Mammoth Hot Springs is today’s destination, with a short side trip through the North Entrance to the town of Gardiner, which is a throw-back western town like Jackson Hole was 25 years ago. Honestly, the hot springs are a disappointment from when we last saw them. The huge lower and upper terraces that were glistening with hot spring water, are now just chalky white and dry. Its still pretty, just not amazing.
The park highways follow the original stage coach routes from the early 1900’s that took train passengers to see the geyser fields and stay at the grand hotels scattered around Yellowstone. We are staying for four nights at one these hotels, in the Old House that is part of Old Faithful Inn. This is an awesome log hotel built in 1904 in one year by 50 carpenters. We recommend our room #242 because it has a direct view of the Old Faithful Geyser and is more reasonable at $167 per night than many other rooms. Be forewarned, the walls are thin and the toilets/showers are shared and down the hall. Still this is part of the mystique of the Old House. Be sure to take the hotel tour. And if you are booking a year in advance, ask to join the staff who climb to the very top of the Inn to take down the flag at dusk.