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Livingston, MONTANA

198 Reviews165 Campgrounds
Camping Montana Livingston
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Most Recent Livingston Camping Reviews
First to Review
Great campground in Yellowstone National Park

Great campground in Yellowstone National Park close to castle rock falls, good tree coverage, has bathrooms and secured food storage, it also has a creek - great for fly-fishing- that leads to the falls. Enjoy the beautiful scenery while hiking down to Yellowstone river.

Camp where Lewis and Clark camped

Experience Camping near where Captains Meriwether Lewis and William Clark and the Corps of Discovery camped at the headwaters of the Missouri river in 1805. Missouri Headwaters State Park campground is a 17 site campground located just a short distance from the confluence of the Jefferson, Madison and Gallatin Rivers. If you are a history buff or just want to learn about the Corps of Discovery journey then this is a must stay. Historical signs about the the Corps of Discovers stay at the headwaters of the Missouri and their journey are located through out the park. If you have never spent a night in a tipi you can do it here, just be sure to reserve it ahead of time. You can see how Lewis and Clark traveled up the Missouri by checking out the dug out canoe that can be found at the entrance of the campground. All the campsites have picnic tables sitting on concrete pads, and metal fire rings. Trash pins, water and vault toilets are also available. All the campsites are nice and flat. Most of the site are of good size with nice grassy areas to set up your tent, a few are a little small and cramped. All sites can be reserved. Many short hiking trails are in the park, be sure to take the short hike up to a vista to get the entire view of the headwaters area. If you like to fish you are in luck, you have four rivers to choose from, all with great fishing opportunities.

Surprising quiet campground

We stayed at Mammoth campground during our last visit to Yellowstone as we were unable to get one of the back country campsites we were hoping for. Lucky for us we arrived in the park before 10am and Mammoth had plenty of spots available. Mammoth is a first-come, first-serve campground with a well organized check-in procedures, no need to search for open campsites, the rangers at the check-in station will let you know what is available and show you on the map the available sites. Cost is$20 a night. This campground like all the ones in the park fills up fast, so get their early. The 85 site campground has paved roads with gravel parking pads. Sites have platforms for the tents. Dumpsters are though out the campground, and recycling is available at the entrance. The campground has flush toilets and water faucets are through out the grounds. Each site has its own bear proof food locker, as well as a picnic table and metal fire ring. Their is a nightly ranger program at 9:30pm. We stayed in site 77 and found the campground to be very quiet, even with the park road running right by. The slow speed of 35 mph helps keep the noise down and after about 10pm we really didn't notice cars going by. Morning traffic does start up just after 5pm, but the noise did not wake this light sleeper. Another factor that help keep noise down was the quiet hours, while this tends to do little at other campgrounds to prevent campers, and kids from being loud or from generators being run at night, the strictly enforced notice and posted$50 fine really does the job. Fire wood is available to purchase for$8 a box, kindling for$3 a bundle and they will provide matches if you need them. You do have cell service at the campground.

First to Review
Primitive walk-in tent camping in a cool riverside spot

Warning: google maps will take you down a small road with houses. Skip that one. Continue straight on the main road and it will have a turn off for the camp. 

At first we we a bit worried about what it would be like. The road there went through 20 some miles of ranching and no trees. Once the national forest starts it is a beautiful area. 

This is also walk-in tenting only. The sites are beautiful and hidden under trees. There is plenty of room between sites giving you privacy. The river is right next to the campsites - perfect sound to relax to. A hand pump water source is here. This is primitive camping in a cool little spot. 

There is a historical site open to tour on the weekend. Natural Bridge site is on the way here with hiking. This is a nice place but it doesn’t handle our teardrop camper.

Good jumping of point for Yellowstone plus lots of rocks for kids to climb

Canyon campground located in a canyon just across the highway from the Yellowstone River is a pleasant campground with plenty of boulders for kids and adults to climb. The boulders are what really make this campground interesting, many of the campsites are tucked in between these large boulders. Canyon is a good jumping off point for the north end of Yellowstone National Park, located 16 miles from the north entrance town of Gardiner. This is a cheep campground at only$7 per night,$3 more for a 2nd vehicle, but you trade a low cost campground for lack of water. You will need to bring your own water for your stay so come prepared, this is also a trash-in trash-out campground. Bear food storage rules are in affect so leave the food in your car or use the bear lockers. Campground has vault toilets and each site has a picnic table and metal fire ring. The one negative about this campground is the proximity to the highway, lots of road noise during the day, a little quieter during the night but for some reason a lot of drivers seen to hit the rumble strip as they drive by making things a little loud at night. Our Scouts used this campground as a jumping off point for a multi day backpacking trip, close to the park so we could get to the back country office early to get a permit before sites filled up.

Totally dug it

We had been doing mostly dispersed camping through the west but decided to stay here after hiking the Pine Creek trail. The trees provided nice spacing and its location nested in the foothills of the Beartooth wilderness gave it a great view.

Great Park Access & Cell Signal

Just after crossing into Yellowstone at the northern most outlet you will find Mammoth Hot Springs Campground, one of the most convenient and ONLY campground where you will find most of the comforts of home aka cell service.   Sure for those not caring about this service the campground might not be the most appealing as it is harder to get into because of prebooking, but for those who year round are looking for a convenient location with room to enjoy the local Fort Yellowstone area this is where it is at.

So with the added amenity of having coverage you might expect this to be one of the higher priced campgrounds, but the price of only $20 per night is extremely reasonable.   

There are no showers at this campground, however the bathroom facilities are very nice with flushing toilets and cold water in the sinks.     I found this to be one of better campgrounds when it came to bathrooms as they seemed larger than most.

Another unique feature of this campground was that a certain number of sites are set aside for those cycling of hiking the area, a very important feature considering so many visit this area on the Contential Divide Trail.     Also there are a select amount of accessible sites for handicapped featuring raised tent pads and water access which is right in the campsite instead of elevated on the hillside like some.

For those not wanting to book in advance, this campground fills very quickly.  I noticed that on weekdays the few sites reserved for day of use filled before noon, so make this your first stop of the day instead of exploring the park first.

Pull ins seemed large enough for mid to large units and the only thing I could say that might be a negative to those in larger units is that you are right on the roadway in some campsites if you are a big rig.   There are a few sites which have size restrictions so check on these before visiting.

For tent campers like myself the pull ins allow you plenty of room to spread out and enjoy yourself.    Sites include picnic tables, bear boxes and fire rings.     

In this area during the late summer and early fall you are likely to find elk very nearby, they tend to come down and graze in the area of Mammoth Hot Springs.    During these times you want to make sure you are remembering to stay at least 25 yards away from them and if you hear them they are likely protecting young or looking to mate so this is when they are more aggressive.  Being able to see them in person is something majestic however!!

TIPS:

  • Check out the visitor center at the Mammoth community / Fort Yellowstone.   this center in my opinion was one of the more interesting when it comes to the history of the park.
  • Visit the Hot Spring at sunset, it is something spectacular at any time of day but at this time as the clouds paint the skies it is the perfect photo opportunity.
  • If you are visiting the park for only a short time, use the internet access at the camp to plan your time, this will really allow you to find the parts of the park you are interested in rather than having to pull off at each point to determine this.
  • Remember west side of the park is more about the geothermal features, it is also the more crowded portion of the park.
Yellowstone Northern Access At A Lower Price Point

When it comes to Yellowstone camping can be difficult unless you plan far in advance and prices can soar in the summer months.   For those wanting a little better price points and convenient access to the northern most entrance visiting the Gallatin National Forest is a great option for finding that perfect location and still maintaining access.

I visited this area and was very impressed with the campground and the spacing it provided.   But more importantly I was happy to see that unlike the Yellowstone campgrounds which lack cell signal, at this location I was able to utilize my services through AT&T.    Sure that might not be something everyone considers when traveling, but when you work remotely being able to access the internet through my cell phone is very important.  I had been in the park for several days so stopping here was a good catch up opportunity.

The sites were each well spaced and offered a soft grassy pad for my tent when staying, unlike the darkened dry grassy lands around.   It was almost as though this location was an oasis, despite having no services.

Each sight provides a bear box, picnic table and fire ring, overall very standard for this area.    Additionally there were basic vault toilets which were very well maintained.  One person at the campground actually joked about that being a great hiding place should a bear enter camp…lol

Camping at this location has a 16 night limit and sites are only $7 per night, which is $20 less expensive than the closest Yellowstone campground.  Similar rules apply to this campground as others in the area.   There are no trash services so you have to pack in and out all of your trash.   Generators can be use throughout the camp during certain hours and there are fire restrictions during certain conditions and times (posted on the entry kiosk).   This is an honor system campground with a pay box at the entry, however I did notice it was patrolled at least once nightly by area Forest Service, unlike the pull off sites just beyond camp.

TIPS:

  • If you need anything you can stop off just before turning onto the road at any number of stores, shops or restaurants in the low laying community.
  • If you need high speed WIFI Subway in the local community has the best access for free.
  • West Entrance allows you to split to to east which is where you will spot more wildlife versus the Western side of the park where you will find more of the geothermal features.
A day or two

It isn't all together a terrible place, best for a night or two. We stayed 3 nights. If you have a partial hook up site, they are in gravel, which isn't bad but they are so un-level. It took us longer than usual to set up. The rv sites are also cramped. They young adults who seem to manage the park are not very friendly. The bathhouse is very old and has extremely small shower stalls. The shower curtain barely fits across the opening. If you don't like trains don't go, 3-5 a night.

Will go back!

We stayed in a cabin on the river. One of my favorite spots. It was our first time staying at a KOA and would recommend it.