GRANITE PEAK PUBLICATIONS: Accompanying travelers to the national park since 2002

Where to stay in Yellowstone Park in 2023

fox north entrance Yellowstone

This fox was spotted tracking a snowshoe hare from atop the Roosevelt Arch at the North Entrance.

Are you planning a trip to Yellowstone in 2023? Where will you stay? Besides the regular seasonal changes to what’s open in the park, lots of flood recovery projects have been going on. On October 30 the road between the North Entrance at Gardiner, Montana, and Mammoth Hot Springs finally reopened! This was the result of a four-month project to turn the 1880s one-lane wagon road into a two-lane, four-mile paved road that can even handle RVs and trailers (as long as they don’t exceed 25 miles per hour on the steep curves!).

Despite best efforts to fix up a wastewater situation stemming from the June 2022 floods, the park concessionaire Xanterra announced that Mammoth Hotel lodging and dining will not open this winter, though they have a ski shop, tours, take-out food, and hot drinks for the winter. Perhaps you can arrange accommodations in the town of Gardiner outside the North Entrance instead. Within the park, Old Faithful Snow Lodge is the best place to stay from December 15, when roads open to oversnow travel by snowmobile and snowcoach, to early March, when the roads close for preparing for the spring opening of the park. Always be sure to check the Park Roads page before you go.

Opening up for summer

The first roads are due to open to wheeled traffic on April 21, weather permitting, which is a bit later than some recent years. The first hotel rooms and cabins to open will be at Mammoth on April 28, Old Faithful Inn on May 5, and then Lake Hotel and Canyon Lodges on May 12. These dates are quite a bit earlier than last year, but of course they are subject to change due to weather. Most of the restaurants and cafeterias in the park open for either take-out or dining in once the lodging opens. See the Stay and Dine tabs on Xanterra’s YellowstoneNationalParkLodges.com website for more.

Where to camp

Remember it’s not allowed to camp in your car or by the road in this national park. Fishing Bridge RV Park’s extensive renovation is complete, with new and larger sites, more showers and laundry facilities, and other improvements. Here are the opening dates or first available dates for the campgrounds you can reserve through Xanterra:

Madison Campground – May 5
Fishing Bridge RV Park – May 12
Canyon Campground – sold out through the end of May
Bridge Bay Campground – May 26
Grant Village Campground – sold out through June 8

Campgrounds run by the National Park Service, such as Tower Fall Campground, are reservable, but reservations for summer 2023 are not yet open on Recreation.gov. The flooding in June 2022 caused infrastructure damage to the following campgrounds, which will remain closed until further notice: Indian Creek, Mammoth, Pebble Creek, and Slough Creek.

So you can see that planning for your trip is both necessary and more complicated than it used to be. Time to get started!

Photo credit: Yellowstone Forever, January 22, 2017

 
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