Wyoming is where the Rocky Mountains meet the Great Plains, and the opportunities for recreation span thousands of miles. Home to the country’s first national park and national monument, visitors can witness spewing geysers, rolling prairieland, and almost everything in between. Get ready for an epic adventure camping in Wyoming!
Yellowstone National Park is the home of almost 3,500 square miles of nationally protected lands. From rushing waterfalls, roaring rivers, soaring peaks, and marvels of geology such as Old Faithful, the park has sights not even imagination even conjure. For this reason, hundreds of thousands visit every year. Plan ahead and experience once-in-a-lifetime camping in Wyoming in the process.
Although abundant, camping in Wyoming is extremely sought after, especially near the park. Twelve campgrounds within Yellowstone National Park provide adventurers with plentiful options, but planning ahead is vital. The Canyon Campground allows easy access to the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, a picture-perfect waterfall and river vista in the north-central region. Visit Artist’s Point and hike the 300 feet down to the lower falls to feel the rush of the Yellowstone River.
For a more touristy experience, snag a site in the Madison Campground. Being one of the largest in the park and less than 20 miles from the famous geyser Old Faithful, this area is a go-to for first time visitors. Sitting at an elevation just below 7,000 feet, the crisp mountain air will refresh. This area gets a lot of traffic, so pack in your patience and remember that the parks are for everyone to enjoy.
Camping in Wyoming also gives the chance to get off the grid. Grand Teton National Park is directly to the south of Yellowstone and allows for some easy-access backpacking. When done right, you can avoid the droves of humanity that flock to the Greater Yellowstone region.
For an easy trek into the backcountry, get a scenic spot along Leigh Lake or String Lake. These camping sites are often booked months in advance, so get them quick! A hidden gem tucked in the shadow of Mount Moran is Bearpaw Lake and is also relatively accessible from the same trail. Remember your bear spray and enjoy some genuine Wyoming camping!
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.
We stayed along Granite Reservoir. It's lovely, but we had to listen to jet skis and motor boats during the day. The bike trails are terrific, but as paddle boarders, next time we will head to the smaller Crystal Reservoir, where motorized boats are prohibited.
Wow! What an adventure! In January I applied for an advanced permit for August 18-19 backcountry camping at the Moraines for a Grand Teton Summit trip. For back county camping in GTNP you must have a permit. 1/3 are available for advanced purchase for $45/night and the remainder are first come first serve at the Ranger Station for $35/night. If you plan on camping over a weekend I recommend advanced purchase, but then you are at the mercy of the weather. We had to pick up our back country camping permit from the Jenny Lake Ranger Station prior to departure. They go over the backcountry rules in detail and provide you with a bear-proof canister if you don’t have one.
Rated 3 stars because it is difficult to get to and can be challenging to actually find a tent spot once you get to the Moraines camping zone. 5 stars based on the views! They are incredible!! The Moraines Camping Zone is above tree line at 10,800 ft elevation. It’s amongst a boulder field. And it can be very windy. I would consider this the ideal camping zone of the 5 zones along Garnet Canyon if you are planning a Grand Teton summit. Campsites can be identified by a smooth tent site amongst the boulder field. Fires are not allowed and there are no amenities. There is running water nearby they will require filtration.
Gear Review: Gregory Jade 63 liter pack
This pack was perfect for this trip! I was trying to cut weight as the trek up Garnet Canyon is rugged. This pack is one of the lightest options with this capacity on the market! It is 3.51 pounds. It is very comfortable, by far the most comfortable fitting pack I have used. And comfort is super important in the backcountry. The back mesh panel helped ventilate my back.
I loaded this pack to its maximum 40 pound capacity. I had all the backcountry gear as well as climbing gear and a 60 m rope. I still felt stable as I crossed varied terrain. The large boulder fields had me nervous in a few spots and I considered removing my pack to cross, but made it unscathed. The materials used in the pack are very durable. Not a single tear or visible abrasions, quite dirty post trip, but no permanent scars!
The hip belt pockets were great! They were easy to access while wearing and there is plenty of room for phone, snacks, chapstick, and any other small items you need handy. The stretch mesh water bottle pockets are huge and are an awesome feature the way the have dual openings. It was easy to access my Nalgene bottle when I used the forward facing opening. However as I was crossing a boulder field and needed to bend way forward it did fall out. I placed it in the upright opening when crossing terrain that required less then upright posture.
The drawstring opening is huge and there is also a u-shaped zippered access to the main compartment on the front of the pack. I made sure items like my water filter and first aid kit were right there for easy access if/when needed. The stretch mesh panel on the back of the pack was an easy stow for my rain gear if needed in a hurry. The top compartment houses the rain cover for the pack and also has a lot of room for storing small items. There are straps galore for holding trekking poles, securing climbing rope, even a sunglass QuickStow that I used often as my glasses were on and off all day long. It was nice knowing they were secure and not going to fall off the top of my head. Post trip, yes I was sore and exhausted, but no rubbing or discomfort caused by the Jade pack! Very impressed with this product and can’t wait for my next backpacking adventure!
Plenty of room on a great little lake. Had a 34 ft A class and took in on dirt road which covers about 2/3 of lake. The other 1/3 is a 2 lane paved road. Amazing back drop views of the mountains behind us and tons of running room for the boys and dog
Clean quiet campground just outside Grand Teton Park. Only issue: the mosquitos were a little aggressive at this site, as opposed to other sites that we camped at in the park. Nice one to keep in the back pocket if you're looking to avoid the crowds.
We arrived after a long day of traveling and it was wet and cold outside, so we were very happy to have a cabin waiting for us. We reserved it in May for a July trip. The staff were disorganized during check-in and gave us the keys to someone else’s cabin. They more than made it up to us though by preparing a new cabin while we ate dinner at the lodge, and then there was welcome basket with treats and games waiting for us in our cabin. Beautiful views in this area and just minutes from the park’s south entrance! It’s nice having the lodge right there, so even if you’re tent or RV camping, you can get a warm hearty meal ready when you want.
The wind was consistently 25mph+ the whole weekend, but the hiking and alpine lakes just off the campground were great. Camp sites were well taken care of and each had a level tent spot and ample parking.
Personally, I find having easier access to the facilities of the main campground worth $10 per night if you can find a spot. These dispersed campsites are a good free option if you can't find one though. Make sure that you camp at one of the designated spots, it is not a pick-you-spot-anywhere kind of experience: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd581855.pdf
Sites 1-4 are found shortly after the Nautilus parking lot, where you can find a single bathroom. These spots are also the closest to the trails that take you to the rock climbing routes.
This is not a campground. This is one of two places that offers potable water for nearby camping though (as of summer 2019). The gate is locked so you must walk in with your jugs to fill them up. The Abraham Lincoln Memorial rest area is the other nearby place for water, and the rest area is easier because you can drive right to the pump.
We found a set of campsites in the "Upper Blaire" climbing area.
How to get there from US-30
- *Refer map provided in campground website link
- Approaching from the south: Take exit 329 for Vedauwoo Rd --> Turn left onto Vedauwoo Glen Rd --> Turn right onto Old US Hwy 30 E --> Drive 2.7 miles --> Turn right onto Blair-Wallis Rd / Forest Rd 705 --> Drive 3 miles --> Sharp right on Forest Rd 707 --> Drive 0.7 miles --> Turn right onto Forest Rd 707A then a few hundred feet turn right again onto Forest Rd 707AF --> drive to the end of the road a few hundred feet more and park.
- Approaching from the north: Take exit 323 for WY-210 toward Happy Jack Rd --> Turn left onto WY-210 E / Happy Jack Rd then shortly thereafter turn left again to stay on WY-210 E --> Drive for 6 miles --> Turn right onto Headquarters Rd / Forest Rd 707 --> In 0.3 miles turn right to stay on 707 --> drive 2.7 mi --> Turn left onto Forest Rd 707A --> Turn right in a few hundred feet onto Forest Rd 707AF--> drive to the end of the road a few hundred feet more and park.
These sites are primitive and have a nice secluded feeling. You cannot see or hear the highway from here. There was spotty cell service (we have T-mobile). There are no facilities here, but if you would like to access picnic tables or a vault toilet, the Blair Picnic Area is not far away: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/mbr/recarea/?recid=22894. Make sure to pack plenty of water, you can fill up at the Abraham Lincoln Memorial rest area.
If you want to do some rock climbing in the area, these sites are very convenient.
Some words of caution:
- there are cows roaming free in this area. You might find them blocking the road or next to your tent when you wake up (!)
- a lot of broken glass at the sites near the parking area
- there are many fell trees in the area, and it was very gusty when we were there, so make sure to check weather in advance to avoid strong winds that might bring trees down
We found a set of campsites specifically on the forest road 705F, near the Hidden Valley picnic area. The sites are free, as they are primitive set-up with only a fire pit. Although there are not facilities immediately there, if you finding camping in this area you are close by to a bathroom at Summit Trailhead and potable water at either Hidden Valley or the Abraham Lincoln rest area. We found a whole list of forest roads that allow dispersed camping 100 feet off-road: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/stelprd3841999.pdf
We are hikers and don't have ATV's, so hiking trails are a must for us. Thankfully, the Tie Flume campground is near abundant hiking and ATV trails. We found trails way off the beaten path and enjoyed three full days of hiking.
Be aware that you will have to arrive with water in your tank if you are in an RV. The hand pumps at the campground do not allow you to attach a hose. The water was wonderful though.
There is NO cell service within 18 miles of the campground. Additionally, there is no grocery store or even stocked service station within miles as well. Come prepared with what you need for your entire stay.
The Burgess Junction dump station is great and you can fill water tanks there on your way in and dump on your way out.
This is a nice campground with ample privacy between sites. Shelter from the wind helps, as the thunderstorms can be quite intense.
There are plenty of fishing opportunities adjacent to the campground. Be very bear aware when hiking and camping there. We saw fresh grizzly tracks and scat right outside the campground! Bear spray is a must when in this entire area.
Water is available at the entrance and it's wonderful.
The creek creates a nice habitat for bugs of all varieties, so bug spray was necessary.
Our site was a tad too small for our 34' 5th wheel, so we had to forgo a campfire, as the fire pit was right under our bumper.
Nice campground with some good views (we were on the outside of the B loop) and a pretty lake, walking distance away. We had great time. We had previously spent 3 nights at Grant Village and we found Lewis Lake to be MUCH quieter and more spacious. The only problem was the bathrooms. They were alternately bearable and terrible. But otherwise, the campground was pleasant. We were there in early August and the weather was perfect and there were virtually no bugs.
We were told by Google that this campground was permanently closed, but we went with The Dyrt's info, and it really panned out. We were the only ones there, it was a short walk down to the Platt (flys and lures only), and the tent site, fire-ring, and picnic table were in top notch condition. Would definitely stay here again.
THE MID campground at Fremont Lake, just outside of Pinedale, WY. (Green River lakes, New Fork lake, Willow Lake, Fremont lake, Half Moon and Boulder lake::
the 6 larger, glacial cut lakes in Pinedale area, all 7500 to 8000
The. Mid Campground and boat launch area at Fremont Lake has about 52 units, although it seems freq. Under modification by the USFS…
Narrow paved, pull thru and back in sites., on hillside not far above the lake. Interspaced water available, but "community" not per site use. toilets under upgrade. Lots of shade in the pines. Boat launching with care at campground, also being improved.
Tables and firepits all sites.
This is a good place to base out of when fishing the Pinedale area, and is fairly close to town for supplies.
FREMONT LAKE is about 9 miles
long, and fishing can be good or spotty for MACS, & BOWS
It is primarily a trolling lake and not much on Bank fishing, Fremont is around 600ft deep and relatively narrow.
Usually FS has large trash disposals at campground exit.
finding a level pull thru almost non e x istant.
Hardly could be called a campground, a few lakeside (if Lake not high) picnic tables, a few fire rings. A little shade at lakes edge from Aspens. Sage country typ. Very little use, Willow lake at times can be great from boat, for nice Macs and some bows.
Use extreme lower end, flooded prairie for bows, and occ. Browns. Use subsurface bars, (cut thru glacial terminal moraines for Macs).
NO dock but good sandy beach areas right at campsites for mooring. A long, typical area glacial cut fiord type lake.
Very little pressure. A short shelf road, cimbs up to lake and down again to the lake. Take it easy this is a 1 track road. Cross your fingers and hope nobody tearing up from the other side.
Very peaceful, quiet, clean lake water. Not terribly windy.
Camp among wide meadows, lush forests, towering peaks and wildlife
Yellowstone National Park's back-country site 2S1 is definitely the most amazing back-country site our Venturing Crew has backpacked to this summer, and we have been to quiet a few. Back-country site 2S1 is located along Slough Creek in a beautiful valley where Sandhill Cranes calls fill the valley in the evening and early morning. It is a 4.3 mile hike along the Slough Creek Trail to the spur trail for site 2S1, then a.6 mile hike to the campsite. Being.6 miles from the trail would usually mean solitude, but this site appears to be a popular fishing location as well as their was always someone fishing in the area. But don't worry, the campsite is fairly hidden from the creek and those fishing were very considerate. The campsite has numerous flat locations to pitch a tent. Their is a pole suspended between two trees for handing your food, but you don't need to use it as a bear proof locker has been placed at the site. A rock fire ring is available for fires and has large logs on two sides to sit on. Plenty of firewood is available in the form of large trees that are scattered on the ground through out the area, just find one of the older ones that are rotting and pull them apart and in a few minutes you have a nice pile of wood that will start easy. You don't need much wood at any one time on the fire to have a nice hot fire as this dry rotted wood really burns hot. If you are planning on having a fire be sure to bring a container to bring water from the creek to put it out with, as you are at least 50 yards from the creek. The view is amazing from camp, a wondering creek going though a wide valley with steep mountains on each side. In the evening we were treated to the alpine glow on the mountain tops for a good 15 minutes. Do you want to see wildlife, well we say plenty on this backpack trip. Hundreds of bison on the drive to the trail head, watched a black bear munching on various vegetation 100 feet from the trail, a young fox walked right by us on the trail, squirrels, chipmunks, a badger, sandhill cranes and other song birds as well. To get to back-country site 2S1 start at Slough Creek Trail head(2K5) and hike the 4.3 miles to the spur trail to the campsite. You will have one hard climb right of the bat, the first.7 miles is a steep climb, after that it is a easy hike. A warning, don't be shocked when you see lots of tourist heading out on the trail completely unprepared. We are talking about hiking in flip flops, no water, no bear spray, and this on a steep trail to start where we spotted the bear along the trail edge.8 miles in.
Ranger review of the Morsel Spork XL
We have been using the Morsel XL spork with out Scouts on several backpacking trips this summer and the unanimous opinion is a big thumbs up. We have used our Morsels with MRE's, and they truly out perform compared to the plastic spoon those meals provide. With backpacking dehydrated meals we are able to get out every little bit out of the corners of the bag without getting our hands messy. Bowls, cups, and plates, no problem getting to all the food, which makes clean-up after a meal easier. The variety of colors is helpful as well, as we can give each scout a different color so no one confuses their Morsel with anyone else, and we can quickly figure out who dropped theirs or left it laying around. The Morsel Spork XL is now our go to utensil for our backpacking adventures.
We pulled in on a Saturday night, in the middle of August, when every campsite in Yellowstone, West Yellowstone, and Teton NP were full. This place was empty, and you can't be the view of the Get one and the Buffalo River. Two minute walk down to the river, and the sites were very clean. Primitive, and the ground was a bit uneven, but, again, my wife, my three boys, and I loved every inch of of it.
We stayed four weeknights and had a pretty good time. The sites were loose gravel and very unlevel. Not too crowded during the week. The vault toilet was close to our site but you had to really need to use it to go in there. (Think ‘fly-tornado’ when you open the door.) We ventured out to use the shower house and found that it was a single shower for both men and women, for the entire state park! We couldn’t believe it… but more surprising was that it was a pay-to-use shower… $1 for the first four minutes and a quarter for each additional minute thereafter. Not a huge cost, granted, but we paid around $40/night for a campsite. That’s double what we’re used to paying for a much nicer campsite in our part of the world. The views around the lake were awesome. We’ll go back just for this reason. There were many trails in the park but most were poorly marked and some were simply not able to be found due to overgrowth.
This campground is away from the busier and more crowded campsites in the area. There are no hookups but there are water spigots throughout. Upon arriving, campers are directed (by signage) to go find a spot, park, and then come back up and register.
The lower loop is for tents and car campers (no generators allowed) and the upper loop is for RVs and generators are allowed between 8am-8pm. Each site has a picnic table and bear-proof storage container. The campground hosts are friendly and you can pay them directly instead of dropping it in the container. Camp sites are $30/day for RV sites - you should bring exact fees if you intend to drop in the container (not sure if camp hosts would give you change - I'm thinking they would); however, if it is after hours you are required to pay within 30 minutes of finding your site. Larger RVs would have a more difficult time finding a site - I had a 15ft teardrop camper and I "just" fit. There are restrooms throughout the campground and you can buy firewood and ice from the camp hosts.
It was pretty quiet throughout the day and night and not a lot of drive through traffic. The lake is only about a 5min walk down the road and is beautiful and quiet (this was oddly the only place I could get full cell signal with AT&T service). You definitely need bug spray - the mosquitos are fairly prevalent in the camp area. This is a great location if you are trying to hit multiple National Parks (central to both Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks). It's still close enough to other camp areas that if you needed anything, it's just a short drive 8mi in either direction. Views are fantastic and there are pull-offs all along the road for photo and picnic opportunities.
Yellowstone NP back country campsite 4R2 is a campsite located on the north shore of Ribbon Lake set among a lodge pole pine forest. The proximity of the lake makes for easy water access. The site has plenty of flat locations to place your tent. The camping area is besides the lake. The food storage, cooking and eating area is located a short distance, slightly uphill from the camping area and is quiet large with large rock fire ring at the site. Fires are allowed at this back country site, but be make sure there are no fire restrictions in place before starting one. As with all back country sites this is trash-in, trash-out, filter your water, make your own place to do your business and if you make a fire be sure it is dead out. To get to the campsite you have three trail heads to choose from. The shortest will be from Artist Point(4KB) trail head, from here it is a short 2.4 mile hike. The next is from Clear Lake(4N2) trail head, from here it is a 3 mile hike. The third choice is Wapiti Lake(4K7) trail head, from here it is either a 3.3 mile or 4.3 mile hike depending on the route you choose. I would recommend getting the most out of your back country experience and take the longer route out of Wapiti Lake trail head. We made out trip a loop hike, starting at Wapiti Lake Trail Head and did the Wapiti Lake/Clear Lake-Ribbon Lake loop. This loop has you hiking counter clockwise. Starting at Wapiti Lake Trail Head hike.5 miles to the first trail junction, take the trail to the right(Wapiti Lake Trail). After.4 more miles stay to the left continuing on Wapiti Lake Trail. At the 3 mile mark you will leave Wapiti Lake trail turning left on to Wapiti Cut-off trail. After another.9 miles you will reach the junction for Ribbon lake and the campsites. Turn right and continue for about.4 miles to the campsite 4R2. You will see a sign for Cord Cascade at this last junction before the campsite, the creek for this cascade is located between 4R1 and 4R2 but this 1,000 foot waterfall can only be seen from the opposite side of the canyon. Shortly after crossing the creek you will have an amazing view of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone. The campsite area is just a short distance past this amazing view. For your return trip take the Clear Lake-Ribbon Lake trail all the way back to Wapiti Lake Trail head. This loop will take you through about every ecosystem in the park, from open grass fields, pine forest, lakes, wetlands, and thermal features.