Old Faithful Inn is, in my opinion, the most iconic of all the National Park Lodges within the entire National Park System!
Those lucky enough to stay in this lodge have the opportunity to be perfectly situated in the Upper Geyser Basin and next to Old Faithful Geyser.
It is also a fully functional lodge that is open seasonally every year (approximately May-October) providing 329 guest rooms, a full-service restaurant, lounge, snack bar, gift shop, and daily tours.
Old Faithful Inn - Yellowstone National Park
The Old Faithful Inn was developed by architect Robert Reamer. It was completed in 1904 and used locally sourced logs and stone to build.
The Old Faithful Inn was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1987.
Pulling up to the portico of the hotel and walking into the lobby is breathtaking. It looks like a scene from a movie and you can’t really believe it is real.
The lobby area is filled with visitors gawking at all of the wood railings, the massive fireplace, and the massive clock.
There is an art gallery, gift shop, bell desk, registration, and seating areas right when you walk in.
Perhaps the best part for me was waking up early in the morning before everyone else was out and watching Old Faithful erupt and not a soul was around!
About the Lodge
The Old Faithful Inn was designed in the National Park Rustic (Parkitecture) theme with its rustic style lodge with log and wood shingle exterior.
The lodge is considered the largest log structure in the world!
The lodge has gone through several additions and the original part of the inn is known as the “Old House”.
Old Faithful Inn historic hotel has 329 guestrooms with either private bathrooms (east wing and west wing) or shared baths in the Old House portion.
The lobby area has 76-foot tall ceilings, a huge rough stone fireplace, and overhanging balconies and railings made of gnarled logs.
The clock is handcrafted with copper, wood, and wrought iron.
Make sure to look for the crow nest on the third floor of the Old Faithful Inn. The Crow's Nest was closed after the 1959 earthquake that damaged the inn.
It is honestly a bit overwhelming there is so much to see and experience quickly when you walk into the lobby area. I found myself stopping and just staring at the massive wood pillars and balconies.
Old Faithful Inn History
Nestled among the hills in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming sits the Old Faithful Inn, which boasts views of the famous Old Faithful Geyser.
This magnificent building is one of the largest log structures in the world. It is a United States National Historic Landmark.
As many know, it was President Theodore Roosevelt who is credited as the creator of National Parks, but it was on March 1, 1872, that President Ulysses S. Grant approved the establishment of Yellowstone National Park “as a public park or pleasuring-ground for the benefit and enjoyment of the people.”
The site of the world-renown Old Faithful Inn sits on the land that was once the Upper Geyser Basin Hotel. Although at the time it was known as a very charming place to stay, the predecessor of the land would be much grander.
The Upper Geyser Basin Hotel was built in 1885 but burned down in 1894. Because the park was becoming an increasingly popular tourist attraction, plans to build a new, more impressive hotel was underway just a few years after the destruction of the Upper Geyser Basin Hotel.
The dream did not become a reality until 1904. It took years to secure the architect and specific design that was needed to fit such an impressive lodge into the splendid scenery and historic sense of the park.
One such architect was named A.W. Spalding, whose plan for the Inn called for a “Queen Ann” style of architecture. After consideration, it was clear that was not at all the style that park officials envisioned.
Architect Robert Reamer was the forefront choice after his blueprints caught the eye of park president Harry Child and park officials.
It helped that in April 1903, President Theodore Roosevelt, a chief supporter of National Parks, happened to be visiting and was able to study Reamer’s blueprints.
Henry Child was quoted as saying that the president “went into detail with our architect, and was very profuse in his compliments upon our efforts to improve the architecture of the Park buildings.”
Reamer was born in Ohio in 1873. By age 13, he had dropped out of school, committed himself to study art and architecture, and by 1891 had moved to Chicago to design furniture. In 1985, he moved to San Diego, CA, and opened an architecture firm with a partner.
Reamer’s architecture designs are not the only ideas that influenced the Inn and all of its parts, but his immense dedication to the buildings and the park itself between 1903 and 1937 was unlike anyone else.
On December 15, 1903, it was reported that 90 men arrived to begin the construction. Historically it has been said numerous times that Reamer was not simply the architect behind the designs, but was completely obsessed and engrossed in the construction from start to finish.
The Old Faithful Inn opened on June 1, 1904, just in time for visitors to enjoy a summer stay while taking in the park. The rustic charm, grand statue, and exquisite details undoubtedly made Reamer proud and drew visitors from all over the world.
Over the next forty years, the Inn grew considerably due to it being one of the main attractions in the park.
During those forty years Presidents, Theodore Roosevelt, Warren G. Harding, Calvin Coolidge, and Franklin D. Roosevelt all stayed in at the Old Faithful Inn.
Each time a new addition was added, Reamer traveled to Wyoming to supervise. During these additions, two new wings were created, adding 250 new guestrooms to the Inn. A noteworthy room at the Inn called the “Bear Pit Lounge” housed those special details that make a trip memorable.
Reamer himself is credited for coming up with wood-carved illustrations depicting comical bear scenes. In the 1980s, the lounge was made into a coffee shop. The bear illustrations were replicated onto etched glass and can be seen in other areas of the hotel today.
The Inn has shown its ability to stand the test of time and intrigue National Park lovers. During World War II in the 1940s, the Yellowstone National Park was closed.
The Old Faithful Inn was not prepared for the visitors who still wished to travel and visit the park. In 1959, the Hebgan Lake Earthquake struck Montana.
The historic earthquake was measured as a 7.2 magnitude causing a massive landslide in Montana and the deaths of 28 people. The Inn felt the effects, as it stands approximately 45 miles from Hebgan Lake.
Three fireplaces at the Inn were either damaged or completely demolished because of the earthquake. The entire structure of the Inn has also shaken off its foundation. By 1985, all of these damages had been fixed.
As with any structure that has been in existence for more than a century, urban legends and rumors often float around with a mention of its history. It is rumored that the West Wing addition to the Inn was unknowingly built over a number of unmarked graves.
The most famous ghost story surrounds a legend repeated over the years. In 1983, the assistant manager of the Inn claimed to have had many supernatural experiences at the hotel.
He stated that he did his research and discovered that a murder had taken place at the Inn’s room 127 in 1915. A couple on their honeymoon were apparently heard furiously arguing after the new husband had spent all their wedding money on gambling.
The next day, workers found the newlywed bride, still in her wedding dress dead in her bathtub, with her husband nowhere to be found. In 1991, the assistant manager admitted that after his true supernatural experiences, he made up the entire story about the ill-fated bride.
He thought it would be a good way to stir up business.
While an old ghost story is usually a great attraction for some travelers, the Old Faithful Inn certainly doesn’t need legends and eerie stories to stand out.
The majestic architecture and jaw-dropping beauty of the Inn and the surrounding park is plenty of attraction for any lover of nature and rustic charm!
Park Ranger John Pro Tip:
If you show up right when you can check in to your room, expect a large line!
We just so happened to be in the area when check-in began and noticed that the line stretched across the lobby and almost down the hall.
We quickly decided to come back an hour or two after check-in started we were able to walk right up and get checked in and registration was a breeze to get through.
Standard 1 Queen Bedroom
We stayed in a standard one queen hotel room at the Old Faithful Inn. Our room was located on the “garden level” which is on the 1st floor. One thing to always remember when staying at a historic lodge is the rooms are almost secondary to the location and the lobby area.
This means that when the lodge was built, park visitors at the time spent their time in the park and in the main lodge area socializing. They only went to their room to sleep, after all, this was a major life event for anyone at the time.
There were two sets of stairs down to our room on the garden level. If you have any mobility restrictions that prevent you from easily maneuvering downstairs with luggage you may want to let them know when you make your reservation.
There is an elevator but it did not go down to the garden level only to one level above us.
The room was fairly basic but the location was out of this world. The room includes a sink, dresser, small closet, queen bed, 2 nightstands, a small chair, and a private bath.
Not all of the rooms have a private bathroom, remember in the early 1900's it was common for hotels to have shared bathrooms. This is definitely something to keep an eye on while making a reservation.
Being on the garden level the room was a bit loud before other guests headed to sleep. You could hear the steam heat vents gurgling and people walking down the halls talking.
Thankfully the steam heat vents gurgling turned into white noise and we fell asleep quickly and easily. The bed is quite firm with one comforter cover on it along with four small pillows.
Room Types available
None of the rooms at the Old Faithful Inn have televisions, radios, or air conditioning.
There are 8 ADA rooms available with bathroom grab bars, portable shower hose, and accessible toilet and sink.
Suite/Geyser Basin View
Located in the East Wing of the hotel. The suites feature 2 queen beds and a private bathroom.
The rooms offer a partial view of the geyser basin. Amenities include a separate sitting room, mini-fridge with soft drinks and snacks, a complimentary book, telephone, coffee maker, and a fan.
The Junior Suites are located in the East Wing. The Junior Suites feature 2 queen beds, a small sitting area, private bathroom, mini-fridge stocked with soft drinks and snacks, a complimentary book, and a fan.
Deluxe Hotel Room/Geyser Basin View
The Deluxe Rooms are located in the East Wing of the inn. They have a partial view of the geyser basin.
The rooms have 1 or 2 queen beds, a private bathroom, coffee maker, hair dryer, alarm clock, and a fan.
Deluxe Hotel Room/East Wing
The Deluxe Rooms located in the East Wing of the Inn have either 1 or 2 queen beds. Additional amenities include a private bathroom, heat, telephone, coffee maker, and alarm clock.
Deluxe Hotel Room/West Wing
The Deluxe Rooms in the West Wing of the Inn have 1 or 2 queen beds. The bathrooms have either a full bathroom or a bathroom with only a shower.
Old House Room with Bath
The Old House Rooms are located in the Old House of the hotel. They have either 1 or 2 queen beds, a private bathroom, alarm clock, fan, and hairdryer.
Old House Room without a Bathroom
The Old House Rooms without a bathroom are located in the Old House of the hotel. They do not have a private bathroom! The bathrooms are shared including the showers.
The rooms have either 1, 2, or 3 queen beds with a sink in the room. There are no coffee makers in the room.
Value for Money
The cost we paid for the night – $409.36 with taxes
Location – You can’t get a much better location in Yellowstone National Park. You are literally feet from one of the world’s most famous landmarks. You have the opportunity to stay in the heart of the nation’s first national park.
Amenities –Next to location, this lodge is a National Park Lovers dream come true! The lodge just screams out Parkitecture and will have those into old buildings running around marveling at its grandeur!
My wife will stand in the background, watch me running around admiring everything and will somehow find a complete stranger and explain to them how I am now geeking out over wavy glass and says that I will soon be talking about historic preservation treatments/guidelines and whether they have managed to preserve its original integrity.
I thought the teddy bear bar of soap was a bonus in your room giving it a personal touch. The room was really basic for today's standards with not a lot of today's amenities included like TVs.
There is shampoo, conditioner, and body wash available in the shower. A coffee maker with coffee and tea in the room.
Night Sleep – I personally did not have a great night's sleep as I love my plush pillowtop bed at home and the bed here was extremely firm. I am aware this is personal preference and why I mention it to you.
I didn't much care for the small pillows that were placed on the bed. The room was loud with people walking by and talking. Keep in mind this lodge was built in 1903-04.
I would personally stay at the Old Faithful Inn Again – This is a National Park Lodge I have dreamed of staying at for as long as I can remember.
The lobby and entrance to the Inn are amazing and worth visiting but you can visit this area during the day without paying over $400 a night for a room, especially if you are on a budget.
Old Faithful Inn Restaurants
There are several dining options at the Old Faithful Inn and surrounding areas. If you do not see what you like, try checking out the other park hotels/lodges near you. There is a list of the parks Hotels/lodges at the bottom of this article.
Old Faithful Inn Dining Room
The main dining room is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Reservations are required for the dinner buffet. I heard from several people that the breakfast buffet was a good value for money and was a great way to start the day off.
We chose not to have dinner at the Old Faithful Inn Dining Room after reading multiple online reviews, talking with other people who have stayed there, and employees onsite telling us to skip it and head to the Obsidian Room at the Snow Lodge for a better meal.
Unfortunately, we were told that the food does not live up to what you would expect for the price of the hotel.
We would love to hear if you have dined here and how it was. Keep in mind that reviews can change from year to year, depending on the summer staff that gets hired.
We did eat at the Obsidian Room at the Snow Lodge and it was extremely good!
Bear Paw Deli
The deli is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner along with serving espresso drinks.
Don’t miss an ice cream cone at the Bear Paw Deli with epic Big Dipper Ice Cream. Big Dipper Ice Cream can be found in Missoula, Helena, and Billings Montana as well as select Xanterra Lodges and restaurants in Glacier and Yellowstone National Park.
Big Dipper has received recognition from Good Morning America for being chosen as one of America's Best by Food and Wine Magazine, USA Today, Yahoo News, and Budget Travel. Don't forget to try the local favorite Huckleberry, a native fruit native to the Pacific Northwest.
Mezzanine Espresso Cart and Bar
Located on the second floor of the inn this is a great place to grab a coffee or a drink and relax in one of the chairs overlooking the main floor of the Inn.
Facts about Old Faithful Inn
The inn's foundation and fireplace are constructed with rhyolite which was produced by Yellowstone's volcanic eruptions.
The fireplace is made from 500 tons of stone.
There used to be a printing press in the Inn's Basement. They would print the daily menus for the restaurant.
The Old Faithful Inn was saved during the fires of 1988. The inn has roof sprinklers that had been installed a year before the fires.
When the Inn opened it cost $4 a night for a room with the bathroom down the hall.
The lobby measures 76 ½ feet from floor to ceiling.
Things to do in Yellowstone near Old Faithful Inn
Explore the Upper Geyser Basin. This includes Old Faithful, The Inn, visitor center, gift store, and trails.
Explore Biscuit Basin. This geyser basin is located close to the Old Faithful Inn and has several features to explore.
Explore Black Sand Basin. Another great geyser basin near Old Faithful Inn with fewer crowds than Upper Geyser Basin and Midway Geyser Basin.
Explore Midway Geyser Basin. Grand Prismatic Spring within the Midway Geyser Basin is a National Park Bucket list moment, along with Old Faithful. It's the iconic photo that everyone wants from a trip to Yellowstone.
If you take the overlook trail, make sure to take the Fairy Falls Trail.
Things to know when planning a stay at the Old Faithful Inn
Location – 30 minutes from Yellowstone National Parks west entrance, 39 miles from the south entrance
Check-in time – 4:00 PM
Check out time – 11:00 AM
Wi-Fi – We did not have any Wi-Fi access in the hotel. We did hear that there is Wi-Fi at the Snow Lodge
Cell Service – There is Verizon cell service in the area. We have T-Mobile and could pull in some service in the middle of the night but it was super slow.
Beds – All rooms in the inn have queen beds
Pets – Pets are not allowed in the hotel.
Smoking – All Yellowstone guest rooms, cabins, lobbies, dining areas, and lounges are smoke-free.
Closest Airports – Jackson Hole Airport – 90 miles
Billings Logan International Airport – 220 miles
Yellowstone Park Entrance Fee - $35.00 per vehicle for 7 days from date of purchase. This is not included in the hotel rate.
Planning a National Park vacation? America the Beautiful/National Park Pass covers entrance fees for an entire year to all US National Park Sites and over 2,000 Federal Recreation Fee Sites.
The park pass covers everyone in the car for per vehicle sites and for up to 4 adults for per-person sites.
Buy on REI.com and REI will donate 10% of pass proceeds to the National Forest Foundation, National Park Foundation and the U.S. Endowment for Forestry & Communities.
Lodging near Yellowstone
Lodging near Yellowstone can be found in Gardiner, West Yellowstone, Cody, and G
Gray Wolf Inn & Suites in West Yellowstone - 3-star hotel. Gray Wolf Inn & Suites is located close to Yellowstone Park West Entrance, and provides a firepit, laundry facilities, and a 24-hour gym. Adventurous travelers may like the snowmobiling at this hotel. For some rest and relaxation, visit the hot tub. Free in-room WiFi and a business center are available to all guests.
Stage Coach Inn in West Yellowstone - Yellowstone Park West Entrance is located near Stage Coach Inn, which provides free continental breakfast, laundry facilities, and a fireplace in the lobby. For some rest and relaxation, visit the sauna. Free in-room WiFi is available to all guests, along with a gym and a 24-hour business center.
Yellowstone Westgate Hotel in West Yellowstone - At Yellowstone Westgate Hotel, you can look forward to free continental breakfast, laundry facilities, and a fireplace in the lobby. For some rest and relaxation, visit the hot tub. Free in-room WiFi and a business center are available to all guests.
Brandin' Iron Inn in West Yellowstone - Brandin' Iron Inn is located close to Yellowstone Park West Entrance, and provides free full breakfast, laundry facilities, and a fireplace in the lobby. Skiers and snowboarders can spend time on the slopes at this motel offering ski-in/ski-out access and cross-country skiing. Guests can connect to free in-room WiFi.
Kelly Inn West Yellowstone - Close to Yellowstone Park West Entrance, Kelly Inn West Yellowstone provides free continental breakfast, a free roundtrip airport shuttle, and a firepit. For some rest and relaxation, visit the hot tub. Free in-room WiFi is available to all guests, along with laundry facilities and a business center.
If you are unable to find a reservation at the lodge or want to compare prices click on the map below to see current rates for hotels and vacation rentals near Yellowstone.
Guided Tours of Yellowstone
From West Yellowstone - Park Tour with a local guide
Discover the stunning natural beauty the flora and fauna in Yellowstone National Park with this tour from West Yellowstone. See sights like Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon waterfalls, and Artist Point.
From West Yellowstone - Lamar Valley Wildlife Tour by Van
See the wildlife of the Lamar Valley with a naturalist guide. Watch wildlife with high-powered spotting scopes and binoculars from the comfort of a van.
From West Yellowstone - Lower Loop Active Van Tour
See Yellowstone's hot spots by van with a naturalist guide. Visit Grand Prismatic Hot Spring, Old Faithful, Yellowstone Lake, and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
Yellowstone Lake half day guided kayak tour - Enjoy a relaxed morning with a guided kayaking tour along the shores of Yellowstone Lake. Look for local wildlife as you make your way over sparkling waters towards the West Thumb Geyser Basin.
Guided sunset lake kayaking tour - Paddle the glassy waters of Yellowstone Lake and see the awash in sunset tones on this guided kayak tour.
From Jackson - Day tour with entrance fee included
Join a local guide for an amazing day in the world's first national park, home of grizzly bears, elk, bison, wolves, eagles, foxes, and 60% of the world's geothermal features. Stop at Old Faithful, Grand Canyon waterfalls, and other geyser areas.
From Jackson - Park and Wildlife Viewing Tour
Explore Yellowstone National Park on a guided day tour. Visit Old Faithful, the Lower Falls of Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, and enjoy opportunities for wildlife viewing throughout the day.
From Jackson - Full Day Yellowstone Lower Loop Tour
Spend a day exploring Yellowstone's Lower Loop, departing and returning from Jackson. Visit the Old Faithful Area, Midway Geyser Basin, Fountain Paint Pots, the Canyon Area, Hayden Valley, and more.
From Gardner - Yellowstone River Whitewater Rafting Trip
Feel the rush as you raft through rapids, crash over waves and conquer the Yellowstone River. Travel in a raft with a certified safety guide.
From Cody - Full day park tour
Experience the beauty of Yellowstone on this tour from Cody. Visit top sights like the historic Fishing Bridge, the bubbling Mud Volcano, Hayden Valley, Artist’s Point, and Old Faithful.
Additional Yellowstone Articles
Ultimate Yellowstone National Park Lodging and Cabins Guide- The most complete source you can find on lodging and cabin options in Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone Camping Guide - Check out all of the campgrounds in Yellowstone and what to expect.
Yellowstone facts - fun things to know about Yellowstone!
Yellowstone Waterfalls - epic waterfalls in the park.
Check out all of the National Parks in Wyoming along with neighboring National Parks in Colorado, National Parks in Idaho, Montana National Parks, Nebraska National Parks, South Dakota National Parks, and Utah National Parks