From Camps to Lodges
By the mid-1920s, a steadily growing influx of visitors to Yellowstone demanded improvements to existing amenities, as well as the construction of new ones. It was during this time that many of the park’s historic lodges took root. Many of them grew out of renovations to the then-rudimentary housekeeping facilities of permanent campsites around the park.
“Unique and picturesque,” the log and frame cabin style of the permanent sites — which were eventually dubbed “lodges” to distinguish them from public automobile campgrounds — incorporated features like dining rooms, lobbies and recreation halls under the roof of a central building. Some of the park’s most iconic lodges and hotels remain. While they’ve been renovated over the years, out of respect for the natural surroundings of Yellowstone, none of them offer television, radios or air conditioning. Internet access, while scarce, is available for purchase at select locations.
Old Faithful Inn
The original part of the “Old House,” as this historic landmark is affectionately called, was completed in 1904, with additional wings added during the teens and ’20s. Today it is the most requested lodging in the park, located right next to the famous Old Faithful geyser. The rustic-style lodge’s log and wood shingle exterior is only part of its charm; the inn’s immense lobby is home to a huge stone fireplace.
Lake Yellowstone Hotel
Permeated by ethereal ambience, string quartet music from its lobby, and shimmering light from its solarium windows, this majestic, upscale hotel has earned its place on the National Register of Historic Places. Casual yet elegant, the Colonial Revival-style hotel was originally built in 1891, but expanded and renovated through the years. Its Ionic porticoes face Yellowstone Lake, lending a simple but stately feel befitting of its surroundings.
Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel
Located close to the historic Fort Yellowstone, the former army base that once served as the administrative seat of Yellowstone National Park, the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel is probably most lauded for its location. As a jumping off point for exploration of the hot springs’ limestone cliffs, or for wintertime expeditions to the park’s interior, this north-entrance lodging area — which is also home to several kinds of cabin accommodations — is incredibly convenient.