Throughout the pandemic, we'll keep publishing news to help you navigate the state of travel today (like whether travel insurance covers the coronavirus), as well as stories about places for you to put on your bucket list once it's safe to start going more far-flung.
A visit to Yellowstone National Park, which straddles the Montana, Wyoming, and Idaho borders, is a must-do for many: America’s first national park is home to erupting geysers, wild grizzlies, and gushing waterfalls. You’re going to want to plan a few days here to explore it all. There are nine lodges and a dozen campgrounds inside the park, but if you want a kitchen, a few bedrooms, and some space to spread out, you can find Airbnbs within a short drive from the park’s entrances. We rounded up some well-loved cabins for every type of traveler.
For Giving Back
Erik’s Ranch isn’t your typical Airbnb. Located 40 minutes from the park’s north entrance in Montana’s Paradise Valley, outside the town of Livingston, the ranch and retreat center offers a living and working environment for young adults with autism, who act as ranch hands, tour guides, and in guest services. Profits from the guest accommodations, including this sleek, off-the-grid two-bedroom ranch house (from $268), help fund the program. While you’re there, enjoy a horseback ride and a soak at Chico Hot Springs, or look for grizzly bears from a safe distance.
Mack’s Inn is a historic resort on the shores of the North Fork of the Snake River, a world-class fly-fishing destination in the town of Island Park, Idaho, around 25 minutes from the park’s west entrance. Adjacent to the property is the Henry’s Fork Reunion Cabin (from $450), which is well suited for groups, thanks to five bedrooms and a dining-room table that can seat up to 12 people. The Yellowstone RV Park at Mack’s Inn is also next door, if you’ve got friends in RVs or campers joining you. Cell service and Wi-Fi are both good here, in case you need to get work done.
This tiny, one-bedroom log A-frame (from $149), also in Island Park, is perfect for couples seeking a peaceful retreat. It’s home to one lofted bedroom, accessible via a ladder. Trout fishing and paddling on Henry’s Fork of the Snake River are out the door, and the cabin comes with cans of bear spray, which you’ll need if you’re planning a summer hike in Yellowstone. Cook inside or, midsummer, take advantage of the shared outdoor kitchen, grill, and fire pit.
You can’t get much closer to Yellowstone than this cozy one-bedroom cabin (from $215) in West Yellowstone, Montana, about seven miles from that park entrance. The little house sleeps up to four, with one bed and a sofa bed. Ideally situated on 50 acres, including access to its own private fishing pond, the property is also adjacent to national forestland.
This quaint log cabin (from $199), less than 30 minutes from West Yellowstone, isn’t fancy, but it’s got everything you need, including Wi-Fi, board games, a stocked kitchen, and an outdoor fire pit. The place sleeps up to five, with one bedroom and a loft. It’s located on a private road bordering Forest Service land just a few minutes from the gateway town of Island Park, a destination for snowmobilers in the wintertime and Yellowstone-bound hikers in the summer.
You’re coming for Yellowstone—25 minutes away—but you’re staying for the hot tub on the deck. This spacious, four-bedroom cabin (from $211) in Island Park is just the outpost for families and has ample forest to explore out back. The house comes equipped with things kids need, like a bathtub, unbreakable plates, twin beds in a sleeping loft and, for wee ones, a high chair and loaner Pack ’n Play. It’s a five-minute walk to fly-fishing at Elk Creek.
For Those on a Budget
This sweet, western-style two-bedroom cabin (from $132) in Island Park offers easy access to West Yellowstone and is one of the more affordable Airbnbs in the area (the hosts even say they’ll do what they can to match your budget). Nice kitchen appliances making cooking a breeze, and s’mores fixings come included. The cabin is dog friendly and has a fenced-in backyard for your pup to run around.
For Wildlife Viewers
Just ten minutes from the park’s west entrance, this newly constructed luxury lodge (from $349) is one of the closer Airbnbs to Yellowstone. It sleeps up to ten in four bedrooms and has amenities like a gas fireplace, an outdoor fire pit, and a hot tub. If you’re into wildlife spotting, the cabin comes with binoculars and a Nikon digital camera you can borrow, as well as guidebooks and trail maps for both the park and the surrounding area.