Q. What time is check in?
A. In order for our cleaning team to have they time the need to make our properties ready for each guest's stay, check in time is 4pm. If the property is ready sooner, we can sometimes accommodate earlier check in's. But this depends on many factors, so we're unable to guarantee early check in's.
If you arrive in town early, there are plenty of things to do while you're waiting. See our Things to Do in West Yellowstone page for the full list of activities and adventures you can have right here in town!
Q. What time is check out?
A. It takes quite a bit of time to clean a cabin or mountain home, so our check out time is 10 a.m. We appreciate your cooperation in advance to be sure you are ready to depart the property by 10 a.m. on your check out day.
Q. When do I receive my check in / check out instructions?
A. Seven days before your arrival, we will email you your Pre-Arrival Information which includes check in / check out instructions, the property address, detailed directions to the property and parking information.
If you need to map out your driving directions, simply map your way to West Yellowstone, MT or Island Park, ID (depending on the property you're staying in and the direction you're coming from), and the directions you receive in the Pre-Arrival Information will guide you from there.
Q. What are the nearest airports?
A. The Yellowstone Airport (WYS) is about 3 miles north of West Yellowstone. It's very small and has limited service. There is also Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport (BZN) 91 miles north of West Yellowstone via Hwy 191, and Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA) 109 miles southwest of West Yellowstone via Hwy 20.
Most people fly into Bozeman or Idaho Falls and enjoy the scenic drives from each. It's about a 1.5 to 2 hour drive from either airport.
Q. Can I bring pets?
A. Yes, all of our cabins and mountain homes are pet friendly! We simply require a $25 non-refundable pet deposit.
Please let us know if you will be bringing pets so the cleaning crew can plan for a few extra touches (in case the guests coming after you are not "pet people").
If you are bringing a pet, we ask that you keep them well-behaved, clean up after them and be respectful of any neighbors with regard to your pet's behavior.
Also keep in mind that you are in the wilderness here. Small to medium size pets are easy targets for local critters such as coyotes, foxes, bears, birds of prey and more. Even larger dogs are easy targets for bears, wolves and mountain lions. So please keep a close eye on your pets at all times.
Q. Do I need to bring bed linens, soaps, toilet paper, etc.?
A. No. For your convenience we supply all bed linens, towels, kitchen and bathroom soaps, toilet paper and laundry detergent.
Q. What is your nightly minimum stay?
A. We generally require a 3-night minimum stay. However, we do make exceptions in situations where there is a 1 or 2 night gap between two reservations that are already booked. For these instances, please contact us by phone or by sending a message via the "Ask a Question" button on the property's page. Or by using the form on our Contact Us page.
Q. What is your booking policy? When are my payments due?
A. We simply require a 50% deposit, with the remaining balance due 30 days before arrival.
Q. What forms of payment do you take?
A. We accept Visa, Master Card and Discover. You can either pay securely through our website or by calling us.
Q. What is your cancellation policy?
A. If you need to cancel, please do so 60 days or more prior to your arrival date for a full refund less a small, three percent cancellation fee. Cancellations that are within 60 days of your arrival date will result in forfeiture of your deposit, unless we are able to re-rent your cancelled dates.
Q. Is there a maximum number of people allowed for each property?
A. Each property has its own occupancy level. You can view these by visiting the list of properties on the Properties page. We thank you for respecting these occupancy maximums. In certain instances we can be flexible with these maximums, so please contact us for approval. If there is a violation of the occupancy maximum without our prior approval, we will have no choice but to evict the tenants without refund.
Q. What if we have a maintenance emergency during our stay?
A. We live close by, so simply give us a call and we'll get it taken care of for you.
Q. Is there anything to do in the area other than visit Yellowstone?
A. Yes. Whether you're coming in the spring, summer, fall or winter, there are plenty of fun activities to enjoy outside the park. Check out our Things to Do in West Yellowstone and Things to Do in Winter pages for some great ideas.
Q. What restaurants to you recommend?
A. We get this question alot, so we put together a detailed page of recommendations for you. Check out our Local's Guide to West Yellowstone Restaurants for the scoop on our favorite restaurants in town.
Q. Where do I find [insert what you're looking for here] in West Yellowstone?
A. Whatever you're looking for, you'll likely find it on our West Yellowstone Services page... from grocery stores, the post office and our gym / fitness center to auto repair, churches, health services, miscellaneous goods and more!
Q. Does Yellowstone National Park ever close?
A. Yes. The Park closes twice a year, before and after the winter season. In the fall, it closes from early November to mid-December to prepare the roads for snow. In the spring, it closes from early March to mid-April to clear the roads of snow. The exact dates change each year, so use this link to view Yellowstone's Open/Close Dates.
However, even when the Park is closed, it's still a nice time to visit the area for those who really want to be here. March and December are good for snowmobiling, skiing and snowshoeing. And April and November can go either way for winter activities verses other activities like hiking and fishing (the start and end of winter is different each year).
Grocery stores and other services, plus several restaurants are open year 'round. But be aware that some activity vendors may not be open in the off-seasons (see our Things To Do In Winter and Things To Do In West Yellowstone pages).
Q. Can I drive my car or snowmobile into Yellowstone during the winter?
A. No. Yellowstone experiences an intense winter with lots of snowfall. Because of this, and for the safety of visitors and the animals, the only vehicles allowed in the park during winter are vendor operated snowcoach and snowmobile tours. Cars and private or rented snowmobiles are not allowed in the Park. However, snowmobilers are able to ride the hundreds of miles of groomed National Forest trails that surround West Yellowstone and Island Park, Idaho.
Cross-country skiers and snowshoers are allowed to access the Park via the Riverside Trail at the edge of town, which is also groomed for skiing and snowshoeing, or by going through the West Entrance gate.
Visit our Things to Do in Winter page for more information on snowmobiling, skiing and snowshoeing options.
Q. What will the weather be like when we come?
A. One thing to know is that it can snow in any month of the year here. It's not too common in summer, but it can definitely happen.
We recommend downloading the weather app from the local news station, KBZK channel 7, out of Bozeman. They're the only station that covers the weather for West Yellowstone. You can do a search for "KBZK weather" wherever you get your apps from. Or, if you don't do apps, you can visit the weather page on their website.
All this being said, the weather can change quickly in any season. For the most part, locals tend not to look more than 3 days ahead for the forecast. Summer weather is a little more predictable, but it can still change quickly.
Q. What should we pack?
A. Layers: No matter what time of year you come, pack layers. For summer you'll want to bring a mix of shorts and short sleeves plus long pants and long sleeves. Fleece works well here because it blocks the wind, which can bite right through cotton shirts, pants and jackets. Also bring a waterproof jacket or poncho, especially in June when rain is more likely compared to July and August. In spring and fall, a heavier fleece jacket is a good idea, along with layers. Winter is cold, and everyone responds differently to it, so layers, layers, layers are key and will allow you to adjust as needed.
Sunscreen: No matter what time of year you come, you'll need sunscreen. We're at about 7000 ft in elevation, and parts of the park are at 8000 ft. This means you'll burn more quickly here, even if it's cloudy.
Reusable water bottles: Many visitors don't realize that simply being at elevation will dehydrate you. Add to this our dry climate, and folks tend to dehydrate very quickly here. Dehydration will make you feel weak, tired and lethargic, so in order to make the most of your vacation, plan to drink an extra liter of water more than you usually do. This applies to all seasons of the year.
Hats: In the summer and fall, you'll want hats that protect your head from the sun. In the winter and spring, you'll want hats that cover your ears to protect them from the wind.
Sunglasses: Summer and fall, most days are sunny. Winter and spring, sun glare off the snow on the ground can be blinding.
Gloves: In winter these are a must, and waterproof or water resistant are best if you have them. We also highly recommend having glove liners or hand warmers in addition to your outer glove layer. In late fall and early spring, gloves are a good idea to bring along, as the weather can be unpredictable.
Comfortable shoes in the summer: Even if you don't do any hiking while you're here, Yellowstone has lots of tourist stops and boardwalks for viewing the natural wonders. So, comfortable shoes that fit securely on your feet (along with socks) are highly recommended.
Waterproof footware in the winter: Within the town limits, streets and sidewalks are groomed but not plowed. If you're walking around town, you'll want some sort of waterproof footware. (Of course, you can also do like we did back in the old days, and rubberband bread bags around your feet to keep the dry.) ;)
Q. Do I need 4-wheel drive in the winter?
A. It helps, but it's not necessary. Road crews do a good job of keeping Hwy 191 (between here and Bozeman) and Hwy 20 (between here and Idaho Falls) plowed and clear. Within town limits, our road crew plows highways 191 and 20. The rest of the roads in town are kept well groomed. This means they stay snow covered throughout winter, but the grooming makes them easily drivable for vehicles without 4-wheel drive. Around our properties, we do the plowing ourselves. So, no matter where you are, you'll be able to get around.