Two loops; the north loop is open year-round. The south loop is open mid-May through September. There are also walk-in sites and a group site, off the south loop. The campground fills up almost every day in the summer, even during the week. Odd-numbered sites are reservable while even number sites are first-come, first-served. We were not able to get into the site we had reserved (a nice pull-through with views of the bluffs and the river) because the people staying there the night before were having difficulty with their RV and not able to move it. We had been re-assigned to Site 38, a much larger site, but among the trees with no view. We were bummed but had no choice as the campground was full. We thought we might try to move the next day, but it turns out friends were able to join us, so our large site ended up being to our advantage. The pull-through in Site 38 was so large that it could have easily accommodated three large Class A motorhomes with room to spare! Large picnic table that was pushed up against the trees; we discovered the next afternoon that it was to take advantage of as much shade as possible. No fire ring; campfires are permitted in charcoal bbq grates or fully contained fire pans. Wood was not available to purchase at the campground; you must go to Medora(about five miles away) to purchase or you can collect dead and down firewood. Bathroom was clean enough with flush toilets but NO SOAP! No showers but we didn’t expect them in a National Park campground. Several very short trails in the park but the most popular Petrified Forest Trail is accessible from outside the park. Saw bison, prairie dogs, pronghorn antelope, wild horses.
Camping inside National Parks is always a treat. Cottonwood Campground makes exploring Theodore Roosevelt NP very accessible. The site is close to the river and you can easily walk to it from the campground. Very peaceful and secluded, it makes you feel like you are really in the wild. We saw bison and wild horses across the river from the campground. Some sites don’t have a lot of shade so get there early if you want a site with trees.
I have mixed feelings on this campground. We were here mid- July and it was incredibly hot. There is limited shade and little relief from the heat. We had a nice site with the river running alongside it, but it was a dark muddy brown, so not at all enticing to go in it. The host was very friendly and helpful. Bathrooms & water access were nearby but there are no showers within the park. There was also no soap in the bathroom. I was disappointed that there are no fire pits, just small grills at each site. I understand there is probably a moderately high fire danger in the park often, but disappointing nonetheless. The campground has tent, RV and walk in sites available. Some are reservable- some not. The scenery is beautiful in a weird, other worldly way. Unfortunately it was challenging to enjoy it fully due to the 90+ degree temps.
Really enjoyed staying here. I had to stay elsewhere the first night I cake because the campsite was full so make sure to get there early for walk in or make reservations. Great views great staff. Lots of families and children if your ok with that. Spaces are not very private.
This spot is unbelievable. Gorgeous views. Buffalo in the campground. Quiet, private enough, clean pot toilets, secure bear garbages. Just amazing!
Its more of a "back to wilderness" kind of camping. Not a bunch of luxurious amenities, but, camping as it should be.
Family friendly, great for tent camping and R.V.’s. The River is your backyard, great for hiking and lots of wildlife to see! No showers.
Pro's- Close to the town of Medora with so much to do for families. Wildlife is abundant in the park. Nice clean campground. Large spaces for tents and RV's. Deer, prarie dogs, bison, turkeys…and wild horses!
Con's- Road construction going into the park with around 10-20 minute wait.
We were one of a few campers in this campground. Amazingly vast and wild! Highly recommend!!! We woke up to find bison all around us. Truly a beautiful and unique experience I'll never forget.
great place for going on rides and over night visits. see lots of people hiking the trails and bringing their dogs.