Welcome to Gardiner Montana, Your Historic 4-Season Gateway to Yellowstone National Park! Named after Johnson C. Gardner, one of the first trappers to the area in 1831 - 1832, the Gardner River was also named after him. In later years an "i" was added by the Washburn Party as a phonetic rendering of Jim Bridger's Virginia drawl. To this day the river and the town are spelled differently. James C. McCartney actually became the first settler of what is today known as Gardiner in 1879. In 1880 a post office was established by McCartney thus putting Gardiner on the map. With a colorful history of trappers, miners, mountain men and hunters, our tiny town of Gardiner became the first entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Graced by Roosevelt Arch which was dedicated by President Theodore Roosevelt in 1903 and surrounded by some of the most beautiful landscapes in the lower 48 states. In winter, many bison, deer and elk actually live in the town alongside our human residents and herds of big horn sheep can be seen north of Gardiner, near Corwin Springs. Buffalo walking down the street is not a surprise to the locals living here! In winter, Gardiner offers the best of both worlds to those seeking out everything Montana and Yellowstone have to offer!! While all other Park roads are closed to wheeled vehicles, the northern entrance road offers year-round motor vehicle access to Mammoth Hot Springs and the Northern Range of Yellowstone. This is the perfect place for photography and wildlife watching. See the Terraces steaming hot and back dropped by snowcapped peaks! Other winter activities both inside and outside the park include, cross country skiing and snowshoeing. Home to elk, bison, bear, moose, bighorn sheep, mule deer and a host of other creatures, this area is considered to be prime wolf watching territory that is only accessible by car or tour van in the winter. You can also book a snowmobile or snow coach tour that departs from Mammoth Hot Springs with either the Park Concessionaire, Xanterra, or through Yellowstone Year-round Safaris which is located in the Best Western Complex in Gardiner. Advance reservations required. These tours will take you to the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and everyone's favorite geyser?Old Faithful. Other winter activities both inside and outside the park include cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and skating. During the summer time, Gardiner makes the perfect base camp for exploration and fun! Local activities include whitewater rafting, fishing, horseback riding, zip lining, wildlife watching, photography, scenic driving, and hiking. Comfortable accommodations abound?there are plenty of hotels, cabin and cottage rentals as well as vacation home rentals both in and outside Gardiner! Some even look out over Yellowstone! Others are tucked in the surrounding mountain ranges located in the Gallatin National Forest and Absaroka-Beartooth Wilderness that surrounds our tiny mountain town. There are a number of Forest Service campgrounds available and back country camping in the forests are also permitted. Check with the Gardiner Ranger District office for details and fire bans. If you want to try camping but aren't quite sure if you will like it, why not try "Glamping"!! Call the Chamber for details! Come stay awhile! You'll be glad you did!
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