Camping in Yellowstone Park; mystical thermal areas, magnificent forests, lots of wildlife - all this while you’re camping in Yellowstone.
What an awesome way to experience the wonders of nature that Yellowstone National Park camping has to offer.
There is beauty everywhere you look - the towering snow-capped mountains, crystal-clear streams, magnificent evergreens, awesome wildlife and of course, the geysers and hot springs!
How fun this is!!
Just toss a package into your campfire and enjoy brilliant rainbow colors in the flames
Yellowstone Campgrounds offer all types of camping, depending on your needs and wants.
The only campground that has full hookups is Fishing Bridge RV Park. The rest are all dry camping in yellowstone, but some of them do have dump stations.
Yellowstone has 12 campgrounds and more than 2000 campsites. These campgrounds do fill up early in the day, so if you do not have reservations, be prepared for that. If they are all full, there are usually camp sites in the neighboring communities.
Campsites that can be reserved:
Madison Campground is located halfway between the West Yellowstone entrance and Old Faithful and is close to where the Gibbon, Firehole and Madison Rivers merge. Lots of wildlife wander in and around this campground - especially elk. The campground is open from May 2 until October 19 and has 270 sites plus 3 group sites. Picnic tables and fire rings with cast iron grates are in all the sites and the restrooms have flush toilets with cold water faucets. You will also find water spigots throughout the campground. There are no hookups at this campground, but there is a dump station. The fee for this campground is $22.50 per night. You will really enjoy this campground.
To make a reservation for this campground, click here - Madison Campground reservation.
Bridge Bay Campground is located near Yellowstone Lake and has a marina with access to the lake. It is about 30 miles from the east entrance and provides both open, sunny sites, as well as shady ones in the trees. Not very many sites have a view of the lake. The campground is open May 24 through Labor Day and has 425 sites plus 4 group sites. Picnic tables and fire rings with cast iron grates are in all the camp sites and the restrooms have flush toilets plus cold water faucets. Water spigots are scattered throughout the campground. There aren't any hookups at this campground, but there is a dump station close to the entrance. This is a great spot for camping in Yellowstone Park. The fee for this campground is $22.50 per night.
To make a reservation for this campground, click here - Bridge Bay Campground reservation.
Fishing Bridge campground is located at the mouth of the Yellowstone River where it comes out of Yellowstone Lake. This is the only campground for camping in Yellowstone Park that has full hookups. Bears commonly wander around this area, even grizzlies. The campground is open from May 9 to September 21 and has 340 sites for hard sided campers only - no tents. Picnic tables and fire rings with cast iron grates are at every site and the rest rooms have flush toilets. Showers are available close by and 2 showers are included with the fee of 50.00 per night. To make a reservation for this campground, click here - Fishing Bridge Campground reservation.
Grant Village Campground is near West Thumb on the southwest shore of Yellowstone Lake and is 22 miles from the south entrance to the park. Wildlife of all kinds are frequently seen in and around this campground making it a fun spot for camping in Yellowstone Park. It is open from June 21 to September 22 and has 400 sites plus 8 group campsites. Picnic tables and fire pits with cast iron grates are at all the camp sites and the restrooms have flush toilets with cold water faucets. Showers are close by and 2 are included with the nightly fee of $27.00. To make a reservation for this campground, click here - Grant Village Campground reservation.
Canyon Village Campground is in a central location close to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and other interesting locations. You will see lots of wildlife in nearby Hayden Valley and Mount Washburn - especially grizzlies and wolves. The campground is open from May 30 to September 14 and has 270 sites. Picnic tables and fire rings with cast iron grates are at every campsite and the restrooms have flush toilets with cold water faucets. Hot showers are available close by and the fee for the campsite of $27 includes 2 free per night. To make a reservation for this campground, click here - Canyon Campground reservation.
Indian Creek Campground is a quiet and isolated campground from all the tourist facilities. There are lots of trees and foliage here, as well as wildlife - as you can see from the picture of this deer. The campground is open from early June to mid September and has 75 sites. Picnic tables and fire rings with cast iron grates are at each site and the rest room is a vault toilet with no running water, but you will find water spigots scattered around the campground. The fee for this campground is $14 per night and it is first-come, first-served. This is a favorite spot for camping in Yellowstone Park.
Mammoth Campground is located on a hillside of sagebrush and trees and is just a short distance from the north entrance at Gardiner. It is common to see elk in this campground and grazing around it. In the fall it is a popular place to come stay and listen to the elk bugling while camping in Yellowstone National Park. The campground is open all year and has 85 sites. Picnic tables and fire rings are at each site and the restrooms have flush toilets plus cold water faucets. You will find water spigots scattered around the campground. The fee for this campground is $14.00 per night and it is first-come, first-served..
Norris Campground is centrally located next to the Gibbon and Solfatara Rivers. You can easily go north to Mammoth Hot Springs, go south to Old Faithful, go east to Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and the Norris Geyser Basin is close by. There are lots of wild animals in this section, especially bison and elk and is a popular place to stay while camping in Yellowstone. The campground is open from May 20 to September 26 and has 100 sites. There is a picnic table and firepit with cast iron grates at each campsite and the rest rooms have flush toilets with cold water faucets. You will find water spigots scattered around the campground. The fee for this campground is $14.00 per night and it is first come, first served.
Tower Falls campground is a small campground nestled in the trees that is just across the road from the Tower Falls Lookout Site. It is a cozy campground and because it is small, there is not the hustle and bustle of the larger campgrounds. All kinds of wildlife are around here - from the small, curious chipmunks to the large, ferocious grizzly bear. You will find a table and fire pit with cast iron grates at all the camp sites and the rest room is a vault toilet. There is a hand pump for water. This campground is open from mid May to late September and has 32 sites. The fee is $14.00 per night and is first-come, first-served. This is our favorite place for camping in Yellowstone National Park.
Slough Creek Campground is a small campground that is off the beaten track. with most of the camp sites being along the creek . This is a lovely, small campground with 26 sites and is open from mid May to late October. There are picnic tables and fire pits with cast iron cooking grates at all the sites. There is a vault toilet and water is available. The fee is $14.00 per night and is first-come, first-served. This is a wonderful spot for getting away from lots of people and camping in Yellowstone.
Pebble Creek Campground is located between Cooke City and the Lamar Valley. It is known for lots of wildlife in and around the campground - even grizzlies. This campground is open from early June until late September and has 32 sites. Picnic tables and fire rings with cast iron grates are at all the camp sites and the restroom is a vault toilet. Water is available and the fee for this campground is $14.00 per night and is first-come, first-served. You will really enjoy this campground when you are camping in Yellowstone Park.
Lewis Lake Campground is located just a short distance from the south entry at Grand Teton National Park. The campground is heavily wooded and tent campers have walk-in sites at the back of the lake. The campground is open from mid June to early November and has 85 sites. Picnic tables and fire pits are available at all camp sites. Restrooms are vault toilets and water is available. Fee for this campground is $14.00 per night and is first-come, first-served.
Yellowstone Backcountry Campsites
Then there is the backcountry camping - what an incredible and unique experience!
This is one of the activities that Yellowstone Park is famous for.
It’s a fact that 99% of the 3 million visitors to the park every year never venture more than 200 feet off the road, leaving millions of acres to explore.
There are hundred of miles of trails in the Yellowstone National Park backcountry - here you will find pristine lakes, wild rivers, vast forest land, abundant wildlife, plus hot springs and geysers.
You need a permit to stay at the Yellowstone backcountry campsites - permits are free and are available at the ranger stations and visitor centers. They need to be picked up in person not more than 48 hours before your intended departure.
You also need a permit for boating trips - there are some great backcountry campsites along Yellowstone Lake.
Going on horseback is an exciting way to see the backcountry. You need a permit for overnight or a day use stock permit for day trips. The trails are generally open for horses by July 1. There are also guides available for trips with horses or llamas.
Bears in the Backcountry
You should learn about bears before camping in the backcountry. You don’t need to be afraid of them but you should respect them. After all, they are part of the backcountry and you are in their territory. They are also wild animals and they are unpredictable.
Some guidelines for backpacking and bears:
Be Aware Don’t surprise a bear - make lots of noise - sing, shout, clap your hands, shake small rocks in a can. Don’t get between mama bear and her cubs. Don’t get close to a carcass if you see one.
Be Alert Watch for tracks, bear scat, diggings, etc. Take binoculars and look ahead and around often. Wildlife running that you didn’t scare could mean a bear is around. If you see bear cubs, mother is close by somewhere.
Don’t Hike At Night Bears feed at night and also travel on the trails
Hike In A Group Lots of people make lots of noise.
Keep Food Away Hang 10 feet up from the ground and 4 feet out from tree trunks. Do this not only at night, but if you go away in the daytime fishing, hiking, boating, riding. Never have food in your tent.
The weather in Yellowstone can change quickly and when you are camping, you need to be prepared.
Have some waterproof tarps handy to cover up fire wood and anything else you don’t want to get wet.
Bring rain coats and put them on before you get wet - it’s hard to keep warm if you are wet. It can get cold in Yellowstone Park, so it’s a good idea to have warm coats, hats and gloves. Remember, you’re at a pretty high altitude!
To me, it is important to have a warm sleeping bag, a good air mattress and a good, sturdy tent. I don’t like to be cold when I’m sleeping!
When our kids were young, we went camping in Yellowstone a lot and they all have very precious memories of the fun times we had. We have stayed in all the campgrounds and some we liked better than others, but they were all special. I think our favorite one is the campground at Tower Falls.
I hope you enjoy camping in Yellowstone as much as we have!
Explore these camping pages:
Camping Guide › Yellowstone Park Camping Tips
Montana Camping Guide.com
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