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Book Online or call HomeAway Booking Assistance 888-640-7927

Yellowstone Park - Cabin On Private Creek, Other Lodging, Close To Activities

Bedrooms 1
Space 600 sq. ft.
Property type cabin
Minimum Stay 2 - 3 nights


About the property

Newly Restored Authentic Homestead Log Cabin On The Creek, 2 Queen Beds, 1 Bath

The Creek Cabin is on it's original location right on the creek built by our family members in the 1800's. It has 2 quality queen beds, 1 bathroom - Very nice, comfy and cozy.

Original open floor plan with kitchen, dining, and living area. Big two tier outdoor deck right over the creek.

Big refrigerator, electric stove, granite sink, L shaped counter top, shelves, table and chairs, couch, bench, beds, lamps, side tables. All quality dishes and linens provided. Big windows for big views of mountains and animals on 3 sides. The back side has 2 old homesteader buildings staying in place to give it privacy from the Schoolhouse cabin. The Creek Cabin can also be used for families needing more lodging in addition to the ranch's other private lodging.

Big windows allow for great mountain views, as well as the creek sounds so close.

We have friendly ranch animals all about: horses, cows, dogs - all that enjoy visitors and special treats. Other wildlife roam all year around.

Our family homesteaded, bought out the other homesteaders. They hand cut lumber, cleared the mountain meadows, raised hay, cattle, had pet moose whom were numerous on our creek. Our private beautiful basin is made up of 3 ranches, no public access through our area. We have been fortunate to keep it private all this time being next to Yellowstone.

More Details

Shai McDonald
Member since: 2014
Speaks: english
Response time:
Within 12 hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
March 13, 2018

About Shai McDonald

McDonald family homesteaded this basin in the 1800's on their way to visit Yellowstone Park. They bought the other homesteaders out, living in seclusion working hard, cutting lumber from the forests, clearing fields for hay, working cattle, filling their bellies with local elk, deer, moose, wild strawberries, and even kept ice in a little mini log ice house on the side of the mountain. They had a keen eye to keep safe from the numerous grizzly bears and many a story to tell of that. Great Grandma McDonald still holds the record for harvest of Montana's largest grizzly when this griz decided to see what was in the storeroom while Great Grpa was in town getting supplies. Our kid's grpa, Jack McDonald worked for the Yellowstone Park for 43 years, the longest working park employee while enjoying raising his family on the ranch. Riding horses hunting indian arrowheads and special rocks was a favorite hobby of the family. We are now the 5th generation McDonald family preserving the original homestead cabins, sharing the beauty. We spend the summers competing in rodeos with our 3 kids all over Montana and checking in on our guests and ranch animals. Winters are spent sledding, snowmobiling, skiing, roping inside the indoor arena, basketball, football parties & keeping warm by the fireplace.

Shai McDonald purchased this cabin in 1893

Why Shai McDonald chose Gardiner

Grew up in a multi generational family of the area. After traveling and working in other areas of the world for many years, we were content settling on the family ranch raising kids, cows, horses, logging, fencing. We then just recently built the lodge with massive logs and over 72 windows to help accommodate multi-family gatherings. We enjoy sharing the beauty with others and our animals sure love the extra attention. Depending on season, the wildlife of mountain sheep, mountain goats, antelope, elk, deer, bear, buffalo/bison, coyote, fox, wolves, badgers, gophers, eagles, hawks, other birds are the most prevalent animals seen on the ranch and driving to/from.

What makes this cabin unique

Getting away from it all, yet still close enough to all the activities. Animals all about in a private, quiet and very beautiful setting while enjoying the comfortable log lodgings.


Gardiner Cabin Accommodation and Amenities

Property Type:
  • cabin
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 600 sq. ft.
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 10:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 5
  • Max. adults: 5
  • Min. age of primary renter: 18
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only
  • * Cushions are not to be removed from any furniture inside or outside. * Please do not move any furniture inside or outside or from original rooms.
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Rural ...
  • Water View ...
  • Waterfront ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Budget
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Sports & Activities
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room
  • Parking
  • Telephone
  • Towels Provided
  • Coffee Maker
  • Dishes & Utensils
  • Kitchen
  • Microwave
  • Oven
  • Refrigerator
  • Stove
  • Toaster
  • Dining
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 4 people
  • 1 Bathroom
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , barn wood and old tin line the walls
  • one bathroom with shower, sink, toilet, hooks for hanging stuff.
  • 1 Bedroom, Sleeps 5
  • Bedroom 1 - 2 queen , 1 sleep sofa /futon , both queen beds and couch in same open living area of cabin
  • 2 queen beds and smaller leather couch in open floorplan of living area
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Games
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Television
  • Video Library
  • Deck / Patio
  • Outdoor Grill
  • churches
  • library
  • playground
  • restaurants
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • photography
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • groceries
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • basketball court
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • rafting
  • roller blading
  • snowmobiling
  • swimming
  • water tubing
  • whitewater rafting
Creek cabin is one of the homestead family cabins restored on our historic private beautiful ranch next to Yellowstone Park.


Excellent! 4.5/5 -
(17 traveler reviews)

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Yellowstone Park - Cabin On Private Creek, Other Lodging, Close To Activities
average rating of 4.470588 based on 17 reviews


  • 5 of 5

We had an amazing time. The cabin was well stocked with what we needed and clean. Amy was so helpful with all my questions. If we ever work our way back to Yellowstone, we will definitely stay here.

  • Submitted: Oct 16, 2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Loved the cabin, scenery, and animal friends. Site was a little remote, but very peaceful.

  • 4 of 5

The property is very peaceful and very private. My daughters absolutely fell in love with the cats and kittens on the ranch and wanted to take them all home! We took many amazing pictures because the property is so picturesque. Be warned that this solitude comes at a small price. It is located about 15 miles from the town of Gardiner. And 6 of those miles are along a hairpin turn dirt road that takes 20 minutes to travel down in and of itself. While looking for some of the kitties, my daughter and I got stung by some mean wasps. Thankfully, neither of us are allergic (and I had a first aid kit with Eli pen just in case), but in an emergency, you could not get help quickly.

I also would have liked a bit more communication from the host. We arrived very bewildered. Thankfully, another guest from a neighboring cabin filled us in. I also found out too late, that we could have done a horseback ride or rafting package. I didn't know this until the last day of my stay and only because I did a google search of the property on my own. A quick email or call to let us know these details would have made us feel a bit more at home.

Overall, this was one of our most memorable stays on our 20-day trip out West. A quintessential Montana ranch. Thank You!

  • Submitted: Aug 21, 2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Unexpected doublebooking by the renter that day

  • 2 of 5

So an hour of getting off the plane, I am told that the cabin was accidently double booked and there were already people in the cabin. She then said she was looking for a hotel for us. I was so upset and complained abo ut having to be in a hotel and not getting the full feel of the mountains on our first family vacation. She then looked for a cabin for us. We left yellowstone that day early to come back so we could have service to make sure we weren't sleeping in the car for a few days. She did, by luck, find a nice cabin for us thankfully. But the first day was ruined having that stress on my family, not knowing where we were going to sleep and then having to leave yellowstone early so we could make sure we had contact with these people. But we did end up in a very nice cabin. And she was apologetic. But it did bit give me back that day that ruined on my vacation .

  • Submitted: Aug 9, 2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: Vacation Rentals, from HomeAway
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Loved every second of every moment

  • 5 of 5

The cabin was picturesque setting with a roaring stream. The drive through the mountain to the cabin with a stream following was amazing. We made a fire and cooked Smores. The horses are awesome as well as the kitty cats and blue heelers. First night we saw 45 elk crossing the hill and some deer. If you love the outdoors and nature, this place is for you. I was mesmerized by the beauty. I will be back. Roxine texas

  • Submitted: Jun 27, 2017
  • Stayed: June 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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We love coming back

  • 5 of 5

The Creek Cabin is perfect for us. We love the location - being on ranch property - and all of the views from inside the cabin and on the porch. We visit Yellowstone NP often and this is our favorite place to stay. We would not stay in town as this is an authentic local experience. The cabin is more than we originally expected as a one-room cabin. It has all of the amenities that we need and are as advertised. We love having the cats around outside and seeing wildlife walking along the trail and road just outside and across the stream (for us) from the cabin. We consider this our home away from Colorado when we want to visit the Lamar Valley of Yellowstone NP. Thanks for keeping the cabin cozy and authentic!

  • Submitted: Nov 18, 2016
  • Stayed: November 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Pleasant and Quaint remote ranch

  • 4 of 5

This is a picturesque little log cabin in a little valley at the end of a dirt road up from the Yellowstone River. We generally had an easy time of it, with a few so-so issues. Here are some things VRBO researchers should consider in our opinion:

The cabin is cozy, but just a 500 sf studio with two exposed beds. That was just fine with us, but be aware. There is no fireplace, all heat is from two space heaters, only one of which was needed to heat the place in 35 degree mornings. We thought value was a bit questionable at $200/night, but can't say we know that much about the competition.

The cabin location is not that private, being surrounded by other buildings, and the owner's road wraps around and up the hill right in front of you. Contrary to what the pictures may imply, you look at a hillside; the rolling hills (fenced, mostly) are on the other side of the house. Nevertheless, it was 99% quiet and peaceful. Just don't expect the "little house on the prairie" viewing elk and bears in the distance (although that is possible!).

We found that the other house owned by this family right up the road, "Grandpa's House", to be somewhat more quaint, with its own little orchard, old fences and no nearby houses (but the creek is a little further out). You might want to go for that instead.

The kitchen equipment was sub-standard and may have been just end-of-the-season thin, with too few utensils, only one full-size coffee cup, etc. We had to ask for a usable skillet, which was promptly delivered to their credit. The TV didn't work (kind of silly to watch TV here, but there you go) and the owners weren't available to walk us through the set up until the next morning, but we figured it out ourselves after a few hours! Nice bathroom and good water pressure and hot water. The neighbor rental house disposed of their garbage outside improperly and it was scattered by critters and the wind and no-body bothered to pick it up by the time we left 2 days later. As I said, might be end-of-the-season symptom (we were there late Sep - early Oct).

The long dirt road is a drag, when you want to be exploring Yellowstone, but in pretty good condition. We drove home one night in a wind and rain storm and were nervous it would be washed out, but it stayed solid and is well built and maintained. Thank you! Say hi to cat Maggie and her 5 kittens which were too cute for words and kept us company (outside only!) every morning and evening.

  • Submitted: Oct 4, 2016
  • Stayed: September 2016
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Nearest Airport
80 Miles
Bozeman Belgrade International airport
Nearest Barpub
13 Miles
Nearest Golf
50 Miles
Nearest Train
50 Miles
Livingston depot
Nearest Motorway
6 Miles
Hwy 89
Nearest Restaurant
6 Miles
Lighthouse Restaurant -Corwin Springs
Nearest Ski
70 Miles
Bridger Bowl - Bozeman
Nearest Beach
6 Miles
Yellowstone river has various sandy beaches
Car: necessary

Lodging is on our private homestead ranch in a quiet and beautiful mountain basin next to Yellowstone Park. Old Yellowstone trail connects to our ranch road at Yellowstone River.

Takes me 20 minutes to get to park line, or 25 minutes to get to Gardiner. Will take you a little longer due to the scenery, animals, unfamiliar with the road...

Our neighboring ranch offers horseback rides and zip-lines 5 minutes away, as well as river rafting packages.

The North Entrance to Yellowstone Park at Gardiner, MT is the only entrance open year-round , and the original entrance with the Rock Arch which is great for family photos. It's a great entrance to explore. Mammoth Hot Springs is just 5 miles in the park with natural hot springs - lots of boardwalks to travel over. Old Faithful is the most popular area in Yellowstone and just 50 miles inside the North Entrance.

A main point of interest between us and Yellowstone Park/Gardiner is the Devil’s Slide. This is a rock formation roughly five miles northwest of Gardiner, MT and it is visible from highway 89, and you can get close to it driving from our road, Cinnabar Basin which runs into Old Yellowstone Trail between us and Yellowstone Park before you get to Gardiner. You can also see the travertine rock quarry that is instrumental in travertine sales.

The Stagecoach trail walking history area is at bottom of our Cinnabar Basin road going North into Yankee Jim Canyon. There's a few spots you could picnic on the river of sandy beaches and big rocks to play on, as well as old signage advertisements painted on the rocks in the 1800's meant for stagecoach travelers going to Yellowstone Park.

Complete with friendly animals, wildlife on the ranch and still close to many activities within Yellowstone Park. We are like an extension to the Yellowstone. Our road Cinnabar Basin runs into Old Yellowstone Trail on the Yellowstone River that leads you to the park a few miles before Gardiner. Or you can take the highway parallel to it, reach Gardiner first, then go into the park.

Lodging is quality, comfy, cozy, with everything you need, big yard & fire pit, creeks and ponds, animals that visit, beautiful scenery. Other restored log lodging on the ranch.

We have a wonderful fresh and fair priced restaurant 'The Lighthouse' near the same location at bottom of our road right off the highway, easy for going or coming back from Gardiner. My family's favorite place to eat as well as our guests.

We have dogs & cats that like to visit you, as well as friendly horses and that all love attention and treats too. They are outdoor animals not allowed inside.

There are many public accesses to Yellowstone River to do your own fishing or floating right from the Old Yellowstone Trail at bottom of our road. We have a creek that flows all the way through our place and down along our road to the river. You can try to fish some of those spots as well. It's a bit trickier fishing due to willows for the moose, and the fish are more skittish. I can send you an email detailing areas of interest and whom to contact.

We are a like an extension to Yellowstone park.

We are:

5 minutes to horseback riding & zip lining

10 minutes to Yellowstone River, river rafting

15 minutes to Lighthouse Restaurant (fresh incredible food)

15 minutes to Devil's slide-natural rock formation

20 minutes to Gardiner

25 minutes to Yellowstone Entrance Station

25 minutes to Yankee Jim Canyon, stagecoach trail-historic

30 minutes to boiling river, natural hot springs right inside park

35 minutes to Mammoth Hot Springs, ice skating, cross ctry skiing

40 minutes to Chico Hot Springs

60 minutes to Old Faithful Of course,

**these times could be interrupted with animals getting in your way, or you driving slower in awe of the beauty.

The lodge has satellite wifi. If you need high usage, it will be additional per GB which is our cost. Looking into getting direct wifi in cabin lodging.

Email anytime for any questions or information needed of the area. We are here to help you in any way.


Rates & Availability

Taxes and fees are additional

Additional information about rental rates

Property Damage Protection $59
Pet Fee $50
Cleaning Fee $75
Tax Rate 15.0%

Refund if we can re-book same dates, same year, less a $50 fee.
Payment in full 90 days prior.
Extra cleaning fee applies to less than weekly stays.
No refund if you don't make to your nightly stay.
- cleaning less than weekly stay | $75
Pets have to come with own bed/kennel, not allowed on furniture
conservation of water/electricity is appreciated
excessive internet is $10 per GB cost to us
furniture is not allowed to be moved inside or outside, cushions are not to be taken off furniture, extra charges will be applied to credit card if not complied with.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • Canceled bookings will not receive a refund

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