Just inside the northern boundary of Yellowstone National Park, Mammoth Hot Springs Campground is the only year-round campground in the park. The campground contains 85 first-come, first-served sites, scattered throughout sage, juniper and Douglas firs. There are flush toilets and running water, as well as a seasonal camp store where visitors can obtain essentials like firewood, bug spray and other camping supplies. There is no dump station and no electrical hook ups for RVs. Check with the park for summer fire-restrictions. Nightly camping fees are $20 for drive-in campers, tent or RV, but only $5 for cyclists or hikers. The park entrance fee is not included in these.
The temperature in this campground, located at 6,200 feet in elevation, can vary quite a bit, as with any location in the high Rockies. Expect hot days, but cold nights that can get close to freezing, even in summer, so plan accordingly. Wildlife is common in the area and animal visitors can include elk, bison and bear, so be sure to practice safe camping practices, and always lock up food and attractive items in the boxes provided at each site.
Nearby Mammoth Hot Springs is the biggest attraction for the area. The enormous hot springs is a stunning feature, tiered and multi-colored, and well worth the drive up from Jackson if you entered the park at the south. The Albright Visitor Center has numerous amenities including internet, and offers educational and interpretational programs every day throughout the summer. To get off the beaten track a little, check out the Boiling River hot springs area during late summer or early fall.
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!!
- 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.
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.
Really wonderful spot close to my favorite place in Yellowstone—the boiling river. Great place to catch the north side of the park. Wake up early and go see the wolves play in the Lamar Valley. Stay late in the boiling river.
Bonus when you have a buffalo outside your tent when you wake up in the AM!
This camp ground has bear boxes for food storage, ample space for tent and vehicle and a great fire ring at each camp site. Check in and payment is first come first serve and super painless. Tons of great tips provided on local hikes nearby and the convenience store in town is relative costs for items outside the park. 10/10 will stay there again!!
Very good location, pretty level, fairly close to other campers but not terrible. We would stay here again.
I love this campground because it’s super close to the boiling river and it’s cheap! Its first come first serve so you have to get here early in the summer to get a spot. We came here in late August and got a spot around 4pm. Mosts of the spots have a nice view and are pretty spacious. Be careful of the one with the unlevel tent pad. There is a great ranger program and the bathrooms are decent.
Get there super early during peak season it fills up fast. Take a moment before bed to listen to the informative ranger talks it was very informative.
This camping area is really close to restaurants and stores within Yellowstone, and is only a short drive from the north entrance of the park. We used this site as a base to explore North East Yellowstone. It can be easily reserved early mornings, and the places to set tents are leveled and dry, although someone thought it was a good idea to add lots of stones to the ground where the tents are set. Nice restrooms are close, and lots of elk and other wildlife wander around the area. Highly recommended!
Natural sites! Horrible smell of course but beautiful to look at
Mammoth Campground is very clean and well kept. The sites are tight but we spent of our time off exploring and never found this to be an issue. Toilets and running water are available but no showers. Firewood is also available for sale. Just a short ways up the mountain is the lodge and village, which provides about anything you could need. We drove into Gardner our first night to pick up a few groceries and some fresh ground bison for dinner. The location is great for exploring the north end. We highly suggest hiking to Osrey Falls if you're up for an adventure that's a bit less crowded. The hot springs are very neat and well worth checking out.