Every year, Yellowstone National Park sees hundreds of thousands of both domestic and international travelers. It has so much to natural beauty to offer that camping seems like the right thing to do.
But where is the best campground in Yellowstone? That’s a great question, considering there are 12 campgrounds with more than 2,000 campsites. This article gives you 5 of the best campgrounds for different kinds of campers.
1. Bridge Bay Campground
Bridge Bay campground is Yellowstone's largest campground. It has over 400 sites - some for just tents or RVs, and others, a combination of both. The campground got its name for being around the Bridge Bay Marina area. Many of its frequent visitors come to fish or go boating on the lake. Other than that, there are also many hiking and biking trails in the area, wildlife watching, and some ranger programs.
The campground offers sites with wooded areas, open meadows, and views of the lake. Each campsite should have a picnic table and a fire pit. There are also some food storage boxes available for sharing. If you are looking for water, electricity and sewage hookups, you will not find any here. There is a dump station near the Bridge Bay Marina, which is outside the campground itself. However, it may not be available all year, especially in freezing conditions.
Bridge Bay Campground is only open a few months a year, and a campsite is around $24 each. It may not be the same each year, so you need to give them a call for more information. You will also need to do so because reservations are a must for camping.
2. Mammoth Campground
Mammoth campground gets its name for being in proximity to the Mammoth Hot Springs. It's around 5 miles from the park's North Entrance, and it provides 85 sites in total. Every site has a picnic table, fire pits, and flush toilets, and there is food storage for sharing. There are no showers, but there are water pumps with potable water. There are also no hookups, but you can use a generator from 8 am to 8 pm.
One great thing about Mammoth Campground is that it is open all year long. All sites operate on a first-come, first-served basis and it’s $20 per site. So, if you want a right spot, make sure to be early. Most of the area is abundant in juniper and Douglas fir trees which give a lovely shade during summer.
The campground offers fishing, hiking, and of course, the Mammoth Hot Springs. It also provides excellent opportunities for elk and bison spotting, as well as other animals. At night, if you’re interested, there are ranger programs that you can enjoy but only from June through September.
Best for: Access to Mammoth Hot Springs, Large RVs (up to 75 feet)
3. Slough Creek Campground
If you want a more rustic, peaceful, and quiet experience, then Slough Creek is the one for you. It has the usual picnic table, fire pit, and shared food storage boxes, but no flush toilets. Instead, there are vault toilets and pit toilets. You also cannot use generators in this campground. The nearest services are around 8 miles from Tower Junction or 28 in Cooke City.
Located along the Slough Creek banks in Lamar Valley, this campground offers one of the best wildlife viewings in Yellowstone. You might spot deer, bisons, and bears from the campground. At night, you might be able to hear wolves howling. Otherwise, you will fall asleep to the sound of the creek.
There are 16 sites in total, 14 which can accommodate small RVs. However, you will need to assess it first by foot to see if your rig can handle the ground. Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis and are $15 per night. It’s open in the early weeks of June up to early October. For exact dates, you should call them or check with the National Park Services.
Best for: Campers who want a rustic experience; small RVs (up to 30 feet only)
4. Norris Campground
The Norris Campground is close to the Norris Geyser Basin, making it one of the more popular campgrounds. There are 100 sites available, with 7 RV sites. Two of the RV sites can accommodate a maximum length of 50 feet while 5 of the sites can provide a maximum range of 30 feet. Each campsite has a picnic table, fire pit, food storage boxes, flush toilets, and have accessible sites. You can run a generator with a 60db limit from 8 am to 8 pm.
Many of the campers in this campground come to be near the Geyser Basin. Here you’ll find the world’s tallest geyser, Steamboat Geyser. You can easily access the boardwalks, some dirt trails, and Gibbon Rivers. The Museum of National Park Ranger is also close by if you’re interested in learning about that. Aside from that, you can also see some wild animals, go hiking, and join the ranger nights.
All sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis, from May to September. They cost $20 per site per night, but you can call the NPS for a more detailed cost. You will also need to ask them about the open dates because it’s not the same every year.
Best for: Access to the geysers
5. Fishing Bridge RV Park
Fishing Bridge RV Park is strictly limited to hard-sided RVs only. Bears are frequently in the area, so for your safety, tent camping is strictly prohibited. You can find it near the north shore of Yellowstone Lake, which is close to the Mud Volcano area and Hayden Valley. Though it is not entirely charming like the other campgrounds, it is the only one that offers water, electric, and sewage hookups.
Fishing Bridge RV Park has 340 sites that can accommodate up to 40 feet RVs. There are many nearby facilities like laundry, pay showers, and of course hookups. These sites are reservable sites and cost about 48 dollars per night. You can use generators with a 60db limit from 8 am to 8 pm.
For more information on this campground, visit the National Parks Regulation website or give them a call. There are many regulations that you need to know.
Best for: RVs (hard sided unites) camping with full hookups.
One of the best ways to experience Yellowstone is to go camping. There is no one best campground since it depends on your needs and preferences. It depends on what kind of camping style you prefer (tent/RV), what area you want to be near, activities you want to do, and so on.
We hope this helped you find the best one for your needs! If you have questions or concerns, comment below, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. You should also visit Yellowstone National Park and National Parks Services for more information.
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