Best Places to Stay in Yellowstone for Families

Cathy Bennett Kopf Avatar

the boardwalk at Grand Prismatic at Yellowstone National Park

Ready to visit Yellowstone? it’s essential to choose your places to stay as soon as possible to avoid getting shut out of the most popular hotels. First, decide if you want to stay in or out of Yellowstone Park, or a combination of the two. Then check our list of the best places to stay in Yellowstone for families, to find the best fit for your grand National Park adventure.

Pros and Cons of Staying in Yellowstone National Park

Want to wake up to an Old Faithful geyser view and be steps away from all of Yellowstone’s awesome beauty? It’s one of the most amazing experiences you can have in the USA. Then you’ll want to stay in one of the Yellowstone Park lodging choices. It’s a popular option for families because…

  • Variety of choices from the iconic Old Faithful Inn to rustic cabins.
  • Properties are professionally managed by Xanterra Travel Collection with a central reservations system.
  • The wonders of the park are steps from your hotel room door.

However, the pros of staying inside the park come with some cons to consider, such as…

  • Per-night room rates are expensive.
  • Most in-park lodging options are closed in winter.
  • Yellowstone properties are popular; they’re crowded and sell out quickly for summer.

Consider balancing your time and budget by staying one or two nights in the park and choosing a gateway community outside of Yellowstone, like Cody, Wyoming, for the rest of your trip.

Read More: Epic 3-Day Itinerary for Yellowstone National Park

Best Locations to Stay Inside Yellowstone National Park

Staying on-site in Yellowstone National Park gives families super easy access to all the natural wonders, from Mammoth Hot Springs to the eruptions in Geyser Basin and wildlife sightings. Because staying inside the park is a wildly popular option, you’ll want to make your reservations as soon as possible. Your first stop should be the Xanterra Travel Collection website, the official concessionaire for Yellowstone Park accommodations.

Best Hotels Inside Yellowstone

The park’s nine hotels are all open for summer, with staggered opening and closing dates based on historical weather patterns. If you’re traveling to Yellowstone in winter, there are only two options available, both located near the North Entrance – the only entrance open year round.

Here are snapshots of three of the best Yellowstone places to stay for families, located in different areas. It’s important to note that Yellowstone National Park lodgings do not have in-room TVs, radios or A/C. If this is important to you, you’ll want to consider other lodging options.

1. Lake Yellowstone Hotel & Cabins

This National Historic Landmark is the most elegant of the Yellowstone properties. It’s located closest to the East and South Entrances to the park on the shores of Lake Yellowstone in Lake Village near Fishing Bridge.

  • 296 rooms from luxe suites to deluxe hotel rooms, lodge rooms and cabins
  • Awarded Green Seal Lodging certification for sustainability
  • Central location for a variety of activities, including the Circle of Fire park tour and lake cruises

2. Canyon Lodge and Cabins

This multi-option property is the largest in the park and is located near the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River.

  • 500+ rooms in traditional lodge buildings or rustic cabins
  • Five different restaurants in the complex including an ice creamery featuring Montana-made sweet treats
  • Evening wildlife tours or daytime horseback rides are available

3. Old Faithful Inn

The Old Faithful Inn is an iconic National Park hotel. One of the largest log structures in the world, it’s a classic example of “park-itecture.” A variety of room types are available. For those interested in traveling back in time, book an Old House room without a bath. You’ll share a communal bathroom like tourists did back in the early 1900s.

  • Five dining options including the Inn’s famous dining room. You’ll need a dinner reservation, available only to park lodging guests.
  • Located in the heart of the most popular part of the park
  • Tours of the Inn available

Best Places to Stay Outside of Yellowstone

4. Buffalo Bill Cabins

1701 Sheridan Ave.
Cody, WY, 82414
(307) 587-5544

Families come in many sizes. Finding the right lodging fit for yours can be a hassle. Not at Buffalo Bill Cabins. You can find an option configured to meet your needs at this resort located in the heart of downtown Cody.

The cabins are part of a three-hotel complex that includes a Comfort Inn and Holiday Inn, known for their friendly service and good food.

Why it works for families:

  • 83 deluxe “Cowboy Cabins”
  • Western decor, free wifi, flat-screen HDTVs, luxe bedding
  • Onsite dining at QT’s Restaurant and Bottom’s Up Lounge
antique telephone in Chamberlin Inn guest room, one of the best yellowstone hotels
You might have to explain this strange object to your kids when staying at the Chamberlin Inn. Photo credit: Cathy Bennett Kopf

5. Chamberlin Inn

1032 12th St.
Cody, WY 82414
(307) 587-0202

Visiting Yellowstone with older kids? I think the Chamberlin Inn, a boutique hotel located in the heart of downtown Cody would make a particularly great choice for a parent/teen stay. The 21-room property was built in 1901. It delivers Old West hospitality but, thanks to upgrades over the years, modern elegance.

Famous guests have included Ernest Hemingway who finished his manuscript “Death in the Afternoon” while staying at the Chamberlin. Stay in his suite, if you’ve got deep pockets. Or look for his signature on the guest register in the lobby.

I checked in after the hotel bar had closed at 10. I set aside my initial disappointment when I saw the clawfoot tub in my bathroom! A relaxing soak at the end of my long travel day was just what I needed.

Why it works for families:

  • Complimentary continental breakfast included in room rate
  • Live music in season
  • Room choices range from guest rooms to cottages
  • Appealing public spaces like a relaxing sunroom and courtyard with fire pits
A bison head hangs over a table of people eating in The Irma Hotel in Cody Wyoming
Expect to eat under a stuffed animal head in The Irma Hotel restaurant. Photo credit: Cindy Richards

6. Irma Hotel

1192 Sheridan Ave.
Cody, WY 82414
(307) 587-4221

What’s a trip to the Old West if you don’t stay in a haunted hotel? If you’re up for a spirited night, book Room 35 at The Irma in Cody. This historic hotel retains its vintage charm but provides modern guest rooms with private baths.

There’s much to gawk at including the massive cherrywood bar in the dining room, a gift from Queen Victoria to Buffalo Bill as a thank you for his performance during her Golden Jubilee in 1887.

Why it works for families:

  • Built in 1902 by Buffalo Bill for his daughter, Irma
  • Choose a new, modern room or a historic suite, named after famous local personalities
  • Breakfast, lunch and dinner buffets served in the Irma’s must-see dining room

7. Snake River Lodge and Spa

7710 Granite Loop Road
Teton Village, WY 83025
(307) 732-6000

Families doing the National Parks two-fer — Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone — may plan a night or two in the Jackson Hole area. And, if luxe lodgings are what you’re looking for, check out the Snake River Lodge and Spa.

Why it works for families:

  • 125 rooms, including standard guest rooms, suites and residences
  • The hotel’s 17,000-square-foot River Spa is the place to go when you need some “me” time
  • American cuisine and stunning views are served at Gamefish, the Snake River Lodge onsite restaurant with a kids’ menu available
  • Unique, indoor/outdoor pool with waterfall
  • 300 feet from the Jackson Hole Mountain Aerial Tram

8. Hampton Inn Jackson Hole

350 US-89
Jackson, WY 83002
(307) 733-0033

Families traveling to Yellowstone on a budget will appreciate the Hampton Inn Jackson Hole. The free breakfast and free parking are a big plus at this Yellowstone hotel near the South Entrance. Plus, as a Hilton hotel property, you can earn or use Hilton Honor points.

Why it works for families:

  • 88 rooms with LCD TVs and free wifi
  • Fitness center
  • Free hot breakfast and free parking
  • Connecting rooms available
  • Fitness center inside; fire pit outside

9. Kelly Inn

104 S Canyon St.
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
(406) 646-4544

The Kelly Inn is the closest hotel to the West Entrance of Yellowstone, the best entrance to access the wonders of the Norris Geyser Basin. This 78-room pet-friendly property is very popular with families because it has a large heated indoor pool. And located across the street are two of West Yellowstone’s kid-friendly attractions: the IMAX theatre and the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center.

Why it works for families:

  • Free breakfast and free parking
  • Complimentary airport shuttle to/from Yellowstone Airport
  • Rooms equipped with refrigerators and LED TVs
  • Rustic exterior with carved bears and other local wildlife
Interior of an Explorer Cabin, a great place to stay in Yellowstone for families
Plenty of room for the family to spread out in an Explorer Cabin. Photo credit: Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone

10. Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone

250 S Canyon St.
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
(877) 600-4308

Not a camper but feel like it’s the only way you should stay in Yellowstone? The family-friendly Explorer Cabins might be the right fit for you and the kids. Your “room” will be one of 50 rustic cabins equipped with fine linens, flat-screen TVs and kitchenettes near the park’s West Entrance. Plus you’ll have access to the pool and hot tub at the Gray Wolf Inn & Suites, yard games and bike rentals.

Operated as part of the Yellowstone Vacations hospitality group, the Explorer Cabins celebrate their 10th anniversary in 2023. Curate your national park adventure by adding one of Yellowstone Vacations’ year-round tour options – in summer by bus; in winter via snowcoach or snowmobile. Or grab provisions from one of the 11 general stores inside Yellowstone.

Why it works for families:

  • Complimentary welcome s’mores kit for roasting over the communal fire pit
  • Dog-friendly cabins available
  • Roomy accommodations for multi-gen family groups
  • Complimentary West Yellowstone shuttle service
  • Camp host provides insider tips on how to get the most out of your Yellowstone vacation during the summer months

11. Holiday Inn West Yellowstone

315 Yellowstone Ave.
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
(406) 646-7365

This IHG property is a reliable option for families visiting Yellowstone National Park. It features a budget-friendly “Kids Stay and Eat Free” promotion for up to two kids, 11 and under. The hotel’s on-site Branch Restaurant features locally inspired “open range cuisine.” If you’re traveling with your pet, note that there are limited rooms available so it’s important to reserve ASAP.

Why it works for families:

  • 123 room property with onsite restaurant
  • Game room with air hockey, gaming table, an Xbox One
  • Heated indoor pool and whirlpool
  • Bicycle rentals available
  • Pet-friendly

12. Ridgeline Hotel at Yellowstone (formerly the Best Western by Mammoth Hot Springs)

905 Scott St W.
Gardiner, MT 5903
0
(406) 203-9965

If you’re a member of the Choice Privileges award program, this Ascend Hotel Collection property might interest your family. You’ll be minutes from the North Entrance, Roosevelt Arch and Tower Falls Trailhead at this hotel complex which has an on-site casino for the grown-ups. The indoor pool and hot tub are set to open on May 15 following a major renovation of the rooms and restaurant.

The Ridgeline’s operated by Yellowstone Vacations and there are new cabins at the property. Named for a famous frontiersman and wildlife guide, the Jim Bridger Cabins offer the “comforts of home with the perks of a hotel.”

If you’re interested in the Ridgeline, don’t dawdle about making reservations. With the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel closed while repairs are made to the wastewater system, there’s been increased reservation demand at the Ridgeline and in the Gardiner area.

Why it works for families:

  • 86 guest rooms, including a 2 King Bed, 1 Room Suite (6 person occupancy)
  • Pet friendly
  • Heated indoor swimming pool, hot tub, two saunas
  • Guest laundry
  • On-site restaurant, the Yellowstone Mine, serves breakfast, lunch and dinner daily

13. Chico Hot Springs Resort and Day Spa

163 Chico Road
Pray, MT 59065
(406) 333-4933

Families interested in checking out a natural hot springs pool can stay at the Chico Hot Springs Resort and Day Spa near the park’s North Entrance. This historic resort (established in 1900) offers a variety of accommodations, including a glamping experience in an authentic Conestoga wagon. Two geothermally heated chemical-free pools are open year-round for night sky gazing in the Absaroka Mountains.

Why it works for families:

  • Four locations for resort lodging: Historic Main Lodge, Lower Lodge, Warren Wing, Fisherman’s Lodge
  • Pet-friendly
  • Multiple on-site dining options
  • No TVs or telephones are in the guest rooms to encourage guests to explore nature during their stay

14. Yellowstone Super 8

702 Scott St W
Gardiner, MT 59030
(406) 848-1081

Renovated in 2022-2023, the budget-friendly Yellowstone Super 8 has standard hotel room configurations plus others ideal for families, including a 3-queen room and a two-bedroom suite with a queen bed, bunk bed and sofa bed. Property dining consists of two food trucks to grab light fare like morning coffee or burgers and fries. Use or earn Wyndham Rewards points at this North Entrance property.

Why it works for families:

  • 66 rooms renovated in 2022 in a color scheme that reflects Yellowstone’s Grand Prismatic Spring with locally crafted furniture
  • Room rates include a light breakfast
  • Free guest parking and wifi
  • Onsite guest laundry
porch view of Yellowstone at Silver Gate Lodging
Silver Gate Lodging promises super clean accommodations with a focus on wildlife viewing. Photo credit: Silver Gate Lodging

15. Silver Gate Lodging

Cooke City, MT
(406) 838-2371

The abundant Lamar Valley wildlife is the primary draw at this family-friendly lodging, located near the park’s Northeast Entrance. With 11 different options ranging from motel rooms to individual log cabins and the Range Rider Lodge, a choice that comes with this warning from the resort: “Only the seasoned traveler should embark on this journey.” I’m intrigued. How about you?

Book a private wildlife viewing tour with the resort’s sister company, Silver Gate Guides, if your family is really into animals. Half-day sunrise and sunset and full-day options are available.

Why it works for families:

  • Wide range of accommodation choices and room configurations
  • Most rooms have a kitchenette
  • Wildlife spotting scopes and e-bikes available for rent

Visiting Glacier National Park Too? Consider Staying in Bozeman

If your road trip includes Glacier National Park, then you may want to book a night at one of these hotels in Bozeman, Montana. It’s a wonderful destination for families with tons of fun things to do. Want a resort stay? Check out the popular luxury ranch, The Resort at Paws Up.

Cathy Bennett Kopf Avatar
Cathy Bennett Kopf serves as the Daily Editor of SheBuysTravel, reporting to Editor-in-Chief Cindy Richards. She began travel writing after serving as the unofficial (and unpaid) vacation coordinator for hundreds of family and friend trips. She launched her blog, The Open Suitcase, in 2012 and joined the SBT (formerly TravelingMom) team in 2016. A lifelong resident of New York, Cathy currently resides in the scenic Hudson River Valley. She’s a member of the Society of American Travel Writers, the International Travel Writers Alliance and TravMedia.
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