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.
Heaven!!!! That's all there is to Say….. There is great camping all over…. For dispersed Camping Free and Probably best views …. Shadow Mountain is the Ticket…. Grovant Campground is another wonderful Place….
How do you describe heaven, with bad roads. I would never go anyplace other than shadow mountain.
First come, first served. Thankfully they seemed to have plenty of spaces the week we were in Grand Teton NP. We came down from Yellowstone with our trailer. I was hoping to stay here as I love Jackson and this spot is fairly close to town, about 30 minutes. It was raining so we went out to dinner a few times and spent the rest of our time driving and hiking. Didn't hang out in our campsite during the day or evening too much.
These sites seemed really small. We got our 16 foot trailer in just fine but getting our SUV off the road would have been impossible if it were any longer. We watched the neighbors struggle to back their trailer in for quite a while, with all the nastiness that goes along with that. Road through the loop was blocked off and everything.
The bathrooms were clean and right across the road. Beyond the bathroom was lots of woods and stream bed full of animal trails. If you are looking for wildlife, just camp here. Moose a plenty. Also found a beautiful buck hiding back in the trees as we took a walk behind the campground.
No hook ups but there is an RV dump and you can refill your water tanks if needed. The scenery is gorgeous here. I will camp here every time I come back.
I really enjoyed camping here. We were on A Loop which is right by ranger booth where you check in. It was actually pretty entertaining place to be. You get to see a wide variety of camping rigs, that's for sure. Our site was in the RV loop so no hook ups but it was paved and really level. We booked in February for our trip the beginning of September. I was shocked at how huge this campground is!
The bathroom was small and basic, but clean. Actual flush toilets and running water. Every site has a large bear box for storage, a fire pit, and a picnic table. You can buy firewood at the ranger booth for $7 a box.
We stayed the whole week so it seemed like we had new neighbors almost every night. Did not see any bears but we saw bison and a beautiful bull elk in the trees behind our site. The elk were bugling almost every night. There are Ranger led educational talks at the amphitheater every night. I really enjoyed that. We also went down to the Bridge Bay Marina and took their scenic boat ride. So fun! I recommend checking that out too.
This was a nice spot for a 3 day weekend, we got there early Friday so there were still a lot of spots. It was rainy and foggy so we didn’t drive all the way up the road as others suggested since you couldn’t see the view anyway. There are some nice fire rings built and the there are porta-potties by the first couple spots. Our spot was right next to a bear box where you can stow your food. We saw a few deer, but not much else. However I did hear a lot of howling the first night. Saturday night it got pretty packed, mostly just van campers looking for a spot to park so it was still quiet. Would love to camp here again when it’s not so foggy and rainy! The road wasn’t so bad for the lower spots, but if you plan to go further out you’ll definitely need 4x4. The trees were BEAUTIFUL!
We saw this campground on Dyrt on our trip through Wyoming to Teton National Park and decided to stay for a night or two. Glad we did! Actually ended up spending 5 nights. Lots of hiking trails, beautiful views, very clean and well dispersed sites. There are electrical hookups in loop A and loop B is primitive. Easy access for RV/Trailer camping and plenty of tent sites as well. First come first serve, but I don’t it gets much use as it is so close to most people’s destination of Yellowstone that they just drive on by. Too bad for them! We had the whole place to ourselves for several nights. Nice waterfall to view also. We will be back!
Most sites are on the banks of the Fall River with great views. Very clean. Good access nearby to Yellowstone National Park at the Bechler Ranger Station and Cave Falls. Cave Falls is beautiful and we spent time watching a nesting Osprey. Nice network of trails. Very popular spot for fly fishermen because there is also good access to rivers in YNP.
This campground was nice, had flush toilets, a place to wash dishes, and water. There was no tent pads, had picnic tables, and a bear box. As expected with a big park there are lots of camper around, luckily most people respected the quiet hours.
We had the most beautiful site in the F loop with great views of Yellowstone lake. Giant bull elk grazed and slept nearby every day we were there (4 nights). Saw bears moving through the area, but none that stuck around. Clean bathrooms.
Check-in was super helpful to a rookie camper. They suggested how we should pull into the site in order to face the correct direction and they informed us all about the fresh water refill station as well as the black water dumping station. Site was simple to pull in and out of and the trees provided a good amount of privacy.
With Colter bay marina nearby, there was plenty to go see and do. We will definitely stay here again in the future.
Campsite had great services; plenty of restrooms, washroom for dishes and showers for campers. The check-in was super easy and they were very friendly.
The only issue we had was getting our camper into the site. They advertised our particular site as a pull-through site and we nearly got our camper stuck trying to pull in. It took some doing, but we got parked properly. It would have been far easier to just back in to this particular lot.
Our camper is just over 31', so that could have been a factor.
Loved this place. We have a Jeep x and Towed a tab 320 boondock up here. Lots of cars and vans are able to make it up. Very busy get there early. Local spot, they seem to reserve the sites ahead of time for their groups so when they “feel like it” they can show up. There are more sites 1-5 or so up the hill further. Road is pretty rough. Most gorgeous sunsets we have ever seen. We will definitely be back, even considering we’re making a long trip from MN. Clean vault toilets. Host was selling firewood. Close to town to grab dinner etc but still feels remote. Did have some elk poo in our site but didn’t see any animals. A few pull through sites.
Bakers Hole Campground - A hop skip and jump from Yellowstone NP
Bakers Hole Campground is the perfect spot for a Yellowstone National Park jumping off point. Located just over 3 miles from the park entrance puts you in easy striking distance of just about everything in the park. The campground sits along the Madison river, making it a nice choice if you enjoy fishing. It features paved roads with gravel parking pads, vault toilets, picnic tables and metal fire rings at each site, and most sites have their of bear food storage. This is a first come first served campsite, but just because it doesn't take reservation doesn't mean it will be easy to find a spot, this campground fills up fast. 33 of the 73 sites have electricity. Two fully ADA sites are available. Drinking water is available at several taps located throughout the camp. The friendly camp hosts are almost always on duty and patrolling the camp. They also have firewood for sale if needed. The campground is near the highway but didn't notice to much noise during the night.
Ranger review Outdoor Element's Kodiak Survival Braid
Outdoor Element's Kodiak Survival Braid is a great survival bracelet. A very cleaver idea to place the ferro rod and striker in in the bracelets buckle. It sparks up very nicely making our charred cloth and cotton balls with Vaseline easy to get started. I got the large size which is just a little big, but the medium was not quite big enough. I liked that the Kodiak came with a sample piece of para cord to check out the features in the cord it self. Pulled out the Jute and made a little nest and gave the striker a try and after a few attempts got a spark to take hold and had a fire. With fishing line in the para cord and a hook hidden within this bracelet is all set to save you behind if needed. Will definitely be taking the Kodiak on future outing.
After spending a few nights in generic RV parks Atherton Creek is a breath of fresh air. I think there is only one or two full hookup sites available so the rest of the sites are just campsites.
The views of the lake are wonderful, the host is helpful and the campground is quite small. Despite its limited number of sites we had no problem finding a prime site. This is due to the somewhat, out of the way, location. The road is bumpy but paved.
Camping on Shadow mountain can be a game of chance. But it can be rewarding. As you drive off hwy 89 and head east toward Kelly you will beer north. This is not a campground, there are just places to pull off and camp as you drive up Shadow. I head there is a campground and RV park but we didn’t go there.
We found a spot to camp nothing is provided, just a spot of dirt and views of the Tetons.
The only problem in the summer is that there’s a late night party crowd that can swoop in and can be noisy.
First come first served.
Spent one night in this campground before we went to a full hookup spot. Spacious sites, didn’t look into someone else’s camper when looking out yours. No hookups. No showers. Clear bathrooms. Did notice some tents get flooded as it rained quite a bit while we were there. Had several buffalo wonder through camp. Fun to watch. Glad I wasn’t in a tent. Heard that a grizzly had wondered through the week before we were there.
My favorite campground in YNP. Close to my personal favorite places in the park. Full hookups. Clean bathrooms/showers. Need to have a hard sided camper since this campground is in grizzly territory (makes it more exciting).
Clean place to stay on the Snake River. Excellent location if planning to do both parks! We hiked down to the river in the evenings and watched the sunset. Gas was cheaper at the gas station there since it is technically not in the national parks. 🤫
Loved this campground--excellent location close to the stunning Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. Showers, flush toilets, steps away from a camp store, visitor center and restaurant. Of all the awe-inspiring sights in Yellowstone, the Grand Canyon remains my favorite, and I'm glad I was staying close enough to run out and watch the sun set on the falls.
Absolutely beautiful place to camp and that's about it for me here. If you want a spot show up at 6 AM and take a nap until 8 AM when it opens to let you go get a site. If you don't do this you will not get a spot. Their is only one bathroom in the entire campground its O.K. no showers at all. I'm the camper that likes to set things up and enjoy the actual camp site. I like to set up a good eating cook out area and enjoy a lot of food and hanging out. I'm not the bare minimum next to nothing eating out of an MRE camper. That being said the amount of cleaning and putting every thing away for the bears is way to much work and made the camping not fun at all. I don't blame the bears or anything else it was a lot more than I anticipated.
I would recommend using a camper not tent camping if you camp like me. If you're the bare minimum camper its perfect for you. I recommend this campsite though just absolutely beautiful place to be.
Found a spot with the perfect view of The Grand. Road was a bit bumpy with a few big divots but made it up in my Promaster. Plenty of campsites. They were remote enough that you couldn’t necessarily hear the neighbors but could see their fire smoke. It was absolutely beautiful. Stayed 3 nights. And will definitely go back again.
9/6/19 Conveniently located, 6 miles from west entrance of park. We had a pull thru site, 45,. Level gravel site. I didn't like that our electric and water are on site 44 grass area right next to their firepit. Our picnic area not level. Table very worn. They have a lot of different sites including ones with patio and porch swing, tent sites, cottage. Sites that back up to highway get a lot of road noise. Bathhouse attached to store was average quality, clean, good water pressure. The bathhouse attached to the indoor pool/spa smelled really moldy. Nice play area with mini golf. Small fenced dog area. Good size laundry facilities and store.
Colter bay….where to relax after Yellowstone and much more accessible. Colter bay has 200-300 camp sites nestled in under the trees. It’s crowed but workable. First come first serve. Get there in the AM and getting a spot is easy. Do not wait till 4pm. You pull your trailer, motor home, parallel to the camp site.
Know National Park rules, this is not forest service land and the rangers will enforce their rules and regulations accordingly. As with any National Park the best of the Park lays outside the your campsite. The views of wildlife and landscape are everywhere.
If you are a tent camper, something you quickly realize when traveling in this are of Wyoming is that not all campgrounds are created equally. There are so many options yet many of them are in high risk areas for bears and because of that you are somewhat limited when it comes to forest sites. That was the case when entering ThreeMile Campground!
I was very interested in this campground for a variety of reasons including large shaded sites, river access and proximity to Yellowstone's Eastern entrance. However as excited as I was I was quickly disappointed as I pulled into camp, got out of my car to pay for a site and discovered I would not be able to stay at this location. I am not opposed to car camping in an area, but at this location they do not allow car camping either only hard sided RVs or Vans. I was so upset!!
I toured the camp despite not being able to stay and just as I had imagined the sites are very nice. The tables are sturdy and mostly shaded. there are bear boxes at each site in addition to fire rings and the spacing for most vehicles is decent.
I spoke to a ranger in the area and he mentioned the threat of moving bears was very high at this campground hence the restrictions and while I understood it was still upsetting. I went on to explore a bit more and noticed that there are several sites along the shore where you can leave your site and walk right into the water. Others were on the land side and offered seclusion with trees and bushes.
Bathrooms here are only vaults and there is no electricity or water provided so you will want to bring everything with you should you stay here. Prices seemed very reasonable at $15 for standard sites and $30 for double with a discount given to senior access pass holders.
I noticed a few posted rules for the campground including quiet time hours for not only generators but also music, a point which the ranger reiterated to me because many people come here and blast music during summer months.
Yellowstone is quite the hot ticket for camping and depending on what you are wanting to do there are several major campgrounds which might appeal to your needs. When entering the Western most entrance one of the best locations to stop and unhitch or set up for your adventure is Madison Campground located just a few short miles inside the entrance.
I stopped in here to check out the area and also enjoy a little rest and was very impressed by how large the campground was but how homey it really felt. There are several loops in this campground which allow for hundreds of campers, but with all these campers it remained comfortable and not loud. This campground does allow generators during certain hours, so it is very common to hear the low hum of these around camp, but the trees and placement of sites seems to make this site still very comfortable.
The loops are all designed for one way traffic, which cuts down on much of the congestion but also on the chaos which could occur from so many options in each loop. I found that unlike some campgrounds which can become a maze this one was very easy to navigate.
The campground has both a general store, which has some of the things which you might have left at home, and also both an ice machine and soda machine. In addition there is a RV dump station and an amphitheater where they do nightly programs.
The bathrooms here have flush toilets and running water but no showers, still very convenient and if you do happen to want to shower after paying for entry you can visit some of the other area campgrounds.
The big negative to not only this campground but the park in general is that there is no cellular service or radio, so if you are needing to find out park information which is not listed in the brochure given to you at the gate you will want to do so before coming to the park or stop by one of the information desks located at various park checkpoints.
When settling into the campsites there are both pull through. and pull in sites. I noticed that many of the larger rigs were easily able to fit into the pull through sites and tent campers were scattered throughout. Bear boxes are provided alongside fire rings and picnic tables. Fire warnings are always posted on the kiosk at the opening of the campground so make sure you check in and check this out.
During summer the rate for a single night is $26 which is around the middle of the price points for campgrounds around Yellowstone. This is higher than the vault only style campgrounds which makes sense. But because of the amenities offered this site also fills up quickly so I recommend booking online well in advance of your stay.
- When staying at Madison make sure you take advantage of the river access for which the campground is named. This area is absolutely beautiful and for those who enjoy fishing, this is an approved fishing area.
- Make sure to use the dish washing stations located at each of the 14 restrooms, these are great convenient features since no sites have running water.
- Closest showers are located just outside the park at West Yellowstone or at the Old Faithful Inn within the park. These are pay showers but you can easily access them without issue.
- Power Plugs are located in the restroom if you are needing a quick charge or one of the conveniences of home.
Each year, thousands of fly fishermen ascend into Harriman State Park and nearby town of Island Park, ID to fish the famous Henry’s Fork of the Snake River. As we planned our Yellowstone vacation, we decided to spend a few days fly fishing and camped at Riverside (Id- Targhee).
Campground Review: Just around 15 miles north of Ashton, ID, and a few miles to Harriman State Park on US Hwy 20, the entrance of Riverside campground is clearly marked. The area was formed by a large caldera and sits about 6300 feet above sea level. Riverside campground is about a mile down a dirt road and sits right on Henry’s Fork. Roughly 30 camping spots and 1 group site. The sites were well laid out and plenty of space and privacy from each site. Surrounded by thick lodge pole pines, we didn’t hear much road traffic. Our site was less than 25 yards from the river, and we had great access with a handful trails leading to several areas of the river. There are a few bear boxes to share with other sites around the campground and several super clean restrooms. Probably the cleanest I’ve used. We didn’t spend a lot of time at the site during the day due to our main objection was to slay trout, but at night after a great day of fishing, we were able to relax and have a good night camping under the stars. The campsite’s fire ring was awesome. Cement ring with a moveable metal grate with a heavy duty cast iron pole with arms to hang your dutch oven over the fire. We have a rooftop tent but the campgrounds have some nicely laid out tent boxes to park your tent. We did see some sites with concrete flooring around the picnic areas. Overall, very well laid out campground with some good sites to enjoy the great outdoors. We camped at A012. We really had to go out of our way at our site to see our neighbors so tons of privacy. We had a big open sky to stargaze at night. Best of all: No mosquitos. We camped in the middle of August. My boy and I camped at a different campground in Island Park in June, and there was so much standing water that it bred armies of mosquitos. Not this trip. We also had good cell phone reception at this campground. The only bad thing I could come up with is that there was only trash dumpster near the front entrance so ridding your garbage took a little work. There is a boat launch so if you have a drift boat, you can do it right there. Island Park is about 8-10 minute drive if you need some supplies or gas.
Product Review: As a Dyrt Ranger, I get to test products! At this campground, I tested The Vista in hunter green trucker hat from Banner & Oak. As an outdoor enthusiast, I wear a lot of trucker hats and Banner & Oak really stood out from other hats I’ve worn. Stiff, thick material with a mesh backing and secure adjustment to keep my head airy. I really enjoyed wearing it and has quickly become my favorite hat. I really love the color and the high quality patch. If you’re not a fan of deeper hats, I recommend you do not get this hat. It fit my big noggin perfectly. Check out their products at the this link: https://bannerandoak.com/collections/hats