Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Cabins
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Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming 82190
Lake Hotel (also called "Lake Yellowstone Hotel") is the oldest operating lodging facility in Yellowstone, America's first national park, established in 1872 during the administration of President Ulysses Grant. Construction on the hotel commenced in 1889, more than a dozen years before completion of the first phase of the park's more famous sister lodge,(+) More
Lake Hotel (also called "Lake Yellowstone Hotel") is the oldest operating lodging facility in Yellowstone, America's first national park, established in 1872 during the administration of President Ulysses Grant. Construction on the hotel commenced in 1889, more than a dozen years before completion of the first phase of the park's more famous sister lodge, Old Faithful Inn.
The Lake Hotel complex includes a two-story annex (once used as employee housing) plus 110 closely clustered cabin units in addition to the main hotel. The three- and four-story hotel received extensive renovations in the early 1990s when it was returned to its 1920s appearance. The hotel's outstanding feature is a bright and airy sunroom with comfortable wicker furniture. The sunroom serves as an ideal place to read, visit with other guests, enjoy a cocktail, or listen to the music of a pianist or string quartet that plays here most evenings. An equally inviting dining room with an appearance matching the sunroom is just off the lobby.
The main hotel has 158 rooms in long wings stretching down the east and west sides of the sunroom/registration area. The hotel sits parallel to Yellowstone Lake and many rooms on the front provide excellent lake views. Room sizes vary, but all have attractive furniture, heat, a telephone, and fully tiled bathrooms, but no air-conditioning or television. (Lack of televisions is a common trait in many national park lodging facilities.) The hotel has a single elevator located in the east wing, a consideration for guestrooms on an upper floor.
The best lake views are from rooms along the front side of the east wing, while rooms in the west wing tend to offer more space. Rooms in the front of the hotel rent for a slight premium compared to rooms in the back that provide views of the parking lot. The hotel setting is kind of odd in that virtually everyone parks their vehicle and enters from the back side. Many guests are unlikely to even see the building's attractive front side that faces the lake.
You may wonder why we selected Lake Hotel over park icon Old Faithful Inn as the place to stay in Yellowstone. In a word, peacefulness. Lake Hotel is situated in a beautiful but quiet section of a very busy park. The Old Faithful area is the focal point of Yellowstone, and nearly every visitor wants to experience Old Faithful Inn. Sightseers are constantly prowling the inn's impressive lobby and mezzanine. By comparison, most individuals at Lake Hotel are overnight guests. The hotel is within walking distance of the cafeteria at nearby Lake Lodge Cabins, another park lodging facility. A word of wisdom: Yellowstone is a huge park and visitors should consider staying in more than one hotel during a stay of more than two nights.(-) Close
The majestic hotel sits on the shore of Yellowstone Lake and is listed on the Register of Historic Places. The serenity of Yellowstone Lake illuminates through the "Sun Room" windows, as guests daydream to the delicate sounds of a string quartet in the lobby. A casually elegant restaurant features a delightfully extravagant menu.
Hotel guestrooms capture the historic 1920's ambiance, while an adjacent annex and nearby cabins provide more basic and economical options.
Please note that all park accommodations are non-smoking and reflecting the natural surroundings of Yellowstone; televisions, radios, air conditioning, and Internet hook-ups are not available. Wheelchair accessible accommodations are available on a limited basis.
Lake Yellowstone Hotel & Cabins are open mid-May to early October.
Expert Review of Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Cabins
Active and Adventure Review of Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Cabins
- Several outfitters offer canoe and kayak excursions on Lake Yellowstone, leaving from Bridge Bay Marina near the Lake Village. Consult Bridge Bay staff or visit the National Park Service website for a list of outfitters.
- The Natural Bridge Road near Bridge Bay and the abandoned roadbed behind the Lake Hotel are both popular Yellowstone bicycle routes.
- The trail to Elephant Back Mountain one mile south of Fishing Bridge is a fun, if popular, day hike featuring a moderately challenging uphill climb and some massive vistas of Lake Yellowstone.
Parks and Outdoors Review of Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Cabins
- In addition to the myriad outfitters from outside the park who lead fishing trips on Yellowstone Lake, boat rentals and guided fishing trips are available at Bridge Bay Marina, two miles south of Lake Village.
- All roads leading to Lake Village are scenic drives—come in from the west to skirt the shores of the lake, from the north to pass through the wildlife-rich Hayden Valley, and from the east along winding mountain roads below Sylvan Pass.
- Ranger-led programs in the Lake Village area include backcountry hikes to less-visited thermal areas and campfire lessons on wildlife identification.