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West Yellowstone Hotels

Updated on January 26, 2014

West Yellowstone Hotels

If ever there were a Travel Destination where searching for Accommodations via the Internet were appropriate it's West Yellowstone.

Link: West Yellowstone Hotels

West Yellowstone Hotels – Welcome to 1970

How much is a good nights sleep worth? And more importantly can you find one in West Yellowstone Montana’s fine motor lodges? There are actually very few real Hotels in West Yellowstone. A Hotel is typically an establishment with inside corridors that open into a hallway whereas a Motel opens directly to the parking lot.

West Yellowstone is the small… and I’ll say it – CRAPPY – little town that borders the entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Why do I say it’s crappy? Well if you have ever been there then you will understand. My family started visiting Yellowstone National Park when we were children. Nearly every summer we made a visit up North. Why? Not really to see the park… but due to the fact that we had a family friend who had a cabin in the area.

Cozy and “Rustic” are two words used to describe West Yellowstone Hotels in nearly every website I found. And for me these two words are warning flags, big red flags that say… hey don’t stay here because I haven’t been renovated since the big quake of 1959. I don’t know why “Rustic” means crappy to me… but it does. And cozy means too small to relax. Truth in advertising? Hey we are an ancient, old, small, run down, tourist trap that you probably won’t like – doesn’t win over customers.

West Yellowstone lodging and accommodations are a lot like pictures on Dating sites or MySpace. Put up that one photograph that makes you look your best. Put up the old year book photo and lie about you age. People won’t know until they get here! And when they do there will be no other available rooms in town so they will be stuck. Nice! You were much hotter on MySpace! Buyer Beware!

I can remember many summer days spent fishing on nearby HebgenLake. If you haven’t experienced the Montana Wilderness then it’s worth the time to do it at least once in your life. And most people seem to be doing just that! This year Yellowstone is expected to set a record of 3.3 million visitors. That’s a whole lot of people going in and out of the park.

So this got me to thinking based on my experience with the town of West Yellowstone. Where are all these people staying? Yes there is lodging in the Jackson Hole area, and there is lodging inside the park, and camping spots that can be reserved. But clearly 3.3 million people is a whole lot of rooms and camping spots needed.

Back on point – if you have ever been to West Yellowstone then you will know that while the rest of the world is living in 2010 many of the Motels/Hotels/Cabins are still decorated as if it was 1970. Seriously there are a whole lot of dumpy crappy old worn out places to choose from! And the prices are way higher than one might expect to pay for such run of the mill aged accommodations. Why is this so? Because you can not easily develop land that is owned by the Federal Government and the land that is available for development is already taken by the old crappy motels.

There really is little incentive for these mom and pop operations to clean up their act and get with the times! Yes you’ll find Internet Access and Cable/Satellite Television, but you’ll find it in a room with a 6’5” ceiling that is 10 feet across and relying on plumbing that was put into action during the Nixon Administration.

Now this is not to say there are not newer West Yellowstone Hotels that are up to speed with the times… but even those can not compare with the amenities and quality of a simple Hampton Inn in most cities.

Coming from Vegas where even moderately run down properties are demonized, I’d say a moderate Vegas Hotel is a Resort Paradise compared to the primary motels in West Yellowstone. And prices in West Yellowstone are actually higher in Las Vegas due to massive demand and complete lack of any real competition. This is truly and example of supply and demand in action! Compare West Yellowstone to Glacier National Park Hotels which are about as plentiful and you get the same story.

So if you are planning on a trip to Yellowstone National Park – and you’ll want to at least once in your life, don’t expect to spend much time in West Yellowstone itself.

FYI: While your tax dollars go towards maintaining out National Parks it’s still not cheap to visit them! It currently costs $25 per car +$12 per person to enter WestYellowstone National Park. The pass is good for 7 days if I am not mistaken and can also be used to enter Glacier National Park. Senior Citizen rate passes (Age 62) and above are available at a greatly reduced cost.

Anyone who has actually been to Yellowstone National Park and enjoyed the comfort and amenities of West Yellowstone Hotels (a bit of sarcasm perhaps) and had a good or bad experience with Lodging feel free to leave comments about what you liked or disliked.

Typical West Yellowstone Lodging

A typical motor lodge in West Yellowstone Montana. The only thing it has in common with the Four Seasons is the price of the rooms!
A typical motor lodge in West Yellowstone Montana. The only thing it has in common with the Four Seasons is the price of the rooms!


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