With the bubbling hot springs, scampering wildlife, and gushing rivers of Yellowstone National Park at the doorstep, West Yellowstone gets you up close and personal with this US gem. And with tons of woodsy cabins, luxury lodges, and homey condos to choose from here, this guide to lodging in West Yellowstone, Montana, will help you narrow down all the options.
The different types of West Yellowstone lodging
No matter whether you come for a summer family vacay full of sightseeing and canyon hikes or for winter snow trekking with adventurous friends, West Yellowstone vacation rentals make it easy to soak up the best of the park and its nature-filled surrounds. Take a look at the different ways to experience Yellowstone below.
Woodsy cabins to connect with nature
Pine-scented walls, log-built exteriors, antler décor, stone fireplaces – these are just a few of the earthy touches that define West Yellowstone rentals. You'll find tons of cabins and lodges in these parts, both cozy huts for two with romantic crackling fireplaces and spacious plots with sweeping views and multiple bunk rooms for sleeping the whole gang. The organic nature of these stays makes it easy to feel in tune with the wild surrounds, whether its roomy, timber decks with outdoor dining or views of rushing rivers and rolling hills from picture windows.
Rentals for every season
Yellowstone may be most popular in the warm summer months, when tepid days make for prime hiking and biking outings and boat rides on park rivers. But did you know you can visit the national park in winter, too? When the snow falls and roads close, car trips are traded for snowcoach tours of frozen lakes, hunting wolf packs, and steaming geysers that appear extra magical in the frigid temps. Since some touristy amenities close for the season, a West Yellowstone vacation rental is the ideal way to experience the season with a warm fireplace and cozy living spaces to relax in after all that snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
With more than 3,400-square-miles of parklands to explore, not to mention the surrounding forests and mountains, a standard weeklong trip to Yellowstone sometimes just won't cut it. If you're hanging your hat for an extended visit, a long-term West Yellowstone rental may be just the ticket. The homey features of these types of accommodations make it easy to settle in for a while – think fully equipped kitchens for cooking up hearty dinners, private sleeping quarters for each member of your party, TV rooms for movie nights, washing machines so you don't need to overpack.
Locations for West Yellowstone vacation rentals
So, you've settled on the west side of Yellowstone for your trip to the national park – great choice! This town sits on the Montana-Wyoming border, with Idaho just a few miles away, and there's tons of lakes, forests, and mountain peaks to stare at. If you're still deciding just where to look for a West Yellowstone rental, keep reading for the pros and cons.
Downtown West Yellowstone
The actual town of West Yellowstone really isn't very large. In fact, the community bounds only cover a handful of streets in each direction. But with the West Entrance gate of Yellowstone National Park less than a mile away, tourist amenities fill the few blocks here. In fact, choosing a vacation rental in this zone means you'll likely be in walking distance to steakhouses, door-swinging saloons, souvenir and gift shops…you get the idea. Plus, you'll have wide range of accommodation options here, from modern condo complexes to one-of-a-kind cabins and houses.
Remote stays along Highway 20
After something a little less touristy and a little more remote? Just drive a few miles down Highway 20 and you'll find plenty of accommodations on larger plots of land. Stepping a few paces from the lights of town will really give you an idea of why Montana is called Big Sky country – you'll see sweeping blue in every direction by day, and a world of stars twinkling against the dark heavens by night. Pick one of the vacation rentals with a deck or patio space to really take advantage of the scenic surrounds.
Grayling for water views
So, it's not technically West Yellowstone, but the little community of Grayling to the north is just 15-minutes by car from the town's amenities and offers plenty of its own perks, too. Picture this – rolling hills covered in forested green to one side, sparkling lakes reflecting the midday sun to the other, and nary another human being in sight. That's Grayling. Lodges and cabins for rent here rest on private plots of land, and many offer views of Hebgen Lake and its two arms, ideal for rocking on your wooden balcony in the morning with a steaming cup of coffee.