To a resident of the West, "local" is an interesting concept. It might mean the neighbor's house next door and it might mean the neighbor's ranch 10 miles down the road. It might mean the store in the next town 50 miles away or the University 100 miles away. Generally, it means somewhere close enough to visit before dinner if you leave right after breakfast. A "local attraction" in it's own right, The Faithful Street Inn is strategically located in the geographic center of West Yellowstone, Montana. It is possible to walk to the popular shops and restaurants, yet easily avoid the tourist congestion of "downtown" when leaving for fishing or sight seeing trips in Yellowstone Park and the surrounding area.
West Yellowstone, MT 59758
Today's West Yellowstone, Montana, has been shaped by its history and colorful past. It is a village in constant transition: from winter to summer, rural to urban, wilderness to recreational camping, railroading to logging, bust to boom and boom to bust, and wild to mild.
Through all of its many transitions, there have been several constants that have given the town its character and flavor: easiest entrance and most central access to Yellowstone's most popular attractions, best base for access to high quality fishing, way station between the population centers of Bozeman, Montana, and Idaho Falls, Idaho, and excellent point of access for fall hunting.
Before there was a park, and before there was a town, the Hebgan Basin was a place for Native-Americans to pause between the high plains of Montana and Wyoming and the fertile Snake River Plain. Throughout history, this valley has seen the semi-permanent encampments of Native-Americans from the Pacific Northwest, The Great Basin, The Columbia Plateau, and The Great Plains. It was a gathering place for mountain men and fur traders, gold prospectors, explorers, army detachments, hunters, entrepreneurs, fishermen, and outlaws. The last two are occasionally mistaken for each other!
In 1908, two of the most significant events in the history of West Yellowstone occurred. The Union Pacific Railroad and the Eagle & Stewart families arrived in the forest preserve just outside the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park. In the beginning, there was no town, just a railhead and a store with a concession from the government. The town grew out of the few buildings that were established that year. The railroad has long since gone, but the town thrives today.
Today, West Yellowstone is more than just the dusty little tourist town it once was. It is a bustling and thriving year 'round community of about 1,000 people who have discovered that the high quality of life in the Hebgan Basin is rewarding and satisfying. The town retains the relaxed atmosphere of a century ago combined with many of the amenities of 21st century (including indoor plumbing).
Initially, the town was just a small gateway community serving the railroad and tourists to Yellowstone Park. As the years passed, people became aware of the things that could be done in addition to the park. The rich valley that had so well served the Native Americans, Mountain Men, Early Pioneers, and the visitors to the early park is a wonderland of geology, biology, and other diverse wonders of nature.
Additionally, there are cultural and social amenities that the townsfolk have developed for their community that the visitor can also enjoy.
In Town Attractions
The Historic District (most of Old Town) includes: the Eagle's Store, several buildings dating from the early 20th century, the Union Pacific Depot Complex (baggage terminal, dining hall, generator & building, ice storage house, & water tower). A walking tour of the early historical and architectural sites is provided, free of charge, by the Museum of the Yellowstone. Additionally there is a Giant Screen Theater, playhouse, the Oregon Short Line executive railroad car, restaurants, shops, and the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center. The West Yellowstone Public Library is open year around and provides extensive collections of contemporary fiction, historic resource material, and internet access.
Near to Town Attractions
Within a few minutes of your front door, it is possible to experience: Trail riding (horse back, ATV, snowmobile, cross country skiing, bicycle), hiking, guest ranches, fishing, hunting, photography, and wild life viewing. The Henry's Lake Fish Hatchery is just over the continental divide and a quick 20 minute ride. The Earthquake Lake Visitor Center is also just 20 minutes away (granted it's in the opposite direction.)
For more information on area day trips, click here.
Our small town offers other services you might need while staying the area. Whether you come down with a cold, need a hair cut, want to go to church, or need a road report, you can find a list of services here.