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chico hot springs

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chico hot springs

Has anyone stayed at Chico Hot Springs during the winter. Has anyone stayed there and can advise as to activities, restaurants, etc? Also, what about having a rental car and driving at that time of year? Any advice on the snow coach tours into Yellowstone?

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1. Re: chico hot springs

We have stayed at Chico Hot Spring in the past (in the winter).

Some of the rooms are 'ok' and others are not very good. However, the food is great at Chico.

The last time we visited the area, we actually rented a vacation home on the Yellowstone River near Chico. We liked that better than staying at Chico. It was new, very clean and fully stocked. I can't recall the name of it but if you do a google search, for Yellowstone vacation rental or Chico Hot Springs vacation rental, I bet you'll find some to choose from. There seem to be a number of them in the area.

The last time we visited in the winter, we also took a snow coach ride from Mammoth to Old Faithful. On ther days, we rented cross country skies and skied around the Mammoth area, drove from Mammoth over to Cooke City (saw lots of wildlife) and soaked in the Boiling River. We ran out of time, but we also wanted to rent snow mobiles and to ski at Bridger Bowl.

I think it only took us about 30 minutes to drive from the Chico area to the North entrance to Yellowstone.

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2. Re: chico hot springs

I've stayed at Chico a few times during the winter and got married there in the summer.

Chico tries to maintain the historic feel of the lodge so if you stay in the "old Lodge" be prepared for creaky floors, tiny rooms, antique furnishings, and thin walls. For some, this is the appeal of staying there. For others, it's annoying.

There are newer rooms, cabins (including a very nice Honeymoon Cabin), and also cabins on the river a 10 or 15 minute drive away that may suit you better if you're not into the more quaint and rustic rooms at the old lodge.

If you're at Chico the only place to eat within a 30 minute drive is in fact Chico. Well there is a bar down the road but... The Chico Dining room is not to be missed - featured in more than one dining/food and wine magazine over the years. I recommend the prime rib with port wine reduction or the almond encrusted halibut, and also the gorgonzola potatoes. They also have a more inexpensive bar and grill next to the pool.

On your way back from the Park, if she's open, stop at Helen's Corral in Gardner for a burger. Greasy but, man oh man, sooo good. Local rumour has it that Jimmy Buffet's song "Cheeseburger in Paradise" was written in honor of the place. Jimmy lived nearby in the 70s. I hear the K-bar has good pizza but I really couldn't recommend anywhere else to eat in Gardner.

The road along the Y-stone is typically clear however this weekend it was very icy. I recommend renting a CAR not an SUV etc. They all can slide off the road into ditches but cars don't flip over like the majority of SUVs that I've seen in winter. The snow in the valleys just doesn't get deep enough to warrant high clearance vehicles. Drive slow and you should be fine.

The snow coach tours are a great way to see the park in winter. If you can swing it, stay at the Old Faithful Snowlodge for a night so that you don't have to pack an entire 8 hours of riding the coach into one day.

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3. Re: chico hot springs

Chico is GREAT in the winter. So fun to sit in the pool while it's snowing outside. Like one poster said, the rooms in the Main Lodge are cheaper but older and much more noisy. You can get a room in one of the different wings I think for $100 or so and they are much more modern and very quiet. The restaurant at Chico is wonderful but pricey.

Rochester Hills...
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4. Re: chico hot springs

Helen's in Gardiner! "Home of the Hateful Hamburger!" Oh my goodness, that was an incredible burger. Just make sure you follow the rules.......she's like the hamburger version of the "Soup Nazi" from Seinfeld. =) I actually got her to growl out a "You bet'cher *ss, honey!" at me.

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: chico hot springs

I have not stayed there in winter but have visited on a cold October day. I just submitted a review of my June 16, 2007 stay (which should appear on TripAdvisor within a day or so) in which I included a photo of the hot spring-fed swimming pool steaming away on that gloomy Fall day. The water is easily hot enough to soak and probably to swim even on very cold winter days.

When I visit Yellowstone in the winter I stay at the yellowstone Absaroka Lodge in Gardiner, to minimize travel time to/from the park, and because it has some suites with kitchenettes. However, when I was there last February I considered booking a dog-sled trip at Chico. I ended up not doing it because my visit was too short, and in fact, this was not a very snowy winter. I would LOVE to do that some time! You can book through Chico. Check the Chico Web site for that and other wintertime activities. I bet they have cross-country skiing and lots of other good stuff to do.

As to restaurants - Chico is relatively isolated, and their restaurant is THE BEST for miles around. If you venture towards Yellowstone (a good 45 minute drive to North Entrance if the weather is ok) you might try The Lighthouse in Corwin Springs (just a few miles closer to Chico than Gardiner) which is wildly ecclectic, but I thought rather good; The Mammoth Hotel restaurant, in Mammoth, Yellowstone (just inside North Entrance) is usually very good too, but you might want to call the concessionaire, Xanterra, and make a reservation, since they're the only eatery open in that part of the park in the winter. If you take the snow coach into the interior, definnitely make a reservation at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge dining room - really excellent food (look for my February 2007 review of the Old Faithful Snow Lodge Cabins for my comments), also booked through Xanterra's Yellowstone number (866-439-7375) There are a few other places to eat in Gardiner, like Pedalino's (garlicky Italian, nice salads, etc.) but CALL first, many places close in the winte or have limited hours. Outlaw's is good for pizza.

Going the other way, into Livingston (which is actually closer to Chico than Gardiner/North Entrance/Mammoth) for a very good casual meal you might try The Beanery, at the old depot. There's a decent enough Mexican place across the street, Fiesta Jalisco if I remember right. If you like to browse shops, Livingston has a few. Gardiner has very little but a few are nice.

6. Re: chico hot springs

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