While Yellowstone National Park is known throughout the world for its natural wonders, there are a number of man-made landmarks, too—including a wealth of historic hotels.
Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park
Perhaps no human contribution is more beloved, or more appreciated, than the Old Faithful Inn. Since its opening in 1904, the Inn has withstood 100 years of sweltering sunshine, snowstorms, earthquakes, and the largest forest fire in centuries.
Architect Robert C. Reamer was hired by Harry W. Child, the president of the Yellowstone Park Transportation Company, to design the hotel. Financial support from the Northern Pacific Railroad allowed the dream to come true.
Today, the historic hotel stands as an enduring monument to what is known as “parkitecture.” The gnarled logs woven into the lodgepole pine, stone, and lumber hostelry have awed visitors and architects alike. Even Disney demonstrated its admiration for the inn, modeling its Wilderness Lodge at Disney World after this landmark hotel.For more information visit yellowstonenationalparklodges.com or call (866) 439-7375.
Occidental Hotel in Buffalo, Wyoming
In the rip-roaring days of early Wyoming, as far back as 1880, travelers along the Bozeman Trail found an oasis at the Occidental Hotel in Buffalo.
More than a few famous figures stayed here, including Buffalo Bill Cody, Calamity Jane, Butch Cassidy, The Sundance Kid, and Teddy Roosevelt.
Owen Wister took inspiration from his stays at the Occidental when he penned his famous Western novel, The Virginian. In fact, the Occidental is the place where “The Virginian Got His Man.”
The hotel was renovated in 2008, and remains true to its historic roots. The rooms are decorated with antiques, and the 1908 saloon looks exactly as it did on the hotel’s opening day.
The hotel also features two restaurants and a Living History Museum. For more information visit occidentalwyoming.com.
Irma Hotel in Cody, Wyoming
The historic Irma Hotel is a phenomenal piece of Western history. Buffalo Bill built the Irma in 1902, calling it, “just the swellest hotel that ever was.” He kept two suites and an office for himself there.
When the Burlington Railroad completed a spur line to Cody, his plan was to have travelers stay at the hotel while en route to Yellowstone.
The Irma Hotel, designed by Alfred Wilderman Woods, is on the National Register of Historic Places. The cherry wood bar dates to the period of construction, and is one of the most photographed features in Cody. The lounge’s fireplace is made of of rock, minerals, and fossils from the Big Horn Basin.
While traveling to or from Yellowstone Park, plan to spend at least one night at this historic hotel. For more information visit irmahotel.com or call (800) 745-4762.