Setting up in Gardiner for a weekend makes an ideal base camp to explore Yellowstone National Park and beyond. You have all the benefits of being in town, with convenient access to a grocery store, a delicious assortment of restaurants, and plenty of activities, all on top of easy access to the park. When you're staying in a town where you might see bison, elk, or pronghorn wander down the street, you're just about as close to the action as you can get. Here's what you need to know about staying in Gardiner.
From Gardiner, you can check out Chico and Yellowstone Hot Springs without much of a drive. You can also hop on a whitewater rafting or guided fly fishing trip, check out the shops, or take a hike in the National Forest (a great option if you're traveling with four-legged friends who aren't allowed on trails in Yellowstone).
Staying in Gardiner is the perfect excuse to go ziplining, where you can soar above some of the most scenic country out there. You can also sign on with a pack trip and go horseback riding to cover more ground, whether overnight or just for a day.
It is doubtful that today's Park Service would approve the building of an expensive structure that is purely decorative in nature. But when the Roosevelt Arch was conceived, Gardiner was the most important gateway to Yellowstone—the first park and a jewel in the national park crown. Many felt that the approaches to the park were barren and lacked suitable grandeur. Park administrators and townspeople, from Gardiner, agreed, and plans commenced for a grand new entryway to Yellowstone.
In 1903, the partially constructed arch was dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt, who laid the cornerstone at a ceremony that drew thousands of guests, and much fanfare.
Staying in Gardiner means you get to enjoy tasty eats between adventures. The Two Bit Saloon gives you a bit of that Old West feel, while Yellowstone Grill offers a fresh take on burgers and wraps. The Corral is known for its big burgers and picnic table seating, and Tumbleweed Bookstore and Cafe is the spot for a quiet morning over coffee, before diving into a hearty lunch. There's also Iron Horse Bar and Grill, with both indoor and outdoor seating, and Kippers Food Trailer for a quick bite.
You also have the option of stocking up for grab-and-go lunches at the Gardiner Market or just popping in at the convenience store for a fast and fresh Subway sandwich as you're passing through.
There's a distinct benefit to staying in Gardiner over staying inside the park. First of all, you have more options. Beyond that, you're much more likely to get more amenities at a better price. Plus, you'll have easier access to dining options and other services, while still being able to get into the park early before the crowds.
The Yellowstone Super 8, owned by Highline Adventures, sits right at Gardiner's heart, with hills filled with wildlife stomping grounds rising up directly behind the building. For a great value, you and your family can enjoy recently renovated rooms, some with microwaves and mini-fridges, all with flat-screen TVs and air conditioning. And guest laundry services can help you get refreshed and ready for further travels.
The free breakfast can get you going fast in the mornings, ready for a full day of adventuring. And you can unwind in the evenings on the patio, taking advantage of the free WiFi to share your journey with friends and family.