Not surprisingly, during the summer, many of the accommodations in Gardiner are on the expensive side. Parkgoers may prefer to reserve well in advance and stay in the lodge or cabins at Mammoth Hot Springs, which cost about the same. From mid-September through May, lodging prices drop significantly.
The Absaroka Lodge (406/848-7414 or 800/755-7414, www.yellowstonemotel.com, $112) is well-situated on the banks of the Yellowstone River. Kitchenettes are available for $5–10 extra.
The Best Western by Mammoth Hot Springs (406/848-7311 or 800/828-9080, www.bestwesternmontana.com, $144 and up) has an indoor pool and is set back off the highway just north of Gardiner on Highway 89 with views of the river.
At the Yellowstone Village Inn (406/484-7417 or 800/228-8158, www.yellowstonevinn.com, $109–149), a nicely decorated place set up on a hill above the highway, there’s an indoor pool and sauna, and a few suites with kitchens.
The Super 8 (Hwy. 89, 406/848-7401, www.yellowstonesuper8.com, $89–145) is about what you’d expect; nothing fancy, but a clean room with a bed.
On Highway 89, the Westernaire Motel (406/848-7397 or 888/273-0358, www.yellowstonemotel.com, $75 and up) is a good budget choice.
In the same price range are the Yellowstone River Motel, just east of Highway 89 near the park entrance (406/848-7303 or 800/797-4837, www.yellowstonerivermotel.com, $70–95); Hillcrest Cottages (406/848-7353 or 800/970-7353, www.hillcrestcottages.com, $60–100); and the Jim Bridger Court (406/848-7371 or 888/858-7508, $75), with rustic cabins.
If you stay at the child- and pet-friendly Gardiner Guest House (112 Main St., 406/ 848-9414, $90–135), run by guide Richard Parks and his wife, Nancy, you’ll come away knowing just a bit more about the area, its critters, and its issues. There are four rooms in the Victorian house and a cabin out back.
Just north of town, the Yellowstone Basin Inn (406/848-7080 or 800/624-3364, www.yellowstonebasininn.com, $75–350) has attractive standard rooms and suites on a hillside overlooking the highway and the river.
© W.C. McRae & Judy Jewell from Moon Montana, 7th Edition