If you find yourself dazed & confused while trying to plan your trip to Yellowstone National Park, don’t worry: you’re not alone. Planning a Yellowstone vacation can be overwhelming. We found our 5-day home away from home at the West Yellowstone Explorer Cabins, and the experience was simply awesome.
Unlike some properties in the area, the West Yellowstone Explorer Cabins are open year round. They’re located right near the park’s West Entrance in the town of West Yellowstone, largely considered one of the best all-around places to use as a home base for a Yellowstone vacation.
Our advice: book now
There are only 50 total cabins, and they book out months ahead of time. If you’re even considering the Explorer Cabins for your Yellowstone vacation, secure your cabin today. Depending on how you make your booking, you may find a free cancellation policy.
West Yellowstone Explorer Cabins: highlights
The West Yellowstone Explorer Cabins are extremely popular, with good reason.
General info & things we loved most about staying here:
- Open year round
- GREAT rates in the off-season
- Exceptional hospitality & customer service
- 8-minute walk to the Las Palmitas Taco Bus
- 15-minute walk to Yellowstone’s West Entrance
- 3 different cabin types (2 with pet-friendly options)
- Kitchenette in every cabin (stove, cookware, dishes)
- Option of exchanging daily cleaning service for drink tickets at a nearby bar
- Complimentary S’mores kits + community fire pit to roast that sweet goodness
- Cabin comes equipped with high-quality binoculars & walking sticks: very useful inside the park!
Thanks to their partnerships with local tour & adventure groups, the Explorer Cabins team can get you set up with zip-lining in the summer, snowmobiling in the winter, and everything in between.
When we arrived, we spent an hour and a half speaking with the Manager, Darren, who went truly above and beyond. His insights into the park–and how to best plan & execute activities and visits to certain areas–are the #1 reason we decided to extend our original 3-night reservation to 5 nights. Thank you Darren!
Options & amenities
The West Yellowstone Explorer Cabins offer 50 total cabins. All have pull-out couches, kitchenettes, Wifi, flat-screen TV’s, and a plethora of other amenities.
50 total cabins → a mix of 3 different types
- Montana Cabin: duplex style cabin, bedroom (2 queen beds) & living area are in one room
- Old Faithful Cabin: stand-alone cabin, bedroom (1 king) is separate from living area (2 cabins are ADA accessible)
- Yellowstone Cabin: stand-alone cabin, 2 bedrooms (1 king, 1 queen), separate living area
Because we visited in mid-April–just before the West Entrance opened for the summer season–we were able to experience the Yellowstone Cabin at a significantly discounted rate.
We used a combination of Chase points and dollars for our 5-night off-season stay. Incredibly high value for money. Yet another perk of off-season travel!
What’s there to eat around here?
The cabins all come equipped with a kitchenette, fridge, stove & dishwasher. These standard amenities make it easy to turn your cabin into a temporary home.
We cooked in our cabin every day. In fact, nearly all of our meals we either cooked and ate in the cabin, or prepared in the cabin and ate inside the park. Bring a cooler!
The only exceptions we made were our 2 trips to the Las Palmitas Taco Bus…which you must do.
Community fire pit: what S’more could you ask for?
The complimentary S’mores kit that’s included with your booking creates the perfect excuse to step outside during the evening.
Ready to let your marshmallow melt? Gather around the community fire pit and get roasted with some of your fellow cabin-dwellers.
Logistics: finding the cabins & checking in
We wanted to add this section, because we did have a bit of confusion with the arrival & check-in process. This was our fault, and hopefully we can save you some trouble!
Arriving by car, you’ll be on either highway 20 east or highway 191 south to West Yellowstone. The Explorer Cabins are located:
- On Grizzly Ave
- Between the Gray Wolf Inn & Suites & the Yellowstone Park Hotel
- Across the street from the Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center
West Yellowstone is a small town. If in doubt, a local should be able to point you in the right direction.
Important note: check-in/check-out
If you do end up staying at the Explorer Cabins, read this important note posted to their website:
Check-in for the Explorer Cabins at Yellowstone changes seasonally. During the summer months, check-in/out is handled at Yellowstone Park Hotel, and during the winter it is located at Gray Wolf Inn and Suites. The Explorer Cabins are located along Grizzly Avenue between these two hotels.
We missed that subtle yet critical detail. As a result, we were quite confused when we arrived to find a lovely group of cabins and no check-in desk or human being to speak with.
Eventually, we figured it out. A sign telling us to “check in at the Gray Wolf Inn & Suites” was our first clue. We made the 1-minute drive over to the Gray Wolf, where we met Darren, and everything fell into place.
The West Yellowstone Explorer Cabins played a big part in making our first visit to Yellowstone National Park unforgettable.
Location, atmosphere, amenities and above all else an awesome staff. These are just a few of the reasons we’ll be back.
If you’re planning a Yellowstone holiday, lock yours up today, before they’re sold out!