by Joseph A. Sprince – Photography by Gerald B. Allen
The Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks Travel Guides are a resource for those planning to tour Yellowstone National Park and/or Grand Teton National Park. The adjacent national parks are typically visited at the same time and offer very different experiences. Yellowstone offers the world's largest concentration of thermal features such as geysers and hot pools. Grand Teton features one of the world's most spectacular mountain ranges. Both parks offer outstanding opportunities to view wildlife.
Yellowstone National Park is served by 12 campgrounds. Five campgrounds have reservable sites (noted below), the others are first-come, first-served. Campgrounds generally fill up in the mornings during the summer season. Fishing Bridge is a full service RV park, and is the only campground in the park with hookups.
Camping Reservations can be made:
- On-line through the park concessionaire. (Select “Lodging” then “Camping” from the Menu.)
- by phone 866-439-7375 or 307-344-7311.
- Call 307-344-7901 for same-day reservations.
Be prepared to give the size of your tent or the combined length of your RV and any other vehicles or towed vehicles (in feet). Tent-only loops are available in some campgrounds.
Reservations are strongly advised especially if you have a very long RV (30 feet and over). There are a very limited number of sites over 30 feet throughout the park. It’s your responsibility to book a site large enough to accommodate all of your equipment.
Campgrounds are generally open late May to September. Mammoth Campground is open all year. To view the exact opening and closing dates, and the current camping fees, please see the web page Campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park for more information.
There are alternatives to camping inside the park. There are several National Forest, State, or commercial campgrounds located within 37 miles of Yellowstone. See below for more information.
Campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park
- Mammoth Campground. Only campground open all year. Located on a lightly wooded hillside just north of Mammoth Hot Springs town, five miles from the North Entrance. 85 campsites, 51 have tent pads, most are pull-through sites. Well suited for RV's; can accommodate up to 75 foot RV's; there are no hook-ups. Generators are allowed 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Campground away from developed areas; services and stores available in town. One of nicest campgrounds in park. Sits on edge of major grazing area. Elk and pronghorn often graze through the campsites.
Tower Fall and Roosevelt
- Tower Fall Campground. Mid-May to late September. Located at Tower Fall, about 3 miles south of Roosevelt which has full services. Small campground with 31 sites (Sites under 30 foot, hairpin curve into camp). Vault toilets. Campground away from developed areas. General store at Tower Fall parking area. Food/showers at Roosevelt Lodge, two miles away. Tower Fall hiking trail within walking distance of camp. Good opportunity to visit major site while in camp. Generators not allowed.
- Pebble Creek Campground. Early June to late September. Located in northeast corner of park, about 20 miles east of Roosevelt which has full services. Small campground with 27 sites (some long pull throughs). Vault toilets. Campground away from developed areas. Primitive campground favored by hikers and fishermen. Generators not allowed.
- Slough Creek Campground. Late May to late October. Located in northeast corner of park, about 10 miles east of Roosevelt which has full services. Small campground with 23 sites (14 sites are 30 feet, walk through recommended to assess sites). Best suited for tents or small RVs. Vault toilets. Campground away from developed areas. Primitive campground favored by hikers and fishermen. Half the sites are walk-in, located in the meadows high above the river. Possibility of observing wolf in this area. Generators not allowed.
- Canyon Campground. Early June to early September. Located near Canyon Village, 16 miles north of Yellowstone Lake. Large campground with about 273 sites. No hook-ups, dump station nearby. Flush toilets. Restaurants, stores, pay showers, and coin laundry nearby. Very short drive to Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, and the Upper and Lower Falls. Site are all wooded but many are uneven. Convenient but congested area so privacy is limited. Generators are allowed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Reservations are available.
- Norris Campground. Open: Mid-May to late September. Located 21 miles south of Mammoth Hot Springs and 12 miles west of Canyon, adjacent to Norris Geyser Basin. Campground with 100 sites. There are a few walk-in campsites, many nice tent sites, and limited RV sites for vehicles over 30 feet. Flush toilets, potable water. Campground away from developed areas. Short walking trail to geyser basin. Good opportunity to tour Norris Geyser Basin while in camp. Generators are allowed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Services are available at either Canyon or Mammoth Hot Springs.
- Indian Creek Campground. Open: Early June to mid-September. Located about 8 miles south of Mammoth Hot Springs. Smaller and primitive campground with 70 sites (10 sites at 35 feet, 35 sites at 30 feet). Vault toilets. Campground away from developed areas. Many hiking trails, good mountain views. Elk and bison grazing area. Occasional restrictions due to bear activity. Generators not allowed. General store, restaurant, and showers are located eight miles north in Mammoth Hot Springs.
- Madison Campground. Open: Early May to late October. Located 14 miles east of the West Yellowstone entrance and 16 miles north of Old Faithful near the junction of of the Gibbon, Madison, and Firehole Rivers. Large campground with 278 sites. Flush toilets. No utility hook-ups, dump station nearby. Campground away from developed areas. Generally open, level sites, lightly wooded. Tent-only loops available. River overlooks, fishing on Madison River (famous for brown trout) within walking distance. Generators are allowed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Reservations are available.
Lake Village, Bridge Bay, and Fishing Bridge
- Fishing Bridge RV Park. Late May to early October. Located on north side of Yellowstone Lake, about 27 miles from East Entrance. Large campground with over 325 sites. Camping in hard-side vehicles only with a maximum length of 40 feet, no pull-through sites. Full RV hookups available. All traveler services (pay showers, coin laundry, dump station, etc.) located at the RV park or nearby. Reservations are available.
- Bridge Bay Campground. Late May to mid-September. Located on north side of Yellowstone Lake, about 30 miles from East Entrance. Largest campground with about 432 sites. Flush toilets. Bridge Bay Marina, stores, pay showers, and coin laundry located nearby. Half of sites in meadow area with no shade; others are wooded. Convenient but congested area so privacy is limited. Tent-only loops available. Generators are allowed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Reservations are available.
Grant Village and Lewis Lake
- Grant Village Campground. Open: Late June to late September. Located on west side of Yellowstone Lake, about 22 miles from South Entrance. Large campground with 430 sites. Rates for this campground include 2 showers per night. No utility hook-ups, dump station nearby. Flush toilets. Services, stores, pay showers, and coin laundry located nearby. Short drive to West Thumb Geyser Basin. Half of sites in meadow area with no shade; others are wooded. Forested campground, well spaced out. Modern facility. Tent-only loops available. Generators allowed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Reservations are available.
- Lewis Lake Campground. Mid-June to early November. Located about 10 miles north of park's south entrance adjacent to lake. Small campground with 85 sites. All sites are 25 feet or under (very few pull throughs). Vault toilets. Campground away from developed areas. Boat launch available. Generators not allowed.
Camping outside Yellowstone National Park
- Gallatin National Forest. There are four campgrounds within 2 to 16 miles of the North Entrance, three within 6 to 9 miles of the Northeast Entrance, and eight within 3 to 35 miles of the West Entrance of Yellowstone.
- Shoshone National Forest, Wapiti Ranger District. There are several campgrounds (Rex Hale, Newton Creek, Clear Water, Wapiti, Big Game) within 10 to 25 miles of the East Entrance of Yellowstone. Located on US Hwy 14-16-20, the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway, on the banks of the North Fork of the Shoshone River.
- Buffalo Bill State Park. Located 37 miles from the East Entrance of Yellowstone and 6 miles from Cody, WY. All campsites have tables and grills and are convenient to water hydrants and restrooms. There are utility sites (electric/water hookups) at either campground with shower facilities at North Fork campground. Except those designated tent-only, campsites will accommodate trailers, tents or RVs. 21 sites are reservable. There are two developed campgrounds at Buffalo Bill State Park:
- North Shore Bay Campground: (35 sites: 29 pull-through sites, 3 back-in, and 3 designated tent only;). Located approximately 9 miles west of Cody on US Highway 14-16-20 North Fork Highway.
- North Fork Campground: (62 sites: 56 pull through sites and 6 designated tent-only sites). Located approx. 14 miles west of Cody on US Highway 14-16-20 North Fork Highway.