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 (40 miles away,) or the University 200 miles away. Generally it means somewhere close enough to visit before dinner if you leave right after breakfast.
The Faithful Street Inn (a West Yellowstone local attraction in it's own right,) is strategically located in 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 its colorful past. It is a village in constant transition: from winter to summer, from rural to urban, from wilderness to recreational camping, from railroading to logging, from bust to boom and boom to bust, and from 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 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, 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 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, the Mountain Men, the 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 enjoy. The museum, movie houses, playhouse, library, parks, etc. are available to the visitors as well as the residents of West Yellowstone.
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, dinning 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 an Imax theater, the Oregon Short Line executive railroad car, restaurants, shops, and Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, The West Yellowstone Public Library is open year 'round, 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 visitors Center is also just 20 minutes away (granted it's in the opposite direction.)