Heading to Yellowstone National Park sometime soon? Don’t miss the Old Faithful Inn, arguably the largest log structure in the world.
Towering over the Upper Geyser Basin in Yellowstone National Park, there may be no hotel in America quite as unique and flippin’ incredible as the Old Faithful Inn. Built in 1904 and just steps from the most famous geyser in the world, the Old Faithful Inn has been the premier place to stay in Yellowstone for over a century.
We’ve been lucky enough to stay there several times as we’ve traveled as tour directors with Trafalgar, and we’ll tell you why we love this place so very much…
Old Faithful Inn’s Location
If you’re going to Yellowstone to see Old Faithful (which we’re guessing is a big reason why you are), you can’t stay anywhere better than the Old Faithful Inn. Literally steps from the main viewing platform for Old Faithful, you can’t beat it.
But our favorite spot to watch Old Faithful isn’t from the nearby viewing platform… It’s from the front deck of the Inn itself. Here you can walk outside, grab a table, and enjoy some ice cream or adult beverages as Old Faithful gushes into the air.
For the sightseer, the Inn’s location in the Upper Geyser Basin offers easy access to several boardwalks and trails snaking through dozens of geysers and springs.
The Inn also enjoys a location with plenty of dining, shopping, and educational options.
With a restaurant, deli, bar, and gift shop onsite, you don’t have to go far to find food or goodies. A massive visitor center, 2 general stores, a cafeteria, and another couple bars and restaurants at nearby Snow Lodge are all just steps away. (And wifi at Snow Lodge if you just have to be connected)
Old Faithful Inn’s Main Lobby
Holy cow. That’s what you’ll say the first time you step inside the Inn and look up. Trace the massive stone fireplace as it towers into the tangled wooden beams overhead. Grab a book and enjoy a comfy chair along one of the balconies as travelers from all over the world mettle below. Watch a local artist create masterpieces right before your eyes. We freakin’ love the lobby of the Old Faithful Inn. We’re just going to throw a bunch of photos here so you can get an idea…
The Inn’s Awesome History
Imagine building something as grand as the Old Faithful Inn during the harsh Yellowstone winter… Imagine doing it in 1904. That’s exactly how the main section of the Inn was built.
Using Yellowstone’s very own lodgepole pines and rhyolite stone, the oldest portion of the Inn was said to be 29-year-old architect Robert Reamer’s personal dream of an adult “treehouse.”
The “treehouse” theme is evident throughout the main lobby with the “branch-like” beams and non-symmetrical windows and staircases going all the way to the roof and a special “crow’s nest,” where musicians used to perform.
Since the original “Old House” was completed, the Inn has grown to feature additional wings, and the Inn now offers various levels of accommodations from more rustic to more modern.
Of course, a place this famous has hosted a big-name guest or two… Several presidents have visited including both Roosevelts.
In terms of the history and architecture of the building, this post just barely scratches the surface. We HIGHLY suggested taking one of their frequent guided tours (times are posted in the lobby).
What you need to know about staying/visiting:
First and foremost, Old Faithful Inn books up WAY IN ADVANCE. If you’re hoping to stay there in 2017, you better get on it.
Keep in mind: there are different types of rooms here ranging from really cool (but a little more rustic) log cabin-ish rooms in the “Old House” to deluxe suites. Make sure you pick a room that suits your style since you won’t have much luck trying to switch rooms once you get there. They WILL be full.
If you strike out at getting a room here, check nearby Snow Lodge as well.
Lastly, you don’t need to be a “guest” at the Old Faithful Inn to still enjoy it. The building is open to all, and we can’t imagine making a trip to Yellowstone and not stopping by the Old Faithful Inn.
For booking information, head over to Yellowstone National Park Lodges.