It is late in the season to be making your Yellowstone National Park plans. That seems incredible for those of us used to making arrangements just a few months before heading out, but this year’s summer season should be one of the busiest ever, if early reservations are any clue, although there’s still a lot of availability outside the Old Faithful area for much of the summer in all price ranges.
First, forget about staying in the historic Old Faithful Inn at any point in July and in most of June and August. On days when there are rooms available, there’s a very limited selection; at the time of this writing, for example, there’s only one room available on Aug. 24, and that’s an Old House Room — a very basic room with no bath. Things are much more open in May (the Inn opens on May 9), September and October before the closing date of Oct. 9.
The Old Faithful Snow Lodge is also fully booked in July, with some limited weekend availability in June and August. Similarly, the Old Faithful Lodge cabins are sold out in June and July, with limited availability in August.
Elsewhere in the Park things are a little looser. At Lake, there are some portions of June and July sold out, but there are plenty of rooms available in May, September and October. Lake tends to be on the expensive side, with rooms in the hotel going for over $200. However, these rooms are the more expensive ones in the hotel; we couldn’t find many lower-priced cabins in the mix.
You’ll need to plan ahead to pick the right date for availability at Roosevelt for a Rough Rider cabin. They’re first available on June 6, and while they’re not completely sold out during the summer, there’s definitely limited availability. These cabins, which are rather basic and feature a wood-burning stove, are popular for those who yearn for a more rustic experience or for those on a budget; this season they’re going for $64.
We suspect many folks will end up staying at Mammoth Hot Springs or Canyon, where there’s an abundance of inexpensive rooms during most of the summer (with a surprising number of rooms available on weekends).