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Lake Yellowstone Hotel: A Historic Gem in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is home to one of the most iconic and historic hotels in the United States: Lake Yellowstone Hotel.Built in 1891, this hotel has been a favorite among visitors for more than a century. Its stunning location on the shores of Yellowstone Lake, coupled with its elegant architecture and rich history, make it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the park.In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the Lake Yellowstone Hotel, its history, amenities, and what makes it such a unique and special place to stay.Let’s dive in!

History Of Lake Yellowstone Hotel

Construction And Early Years

The Lake Yellowstone Hotel is a historic hotel located in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming. It was built in 1891 and is considered one of the oldest surviving hotels in the park. The construction of the hotel was part of a larger effort to promote tourism in the area and make Yellowstone more accessible to visitors.

The hotel was designed by architect Robert C. Reamer, who also designed many other buildings in Yellowstone National Park. Construction began in 1889 and was completed in 1891. The hotel was built using local materials, including lodgepole pine logs and rhyolite stone.

When it first opened, the Lake Yellowstone Hotel was a popular destination for wealthy travelers who came to Yellowstone to experience its natural beauty. The hotel had 80 guest rooms, a dining room, a lounge, and a large porch where guests could relax and enjoy the view of the lake.

Over the years, the hotel underwent several renovations and expansions. In 1903, a new wing was added to the hotel, which included additional guest rooms and a grand dining room. In 1922, a fire destroyed much of the original hotel, but it was quickly rebuilt and reopened the following year.

Today, the Lake Yellowstone Hotel is still a popular destination for tourists visiting Yellowstone National Park. It has been designated a National Historic Landmark and is considered one of the most iconic buildings in the park.

Renovations And Updates

Lake Yellowstone Hotel has undergone several renovations and updates throughout its history. The first major renovation took place in 1922, when the hotel was expanded to include two additional wings, bringing the total number of rooms to 222. In 1936, the hotel underwent another significant renovation, which included the addition of a new dining room, lounge, and sun porch.

In recent years, Lake Yellowstone Hotel has undergone extensive renovations to update and modernize its facilities while still maintaining its historic charm. One of the most notable updates was the complete restoration of the hotel’s iconic sunroom in 2014, which had been closed for over 30 years. The sunroom now features new windows, flooring, and furnishings, as well as a stunning view of Yellowstone Lake.

Other updates have included the installation of a new heating and cooling system, the addition of an elevator, and the renovation of guest rooms, which now feature modern amenities such as flat-screen TVs and Wi-Fi. Despite these updates, the hotel has managed to preserve its historic character and remains one of the most beloved landmarks in Yellowstone National Park.

Visitors to Lake Yellowstone Hotel can also enjoy a variety of activities and amenities, including guided tours of the hotel’s historic architecture and artwork, fine dining at the hotel’s restaurant, and access to nearby hiking trails and fishing spots. With its rich history and modern updates, Lake Yellowstone Hotel continues to be a popular destination for visitors from around the world.

Notable Guests

The Lake Yellowstone Hotel has been a popular destination for travelers since its opening in 1891. Over the years, the hotel has welcomed many notable guests from around the world.

One of the most famous guests to stay at the hotel was President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He visited the hotel in 1937 and gave a speech on the hotel’s front porch. Other U.S. presidents who have stayed at the hotel include Calvin Coolidge and George H.W. Bush.

The hotel has also hosted several celebrities over the years. In the early 1900s, author and humorist Mark Twain stayed at the hotel and gave a lecture in the hotel’s dining room. Other famous writers who have stayed at the hotel include Ernest Hemingway and James Michener.

In addition to politicians and writers, the Lake Yellowstone Hotel has welcomed many other notable guests. These include legendary aviator Amelia Earhart, who stayed at the hotel in 1934, and renowned artist Georgia O’Keeffe, who visited the hotel in the 1920s.

The hotel’s guestbook is filled with the names of famous people who have stayed there over the years. Today, the hotel continues to welcome guests from all walks of life and remains one of the most iconic hotels in the United States.

Accommodations And Amenities

Rooms And Suites

The Lake Yellowstone Hotel offers a total of 153 guest rooms, including suites, in both the main building and the nearby Western cabins. The rooms are spacious and well-appointed, featuring modern amenities such as cable TV, Wi-Fi, and air conditioning.

The main building houses a range of room types, from cozy standard rooms to luxurious suites with stunning views of Yellowstone Lake. The Western cabins offer a more rustic experience, with log walls and simple furnishings that evoke the spirit of the Old West.

For those seeking extra space and luxury, the hotel’s suites are an excellent choice. These include the Presidential Suite, which boasts over 1,000 square feet of living space, a separate dining area, and a private balcony overlooking the lake. Other suite options include the Governor’s Suite, the Ambassador Suite, and the Junior Suite.

Room Type Features Price Range
Standard Room Cable TV, Wi-Fi, air conditioning $200-$300/night
Lake View Room Lake view, cable TV, Wi-Fi, air conditioning $300-$400/night
Western Cabin Log walls, simple furnishings, shared bathrooms $150-$200/night
Presidential Suite Over 1,000 sq ft, separate dining area, private balcony $1,000-$1,500/night

It’s worth noting that the Lake Yellowstone Hotel is a historic property, and as such, some of the rooms may be smaller or less modern than what travelers are used to. However, the hotel’s charm and character more than make up for any minor inconveniences.

Dining Options

The Lake Yellowstone Hotel offers guests a variety of dining options to choose from. Visitors can enjoy a fine dining experience at the elegant Dining Room, which features stunning views of Yellowstone Lake and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. The menu is diverse and includes dishes made with fresh, locally sourced ingredients.

For those looking for a more casual dining experience, the hotel also has a deli and a coffee shop. At the deli, guests can grab a quick bite to eat, including sandwiches, salads, and snacks. The coffee shop offers a selection of coffee drinks, pastries, and light fare.

During the summer months, the hotel also hosts nightly outdoor barbecues on the lawn. Guests can enjoy grilled meats, salads, and sides while taking in the beautiful scenery of Yellowstone National Park.

It’s important to note that reservations are recommended for the Dining Room, especially during peak season. Additionally, the hotel offers a range of dietary accommodations, including vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options.

Activities And Recreation

Lake Yellowstone Hotel is not just a place to stay, but also a hub for various activities and recreation options. Visitors can enjoy a range of outdoor activities in the beautiful surroundings of Yellowstone National Park.

One of the most popular activities is hiking on the numerous trails available in the park. The hotel offers guided hikes with experienced naturalists who provide information about the flora and fauna of the park. These hikes cater to all levels, from beginners to advanced hikers.

Another activity that visitors can engage in is fishing. Yellowstone National Park is home to some of the best trout streams in the world. The hotel offers guided fishing trips, and visitors can rent equipment from the hotel as well.

For those interested in water activities, there are opportunities for kayaking, canoeing, and boating on Yellowstone Lake. Visitors can rent equipment from the hotel and explore the lake at their leisure.

In the winter months, visitors can engage in activities such as cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and ice skating. The hotel offers guided snowshoeing tours, and visitors can rent equipment for cross-country skiing and ice skating.

Overall, Lake Yellowstone Hotel provides ample opportunities for visitors to engage in exciting activities and recreation options.

Exploring Yellowstone National Park

Geysers And Hot Springs

Yellowstone National Park is famous for its geysers and hot springs. The park has over 10,000 thermal features, making it the largest concentration of geysers in the world.

The most famous geyser in the park is Old Faithful, which erupts every 90 minutes and can shoot water up to 180 feet in the air. Other notable geysers include Steamboat Geyser, which is the tallest active geyser in the world, and Giantess Geyser, which has the longest intervals between eruptions.

Hot springs are another common thermal feature in Yellowstone. These pools of water are heated by underground magma and can reach temperatures of up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. The Grand Prismatic Spring, located in the Midway Geyser Basin, is one of the most popular hot springs in the park. It is known for its vibrant colors and is the third-largest hot spring in the world.

Visitors should exercise caution when exploring geysers and hot springs. The water can be extremely hot and acidic, and the ground around these features is often unstable. Visitors should stay on designated boardwalks and follow all posted signs and warnings.

Geyser Location Eruption Interval
Old Faithful Upper Geyser Basin Every 90 minutes
Steamboat Geyser Northern Geyser Basin Irregular intervals, up to several months
Giantess Geyser Upper Geyser Basin Every 7-14 days

In addition to being a popular tourist attraction, geysers and hot springs play an important role in the ecosystem of Yellowstone National Park. The thermal features provide habitat for unique microorganisms that are adapted to living in extreme conditions. These microorganisms form the base of the food chain in many of the park’s aquatic ecosystems.

If you’re planning a visit to Yellowstone, be sure to include a stop at one of the park’s many geysers or hot springs. They are truly one of nature’s most fascinating wonders.

Wildlife Viewing

Yellowstone National Park is a wildlife enthusiast’s paradise, with an incredibly diverse range of animals to see. Visitors can spot everything from grizzly bears and wolves to bison and elk. The park is home to more than 60 species of mammals, over 300 species of birds, and numerous reptiles and amphibians.

One of the best places to view wildlife in Yellowstone is the Lamar Valley, often referred to as the “Serengeti of North America.” This expansive valley is home to large herds of bison, pronghorn antelope, and elk. Visitors may also spot coyotes, wolves, and bears hunting for their next meal.

Another great spot for wildlife viewing is the Hayden Valley, located between the Yellowstone River and Yellowstone Lake. Here, visitors can catch glimpses of grizzly bears, black bears, and wolves. The valley is also home to a large herd of bison, which can often be seen grazing in the meadows.

If you’re interested in bird watching, Yellowstone has plenty to offer. The park is home to a variety of raptors, including bald eagles, golden eagles, and ospreys. Visitors can also spot waterfowl such as pelicans, swans, and ducks on the park’s many lakes and rivers.

It’s important to remember that while Yellowstone’s wildlife is truly amazing, it’s also wild. Visitors should always keep a safe distance from animals and never approach them. It’s also important to stay on designated trails and obey all park rules and regulations.

Animal Population Location
Bison 4,900 Lamar Valley, Hayden Valley
Elk 10,000 Mammoth Hot Springs, Lamar Valley
Grizzly Bears 150-200 Hayden Valley, Lamar Valley
Black Bears 500-600 Tower-Roosevelt, Mammoth Hot Springs
Wolves 100-120 Lamar Valley, Hayden Valley

If you’re lucky, you may even spot some rare wildlife during your visit to Yellowstone. The park is home to a variety of endangered species, including the Canada lynx and the grizzly bear. Visitors have also reported sightings of mountain lions and wolverines.

If you’re interested in learning more about Yellowstone’s wildlife, be sure to check out the park’s visitor centers and ranger-led programs. These resources can provide valuable information on the park’s animals and their habitats.

National Park Service – Nature & Science

Hiking And Backpacking

Yellowstone National Park is a hiker’s paradise, with over 1,000 miles of trails to explore. Hiking and backpacking are great ways to experience the park’s natural beauty up close. From easy day hikes to multi-day backpacking trips, there is something for everyone.

The park offers a variety of hiking trails ranging from easy to strenuous. Some popular day hikes include the Uncle Tom’s Trail, which descends over 300 feet into the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, and the Mystic Falls Trail, which leads to a beautiful waterfall. For those looking for a more challenging hike, the Mount Washburn Trail offers stunning views of the park from its summit.

Backpacking is another way to explore Yellowstone’s backcountry. A permit is required for all overnight stays in the backcountry, and they can be obtained at any ranger station. The park offers a wide range of backpacking routes, from easy overnight trips to multi-day treks through the wilderness. Some popular backpacking routes include the Bechler River Trail, which winds through the park’s remote southwest corner, and the Pelican Valley Trail, which offers opportunities to see wildlife such as grizzly bears and wolves.

Hiking Trail Distance Elevation Gain Difficulty
Uncle Tom’s Trail 0.6 miles 328 feet Easy
Mystic Falls Trail 2.5 miles 200 feet Moderate
Mount Washburn Trail 6.4 miles 1,400 feet Strenuous

It is important to come prepared when hiking or backpacking in Yellowstone. The weather can be unpredictable, so it is essential to bring warm clothing and rain gear. It is also important to carry plenty of water and food, as well as a map and compass. Hikers should be aware of their surroundings and stay on designated trails to avoid damaging the park’s fragile ecosystem.

Yellowstone National Park is a unique and beautiful place, and exploring it by foot is an unforgettable experience. Whether you are a seasoned hiker or a beginner, there is a trail for you to discover.


From its rich history to its stunning location and modern amenities, Lake Yellowstone Hotel has something to offer every visitor to Yellowstone National Park.Whether you’re looking for a luxurious retreat or a home base for your adventures in the park, this iconic hotel is sure to leave you with memories that will last a lifetime.Book your stay at Lake Yellowstone Hotel today and experience the magic for yourself!

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