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Great Yellowstone Basecamp just a few minutes from the entrance.
There are a ton of awesome campsites along snake river with about 2 sites per pull-off. Actually, most of these are a little bit more than a mere pull-off. On gmaps, the sites seem to continue all the way on into Idaho. The one we took, we almost missed because as usual, we arrived at nightfall and we turned onto a dark uncertain path with a lone RV parked off to one side, and sure enough, the was an empty space right there waiting for us, complete with trash, toilet, and even a bear box. Each pull-off has 1 toilet and 1 trash, but has a firepit, table, and bear box for each designated camping spot. The river seemed perfect for fishing. I hope to come back one day.
My stay here was just for one night in August but it is a great relaxing place. During the day you could here the highway a little but it wasn’t something that I could here often. I look forward to going back again soon and hopefully staying a little longer next time.
Visited here in June of 2019. Great campground close to the lodge, convenience store, gas station, and laundry. Cell phone service and even radio station reception are almost nonexistent throughout the park, recommend stopping by a lodge to get the daily weather report and news. We were hit by very sudden blizzard in the beginning of June. The day before was sunny and 85° F, we had servers thunderstorms that night with 10” of snow the next morning! The park closed the gates so we couldn’t leave that morning. Both our cell phones didn’t work. Check the lodges for news and weather.
The restaurant at the lodge was very good. The lodge has one public phone for long distance calls. The satellite WiFi is slow because of all the people trying to use it. If you really need it, try late at night.
Highly recommend the horseback ride/tour through the park at this lodge. It was amazing. The lodge front desk is where you sign up for the horseback tour.
The fireplace at the lodge has board games and lots of kids gather to play. An awesome place!
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.