Eating and Sleeping in Yellowstone National Park

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Geyser View right from our window!

Old Faithful Inn:  An experience not to miss.   Did you know there are rooms in the Old House (the original part of the Inn) that are two bedrooms with a bathroom I originally had managed to secure one of these  (not online – call Xanterra who manages the park lodging)DSC00332 however because we changed to just 2 travelers, we switched to a queen room in the Old House. This was one of our favorite accommodations… even with a ground floor room with a busy bench right outside our window and the bathroom not only not in the room but one floor up… However where in the world can you stay at the largest log structure in the world? And have the chance to stay in the original part of it?  Loved it!   

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Completion date of Old Faithful etched into a log in a secret location.

About the area: The second best part of staying here is parking the car and having so much to explore.  There are so many neat trails to explore, geysers to watch erupt, and an amazing visitor center (Click here for Old Faithful Area details).    As for dining? Being that I am frugal and we just began our week in Yellowstone,  we stuck with our yogurt and sammies .. eaten on the mezzanine level while people watching below… however we did enjoy coffee and frozen yogurt . .. delicious!

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Completed lodge…landscaping still to finish

Hayden Lodge (Canyon Area): New…. I am pretty sure we were either the first or maybe second people to have stayed in this room.   Clean, well laid out.  Tiny but just perfect – including a nice seating area.   Friendly staff who got us a coffee maker … which was so nice to wake up and
enjoy coffee before our early morning hike.

The area: Nice thing here is you have a wonderful Visitor Center and a really neat trail that takes you down to the Canyon area (Click here for NPS site information).  It is less then fifteen minutes and elk are abundant.  The drive out to the Canyon as the sun is setting is just around the corner and how pleasant to be there at that time of night.  We saw less then four people total while there.

Canyon Soda Fountain:  This is a fun diner where we enjoyed a very inexpensive meal.  Keep in mind there are two companies providing food in the park – Delaware North and Xanterra. The counter service type meals found in the General Stores are run by Delaware North.  Nothing more then simple diner menu with simple okay food but the prices are very fair and we had fun sitting at the counter.  We enjoyed picking up beer and dessert from the General Store later that evening to enjoy in our room.  Loved it and would stay here again!

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This desk with a broken leg about to collapse at any moment seemed to sum up the overall room…

Lake Yellowstone Hotel Frontier Cabins:  This was our home for 4 nights for the Lodging and Learning Program (more on that in another post).  If I had not been in the program I would have left.  Members of our group all agreed:  The rooms are dirty, things are falling apart, housekeeping is lacking (where do you arrive in a room to find the shampoo bottle empty?), and the real slap in the face? Each time you walk into the Lake hotel  it is pristine.  I saw staff every time we were in there polishing furniture and dusting the floors.   Add on there is not any trails to explore except a few nondescript ones out to the lake.  There is no visitor center withing walking distance.  And the food options are just ok for a an area so far removed from everything.  Just reading that these were renovated in 2003/04.  … Looked more like the 1950s was the last renovation…  No reason to stay here… you’d be more comfortable and cleaner in a tent then at these cabins.

The area:  Unfortunately our food supply can only last so long in a cooler… You only have four choice here and nothing else nearby.  I would not drive out of my way to eat here but if you are staying here the food is not too bad.  And remember at the dining room you need reservations or else expect a very long wait…   My favorite was again eating at the counter at the octagon shape Lake General Store.  However for my daughter she loved her big plate of food at the Lake Lodge Cafeteria – really an excellent value and if it were not for the fire alarm ordeal we would have eaten here twice.   As for the Lake Hotel Dining room – breakfast buffet was very good and Our big dinner at the  Lake Yellowstone Hotel Dining room was good but it reminded me of  the type of meal you get at a wedding.  That being said sipping a local beer in the lobby area in comfy front row chairs overlooking the lake while listening to the music was magical…

DSC00724[1]Mammoth Hot Springs Cabins:  Small but very clean and updated cabins.    And nothing beats the view – ours looked out the back to a neat hill and out the front to the Mammoth Hot Spring Terraces.  Definitely could hang here for a few nights on our front porch.

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Sun rising over the Village on our last morning.
As for the area – This is a little village! There is so much to do & explore.  Great sights to see on the boardwalks & wonderful hiking trails. You can park your car and explore for days!  Visit the historic Fort Yellowstone (but not at night for there are too many elk roaming around the area) and be sure check out the Visitor Center for it offers great educational displays and (it offers free wifi – Relief since we needed to check in for our flight).  DSC00690And of course you got to visit the Boiling River just up the road after a long hike. We ate dinner at the Mammoth Dining room and it far surpassed our meal at the Lake Hotel. However breakfast was not as good. Still by far our favorite area overall.  Great place to say goodbye to Yellowstone!

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