Camping in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone national park park guide

Camping in Yellowstone National Park is one of the best places in the world to experience the great outdoors. 

Whether you’re looking to get a close-up view of the park’s wildlife, take a boat ride down the Yellowstone River. 

Or simply enjoy a hike or bike ride along the park’s scenic trails, Yellowstone has a vacation for you. You can enjoy the park’s wildlife by taking a hike or a bike ride through.

National Park is a wonderful experience. There are several campgrounds inside the park. And they all offer beautiful scenery and amazing opportunities for outdoor activities. If you’re looking for a camping trip that will provide you with plenty of amazing memories, camping in Yellowstone is the way to go!

There are 12 “front country” campgrounds, which have 2,150 campsites in Yellowstone National Park. Some of the most popular are Bridge Bay, Canyon, Fishing Bridge, Grant Village, and Madison Campground Yellowstone.

What is Camping Yellowstone National Park Like?

There are many beautiful places to camp in Yellowstone National Park, but we can find some of the best camping near the geysers and hot springs. The best way to find a campsite, that doesn’t need a reservation, is to drive around the park. But watch out for the crazy hairpin curve, and look for signs for camping or backcountry camping. There are also campgrounds near the entrances to the park.

When camping in Yellowstone, it is important to be aware of the dangers that exist in the park. Bears, wolves, and other animals can be dangerous, so it is important to take precautions when camping and hiking in the park.

If you can’t find a place you can always head out of the park to look for a campsite.

Yellowstone Camping Rules

Camping is allowed only at designated campsites.

They charged camping fees per night.

Campfires are allowed only in designated fire pits.

Pack out all trash.

Keep a clean campsite and Leave No Trace.

Yellowstone Backcountry Camping Rules

Pack out what you pack in.

Store food in animal-proof containers.

Do not feed the wildlife.

Bury human waste 6-8 inches deep and at least 100 feet from water sources.

Do not build fires in the backcountry.

Carry a stove for cooking.

Check the weather forecast and plan your trip accordingly.

Be aware of bears and other wildlife in the area.

Carry bear pepper spray and know how to use it.

Stay on designated trails.

Camping is allowed in most areas of Yellowstone National Park, but there are a few restrictions. Camping is not allowed in the backcountry near thermal features. You must also camp at least 100 feet from water sources.

Campground Tips & Regulations

The National Park Service manages 12 campgrounds with over 2,000 campsites in Yellowstone National Park. Campgrounds are open from late May to mid-September.

And there are some basic rules to follow.

Do you Need to Make Reservations?

Campgrounds Reservations are required, first-served, and can be reserved up to 13 months in advance. So plan with your Yellowstone Camping Reservations.

Camping fees are $12-$25 per night.

General Regulations

Campers must park at designated campsites and not on the road or in the meadows.

Campfires are allowed only in established fire pits in the campgrounds.

Pets are allowed in most campgrounds but must be leashed at all times.

They prohibited camping in the following areas:

-In the thermal areas, including the geyser basins and near hot springs

-In the Lamar Valley

-Within 1/4 mile of any road or trail

-In the backcountry

Type of Camping in Yellowstone

Camping in Yellowstone national park

RVV Camping In Yellowstone

There are many RV camping spots in Yellowstone. And there are also camper unit rentals.

Camping in Yellowstone is a wonderful experience. The park has 10 different campgrounds, most of which are open from May to September. All the campgrounds have restrooms and showers, and most have a dump station.

Tent Camping In Yellowstone

Tent camping in Yellowstone can be a great way to experience the park. And can rival some other amazing parks like Grand Teton National Park or Glacier National Park. There are many campgrounds to choose from and each has its unique features and amenities.

Car Camping in Yellowstone

Is Car Camping allowed in Yellowstone National Park?

Yes! Car camping is allowed in Yellowstone National Park, but there are some restrictions on where you can camp and how long you can stay. So you can camp in your car! But only at campsites.

So there is no overnight vehicle parking outside designated areas. But if you can get a spot, it is a great alternative for an Airbnb.

Group Campsites

Six group campsites in Yellowstone are good for group campsites.

Each group’s campsite has a fire ring, picnic table, and a bear box.

The maximum group size is 24 people.

There is a $10 per night fee for each group’s campsite.

There is a two-night minimum stay at each group’s campsite.

Yellowstone National Park Lodges

Yellowstone National Park Lodges operates nine lodges (hotel- and cabin-style) in the park with over 2,000 rooms.

These camping cabins in Yellowstone national park are great but aren’t the cheapest.

A perk is that the lodges are near the park’s major attractions and provide visitors with a variety of accommodations and amenities. Each lodge offers comfortable guest rooms, fine dining, and meeting spaces. Plus public areas, and recreational activities.

Campgrounds Near Yellowstone’s North Entrance

Mammoth Campground

Mammoth Campground is in the northeast corner of the park, four miles from the northeast entrance and four miles from the town of Gardiner. The campground is open from late May to early September.

There are 131 sites available, of which 117 are for tents and 14 are for RVs. Each site has a picnic table and a fire ring. The campground has a dump station, showers, and a store.

There is a $20 fee for a single site and a $40 fee for a group site.

Indian Creek Campground

It is open from late May to early September.

81 sites can accommodate tents, RVs, and trailers.

Reservations are on a first come first serve basis.

The camp host, a flush toilet, and a dump station.

There is no drinking water, so bring your own.

Fees are $10 per night.

There are no hookups or showers, but the campground has a dump station.

Bear Creek Campground

Bear Creek Campground is in the Gallatin Canyon near the town of Big Sky, Montana. It offers spectacular views of the surrounding mountains. And is a popular spot for fishing, hiking, and camping. The campground has 72 sites, which can accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs, and features flush toilets and potable water.

This campsite is also first come, first serve. This is like some areas when camping in Big Sur.

Timber Camp Campground

Timber Camp is in the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park. The campground offers 16 campsites for tents or RVs. There is no water or electricity available. Campers must pack in their water and pack out their trash.

Eagle Creek Campground

Eagle Creek is a great place to camp in Yellowstone National Park. It is near the West Entrance of the park and is open from late May to early September. It has both tent and RV camping sites and a group camping area. There are also restrooms and showers available on site.

It is a significant part of west Yellowstone to camp.

Campgrounds Near Yellowstone’s Northeast Entrance

The closest campgrounds to Yellowstone’s Northeast Entrance are. The Tower Fall Campground and the Roosevelt Campground.

The Tower Fall Campground is located 8 miles east of Tower Junction on the Tower Fall Scenic Byway. The campground has 23 sites and is open from late May to early September.

The Roosevelt Campground is located 9 miles east of Tower Junction on the Tower Fall Scenic Byway. The campground has 101 sites and is open from late May to early September.

Slough Creek Campground

If you’re looking for a rustic camping experience in Yellowstone National Park. Then look no further than Slough Creek Campground. This campground is in the Lamar Valley, which is known for its abundant wildlife. There are only 26 sites in the campground, so be sure to reserve a spot well in advance. Amenities at the campground include restrooms, picnic tables, and fire pits.

Pebble Creek Campground

Location: Pebble Creek Campground is in the Gallatin Canyon, approximately 25 miles south of Bozeman, Montana.

Amenities: Pebble Creek Campground offers campsites with tent pads, picnic tables, fire rings, and bear boxes. Vault toilets and potable water are available.

Fees: A $10 per night fee is charged for all campsites. Prices might change. 

Additional Information: Pets are allowed on a leash. Like many places when camping in Yosemite National Park.

Tower Fall Campground

Tower Fall is in the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park, eight miles from the entrance to the park. The campground is open from late May to early September. Tower Fall Campground has 36 sites, all of which are first-come, first-served. There are no hookups or dump stations in the campground.

Campgrounds Near Yellowstone’s South Entrance

Grant Village Campground

Grant Village Campground is in the southern section of Yellowstone National Park and is open from late May to early September. The campground offers tent and RV camping, as well as a few group sites. Facilities include restrooms, showers, and a general store.

Lewis Lake Campground

Lewis Lake Campground is in the Lewis Lake area, six miles northeast of the Fishing Bridge Junction. There are 88 sites, including three sites for handicapped visitors. Lewis Lake Campground offers access to fishing, boating, and hiking opportunities.

Reservations are not accepted for individual sites but can be made for group sites.

There are no electrical or water hookups available.

Campgrounds Near Yellowstone’s East Entrance

Fishing Bridge RV Park

The Fishing Bridge RV Park is in the northeastern corner of Yellowstone National Park. 

It is just east of the town of Fishing Bridge and the Yellowstone River. 

The park is open from May to September and offers 101 campsites, including 16 pull-through sites. 

Two group sites can accommodate up to 25 people each. Facilities at the park include restrooms, showers, a dump station, and a few picnic tables and fire pits. Pets are allowed in the park but must be kept on a leash at all times.

Bridge Bay Campground

Bridge Bay Campground is on the shores of Yellowstone Lake, one of the most popular destinations in the park. The campground has 407 sites, including 307 RV sites and 100 tent sites. There are also several group sites available. Amenities include a general store, laundry facilities, showers, and a dump station.

Campgrounds Near Yellowstone’s West Entrance

Madison Campground Yellowstone

National Park

Madison Campground is in the southwestern section of Yellowstone National Park. It is a large campground that can accommodate tents, RVs, and trailers. There are 307 campsites, including 10 group sites. Facilities include restrooms, showers, a dump station, and a grocery store.

There are several activities available in the area, including hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing.

Norris Campground

Norris Campground is in the northeast corner of Yellowstone National Park, near the Norris Geyser Basin. The campground is open from May to September and has 103 sites. Amenities include a dump station, flush toilets, and drinking water.

Backcountry Camping In Yellowstone

Between Old Faithful and West Thumb: Shoshone Lake

Shoshone Lake Campground is on the eastern shore of Shoshone Lake, approximately 7 miles south of Old Faithful and 8 miles north of West Thumb. This campground offers opportunities for fishing, boating, and hiking. 

There are 78 individual campsites, which can accommodate tents or RVs up to 30 feet long. Facilities include flush toilets and drinking water.

Canyon Village Area: Grebe Lake

Indian Creek, Lewis Lake, Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, Tower Fall

Bridge Bay Area: Bridge Bay, Canyon (It’s no Grand Canyon), Fishing Bridge, Grant Village

Madison Area: Indian Creek, Madison, Old Faithful, West Thumb

Lake Village Area: Grant Village, Heart Lake, Lake Village, Shoshone

Gardiner Area: Mammoth Hot Springs, Norris Geyser Basin, Tower Fall

More Things to Know Before Camping in Yellowstone National Park

Best Campgrounds In Yellowstone

There are a few campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park that are worth mentioning. Keep in mind that the best campground will require you to make reservations.

Mammoth Hot Springs

The first one is the Mammoth Campground, which is near the Mammoth Hot Springs. This campground has a lot of amenities, including a store, showers, and a laundry room. It is also close to some of the park’s attractions.

Fishing Bridge

Another great campground is the Fishing Bridge RV Park. This park is near the Fishing Bridge and it has a lot of amenities, including a store, a laundry room, and showers. It is also close to some of the park’s attractions.

Canyon Campground Yellowstone

Canyon Campground is a lovely camping area near the North Entrance to Yellowstone National Park. It is on Silvertip Creek, with views of the Gallatin Range and canyons that lead up to the north entrance road. The campground is open year-round, but only accepts reservations from May 1st to mid-September.

This is a great place to camp. But there is not one RV site. So this is for tent campers only.

Indian Creek Campground

If you are looking for a campground that is in a more remote area of the park. Then the Indian Creek Campground may be a good option for you. This campground is in the Lamar Valley and it offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains. It also has a lot of amenities, including a store and a laundry room.

Is Camping In Bear Country Safe?

Camping in a bear country can be safe if you take the precautions. Store your food and garbage in bear-proof containers and never leave food or garbage unattended. If you see a bear, make loud noises and try to scare it away.

Can I Camp Anywhere In Yellowstone?

No, there are designated camping areas in Yellowstone National Park and camping is only allowed in certain areas. This also includes vehicle camping in picnic areas and grounds. Camping is only allowed at designated campsites, or in the backcountry with the proper permit.

We can find the backcountry camping regulations and map on the NPS website.

Can I Have a Campfire In Yellowstone?

We can find designated areas at most campgrounds in the park and some picnic areas. They prohibit wood gathering in the park, so please bring your firewood.

And charcoal fires and wood campfires are prohibited from backcountry campsites

Campsites Near Yellowstone Lake

There are many campgrounds near Yellowstone Lake. Fishing Bridge RV Campground, Bridge Bay Campground, and Grant Village Campground are the most popular.

Fishing Bridge RV Campground

Fishing Bridge RV Campground is located six miles from the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake. It offers 271 sites, including seven group sites, for RVs and tents. There are flush toilets, showers, laundry, a dump station, and a store.

Bridge Bay Campground

Bridge Bay Campground is located 11 miles from the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake. It offers 432 sites, including 12 group sites, for RVs and tents. There are flush toilets, showers, laundry, a dump station, and a store.

Grant Village Campground

Grant Village Campground is located 16 miles from the West Thumb of Yellowstone Lake. It offers 586 sites, including nine group sites, for RVs and tents. There are flush toilets, showers, laundry, a dump station, and a store. Campsites Near Yellowstone Lake

Can you Camp in Yellowstone All Year?

Most Campsites in Yellowstone Park are open in mid-May and close in mid-September.

However, The Mammoth campground is open all year long. Which is rare for Yellowstone campground.

Is there Dispersed Camping allowed in Yellowstone?

No, Dispersed Camping is allowed in Yellowstone.

Things to do near Yellowstone National Park

Camping in yellowstone

Hiking

Yellowstone is home to some of the most spectacular hiking trails in America. On par with some of the best hiking in San Diego. 

One of the best is the Lower Falls Trail which leads down to the base of Lower Falls, one of the most impressive waterfalls in Yellowstone. 

The trail is challenging but well worth it! Seeing the amazing national forest is a treat for all travelers.

You have great adventures and sites like Old Faithful, and Custer Gallatin national forest, all the way to Island Park.

Wildlife Watching

Yellowstone is home to a huge variety of wildlife species. Including bison, elk, moose, and grizzly bears so there’s always something exciting going on! You’ll even find black bear cubs here as they love eating grubs from trees!

Horseback Riding in Yellowstone National Park

Horseback riding is one of the most popular activities in Yellowstone. 

You can ride for miles on the park’s many trails, or you can choose to stay at one of the many horse camps that are located throughout the park.

Yellowstone is a fantastic experience. It rivals some of the best state parks and national parks like the best national parks in Utah. And Zion National Park. This guide to camping in Yellowstone National Park can help you get the most out of your experience. 

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