Gardiner, Montana is the northern entrance to Yellowstone, and the only entrance to remain open all year round. The town lies just a few miles from Yellowstone's many wonders, including the Mammoth Hot Springs and Clagett Butte. But the appeal of Gardiner is not just from its proximity to Yellowstone National Park. The small town is its own destination, with colorful scenery, a quirky personality and true blue western feels.
Gardiner is located in Paradise Valley, a breathtaking area reminiscent of a scene from Animal Planet. The Yellowstone River runs right through town, and it is not uncommon to see antelope, bison, deer and elk meandering the streets. There are plenty of river recreation options available including rafting, fly fishing and paddle boarding. But if you prefer your water hot to cold, the Boiling River hot springs is located just three miles from Gardiner. If you’re looking for a quiet spot by the water, head north about three miles to a local swimming hole where you can relax on the sandy beach.
Don't forget to stop by the most famous structure in Gardiner, the Roosevelt Arch. The structure, dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903, stands at Yellowstone National Park's north entrance. If you are visiting in the winter, the region is transformed into a winter wonderland. Popular cold-weather activities include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowmobiling. Be sure to check out the town's quirky hotspots as well. The Gardiner Market, a hybrid grocery store and deli, is the go-to for fresh local goods. Yellowstone Perk, a multipurpose pharmacy, coffee and gift shop, serves up some of the best ice cream in the region. And at Tumbleweed Bookstore and Cafe, you’ll find all the menu items are named after dogs -- plus a bunny and cat.
Nearby Yellowstone National Park is so vast that planning a couple of days to explore the sights isn’t a bad idea. See the largest active geyser field in the world at Yellowstone. The park’s most famous geyser, Old Faithful, is 57 miles south of Gardiner. There’s also the Grand Prismatic Hot Spring, the third largest spring in the world, around 50 miles south of town. You won’t have to plan your trips around wildlife – you’ll probably come across plenty while sightseeing. The park is home to the world’s largest bison herd, bald and golden eagles, trumpeter swans, gray wolves and more. You might also see herds of wild horses closer to town. For a pretty picture op, visit the pink and yellow canyon walls that form the sides of three waterfalls. There’s an overlook of the falls called Artist’s Point, where you might feel inspired by the picturesque beauty. For avid hikers, Yellowstone has over 1,300 miles of trails. The hardest part might be deciding which path to choose. Spending a night under the stars is also a great way to experience the region. Camp out in the backcountry or head to one of many campsites within the national park. Or embrace all that is cowboy country by attending an old West gun fight, watching a rodeo or touring Yellowstone on horseback. If you don’t mind a longer drive, head to the Buffalo Bill Center of the West in Cody, Wyoming to learn more about real-life cowboys.
Visitors to Yellowstone often choose to stay in Gardiner because of the town’s hospitable atmosphere and comfortable accommodations. If you’re traveling with a large party and trying to fit everyone under one roof, check out the vacation rentals in town. Flying Pig Adventure Co. Vacation Rentals have a deck and barbecue area, private fishing access and stunning views of Yellowstone park. Wilderness Connection is a historic ranch featuring Gardiner’s only zipline tour, horseback trail rides and western cookouts. Hell’s A Roarin’ Outfitters is a ranch and lodge that offers horseback rides, fishing trips and nightly steak cookouts and campfires. For a more conventional stay, there is a selection of brand name motels and inns nearby. Yellowstone Super 8 has a heated indoor pool and allows pets. Yellowstone Basin Inn offers a home-cooked buffet breakfast and free Wi-Fi. Alternative lodging options include a hostel, “tipi hotel,” and guesthouses.
Although there is no free public transportation in Gardiner, there’s an airport shuttle service operated by Karst Stage. Karst Stage runs charter buses, private cars, shuttles and tours around the region. The closest major airport to Gardiner is 87 miles away at Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport. The closest Greyhound station is located 52 miles north of town, in Livingston. The closest Amtrak is 344 miles north in Shelby, Montana. The most advisable form of transport around the greater Gardiner area is by car, though walking around town is perfectly feasible as well.
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For travelers planning for an extended stay, long-term lodging and corporate rentals only cost an average of $25 a month. Save hundreds with Tripping.com and even book instantly with properties marked “Instabook.” Gardiner has 143 gorgeous homes with 13 pet-friendly rentals to choose from, perfect for your furry friends. Check out our listings now to get the latest deals, and book the right vacation rental for you and the whole family. Feel at home wherever you are and experience an unforgettable vacation with Tripping.com.Search properties from 6 rental sites in Gardiner where the top providers in that area are HomeAway, Booking.com, and TripAdvisor. There are 93 HomeAway rentals, 38 Booking.com short term rentals and 5 TripAdvisor vacation rentals.