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.
If you want to see wildlife during you Yellowstone adventure then Slough Creek Campground is the way to go. During our visit we got to see Bison on our drive coming in, deer feeding at the edge of the campground and watched a black bear for 30 minutes just a mile down the hiking trail. But to get a campsite you have to be prepared, prepared as in get here in the early morning so you can grab a sight as soon as one become available, this campground is often full by 8am if not earlier. You can leave the RV crowd behind here, most campers are tent camping or just have a small camper, the bigger on won't fit here. A nice quiet campground with Slough Creek running right next to most of the sights made for a good nights sleep. All sites have picnic tables and a metal fire ring. This is bear territory and you need to lock up those food items in your car/truck or in one of the bear proof lockers located through out the campground, just be ready to share with other campers. Site has some of the cleanest vault toilets around. Trash and recycling is available as well. Water is from a hand pump and the water is top notch. If you like to star gaze then you can't do any better than here, no light pollution lets you see everything our night sky has to offer.
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.
Forested campground 30 minutes from Yellowstone National Park
Beaver Creek Campground is the good spot for a Yellowstone National Park jumping off point. Located 30 minutes form the park the distance improves your chances of finding a campsite in the busy season. The campground sits above Quake Lake, if you enjoy fishing there is a steep trail leading to the lake from the“A” loop, however there is no boat launch at the campground, you will need to drive a½ mile down the highway to find a boat launch for the lake. The campground features paved roads with gravel parking pads, vault toilets, picnic tables and metal fire rings at each site, and their are bear proof food storage if you need it, but you might need to share space with another spot. Campsite can be reserved. The campground has 62 sites spreed apart in 3 loops. Two fully ADA sites are available. Drinking water is available at three locations in each loop. The camp hosts are very friendly and helpful, they also have firewood for sale if needed for$6 A word of caution about the road driving in. The road is paved but narrow, so drive slow and watch out for cars.
Ranger review Outdoor Element's Woolly Mammoth Survival Braid
Got my wife the Woolly Mammoth Survival Braid and have to say that this is a nice survival bracelet. We did wonder if the Jute it is made with would be a little itchy when put on, but found it to be quiet comfortable. We like the 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. We then tried to start a fire with the sample piece of jute, 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. Nice to now that we now have a wrist full of fire starting material if we ever need it. Might just want to take this off when starting fires as it didn't take much to get the sample burning. All in all a great survival tool to have around.
Lovely quiet dispersed camping spot by the lake. We had seen other reviews that it was bad for mosquitos but we didn’t see a single one. Room for about 6 sites here with a few prebuilt fire pits. Beautiful views - we loved it.
You need to drive down a dirt road with some pot holes and wash boarding. Would recommend scouting it first if it has been wet and there were some big puddles already.
We were fine in our camper van but big rigs might struggle a little In bad weather.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Nice clean campground– but don't forget the DEET
Rainbow Point Campground and boat launch is a large nicely wooded and extremely clean campground. The campground contains 83 sites in four loops. Loops B& C have electricity. This is by far the cleanest most well kept campground I have stayed out. Clean nice smelling vault toilets(yes that's right, no smell in those vault toilets), the campsite had been cleaned and raked, the metal fire rings we cleaned out, not evidence of a fire could be seen, any burnt wood from the previous camper was removed, and the picnic table appeared to be cleaned as well. While the sites are not on the lake, it is just a short walk to the beach for those wanting to swim or do a little fishing. Sites can reserved so finding a spot in this campground so close to Yellowstone took some work. The trick if you do not have a reservation is to carefully read the post to see if it is actually reserved for that night. I stayed in the D loop, all the sites had reserved signs on them, however three of the sites were not reserved for the night of my stay. Water spigot can be found in all the loops. At the entrance you can find a recycling station. Fire wood is available for purchase from the campground host. If you plan on camping at Rainbow point be prepared to donate blood, the mosquito's are bad, especially mid day, so bring plenty of DEET and make a campfire, the smoke will really help. While the camp host do a great job at keeping the place clean and are friendly, just wish they would have done a late night run though the campground as their was one campsite at the far end of the loop which had kids up running around being loud past midnight. Actually think if was several family's hanging out together as at 1 am could here some leaving for their campsites in other loops, could over hear the conversation of one group walking back asking another in a car if they could drive their kids back for them so they didn't have to walk back.
Ranger Review of Primus Micron Lantern
I really like the Primus micron lantern, it is nice to be able to bring a lantern backpacking. The Micron lantern is so light weight and small it is easy to tuck in to a pack. The lantern puts out a lot of light, making it perfect for backpacking or front country camping. The Piezo igniter makes lighting an easy, a click or two and you have instant light. The attached cable allows you to hang the lantern from a tree branch, which is handy when no suitable rocks or bare ground is available. The metal mesh globe is a nice feature, don't have to worry about breaking the globe while on a trip. Two backpacking trips and numerous car camping trips and this little lantern is running perfectly with no signs of wear. This is differently a must for backpacking trips, a big thumbs up for the Primus Micron Lantern.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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.
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.
When traveling throughout this area of Montana I noticed several campgrounds along the way, however something I really was looking for was a location which allowed me to be off the water a little bit. Why?? Because of the location's unique history.
This area is known as "Earthquake Lake" an area which in the 50's experienced a vicious earthquake which sent 80 million tons of rock crashing off the side of the mountainside and into what was then a passing river. In this incident it swallowed up roadways, campgrounds and cabins and completely changed the landscape which once existed. While normally I wouldn't be concerned with this, the 16 mile distance around the shoreline is lined with several information stops along the way to allow you to hear the story of that tragic day and also how it has changed the area. Kind of hard to not think of that when you are in the area.
For this reason Cabin Creek seemed to be the perfect solution, slightly away from the shoreline and across the new highway but still with access to the water should I decide to enjoy a dip or even a scenic hike along one of the many trails of the area.
The campground is quiet and though there were other campers visiting the soft bed of pine needles provided a muffling to any sound which could be present. I felt like I was the only camper there because of the silence. It was so peaceful.
Sites are large enough to easily bring an RV if you would like although most campers I noticed were tent camping or visiting in their vans. The sites are pretty standard for the area with picnic tables and fire rings in addition to bear boxes.
I found a location just beyond the entry and noticed that the area was rather flat and perfect for setting up a tent. Though there is grass around camp the sites themselves are relatively clear. There also is an abundance of small wood you can source for your campfire should you choose to indulge a bit.
I thought the price point for primitive camping was pretty fair for the area at $20 per site or doubles for $40. All sites are on the honor system and while I visited I didn't see a single ranger visiting or checking in which I thought was a little bizarre for this style of campground.
Bathrooms were pretty basic vault toilets, to be expected for this area. Pretty much no frills camping, but nice location.
Something I did really appreciate about this campsite however is that they are aware of the possibility of future quake activity and have alarms set to sound as warnings for disaster as well as posted plan of action should you experience an issue. The higher ground indicated on the post is very close and easy to access even if you are not able to do so in your car.
- Check out the stops along the 16 mile stretch of highway and learn about the area, it is very fascinating. There is also a visitor center as you get to the western most entrance of the area.
- Bring everything you need, there are no services and despite a few little shops along the street they are very overpriced.
- USE the bear boxes!! If you are camping in this area there are frequent sightings so better safe than sorry. I also recommend bear spray.
It is Yellowstone. Campsites are different. You can't understand what they mean until you get there. The reservationist said our car and pop up were too long. Our camper and SUV fit perfect side by side. Nice wooded site with some privacy. Elk were moving thru camp ground, one night was warned a Grizzly was in general area. Excellent Programs from park service nightly in pavilion. No electric or hookups be prepared to go with out or battery power.
Yellowstone National Parks back country campsite WF1 sits on the edge of a large meadow of wildflowers with amazing views of the mountains to the west. Campsite WF1 is the first back country site along Black Butte Trail in the North West corner of the park. It is about a 2.2 mile hike to the campsite from the trail head. Campsite WF1 is open to backpackers and stock animals, however I could see no evidence of any stock animals using this site recently. The site has a large rock fire ring in the cooking area with logs sitting around it to sit on. An arrow on a tree with the site number points to the sites toilet just up hill in the trees. Don't get to excited about the toilet, think of an outhouse with out any walls, and the hole in the ground is not very deep, but a back country site with a seat to sit on is a rare treat. Just on the other side of the large trees at the cooking area is a meadow full of wildflowers, the meadow slopes downhill making a flat area in the field for your tent hard to find, but you can find spots at the edge of the field just in the trees with flat spots for your tent. Water is no problem at this site, the creek is just next to the cooking area, best spot to filter the water is right where you cross to enter the campsite.
Black Butte Trail head(WK2) is located on U.S. Hwy 191. The trail head is easy to miss, the sign for the tail is on the east side of the Highway where the trail starts, the parking area is just south of the sign on the west side of the highway. You will need to obtain a back country permit to stay at WF1. The closest place to obtain a permit is at the visitor center in West Yellowstone. The cost is$3 per person with a maximum of$15 for the night. Site is limited to one group of ten.
I'm all for getting away but there are benefits of having other campers nearby, especially in grizzly territory. This is definitely a back country campsite. It's free. Pack in, pack out & leave no trace. There is a single vault toilet for all campsites. I only found 3 camp sites. The road up was pretty rough when I went but my Subaru made it all right. Overall a gorgeous spot if it's what you're looking for.
It's a gorgeous drive up to the campground. Lots of wildlife in this area. I stayed here one cold week of March to get up before dawn and wolf watch in the park. I haven't stayed since but am up that road regularly- winter and summer views do not disappoint! There's a fire pit in each site, and a few scattered vault toilets. Some sites are a little close but there's lots of foliage to give you some space. Definitely an active bear area. I'd stay here again and probably will soon!
Baker's Hole is located very close to West Yellowstone. This is both a pro and a con -- pro, as it allows you to zip into town if you need some groceries, want to grab a pizza, etc. You can literally be in town in 3 minutes.
The "con" side is that the main road into West is VERY close to many sites within the campground, and the road noise is pretty constant. We had a last minute trip and scored Site #16 (Electric) and while the site itself is great (timbered shade, roomy parking spot for the camper, hammock-friendly trees, food lock box, etc.) it is literally 40-50 yards from the road.
At one point, about 30 Harley's roared by, and I couldn't hear my wife talking to me at the picnic table. Not good…..But, that is the deal if you land in one of the spots nearest the road.
My advice (and plan next time) is to get there early (it is first come/first serve, no reservations) and head directly to the spots closest to the river. Not only does that put you within 10 seconds of fishing, they were a fair bit quieter than those near the road.
The camp hosts check in and drive around in their golf cart frequently, taking care of the place. They do a great job.
All in all, I would recommend this campground, as you have easy access to fishing the Madison, a quick trip to West Yellowstone if needed, or to start a trip in Yellowstone Park.
A few tips:
- Bring bug spray and a citronella candle/Thermacell, etc. anytime in the summer. The mosquitoes can be really bad.
- Bring a hammock; great trees to sling one up can be found at almost every site
- Bring your flyrod!
- Bring bear spray, and be diligent about food prep and storage. This is grizzly country.
We loved this place. Very cool area with lots to do and see. Only a couple of miles.from the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park. It borders a forest with plenty of trails. Big campground and very busy. Food and amentities for trips to the park are close by.