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Gardiner Montana

Gardiner's post office in has a display of historical photographs of the town, taken since its founding in 1880. This is as good a place as any to begin an exploration of the area, including Yellowstone National Park, which lies across Park Street from Gardiner's false-fronted downtown district.

In the 1880s and 90s, Gardiner was a dusty, false-fronted village of no more than 20 buildings, sitting in the middle of nowhere, waiting for infrequent stages to come through bringing supplies, and hoping for the next gold rush.

The real gold rush came when Yellowstone Park was fully accessible to the public around the turn of the century. With the main and still the only year-round park entrance across the street from Gardiner, this little town has developed as a tourist center with good and bad consequences. The economy in Gardiner is stable. Some of its "decor" is questionable, although most visitors enjoy the touches that hark back to the tough little frontier village of the 1880s. You'll see what we mean when you see the lineup of false-fronted buildings on Park Streetsaloons, bingo halls, cafes, and tourist souvenir shops.

Gardiner lies in the Yellowstone River Valley, at the south end of the scenic Gallatin drive, to Yellowstone Park from Livingston. The drive passes near Chico Hot Springs and the base of several magnificent Absaroka peaks. Gardiner is a town of motels and campgrounds, a waiting place of travelers wanting to pass through to enter Yellowstone. Some stay here to fish in the Yellowstone and other nearby streams. The Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness is to the north of town, offering hiking and backcountry camping. Gardiner becomes a haunt of snowmobilers in the winter.

The summer scene across the Park Street fence is enhanced during summer months with wild antelope in the meadow and on the Yellowstone hills. Bighorn sheep are also seen. Once into the park, passing beneath the (Teddy) Roosevelt Arch, Mammoth Hot Springs and the park headquarters are just a few minutes away.

River rafting trips on the Yellowstone and Gallatin and available in Gardiner, as well as pack trips in Yellowstone National Park and guided fly-fishing trips down the Yellowstone River.

Gardiner Hotels

Overnight accommodations in Gardiner include cabin courts, modern motels and a campground and RV park situated on the hill behind the downtown area.

Yellowstone Suites Bed and Breakfast
506 4th Street
This is a three story stone house built in 1904, renovated in 1994, and offers a contrast to other standard motels. The house is furnished with Victorian antiques and is in a quiet neighborhood, away from the busy main street. Amenities include television, in-room movies, microwave oven, refrigerator, and free WiFi. It has had several owners over the past 30 years and the atmosphere can be a little brusque one in a while, but the comfortable rooms and the very good breakfasts make it a pleasant stay.

Other lodgings include a Best Western motor lodge, and several other chain motels.

Camping

Rocky Mountain Campground
14 Jardine Road, gardiner 406-848-7251 and toll-free at 877-5346931
Open all year with RV and tent sites (some with full hook-ups), there's also a grocery store, laundry, game room and showers.

The operation also has indoor accommodations made up of two sets of cabins:

camping cabins with no rest rooms (use the campground showers and rest rooms), and you supply your own bedding

deluxe cabins that have three rooms, bath with shower and kitchen facilities and bedding supplies. It's located just east of Gardiner on Jardine Road.

For details on Yellowstone National Park,
go to the Park Pages

Nearby towns and attractions:
go to West Yellowtone, Bozeman,
Yellowstone National Park

 

Montana Destinations

Bigfork

Billings

Bozeman

Butte

Gardiner

Glacier National Park

Great Falls

Helena

Missoula

Red Lodge

Seeley Lake & The Swan Valley

West Yellowstone

Whitefish

 


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