After a day spent traversing Yellowstone National Park, my friend and I found ourselves with no place to stay. We had planned to camp inside the park, but of course all of the campsites were full by the time we got there. We knew that was likely to happen, but decided to take the chance anyways. Our backup plan was to find accommodation in Gardiner, Montana, which is located just outside the North entrance to Yellowstone.
We left the park to look for a place to stay, but Gardiner was mostly booked up. We didn’t have many options, but I remembered reading about a hostel nearby when I was planning the trip. I managed to find the phone number and gave them a call. Luckily, they had space available, so we drove up there.
North Yellowstone Lodge and Hostel is about 10 miles north of Yellowstone National Park. We pulled into the driveway, passing underneath a giant wooden post with kayaks hung on it. It’s a small building right off highway 89. The hostel consists of a small house (with cute twinkle lights wrapped around the tree) and a second building.
We quickly checked in and were shown to our room. The rooms are all in a cabin-type building, which used to house white water rafting guides before it was sold and turned into a hostel. My friend and I were put in a 4-person bunk room but ended up having the room to ourselves. The women’s bathroom (with 2 private shower/toilet rooms) was just a couple doors down. Everything was extremely clean and comfortable.
The North Yellowstone Lodge and Hostel is set right on the Yellowstone River. Walking into the backyard, the water rushed below as the sun set. Picnic tables are set in the yard and a beautiful deck allows guests to relax and admire the views. Inside the main house is the lounge area, where guests can hang out. There’s a full kitchen and a big dining room for cooking and gathering. In the morning, they offer free toast and coffee for breakfast.
Overall, the hostel was quiet and cozy. The best part is that it’s an easy drive if you’re looking to explore the northern part of the park. Specifically, if you want to spend a day hanging around Mammoth Hot Springs and the terraces (which is what we did the next day), it’s easy to get into the park and back.
North Yellowstone Lodge and Hostel is the perfect option if you’re on a budget. Accommodation in and around Yellowstone National Park tends to book up and can be really expensive, so it’s really great that there is a hostel nearby.
In addition to shared dorm rooms, private rooms, family rooms, and tent sites are available.
Hostels aren’t your thing? If you’re looking for another cool place to stay north of Yellowstone National Park, check out Chico Hot Springs in Pray, Montana.
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