Great Interiors of the the Great Exterior: A Tour of Old Faithful Inn in Yellowstone National Park

Hello readers! There have been some family adventures happening this past month around RHB, and one in particular that I’d like to share with you (or at least one little snippet of one grand adventure.) My family recently returned from Yellowstone National Park. Yes, it was fabulous, and I could gush on and on about how much I love this park – the scenery, the animals, the geysers – it’s just one big package of bliss for any lover of the great outdoors. But, a lesser-known secret that many National Parks share is the little (or big!) gems known as the park lodges. They are some serious eye-candy for lovers of architecture and design!

This massive 85 foot stone fireplace greets visitors in the lobby of the Old Faithful Inn.

Yellowstone boasts one of the most famous lodges, the Old Faithful Inn. Rustic in style, it was designed by architect Robert Reamer and built with local logs and stone. Opened in 1904 as America’s first great park lodge in the West, it is still the world’s largest log hotel.

A shot of the ceiling shows the lodgepole pines from which the lodge is crafted up close. This is the dominant tree species in Yellowstone.
Apparently, the lodge had electricity when it opened in 1904, but I still like to imagine these lights being lit candles!

Sadly, my family didn’t get to stay there (you need to be ready to book a year in advance for that privilege), but we spent a couple hours wandering around this venerable building and rocking on the oversized chairs, just trying to soak it all in. (I actually taught my 9 year old how to use my SLR camera that day, so he kept himself busy snapping photos while my husband and I did the rocking and the soaking!)

The view from the 3rd story, the highest visitors can wander today. As you can see, there is still a lot happening above us!
These stairs (no longer open to the public) lead to the “crows nest” from where musicians used to entertain the guests.

The more you wander, the more you see! Even grand architecture needs hand-picked furniture and detailed craftsmanship to finish it off. (Random design lover tip: whenever you find yourself in a beautiful public building, be sure to check out the bathrooms! I almost always find something stunning!)

As a writer, these little writing desks topped with Tiffany-style stained glass lamps absolutely captivated me!
Even the bathrooms oozed character! I don’t know if these radiators are original, but they are lovely! (The lodge did have steam heat when it opened, so maybe.)

Of course, most people visiting this part of the park are here to see what’s outside. If you arrive early enough to get a seat, you can watch Old Faithful erupt from the lodge’s balcony. (If not, just join the masses below on the boardwalk, enjoy the show, and come back inside afterward when there is no crowd.)

Old Faithful (seen steaming in the background) can be viewed from the lodge’s exterior balcony.

Have you visited any of the other national park lodges? If so, let us know your favorite in the comments below.

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