are so expensive that it just doesn’t seem worth it… No worries, though – you can have the most wonderful vacation if you stay near Yellowstone and not inside the park.
In fact, there are quite a few advantages of staying outside Yellowstone compared to the lodging inside the park. First, accommodation outside Yellowstone is usually quite a lot cheaper and offers better value. Furthermore, hotels near Yellowstone usually also have better facilities, such as Wi-Fi, AC, TV, or swimming pools. You won’t find any of these inside the park.
Good to know: In this article, we focus only on the best towns and hotels near Yellowstone National Park for all budgets. If, however, you are looking for a complete guide to Yellowstone lodging, take a look at this article instead – where to stay in Yellowstone.
TIP: If you don’t have the time to read the entire guide and are just looking for the VERY BEST hotels NEAR Yellowstone, we recommend the following places. They are well located for exploring all areas of Yellowstone – pretty much as good as it gets without staying inside the park.
- $$$$+ Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone – also for big families and great value for bigger groups (West Yellowstone).
- $$$$ Kelly Inn (West Yellowstone).
- $$$ Clubhouse Inn (West Yellowstone).
- $$ Absaroka Lodge – some of the best value near the park (Gardiner).
- $ Al’s Westward Ho Motel (West Yellowstone).
Below, you can find an overview of the best hotels to stay near Yellowstone, per area. We also include a map indicating all the best towns to stay near Yellowstone – that way, you have a better idea of how far everything is.
For each town/area, we also include some information about its proximity to the main landmarks of Yellowstone. Take a look!
Towns to Stay & Hotels Near Yellowstone – OVERVIEW
Good to know: While this guide includes accommodations for all budgets, please keep in mind that the definition of ‘budget’ is quite relative in Yellowstone. Not only it’s one of the most-visited National Parks in the U.S., but accommodation options are also quite limited, AND the main season to visit is rather short.
All this results in higher prices. So if you want to stay within a reasonable distance from Yellowstone and have a somewhat comfortable stay, you have to be prepared to pay more, especially in the high season.
PRO TIP: Book your hotels near Yellowstone as soon as you know your travel dates!
The earlier you book, the more choice you have, and the better the prices. Booking well in advance is the best way to keep your Yellowstone vacation somewhat more affordable.
Here are the best towns to stay near Yellowstone and the best hotels in each place:
WEST YELLOWSTONE, MT
Located just at the western entrance gate, West Yellowstone is THE BEST town to stay near Yellowstone. Of all the areas/ towns featured in this guide, West Yellowstone has by far the biggest choice of accommodations, restaurants, and other facilities.
There’s also a small airport here, Yellowstone Airport (WYS). The closest bigger airport is Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN), about 90 miles, 1h40 drive from West Yellowstone.
Driving distances & times to some of the main areas of Yellowstone National Park:
- West Yellowstone to Grand Prismatic Spring: 25 miles, 40 minutes.
- West Yellowstone to Old Faithful: 30 miles, 50 minutes.
- West Yellowstone to Yellowstone Canyon: 40 miles, 1 hr 10.
- West Yellowstone to Mammoth Hot Springs: 47 miles, 1 hr 20.
- West Yellowstone to Yellowstone Lake: 55 miles, 1 hr 30.
- West Yellowstone to Lamar Valley: 80 miles, 2 hrs 20.
Best Hotels in West Yellowstone
- UPPER MID-RANGE: Crosswinds Inn. This is one of the most popular hotels near Yellowstone. The facilities are great too, with big rooms, hearty breakfast, an indoor pool and a hot tub, to mention just a few.
- MID-RANGE: Clubhouse Inn. This is a very good value hotel with an excellent location, indoor pool, and nice rooms for all group sizes. One of the best price-quality hotels in West Yellowstone and an excellent choice in the mid-range budget.
- LOWER MID-RANGE: Three Bear Lodge. Located in the town center of West Yellowstone, this hotel has an excellent location, within walking distance of shops and restaurants. It also has its own restaurant and an outdoor pool. This hotel has been rebuilt after a fire, reusing some of the materials of the original 1932 building, so it’s a bit more unique in style.
- LOWER BUDGET: Al’s Westward Ho Motel. This is a simple well-located motel just near Yellowstone. If you are mainly interested in sightseeing and are looking for good-value accommodation nearby, it’s one of the best choices.
- BUDGET: Brandin Iron Inn. This is one of the best low-budget hotels near Yellowstone. The great central location in town and good breakfast makes it one of the best choices for those looking for budget accommodation very close to Yellowstone National Park.
Cabins in West Yellowstone
- LUXURY: Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone. This accommodation has beautiful rooms and cottages with nice outdoor areas. You also have access to an indoor swimming pool and other facilities at the sister hotel nearby.
- UPPER MID-RANGE: Hibernation Station. Lovely rustic wooden cabins with a porch. Quiet location, yet just near the park entrance and within walking distance to restaurants and attractions in town.
- MID-RANGE: Bar N Ranch. This beautiful ranch is located about 6 miles from West Yellowstone, in nature, and surrounded by wonderful scenery. They have some really nice wooden cabins, a heated outdoor pool, and a 8-person hot tub. There’s also a good restaurant on-site, where you can have breakfast or dinner if you prefer not to cook.
- LOWER BUDGET: Elkhorn Cabins & Inn. This accommodation features cozy rooms and small, motel-style rustic cabins at a great location, just near Yellowstone. Good value.
GLAMPING TIP: During the summer season, you can also opt to stay at the beautiful glamping accommodation Under Canvas, located at Bar N Ranch. They offer luxury tents of various sizes and some of them also have private bathrooms. It’s a really nice place to stay near Yellowstone for families and all outdoor lovers!
TIP: Using the map below, you can also compare all the best hotels and private accommodations in West Yellowstone. Simply insert your travel dates and group size, and you’ll see what’s available for each accommodation at that moment. Check it out!
Located just a few miles from Yellowstone’s North Entrance, Gardiner in Montana is one of the best towns to stay near Yellowstone National Park.
While Gardiner doesn’t have the same infrastructure as West Yellowstone, there are some nice accommodations here as well. Hotels and cabins in Gardiner are generally also more affordable than in West Yellowstone, and there are some private rentals too. So Gardiner is also a good place to stay for those looking for better value for the money, with some great deals to be found, especially outside the main peak season.
Location-wise, Gardiner is just as good for sightseeing and visiting most Yellowstone attractions as West Yellowstone. And it’s also just 1.5-hour drive from Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) and 2.5 hours drive from Billings-Logan International Airport (BIL).
Boiling River is just nearby and there are also quite some really nice tours that you can do from Gardiner – sightseeing, wildlife, etc. The most popular are rafting or scenic floating tours on the Yellowstone River.
Driving distances & times to some of the main Yellowstone attractions:
- Gardiner to Mammoth Hot Springs: 6 miles, 15 minutes.
- Gardiner to Lamar Valley: 40 miles, 1 hr 10.
- Gardiner to Grand Prismatic Spring: 50 miles, 1 hr 25.
- Gardiner to Yellowstone Canyon: 40 miles, 1 hr 10.
- Gardiner to Yellowstone Lake: 55 miles, 1 hr 40.
- Gardiner to Old Faithful: 57 miles, 1 hr 40.
Best Hotels in Gardiner
Here are some of the best hotels in Gardiner, just a few minutes drive from the North Entrance of Yellowstone:
- UPPER MID-RANGE: The Roosevelt Hotel. This is one of the highest-rated, but also one of the most expensive hotels in Gardiner. And while it looks really nice, their prices in some periods just seem much too high for what you get…
- MID-RANGE: The Ridgeline Hotel at Yellowstone, Ascend Hotel Collection. This is one of the nicest hotels in Gardiner, with a heated indoor pool, sauna, spacious rooms, and free breakfast.
- LOWER MID-RANGE: Absaroka Lodge. This is one of the best price/quality hotels near Yellowstone. The location is excellent and the prices are usually very competitive for this area.
- LOWER BUDGET: Please note that there’s no such thing as a really low budget and even the cheapest hotels near Yellowstone will quickly cost you $200 per night for two people if traveling in high season. That being said, some of the best-rated lower-budget Gardiner hotels are Yellowstone Big Rock Inn and Travelodge by Wyndham. Another good option is Super 8 by Wyndham – this hotel has been renovated recently and is the cheapest option with good customer ratings in the area.
TIP FOR FAMILIES: One of the best-value hotels in Gardiner for families is Yellowstone Gateway Inn. Especially their 2-bedroom suites that are quite reasonably priced and can accommodate up to 8 people.
Cabins in Gardiner
Please note that finding a nice cabin near Yellowstone is really not easy if booking last-minute. For the summer months, try to book a year in advance. Also, some cabins require a minimum stay of at least several nights.
- LUXURY: McDonald’s Ranch Lodge. This is one of the nicest and most spacious holiday homes near Yellowstone. With 7 bedrooms, this beautiful house can accommodate really big families or groups of friends. It’s located a bit further away, about 30 min drive from Yellowstone, in a quiet and scenic location.
- UPPER MID-RANGE: Sunny Slope Lodge. This is a beautiful rustic private cabin with 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, and a very quiet location just 10-15 minutes drive from Yellowstone entrance.
- UPPER MID-RANGE: Yellowstone’s Treasure Cabins. These 1-2-bedroom cabins are some of the most popular cabins near Yellowstone. Most cabins can accommodate 3-4 adults and 2-3 kids, some are a bit bigger. If you are staying here with a bigger family, it’s quite good value. Keep in mind that they have a 4-nights minimum stay requirement in summer.
- MID-RANGE: Schoolhouse Cabin. This 5-bedroom cabin can accommodate up to 12 people and offers really good value for the area. It’s set in a quiet location, about 30 minutes drive from Yellowstone National Park. If you are looking for a smaller cabin, check out Grandpa’s Cabin just nearby – it can accommodate up to 8 people.
- LOWER BUDGET: Yellowstone Hot Spring Cabins offer some of the best value at the lower budget. These are all one-bedroom wooden cabins that can accommodate 4-5 people. Also Yellowstone Riverside Cottages are popular in the lower budget range. These are quite small, but good-value studios and cottages that can accommodate 2, 4, or 6 people.
GRAND TETON AREA
This area is perfect for southern Yellowstone as well as for the entire Grand Teton National Park, however, lodging options here are really limited. It’s also not an ideal place to stay for exploring northern Yellowstone.
There are just very few accommodations close to the southern entrance of Yellowstone National Park. There are a few good options around Moran (close to Jackson Lake), however, they are usually fully booked up. In addition, even from here, it’s quite a long drive to most Yellowstone attractions AND the southern entrance of Yellowstone is also very busy, so expect delays when entering the park.
Driving distances & times from Moran, WY area to some of the main Yellowstone attractions:
- Moran to Yellowstone Lake, Old Faithful, or Grand Prismatic Spring: +-70 miles, 1hr 40.
- Moran to Yellowstone Canyon: 85 miles, 2 hrs.
- Moran to Mammoth Hot Springs: 115 miles, 3hrs.
- Moran to Lamar Valley: 120 miles, 3 hrs 10.
I’m not going to list accommodations in this area because there are really just a handful of lodging options that are close enough to Yellowstone National Park. Furthermore, the chances that they are available are really low. Those few accommodations that are located in this area are usually fully booked long in advance, just as hotels inside Yellowstone.
Take a look here and if any of the lodges are available for your travel dates, definitely consider staying in this area for a few days. From here, you can easily explore the highlights of Grand Teton in a day and also visit southern Yellowstone.
JACKSON HOLE, WY
Teton Village and Jackson are both excellent destinations with plenty to see and do in the Jackson Hole area. One of the advantages of staying here is that the area has excellent facilities and there’s an airport (Jackson Hole Airport – JAC) nearby. Also if you are coming from further away where flight connections to smaller airports are limited, you’ll be glad to know that Jackson Hole is about 4.5-5 hrs drive from Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC).
Jackson Hole is a good place to stay for visiting Grand Teton National Park and also for all kinds of day- and multi-day tours in the area (also to Yellowstone). However, it’s really too far to use as a base for exploring all the areas of Yellowstone National Park on your own.
Staying here is ok for visiting the Lower Loop of Yellowstone for a day by car or with a tour, but you really don’t want to drive up and down between Jackson Hole and Yellowstone every day – see the driving distances below.
Driving distances & times from Jackson, WY, and some of the main Yellowstone attractions:
- Jackson Hole to Yellowstone Lake, Old Faithful, or Grand Prismatic Spring: +-100 miles, 2hrs 15.
- Jackson Hole to Yellowstone Canyon: 115 miles, 2hrs 40.
- Jackson Hole to Mammoth Hot Springs: 145 miles, 3hrs 30.
- Jackson Hole to Lamar Valley: 150 miles, 3 hrs 30.
READ ALSO: Things to Do in Jackson Hole
Jackson Hole Hotels
Jackson, WY is the biggest town in the area and there are plenty of lodging options for various budgets. However, just as most hotels near Yellowstone, accommodations here are really pricey too. This is because Jackson is a popular destination in itself and many people spend longer vacations here and only visit Yellowstone from Jackson for a day.
At the same time, there are some really nice hotels here, much nicer than in any other area near Yellowstone. So if you are looking for a relaxing vacation and not just sightseeing, definitely consider staying in Jackson Hole for at least a few days!
There are so many nice accommodations in Jackson that it’s difficult to limit our selection to just a few ‘best’. Nevertheless, here are some of our hand-picked recommendations, the best-rated hotels for all budgets:
- LUXURY: Rustic Inn Creekside Resort & Spa. This is one of the most beautiful resorts in Jackson Hole! If your budget allows it and there’s availability, don’t look any further. The location and the facilities are amazing and it’s a great place for a longer stay in the area.
- UPPER MID-RANGE: Wyoming Inn at Jackson Hole or The Lexington at Jackson Hole. These are both excellent 3-star hotels with great facilities. The Lexington is located in the heart of town within easy walking distance to everything, whereas Wyoming Inn is a bit outside of town. We once stayed at The Lexington and it was perfect, but if you don’t necessarily want to be in the center of town, I’d seriously consider Wyoming Inn.
- MID-RANGE: Elk Country Inn. If you are looking for the best price/value accommodation, this popular 3-star hotel is a great option in Jackson, and is close to everything. It features spacious rooms and a really nice indoor pool.
- LOWER MID-RANGE: Mountain Modern Motel is a popular and well-rated option on a slightly lower budget but with excellent facilities including an indoor pool.
- LOWER-BUDGET: Ranch Inn Jackson Hole. This hotel offers some of the best value for a somewhat lower price. It’s a very popular choice, and the best-rated option in its price range.
Here you can also find all the accommodation options for Teton Village. However, unless you are visiting the area in winter and are planning to go skiing, we recommend staying in Jackson instead.
COOKE CITY, MT
Cooke City, MT, near Yellowstone’s Northeastern entrance is just a small town with very few accommodations. Also, other facilities such as shops and restaurants are really limited here.
It’s a good place to stay for exploring the northern side of Yellowstone National Park – mostly the area around Lamar Valley. Staying in Cooke City is also ok for Mammoth Hot Springs or Yellowstone Canyon.
However, Cooke City is really too far from the most popular areas of the park (Old Faithful, Grand Prismatic Spring, etc.). So we only recommend staying here for northern Yellowstone or on your way to/from Yellowstone, but not as a ‘base’ location for exploring the entire park.
Driving distances & times to some of the main Yellowstone attractions:
- Cooke City to Lamar Valley: 20 miles, 30 minutes.
- Cooke City to Mammoth Hot Springs: 50 miles, 1hr 20.
- Cooke City to Yellowstone Canyon: 50 miles, 1 hr 30.
- Cooke City to Yellowstone Lake: 65 miles, 2 hrs.
- Cooke City to Grand Prismatic Spring: 85 miles, 2hrs 20.
- Cooke City to Old Faithul: 92 miles, 2 hrs 40.
Cooke City Hotels
There are just a few accommodations in Cooke City. The best options are:
- Silver Gate Lodging. This accommodation is closest to the Yellowstone Northeast entrance and has the biggest choice of cabins and bungalows for different group sizes. It’s one of the very best lodging options in this area, definitely if you are staying for a few nights.
- Alpine Motel of Cooke City. This is a simple, but highly-rated motel with rooms for up to 4 people. Good for a short 1-2 nights stay.
- Soda Butte Lodge. One of the most popular value accommodations in town, but the hotel is dated and customer reviews aren’t great. It’s ok for a short stay if you are just passing by.
WAPITI & CODY, WY
Wapiti, WY is a small place located about 1 hour drive east of Yellowstone. Cody, WY is a bit bigger town, with more facilities, but yet another half an hour drive extra.
The biggest advantage of staying here is that you usually have more availability and lower prices/ better value than at any other area somewhat close to Yellowstone.
This area is nice as a stand-alone destination and there are many places of interest and things to do nearby. It’s also ok to stay before or after you visit Yellowstone, for Yellowstone day trips and tours, but it’s really not ideal for exploring the entire Yellowstone National Park on your own – see the driving distances below.
Driving distances & times between Cody and some of the main Yellowstone attractions (Wapiti is half an hour closer to the park than Cody):
- Cody to Yellowstone Lake: 80 miles, 1hr 40.
- Cody to Lamar Valley: 95 miles, 2 hrs.
- Cody to Yellowstone Canyon: 95 miles, 2 hrs 10.
- Cody to Old Faitfhul: 115 miles, 2 hrs 40.
- Cody to Grand Prismatic Spring: 120 miles, 2 hrs 45.
- Cody to Mammoth Hot Springs: 125 miles, 2hrs 50.
Wapiti Cabins & Lodging
There are just a few accommodations in Wapiti. Here are the best options:
- Wapiti Lodge. This is one of the nicest hotels in Wapiti, about 48 miles from the Yellowstone entrance. It features rustic charming cabins that can accommodate 2-8 people. Breakfast is included and they also have a really good on-site restaurant for lunch or dinner. The surroundings are beautiful and it’s truly one of the best places to stay at this side of Yellowstone.
- Yellowstone Valley Inn. This accommodation features nice cabins, an outdoor pool, and a hot tub. The scenery and surroundings are really nice, and it’s a popular choice in Wapiti. However, their restaurant isn’t always open and there aren’t that many options nearby.
- Eycat Lodging Company. This is a popular glamping accommodation in Wapiti. They have some really nice Tipees and cabins, however, they only offer shared bathroom facilities. If you are looking for a really nice budget stay near Yellowstone, this is a good and highly-rated option.
As already mentioned, Cody is a bigger town with more lodging options and better facilities than Wapiti. However, it’s even further from Yellowstone. But that also means that you get much more value for your money.
Here are just some of the best hotels in Cody for all budgets:
- LUXURY: Chamberlin Inn. This historic 4-star hotel is one of the nicest places to stay in Cody. If you are looking for more boutique-style accommodation, definitely check it out!
- UPPER MID-RANGE: Best Western Premier Ivy Inn. One of the best-rated in town, this 4-star hotel offers great value, beautiful rooms, and excellent facilities including an indoor pool and a hot tub. They also have a really good restaurant. Another excellent choice at a somewhat lower price is The Cody. This 3-star hotel features beautiful spacious rooms, an indoor pool, hot tub, and includes free breakfast. It has no restaurant, but there are lots of good restaurants nearby.
- MID-RANGE: Hampton Inn & Suites. This is probably the best-value hotel in Cody. It’s a rather new hotel with well-equipped modern rooms for up to 6 people and excellent facilities such as an indoor pool, hot tub, and fitness. Free continental breakfast is included. Another popular and highly-rated option is Holiday Inn Cody at Buffalo Village, just a few minutes drive from the Buffalo Bill Historical Center.
- LOWER BUDGET: Big Bear Motel. One of the most popular lodging options in Cody. It offers large rooms (some pet-friendly) and has a big outdoor pool.
- BUDGET: Cody Legacy Inn & Suites. This is the best-rated budget motel in Cody. The rooms are clean and spacious, parking is easy, and it offers really good value for the location.
More info for your visit to Yellowstone National Park – check it out!
- Things to do in Yellowstone – all the musts!
- Best Time to Visit Yellowstone – what to expect in each month & tips for all seasons.
- Yellowstone Travel Tips – must-read before your trip!
- Yellowstone Tours – all the best tours to Yellowstone, from 1-day tours to multi-day trips.
- Yellowstone in Summer – travel tips for how to make the most of your trip in the peak season.
- What to Pack for Yellowstone – summer packing list.
- Yellowstone with Kids – fun tips and suggestions for families.
Itineraries and tips for planning Yellowstone trip:
- Yellowstone Itinerary – how to plan your trip – suggestions for any trip duration.
- One Day in Yellowstone – 1-day Lower Loop itinerary and map.
- Two Days in Yellowstone – a detailed 2-days itinerary and map.
Destination guides for some of the nicest places in Yellowstone:
- Old Faithful
- Grand Prismatic Spring
- Upper Geyser Basin
- Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
- Mammoth Hot Springs
- Boiling River
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Additional image credits: Personal collection & Depositphotos.com. Absaroka Lodge – raksyBH/Depositphotos.com. Bear Lodge – Pecold/Depositphotos.com. Silver Gate Lodging – desloov1/Depositphotos.com. Cody Legacey Inn – jovannig/Depositphotos.com.