Gardiner offers great Yellowstone National Park hotels and accommodations in Montana
by Michele Kadison
One of the best ways to see Yellowstone National Park while vacationing in Montana is to get your hotel or condo in Gardiner, just a short distance from the park’s border.
Named for Johnston Gardiner, a trapper who worked in the region during the 1830’s, Gardiner, Montana sits at the northern entrance to Yellowstone National Park. Located in the magnificent Paradise Valley the town also boasts the Yellowstone River running directly through it. Gardiner was officially founded in 1880 and became famous as the only year-round entrance to the famed Park.
There were many attempts at early settlement in the area, which were thwarted by the Crow Indians who by this time were aware of the white man’s intentions to overpower their land. Further problems were caused by a 20 year delay in extending the Northern Pacific railway to the region, which finally happened in 1902.
During the winter of 1865, placer gold was discovered at a nearby site called Bear Gulch by “Uncle Joe Brown” and two other prospectors. Uncle Joe then created the first quartz mill and later on in 1883, gold was found in mines inside Gardiner’s city limits.
Back in June 1883 Gardiner had a population of 200 and boasted six restaurants, 21 saloons, five general stores, two fruit stands, two hardware stores, two barber shops, one blacksmith, one billiard hall, one newsstand, two dancehalls, and four houses of “ill repute.” Houses were mostly log cabins built by homeowners. After the many ups and downs of gold rush fever along with several severe fires, the feisty town of Gardiner still was able to survive. When the Northern Pacific Railroad came to the region, visitors would meet stagecoaches that would give them tours through the magnificent region that officially became Yellowstone National Park in 1872.
In 1903 then President Theodore Roosevelt arrived in Gardiner to dedicate the famous basalt rock arch that heralds the way to Yellowstone National Park. With its 50 foot height and 20 foot width, the arch is inscribed with the worlds: “For the Benefit and Enjoyment of All People.”
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