As usual with me, it’s more about the area than the actual campground, but this is actually probably my favorite campground in the Tetons. It just has a really nice feel to it and it’s obviously in a beautiful area. You can walk right to the lake from the campground.
You can find sites close to others or pretty secluded so it’s got something for everyone. There’s a ton of regular camping sites and also some for bikers and hikers. I think all are first come first served.
My friends and I had a great time here. We drove into the park and did some back packing in the death shelf area. We stayed at the campground and chilled for a night before doing some climbing. Really nice campground right in the heart of the Tetons.
Madison Campground is a huge campground with 278 site, needless to say you will not be camping alone here, or with much privacy. The campground is set amongst lodge pole pines. While this is a large campground the sites are decently sized and not right on top of each other, but close. We had a quiet stay, but with the size of this campground your odds of that one loud group or family being near will be quiet high. Allow yourself plenty of time to check-in, as the process will be quite slow if numerous campers show up at the same time. The campground appears to have two heated restrooms per loop, with a dish washing station at them. You will not have to throw out much trash during your visit, the campground has a large recycling area, including compost. You can recycle type 1& 2 plastic, cardboard, aluminum& steel cans, glass bottles and camp stove fuel bottles. The campground roads are all paved as are the parking pads. Each site has a picnic table and metal fire ring. Bear food lockers are located through out the campground, but you might need to share with fellow campers as each site does not have their own. Of the 278 site, 62 are tent only and there are 3 group sites. Cost to camp is$28 per night. The price is a little steep, but this campground has the advantage of being fairly centrally located to most of the top attractions in the park, plus you are only 15 miles away from West Yellowstone where you can stock up on everything you might need.
I spent the night here on a cross country road trip with just me and the dog. It was free which was awesome. It was deserted which was both great and unnerving for a single newbie camper. We woke up to snow and had a great dawn hike on the hike/bike trails. The campsites are well-loved/worn and some were under water/mud. Because it was both off-season/midweek, it didn't matter at all, as I could pick almost any site.
So, we just returned from our first trip to GTNP and Yellowstone, and tented 3 nights at Colter Bay (also 1 night at Jenny Lake, and 1 night at Gros Ventre). First, GTNP and YNP in autumn is amazing, and Colter Bay has many great services conveniently available in the campground, such as a well stocked camp store, decent showers, one restaurant, and laundry. Colter Bay camp ground is also close enough to YNP to be within striking distance for day trips up to all the southern attractions (although Headwaters at Flagg Ranch would be more centrally located between the parks).
Now the bad news: the bathrooms in the campground look like they have never been cleaned or maintained. The maintenance crew should be fired. No hot water, broken cold water faucets. brown smelly urinal, filthy floors and stalls. WTF? I guess the teenagers they hire for summer workers don't like cleaning bathrooms. At this point, its probably a good idea to gut the entire bathroom and start over from bare walls. I would rather primitive camp in the nearby forest - oh, wait, thats illegal. I'd have to drive 30 miles to get outside the national park before primitive camping is allowed…
One more gripe: although there are many services provided by the national park service or their concessionaires (Vail Resorts) available to campers in the campground, is it really necessary to gouge campers on everything they sell? $32/night to tent, $40 for breakfast for 2, $7.50 for a box of 4 logs, $4 for a shower, I realize the park service claims they are woefully under-funded, but camping is supposed to be a good value for the vacations of middle class Americans, right? After all, they market it as "your national parks" and I pay my taxes, and then they charge me again? If its my national park, then I charge too much for everything.
OK. I feel better now. Other than these items, GTNP is a beautiful place.
Heaven!!!! That's all there is to Say….. There is great camping all over…. For dispersed Camping Free and Probably best views …. Shadow Mountain is the Ticket…. Grovant Campground is another wonderful Place….
How do you describe heaven, with bad roads. I would never go anyplace other than shadow mountain.
This was a nice spot for a 3 day weekend, we got there early Friday so there were still a lot of spots. It was rainy and foggy so we didn’t drive all the way up the road as others suggested since you couldn’t see the view anyway. There are some nice fire rings built and the there are porta-potties by the first couple spots. Our spot was right next to a bear box where you can stow your food. We saw a few deer, but not much else. However I did hear a lot of howling the first night. Saturday night it got pretty packed, mostly just van campers looking for a spot to park so it was still quiet. Would love to camp here again when it’s not so foggy and rainy! The road wasn’t so bad for the lower spots, but if you plan to go further out you’ll definitely need 4x4. The trees were BEAUTIFUL!
Lovely quiet dispersed camping spot by the lake. We had seen other reviews that it was bad for mosquitos but we didn’t see a single one. Room for about 6 sites here with a few prebuilt fire pits. Beautiful views - we loved it.
You need to drive down a dirt road with some pot holes and wash boarding. Would recommend scouting it first if it has been wet and there were some big puddles already.
We were fine in our camper van but big rigs might struggle a little In bad weather.
Most sites are on the banks of the Fall River with great views. Very clean. Good access nearby to Yellowstone National Park at the Bechler Ranger Station and Cave Falls. Cave Falls is beautiful and we spent time watching a nesting Osprey. Nice network of trails. Very popular spot for fly fishermen because there is also good access to rivers in YNP.
Check-in was super helpful to a rookie camper. They suggested how we should pull into the site in order to face the correct direction and they informed us all about the fresh water refill station as well as the black water dumping station. Site was simple to pull in and out of and the trees provided a good amount of privacy.
With Colter bay marina nearby, there was plenty to go see and do. We will definitely stay here again in the future.
Campsite had great services; plenty of restrooms, washroom for dishes and showers for campers. The check-in was super easy and they were very friendly.
The only issue we had was getting our camper into the site. They advertised our particular site as a pull-through site and we nearly got our camper stuck trying to pull in. It took some doing, but we got parked properly. It would have been far easier to just back in to this particular lot.
Our camper is just over 31', so that could have been a factor.
Bakers Hole Campground - A hop skip and jump from Yellowstone NP
Bakers Hole Campground is the perfect spot for a Yellowstone National Park jumping off point. Located just over 3 miles from the park entrance puts you in easy striking distance of just about everything in the park. The campground sits along the Madison river, making it a nice choice if you enjoy fishing. It features paved roads with gravel parking pads, vault toilets, picnic tables and metal fire rings at each site, and most sites have their of bear food storage. This is a first come first served campsite, but just because it doesn't take reservation doesn't mean it will be easy to find a spot, this campground fills up fast. 33 of the 73 sites have electricity. Two fully ADA sites are available. Drinking water is available at several taps located throughout the camp. The friendly camp hosts are almost always on duty and patrolling the camp. They also have firewood for sale if needed. The campground is near the highway but didn't notice to much noise during the night.
Ranger review Outdoor Element's Kodiak Survival Braid
Outdoor Element's Kodiak Survival Braid is a great survival bracelet. A very cleaver idea to place the ferro rod and striker in in the bracelets buckle. It sparks up very nicely making our charred cloth and cotton balls with Vaseline easy to get started. I got the large size which is just a little big, but the medium was not quite big enough. I liked that the Kodiak came with a sample piece of para cord to check out the features in the cord it self. Pulled out the Jute and made a little nest and gave the striker a try and after a few attempts got a spark to take hold and had a fire. With fishing line in the para cord and a hook hidden within this bracelet is all set to save you behind if needed. Will definitely be taking the Kodiak on future outing.
Camping on Shadow mountain can be a game of chance. But it can be rewarding. As you drive off hwy 89 and head east toward Kelly you will beer north. This is not a campground, there are just places to pull off and camp as you drive up Shadow. I head there is a campground and RV park but we didn’t go there.
We found a spot to camp nothing is provided, just a spot of dirt and views of the Tetons.
The only problem in the summer is that there’s a late night party crowd that can swoop in and can be noisy.
First come first served.
Clean place to stay on the Snake River. Excellent location if planning to do both parks! We hiked down to the river in the evenings and watched the sunset. Gas was cheaper at the gas station there since it is technically not in the national parks. 🤫
Absolutely beautiful place to camp and that's about it for me here. If you want a spot show up at 6 AM and take a nap until 8 AM when it opens to let you go get a site. If you don't do this you will not get a spot. Their is only one bathroom in the entire campground its O.K. no showers at all. I'm the camper that likes to set things up and enjoy the actual camp site. I like to set up a good eating cook out area and enjoy a lot of food and hanging out. I'm not the bare minimum next to nothing eating out of an MRE camper. That being said the amount of cleaning and putting every thing away for the bears is way to much work and made the camping not fun at all. I don't blame the bears or anything else it was a lot more than I anticipated.
I would recommend using a camper not tent camping if you camp like me. If you're the bare minimum camper its perfect for you. I recommend this campsite though just absolutely beautiful place to be.
Found a spot with the perfect view of The Grand. Road was a bit bumpy with a few big divots but made it up in my Promaster. Plenty of campsites. They were remote enough that you couldn’t necessarily hear the neighbors but could see their fire smoke. It was absolutely beautiful. Stayed 3 nights. And will definitely go back again.
9/6/19 Conveniently located, 6 miles from west entrance of park. We had a pull thru site, 45,. Level gravel site. I didn't like that our electric and water are on site 44 grass area right next to their firepit. Our picnic area not level. Table very worn. They have a lot of different sites including ones with patio and porch swing, tent sites, cottage. Sites that back up to highway get a lot of road noise. Bathhouse attached to store was average quality, clean, good water pressure. The bathhouse attached to the indoor pool/spa smelled really moldy. Nice play area with mini golf. Small fenced dog area. Good size laundry facilities and store.
Colter bay….where to relax after Yellowstone and much more accessible. Colter bay has 200-300 camp sites nestled in under the trees. It’s crowed but workable. First come first serve. Get there in the AM and getting a spot is easy. Do not wait till 4pm. You pull your trailer, motor home, parallel to the camp site.
Know National Park rules, this is not forest service land and the rangers will enforce their rules and regulations accordingly. As with any National Park the best of the Park lays outside the your campsite. The views of wildlife and landscape are everywhere.
Yellowstone is quite the hot ticket for camping and depending on what you are wanting to do there are several major campgrounds which might appeal to your needs. When entering the Western most entrance one of the best locations to stop and unhitch or set up for your adventure is Madison Campground located just a few short miles inside the entrance.
I stopped in here to check out the area and also enjoy a little rest and was very impressed by how large the campground was but how homey it really felt. There are several loops in this campground which allow for hundreds of campers, but with all these campers it remained comfortable and not loud. This campground does allow generators during certain hours, so it is very common to hear the low hum of these around camp, but the trees and placement of sites seems to make this site still very comfortable.
The loops are all designed for one way traffic, which cuts down on much of the congestion but also on the chaos which could occur from so many options in each loop. I found that unlike some campgrounds which can become a maze this one was very easy to navigate.
The campground has both a general store, which has some of the things which you might have left at home, and also both an ice machine and soda machine. In addition there is a RV dump station and an amphitheater where they do nightly programs.
The bathrooms here have flush toilets and running water but no showers, still very convenient and if you do happen to want to shower after paying for entry you can visit some of the other area campgrounds.
The big negative to not only this campground but the park in general is that there is no cellular service or radio, so if you are needing to find out park information which is not listed in the brochure given to you at the gate you will want to do so before coming to the park or stop by one of the information desks located at various park checkpoints.
When settling into the campsites there are both pull through. and pull in sites. I noticed that many of the larger rigs were easily able to fit into the pull through sites and tent campers were scattered throughout. Bear boxes are provided alongside fire rings and picnic tables. Fire warnings are always posted on the kiosk at the opening of the campground so make sure you check in and check this out.
During summer the rate for a single night is $26 which is around the middle of the price points for campgrounds around Yellowstone. This is higher than the vault only style campgrounds which makes sense. But because of the amenities offered this site also fills up quickly so I recommend booking online well in advance of your stay.
- When staying at Madison make sure you take advantage of the river access for which the campground is named. This area is absolutely beautiful and for those who enjoy fishing, this is an approved fishing area.
- Make sure to use the dish washing stations located at each of the 14 restrooms, these are great convenient features since no sites have running water.
- Closest showers are located just outside the park at West Yellowstone or at the Old Faithful Inn within the park. These are pay showers but you can easily access them without issue.
- Power Plugs are located in the restroom if you are needing a quick charge or one of the conveniences of home.
Each year, thousands of fly fishermen ascend into Harriman State Park and nearby town of Island Park, ID to fish the famous Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. As we planned our Yellowstone vacation, we decided to spend a few days fly fishing and camped at Riverside (Id- Targhee).
Campground Review: Just around 15 miles north of Ashton, ID, and a few miles to Harriman State Park on US Hwy 20, the entrance of Riverside campground is clearly marked. The area was formed by a large caldera and sits about 6300 feet above sea level. Riverside campground is about a mile down a dirt road and sits right on Henry’s Fork. Roughly 30 camping spots and 1 group site. The sites were well laid out and plenty of space and privacy from each site. Surrounded by thick lodge pole pines, we didn’t hear much road traffic. Our site was less than 25 yards from the river, and we had great access with a handful trails leading to several areas of the river. There are a few bear boxes to share with other sites around the campground and several super clean restrooms. Probably the cleanest I’ve used. We didn’t spend a lot of time at the site during the day due to our main objection was to slay trout, but at night after a great day of fishing, we were able to relax and have a good night camping under the stars. The campsite’s fire ring was awesome. Cement ring with a moveable metal grate with a heavy duty cast iron pole with arms to hang your dutch oven over the fire. We have a rooftop tent but the campgrounds have some nicely laid out tent boxes to park your tent. We did see some sites with concrete flooring around the picnic areas. Overall, very well laid out campground with some good sites to enjoy the great outdoors. We camped at A012. We really had to go out of our way at our site to see our neighbors so tons of privacy. We had a big open sky to stargaze at night. Best of all: No mosquitos. We camped in the middle of August. My boy and I camped at a different campground in Island Park in June, and there was so much standing water that it bred armies of mosquitos. Not this trip. We also had good cell phone reception at this campground. The only bad thing I could come up with is that there was only trash dumpster near the front entrance so ridding your garbage took a little work. There is a boat launch so if you have a drift boat, you can do it right there. Island Park is about 8-10 minute drive if you need some supplies or gas.
Product Review: As a Dyrt Ranger, I get to test products! At this campground, I tested The Vista in hunter green trucker hat from Banner & Oak. As an outdoor enthusiast, I wear a lot of trucker hats and Banner & Oak really stood out from other hats I’ve worn. Stiff, thick material with a mesh backing and secure adjustment to keep my head airy. I really enjoyed wearing it and has quickly become my favorite hat. I really love the color and the high quality patch. If you’re not a fan of deeper hats, I recommend you do not get this hat. It fit my big noggin perfectly. Check out their products at the this link: https://bannerandoak.com/collections/hats
In GT National Park, about 20 miles from S entrance to Yellowstone, very busy sites are not much, parking for rv and vehicles are along road tents can be put up further from road, bear boxes provided, picnic tables n fire pits, showers r in laundry room up by main stores not very close to camp sites, rode bike up to stores, beach and restaurants, there is a small grocery store on site with gift shop, this park is ran by Vail Resorts for the National Park Service, so you are in a National Park, follow fire restrictions closely.
Baker's Hole is located very close to West Yellowstone. This is both a pro and a con -- pro, as it allows you to zip into town if you need some groceries, want to grab a pizza, etc. You can literally be in town in 3 minutes.
The "con" side is that the main road into West is VERY close to many sites within the campground, and the road noise is pretty constant. We had a last minute trip and scored Site #16 (Electric) and while the site itself is great (timbered shade, roomy parking spot for the camper, hammock-friendly trees, food lock box, etc.) it is literally 40-50 yards from the road.
At one point, about 30 Harley's roared by, and I couldn't hear my wife talking to me at the picnic table. Not good…..But, that is the deal if you land in one of the spots nearest the road.
My advice (and plan next time) is to get there early (it is first come/first serve, no reservations) and head directly to the spots closest to the river. Not only does that put you within 10 seconds of fishing, they were a fair bit quieter than those near the road.
The camp hosts check in and drive around in their golf cart frequently, taking care of the place. They do a great job.
All in all, I would recommend this campground, as you have easy access to fishing the Madison, a quick trip to West Yellowstone if needed, or to start a trip in Yellowstone Park.
A few tips:
- Bring bug spray and a citronella candle/Thermacell, etc. anytime in the summer. The mosquitoes can be really bad.
- Bring a hammock; great trees to sling one up can be found at almost every site
- Bring your flyrod!
- Bring bear spray, and be diligent about food prep and storage. This is grizzly country.
We loved this place. Very cool area with lots to do and see. Only a couple of miles.from the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park. It borders a forest with plenty of trails. Big campground and very busy. Food and amentities for trips to the park are close by.
Stayed here for 6 days had amazing time. We were a minute walk away from the lake and a perfect view of the mountains. They had a great general store with decent prices for being the only store around. And a really nice buffet restaurant with some really amazing servers. The area is in bear country and we did see a bear. And there were obvious signs that the bares were in the ariea alot. When we saw the dear was near us there was also 3 rangers following it keeping the campers safe.
Easy pull through sites, 415. Level Sewer connection had an odd configuration. We had to dig a bit of dirt out in order to make a connection. Nice, clean bathrooms. Showers had no seats and only one hook for clothes, towels and toiletry bag. Very limited Wi-fi that had to be accessed at the lodge reception area. No cell phone service. A courtesy phone is available at the lodge reception desk. Clean laundry facility. 2.25 to wash, 1.75 to dry 40 minutes. Convenience store. Gift shop with WY fishing license. Did not use other amenities. We took a nice ride out Grassy Lake Road from the ranch. The area near the ranch was burned in the 2016 wildfires so you will see lots of burned trees. On the plus side, the wildfires provide nutrients for the wildflowers to thrive. This campground is also fairly convenient to many of the sites to see in the Grand Tetons.
Loved the location because we could easily access most sites of interests. a little scare at check-in when we were told we had different size campsites than we had reserved in spite of confirming our reservations just a few days before we arrived. I don't know where the glitch was but our three sites worked out well. We were assigned sites nearby one another and the sites adequately accommodated our equipment (a 27 ft trailer with slide on #D153, a pop-up on #156 and two tents on 140). Sites were roomy and backed up to a common area. We pulled in backwards to D153 so our door faced picnic table. We learned that you must have printed tickets for all Xanterra reserved tours. We were supposed to receive these tickets at check-in however we did not receive our tickets. Happened to learn about this when trying to add to our reservations. Near disaappointment luckily averted. Make sure you get your Xanterra tickets printed when you check-in! Did not use bathrooms but plentiful and conveniently located. Great, spacious bear boxes. Nice dish washing stations.Two great rivers nearby for fishing and watching sunsets. Loved nearby Fire Canyon road, which offered good fishing and a swimming hole! Great evening ranger programs. Great place to do the Jr. Ranger program. Ice, drinks, snacks available for sale at campground. Good recycle program.
Found an amazing campsite. A trail led from our campsite down to Jackson Lake. The view was unbelievable. The Park rangers were so friendly and helpful. Bathrooms have flushing toilets and running water. You can walk from the campsite to the Colter Bay store and gift shop. All the campers were so friendly. Definitely going back to Colter Bay.