Thursday, October 29, 2015

There's a Secret Room down a Small Hall of the Old Faithful Inn

It's 3 a.m. and I'm on vacation with the carful of kids in Yellowstone National Park after road tripping from Central Texas to Jasper National Park and back--why am I up? I went hiking, didn't hit the caffeine too hard, yet I'm wide awake.

Like a lot of Moms out there, I'm up in the middle of the night even on vacation--I think it's a holdover from the early morning feedings. Maybe legions of Moms wake up in the middle of the night to be in solidarity with the Moms still working the baby night shift.

So I'm up with nothing to do when my mind begins to wander, I think of all the cool stuff I saw during the day, then I remember the sign for a Tub Room. I turn over and hatch a plan to sneak out of the room and investigate without waking anyone up.

With the help of my phone, I gather my toiletry bag and tiptoe out of the room into the slumbering quiet of the Old Faithful Inn. As I quietly make my way across the mezzanine and down the hall opposite of my room, the floor boards squeak in the 100 year-old log building.

I walk down the tiny, dark hall to the door and turn it, hoping for a release. Too my disappointment, it's locked. As I lumber back to my room to sneak back into my bed and wait for sleep to find me again and can't help but wonder, why would it be locked?

Then it dawns on me. I sigh, smile and fall back asleep for another hour.

I am the first one up the second time around, I gather my bag and head to the door with more determination. I am going to get into the tub room--sure, it might be a room for housekeeping but I'm hopeful for a little hot-water nirvana.

I walk down the tiny, dark hall that seems to be still sleeping and turn the doorknob of the tub room. This time the door moves inward but the room is still as dark as a starless night. I fumble around, feeling for the light switch and with a flick, I illuminate a hidden treasure of the Old Faithful Inn--a clawfoot tub!

Tucked away, down a hall in the Old Faithful Inn is a tub room.
As a lover of anything vintage, I adore this moment made just for me. I find the Do Not Disturb sign, hang it from the knob and lock the door.

I look around my secret escape--it's still kinda early and no one is in the other tub room. I will have to soak away the road tripping funk fast--the world is starting to wake up.

As you know, I have been driving my carful of kids hard and fast to the top of North America and I miss my morning bath ritual in my clawfoot tub at home. It relaxes me and then it recharges me.

I turn on the hot water knob of the chrome British Telephone faucet and gather the Old Faithful Inn Signature Bath Products that are in all the OFI bathrooms. I lay my fluffy, white towel on the table next to the tub.

I slip into the hot water and close my eyes and breath. The next few minutes float away in a hot water and bubble-induced haze.

With a clang of the door across the hall, I awaken refreshed and ready to explore. Time to move on and let others enjoy a soak.

Now I will let you in on a little secret, there is no special key to get into the tub room. If it is open, it is yours. And if I was camping in the campground nearby, I would have a hard time not sneaking in for a wee, little soak.

Just bring your own towel, they are not provided in the tub rooms.

Up Next: Moving on to the Lake District of Yellowstone with another stay in a historic property.

Know before you go: Yellowstone National Park is open every day and the 7-day admission is $ 30 for a private vehicle or you can purchase an annual America the Beautiful Pass for $ 80 to gain entry to the majority of the national parks and monuments. There are seasonal road closures in the majority of the park except for the North and Northeast Entrance that are open year-round to vehicle traffic.

I reserved an Old House Room with a shared bath for a reasonable $ 115 a night--yes there isn't a bathroom in this room but the facilities are amazing and right down the hall. A sink with a mirror and vanity is located in the room so you can brush your teeth and wash your face.

There are no televisions or radios in the OFI rooms but there are outlets to plug in your phone, though service is spotty throughout Yellowstone NP.

The lodging reservations within the National Park System is available 13 months in advance so you have to be persistent to get rooms in the more popular locations within Yellowstone NP. I was and got all the properties I wanted--MAKE RESERVATIONS months in advance, even for camping, if you are visiting Yellowstone NP during the high season.


  1. I know this post is rather old, but these tub rooms intrigue me and I have a question...How do these tubs get cleaned? Are they cleaned between each use? I'm not stranger to the shared bathrooms and showers in yellowstone, but a tub seems different.

    1. Hi Nannette,
      Sorry for the delay, I was exploring our national parks with my kids for the summer! When I used the tub, it was 6 a.m. and I was the first user. I can follow up with OFI. If you are still interested, here's my email:

  2. I know this post is rather old, but these tub rooms intrigue me and I have a question...How do these tubs get cleaned? Are they cleaned between each use? I'm not stranger to the shared bathrooms and showers in yellowstone, but a tub seems different.