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Log Lodge, Family friendly, near Yellowstone Park on our private ranch

Bedrooms 5
Space 6,500 sq ft
Property type lodge
Minimum Stay 3 nights


About the property

Massive Log Lodge-8 beds, 4 baths

This property is the original 'McDonald family homestead', 20 minutes from Yellowstone Park line, 25-30 minutes to pay shack in Gardiner.

* It consists of a log lodge on the hill, 3 log cabins down by the creek

* private from each other

* the lodge-- 6 Bedroom / 4 Bathroom home that sleeps 12, more if needed at extra cost; 6500 square feet.

King Master suite with walk in rock shower, big jacuzzi tub with beautiful mountain/meadow views, double sink, walk in closet, and upper balcony deck. 2nd floor.

3 Queen bedrooms with a bath/shower tp share, double sinks,

* twin bed in 1 of the queen bedrooms with 16' climbing wall and rope.

2nd floor

*Antique queen bedroom with bath attached, very comfy/cozy. 2nd floor.

*Twin bed in loft Workout area. 2nd floor. Close to Antique queen room.

*Downstairs main ground floor is 1 queen bed in rec room area. 1 bathroom downstairs.

*Downstairs is main floor area with kitchen, great room, walk out to decks, yard, parking, etc.

*Large kitchen with multiple stations, all equipped with everything, 2 sinks, 2 refrigerators, double oven, lots of sitting in area. Opens to dining room with 6 chairs at table.

*Open great room with large couches, leather recliner chair and big rock fireplace. There are 72 windows in lodge, the views are beautiful and plentiful.

Laundry room with LG front load washer/dryer.

Lodge made with logs up to 40 inches in diameter.

Big deck out front opens to nice green yard with automatic sprinklers, a fire pit, more land to stretch out on, & a very large quality trampoline with safety net.

Views of Yellowstone Park mountains, meadows, wildlife, forests, and the company of our ranch's friendly horses, cats, dogs, cows.

We like to think you are coming to get away from it all & hoping you don't get too tempted with the cable and wifi. Let us know if you need it disconnected. Families claim to bond more when not so tempted. Cell service is not the best in Montana or Wyoming area of the park, & Verizon is the best coverage. NO cell service in the mountains at ranch.

We do have a log barn and attached indoor arena above the lodge higher on the hill for private use only. Many guests come watch the ranch girls ride and rope in the arena when they happen to be between rodeos, visit the cats in the hay, and the miniature cows in the pens. The smaller animals are penned by the barn and arena for their protection from the wildlife.

We have a resident elk herd of a few hundred. They have their babies throughout the basin, as well as in and around the cabins, lodge, & along the road. Howl for the wolves at night, enjoy no city lights up here and many a bright stars and beautiful big sky!

We are open year around. The beauty never stops!

More Details

Shai McDonald
Member since: 2014
Speaks english
Response time:
Within a few hours
Response rate:
Calendar last updated:
April 17, 2018

About Shai McDonald

McDonald family homesteaded this basin in the 1800's on their way to visit Yellowstone Park. They bought the other homesteaders out, living in seclusion working hard, cutting lumber from the forests, clearing fields for hay, working cattle, filling their bellies with local elk, deer, moose, wild strawberries, and even kept ice in a little mini log ice house on the side of the mountain.

They had a keen eye to keep safe from the numerous grizzly bears and many a story to tell of that. Great Grandma McDonald still holds the record for harvest of Montana's largest grizzly when this griz decided to see what was in the storeroom while Great Grpa was in town getting supplies.

Our kid's grpa, Jack McDonald worked for the national park service for 43 years, while enjoying raising his family on the ranch, along with many pet moose.

Riding horses and hunting indian arrowheads and special rocks was a favorite hobby of the family.

We are now the 5th generation McDonald family preserving the original homestead cabins, sharing the beauty. We spend the summers competing in rodeos with our 3 kids all over Montana and checking in on our guests and ranch animals. Winters are spent sledding, snowmobiling, skiing, roping inside the indoor arena, basketball, football parties & keeping warm by the fireplace.

Shai McDonald purchased this lodge in 1898

Why Shai McDonald chose Gardiner

We are content settling on our family ranch raising kids, cows, horses, logging & fencing.

We just recently built the lodge with massive logs and over 72 windows to help accommodate multi-family gatherings.

We enjoy sharing the beauty with others and our animals sure love the extra attention.

Depending on season, the wildlife of mountain sheep, mountain goats, antelope, elk, deer, bear, buffalo/bison, coyote, fox, wolves, badgers, gophers, eagles, hawks, other birds are the most prevalent animals seen on the ranch and driving to/from.

What makes this lodge unique

Getting away from it all, yet still close enough to all the activities. Animals all about in a private, quiet and very beautiful setting while enjoying the comfortable log lodgings.

20 minutes from Yellowstone Park line

25-30 minutes from Yellowstone Park Entrance Station other side of Gardiner.

1-1.5 hours from Old Faithful

4 hours one way to Jackson Hole, WY

Gardiner entrance is the original entrance to Yellowstone Park, and the only one open year around.


Accommodation and Amenities for this vacation lodge rental in Gardiner, Montana

Property Type:
  • lodge
  • Guests provide their own meals
Floor Area:
  • 6500 sq ft
House Rules:
  • Check-in: 4:00 PM
  • /
  • Check-out: 11:00 AM
  • Max. occupancy: 16
  • Max. adults: 16
  • Min. age of primary renter: 18
  • Children welcome ...
  • Parties/events not allowed
  • Pets not allowed
  • Non smoking only ...
  • * Cushions are not to be removed from any furniture inside or outside. * Please do not move any furniture inside or outside or from original rooms.
Location Type:
  • Mountain View ...
  • Rural ...
  • Water View ...
  • Adventure
  • Away From It All
  • Family
  • Historic
  • Romantic
  • Tourist Attractions
  • Air Conditioning ...
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Fireplace ...
  • Fitness Room / Equipment ...
  • Hair Dryer
  • Heating
  • Internet ...
  • Iron & Board
  • Linens Provided
  • Living Room ...
  • Parking ...
  • Telephone ...
  • Towels Provided
  • Washing Machine ...
  • Coffee Maker ...
  • Dishes & Utensils ...
  • Dishwasher ...
  • Kitchen ...
  • Microwave
  • Oven ...
  • Pantry Items ...
  • Refrigerator ...
  • Stove ...
  • Toaster ...
  • Child's Highchair
  • Dining ...
  • Dining Area
  • seating for 10 people
  • 4 Bathrooms
  • Bathroom 1 - toilet , shower , jetted tub , Walk in rock shower, big jacuzzi tub with views, double sink
    Bathroom 2 - toilet , combination tub/shower , double sink, between two queen bedrooms, end of hallway
    Bathroom 3 - toilet , shower , connects to antique room, antique cabinet sink, rock floor
    Bathroom 4 - toilet , shower , downstairs off great room and entry
  • One bathroom downstairs, 3 upstairs. king master and antique bedroom has attached, and 3 queen rooms have bathroom in between them.
  • 5 Bedrooms, Sleeps 16
  • Bedroom 1 - 1 king , Master bath, deck, oversized chair, tv, walk in closet
    Bedroom 2 - 1 queen , big windows looks out towards Yellowstone mountains, desk
    Bedroom 3 - 1 queen , big windows look out towards car port and mountains
    Bedroom 5 - 1 double , antique bedroom, comfy, cozy, wake to big sky n mountains
    Bedroom 7 - 1 queen , queen bed downstairs on main floor in rec room area
    Bedroom 4 - 1 queen , 1 twin/ single , Big windows, climbing wall, climbing rope and ledge
    Bedroom 6 - 1 twin/ single , Queen bed is in the Exercise Equipment Area
  • 4 queen beds, 2 twin beds, 1 king bed, 1 full bed. For extra charge, the lodge has plenty of room to add bedding for more occupancy.
  • Books
  • DVD Player
  • Game Room ...
  • Games ...
  • Satellite / Cable
  • Stereo ...
  • Television ...
  • Video Library
  • Balcony ...
  • Deck / Patio ...
  • Lawn / Garden
  • Outdoor Grill
  • churches
  • playground
  • restaurants
  • ruins
Leisure Activities:
  • bird watching
  • boating
  • gambling casinos
  • horseback riding
  • horseshoes
  • scenic drives
  • shopping
  • sight seeing
  • sledding
  • walking
  • wildlife viewing
Local Services & Businesses:
  • ATM/bank
  • Babysitter
  • fitness center
  • groceries
  • laundromat
  • massage therapist
  • medical services
Sports & Adventure Activities:
  • cross country skiing
  • cycling
  • equestrian events
  • fishing
  • fly fishing
  • freshwater fishing
  • hiking
  • hunting
  • ice skating
  • kayaking
  • mountain biking
  • mountain climbing
  • mountaineering
  • rafting
  • rock climbing
  • roller blading
  • skiing
  • snowmobiling
  • swimming
  • water tubing
  • whitewater rafting
The ranch just down the road 1/2 mile has horseback riding, barbecues, zip lines. River rafting is at bottom of our road, and our other ranching neighbors are breaking ground on a hot springs at bottom of our road on the Yellowstone River. We have horses & cows of all sizes and personalities that love attention and treats of veges and fruit. Our old yellow lab, blue heeler and red healer are also outgoing, as well as Maggie & Disco the cats, all outdoor animals. Year around white mountain goats you can see with telescope from front of lodge. Mountain sheep, antelope, elk, deer, buffalo & smaller wildlife that roam seasonally on ranch and at bottom of our road.


Wonderful! 4.9/5 -
(14 traveler reviews)

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Log Lodge, Family friendly, near Yellowstone Park on our private ranch
average rating of 4.857143 based on 14 reviews

Simply Beautiful

  • 5 of 5

We stayed at this property for about a week last May on a vacation to Yellowstone. The location was ideal for the north entrance to the park. This place was amazing. There was plenty of space for our group of eight. The views from the back porch were unbelievable, especially at night. We would definitely stay here again.

  • Submitted: 4-Feb-2018
  • Stayed: May 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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1 0

Welcoming, comfortable family home crossed with breathtaking, grand, and 5-star landscape

  • 5 of 5

An unusual experience for a California girl. Huge log lodge with towering ceilings and downright majestic views of your own private valley.

  • Submitted: 23-Sep-2017
  • Stayed: September 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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  • 5 of 5

Loved this beautiful home. Very kid friendly. Spectacular setting.

  • Submitted: 24-Aug-2017
  • Stayed: August 2017
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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Lima, Oh

Great for Family

  • 5 of 5

There were ten of us staying at the lodge. Everyone had their own space, but plenty of room for all of us to be together. The kitchen was big. There were two sinks, two refrigerators, two ovens, a stovetop, and a microwave. There are plenty of utensils and appliances to cook about anything you would want. There was enough hot water for all of us to take a shower in the morning and not run out of hot water. The views from the windows are wonderful. Our grandchildren enjoyed playing with the dogs in the evenings. The sky was so very clear at night you could even see the Milky Way. The only complaint I have is it is dark inside. We had to get a flashlight to see to set the microwave, ovens, washer and dryer.

  • Submitted: 16-Jul-2017
  • Stayed: July 2017
  • Source: HomeAway
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Great Experience at the Lodge

  • 4 of 5

We had a group of 8 and this was a perfect compliment to a Yellowstone National Park vacation. After the wonderful experiences each day in the Park, which were obvious highlights, we went back to the Lodge and the kids all perked up again both inside or outside with the available games in the game room, running around the spacious grounds and viewing of abundant additional wildlife in the vicinity. The Elk were in full bugle during our stay and made great entertainment while relaxing on the back deck while winding down with a beer and star gazing. I would recommend the Lodge to anyone looking for high end accommodations in a wilderness setting in this area of the State.

  • Submitted: 3-Jan-2016
  • Stayed: September 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
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what a treasure! the perfect place for a big group!

  • 5 of 5

the on-line pictures certainly do the house justice. This gorgeous house is exactly as advertised. What you don't see it the beyond belief view from the property...the view changes throughout the day and each hour is more beautiful than the last. The pictures also don't tell you of the weather patterns that flow through the basin and are amazing to watch, along with the night sky. The pictures don't tell you of the loving animals that inhabit this little piece of heaven on earth. We so loved our time with the horses and dogs and cats!! What wonderful ambassadors! If you are heading to Yellowstone, have a large group and love the open spaces of the west this place has your name on it. All ten of us were thrilled with every moment of our time at the McDonald's lovely lodge home.

  • Submitted: 6-Sep-2015
  • Stayed: August 2015
  • Source: VRBO, from HomeAway
Owner's Response: Thank you for taking time out for us letting us know you enjoyed your surroundings. Our animals definitely enjoy the extra attention and are always on the lookout for the wild animals. Some of the trees in the lodge were in our forest killed by beetles, and are 300-600 years old. Some took a tank and a half of gas to cut them down. The lodge took us years of personal hand to hand labor creating it, as well as the restoration of our family's homestead log cabins. We are happy to share the beauty of our west with those that appreciate and enjoy the wild outdoors..and comfy indoors! Thank you Tami
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Nearest Airport
80 Miles
Bozeman Belgrade off Highway 90, 1.15 hours
Nearest Barpub
12 Miles
Nearest Golf
50 Miles
Nearest Train
50 Miles
In Livingston, MT
Nearest Motorway
6 Miles
Hwy 89 that links to the park and Hwy 90 links 89
Nearest Restaurant
6 Miles
Lighthouse Restaurant at bottom of our road
Nearest Ski
65 Miles
Bridger Bowl
Nearest Beach
7 Miles
Yankee Jim canyon on Yellowstone River
Car: necessary

Lodge & log cabins private from each other in the mountains outside of Gardiner next to Yellowstone Park, quiet, beautiful 5 generation family ranch with a few of the old log cabins to look at.

Complete with friendly animals, wildlife on the ranch and during your drive, and still close to many activities including Yellowstone Park.

We can give refunds, if we can re-book same dates, same property, minus $75 office fee.

We are like an extension to the park. Our road Cinnabar Basin runs into Old Yellowstone Trail on the Yellowstone River that leads you to the park a few miles before Gardiner. Or you can take the highway parallel to it, reach Gardiner first, then go into the park.

We are 20 minutes to park line, 25-30 minutes to Yellowstone Park Entrance Station on other side of Gardiner.

1 hour to 1.5 to Old Faithful

4 hours one way to Jackson Hole Wyoming.

Lodging is quality, comfy, cozy, with everything you need, big yard & fire pit, creeks and ponds, animals that visit, beautiful scenery. 6000' lodge with massive logs, spacious & comfortable for family get togethers.

Our neighboring ranch has zip lines, horseback riding, and barbecue lunches. These activities can be arranged when you get here, or in advance. They also have packages to include white water rafting.

We have a wonderful fresh and fair priced restaurant 'The Lighthouse' near the same location at bottom of our road right off the highway, easy for going or coming back from Gardiner. My family's favorite place to eat as well as our guests.

We have dogs & cats that like to visit you, as well as friendly horses and cows that all love attention and treats too. They are outdoor animals not allowed inside.

I encourage an easy hike along the Old Yellowstone Trail in Yankee Jim Canyon approximately 10 miles from our place going opposite of the park. You have the crashing river below which sometimes has sandy beaches for a picnic, and you can view the old signage on the rocks meant for the park's visitors traveling by stagecoach.

There are many public accesses to Yellowstone River to do your own fishing or floating right from the Old Yellowstone Trail at bottom of our road.

We have a creek that flows all the way through our place and down along our road to the river. You can try to fish some of those spots as well, It's a bit trickier fishing due to willows for the moose, and the fish are more skittish.

I can send you an email detailing areas of interest and whom to contact.

We are a like an extension to Yellowstone park.

We are:

5 minutes to horseback riding & zip lining

10 minutes to Yellowstone River, river rafting

15 minutes to park line on Old Yellowstone Trail

15 minutes to Lighthouse Restaurant (fresh incredible food)

15 minutes to Devil's slide-natural rock formation

20 minutes to Gardiner

25 minutes to Yellowstone Park Entrance Station

25 minutes to Yankee Jim Canyon, stagecoach trail-historic

30 minutes to boiling river, natural hot springs right inside the park

35 minutes to Mammoth Hot Springs, ice skating, cross ctry skiing

40 minutes to Chico Hot Springs

60 minutes to Old Faithful

Of course, these times could be interrupted with animals getting in your way, or you driving slower in awe of the beauty.

The lodge has satellite wifi. If you need high usage, it will be additional $10 per GB which is our cost.

Email anytime for any questions or information needed of the area.


Rates & Availability

Rental Rates for this vacation lodge rental in Gardiner, Montana

Rental Basis:
per property
Owner accepts payment in:
Convert Currency
Rate Period Nightly Weekend Night Weekly Monthly * Event
My Standard Rate
3 night minimum stay
Notes: Rates are based on 12 guests; add C$26 per night, per additional guest

Additional information about rental rates

Property Damage Protection C$100.81
Refundable Damage Deposit C$1,276.1
Pet Fee C$127.61
cleaning fee C$319.02
Tax Rate 13.0%

Cancellations are refundable minus $75 fee IF I can re-book exact dates, same property.
Check in is 4pm, and check out is 11am for all properties.

Extra charges if excessive cleaning is needed, if garbage is not bagged and littering lodge/cabin, ranch grounds, as well if in cans/dumsters without bags.

Extra charges if furniture is moved in any way inside and out. Cushions from couches, chairs etc are not to be taken off, are not to be put on floor or anywhere else, nor used for beds etc.

We have satellite wifi. Not city wifi, but mountain wifi, can be slow. It is good for emails and occasional surfing web. Netflix cannot be accessed, nor should youtube or anything else be streamed. Dish network is the cable tv.

We are in wild animal country, so always be aware of your surroundings. Never walk in the dark anywhere.
Do not approach them, give them their space.

Enjoy the beautiful scenery.

Owner's Cancellation Policy

  • No refunds for cancellations made after payment is made
Contact Owner

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