- Check-in: 4:30pm
- Check out: 11:00 am
- Cancellation Fee: Yes
We stayed in both a Western Cabin and a Frontier Cabin at the Lake Lodge. While the Western Cabin had a nice interior, the exterior was not much to look at. The Frontier Cabin had a rustic and charming exterior but lacked some of the interior upgrades of the Western Cabin. (The exteriors of the Frontier Cabins can be seen in my videos below of the bison hanging out around the Lake Lodge) If your family or group can sleep on 2 doubles instead of 2 queens, I would recommend the Frontier Cabins. The Frontier Cabins were just more in line with what I imagined a cabin should be when enjoying the great outdoors. In any case, what really made these cabins stand out from all the other cabins we stayed at was the location inside of Yellowstone National Park and our unexpected encounters with wildlife at the lodge.
When booking our cabins through yellowstonenationalparklodges.com I imagined us going on long drives around the grand loop to see the wildlife, but we were pleasantly surprised to have several encounters with wildlife right at the lodge. On our first night at the lodge, we had walked out to the lake, then return to the lodge to relax on the porch. While sitting in rocking chairs on the porch, we watched a bison and a deer hanging out between the lake and the water.
Our next encounter with a bison happened the next day when we were ready to head out and drive the grand loop. We had come out of the cabin, but my daughter wanted to go back inside to grab her water bottle. As she came out of the van and headed to our cabin door, my son said, “There’s a buffalo.”
I didn’t see it at first, but it was standing at the edge of our row of cabins, around 20 yards away!
We followed this bison around to get pictures and video from our van. I thought this might be our only chance to get up close photos and video of a bison, but it turned out it was quite common for these large beasts to hang out by our cabin.
On our first drive of the grand loop, we drove toward Grant Village, stopped at Old Faithful, and continued on north toward Canyon before heading back to Lake Lodge. Between Canyon and Lake Lodge, we caught a glimpse of a bear in the woods.
On the second day, we headed north, hopeful to see more bears. We drove north past Canyon, through Hayden Valley, then west to Mammoth, and back south to Canyon, and back to the lodge. While our long 5-hour drive was filled with spectacular vistas, beautiful forests, grand waterfalls, bison, and deer we did not see any bears. When we returned to our cabin, we decided to drive our van to the ice machine and refill our cooler. We turned the corner in the parking area to head up a few cabin rows. Our cabin was in section D and the ice was across from section F. Suddenly, a bear ran across the road in front of us! Then it disappeared into the wooded area next to the cabins. It was exciting and unsettling all at once. I was so excited to see a bear, but our sighting was too close to our cabin.
We drove around trying to catch up with the bear but did not see it again. Then we went to fill ice and I reported the sighting to a hotel employee. After we filled our ice, we drove back up and down the parking area looking for the bear. A park employee cautioned us to be careful, and I assured him we would not leave our vehicle if the bear was in the area.
Upon returning to our cabin, a Ranger arrived to talk to our neighbor who was able to get some video of the bear. The bear was first reported as a grizzly by another guest staying at the lodge, so there was some concern that a new bear was in the area. I let the Ranger know, that to me, it looked like a brown, black bear. The Ranger seemed to be already aware that there was a brown, black bear hanging out in the area.
The Ranger was friendly and gave us tips on where to look for bears and wolves. He also mentioned there was a recent sighting of a bear floating down a river on his back. That was so interesting to me, as I never knew that a bear would behave that way.
We did not see wolves this trip, but that just gives us a great reason to return to Yellowstone.