I am an adventuresome solo female traveler taking a road trip from Portland, OR with a visit to TRNP. This is part of my 50 by 50 trip (50 states before 50 years old) that will include western SD and also Grand Teton NP. I am well traveled, accustomed to camping even in freezing weather and I will be well outfitted for a variety of climates. I know that the weather can be a mixed bag but I will trust my luck that there may be great weather and may be able to camp at Cottonwood.
In case I encounter foul weather, I am researching budget accommodations and someone at the park suggested Custer's Cottage. While checking that out, I also noticed that they have Wooly Wagons that people can rent out. These look very cool and appeal to my adventuresome side! I read the mixed reviews of Custer's Cottage and one rave reviews about the wagons. I would love to hear from others who have stayed here!
Other than these options, are there other budget accommodations that would offer a clean, quiet room? I don't need fancy, just a clean bed. I read a very old forum post about the train noise not being an issue in Medora but nothing recent. For others who have recently stayed in Medora, can you provide an update? I am also not tied to staying in Medora. If there is a cool place somewhere else with easy access to the park, please let me know, keeping in mind that my budget is a camping budget but if it snows I will need shelter.
I would also like to be able to go to a bar/pub at night to have a cold beer or two but that is also not necessary if I find the ideal place to stay for a night or two.
Being that this will be within the first 2 weeks of October, I will also not be booking ahead, trusting my luck that there will be availability in several suitable places. I have been reading that with the oil boom it can be difficult to find accommodations in the north but is it also that way in the south?
I will spend a day or two exploring the park, depending on how much time I spend in the other areas during my trip. I plan on doing some hiking so would love suggestions on the best scenery for a 2-3 hour hike.