West Tensleep Lake Campground is located on West Tensleep Lake on the west side of scenic Cloud Peak Skyway, near the Cloud Peak Wilderness Area. The Bighorn National Forest offers a wide variety of activities, including hiking, fishing, scenic driving and a number of historic sites. The administering organization is Gallatin Canyon Campgrounds; e-mail: email@example.com
West Tensleep Lake covers 125 acres and is open to non-motorized watercraft only, making it a perfect location for canoeing and fishing. Anglers will find rainbow, brown and brook trout in the cool waters of the lake.
The popular West Tensleep Lake Trail begins just outside the campground. The trail leads into the Cloud Peak Wilderness, passing Lake Helen, Lake Marion and Misty Moon Lake before climbing to the summit of the 13,167 foot Cloud Peak, the highest peak in the Bighorn Range.
Off-road vehicle trails, scenic jeep roads, hiking and horseback riding trails and many fishing streams are available in the surrounding area.
The campground offers single-family sites each equipped with a picnic table and campfire ring with grill. Accessible vault toilets, drinking water and trash collection are provided.
The nearest dump station is 17 miles away on Powder River Pass
The campground is situated on the southern shore of scenic West Tensleep Lake, in an area full of alpine lakes and creeks. A forest of lodgepole pine, Douglas fir and spruce trees covers the area.
Meadowlark Lake is within a few miles of the campground. This small lake allows motorized craft at a no-wake speed.
The High Park Lookout is located just east of Meadowlark Lake. This old fire lookout was built by the CCC decades ago and is no longer active. A short hike leads to the lookout, where hikers are awarded panoramic views of the surrounding area.
Deer Haven Lodge and Meadowlark Lodge are nearby, offering dining, lodging, guided horseback riding and fishing and camping supplies.
ADA Access: N
We took a motorcycle trip from Missouri to Yellowstone and stopped here for 3 nights on the way. This is an excellent Primitive campground with unbelievable views.
Although it has minimal services, it makes up for it with the views. Make sure to wake up early and walk to the lake, there was moose hanging out when we were there. Even the drive into the campground is nice. The high elevation makes the evenings cool.
I would go back here in a heartbeat, if I’m ever in the area, I will plan to stay here.
Pros: Very primitive feel, nice toilets for being so far out, shady campsites with plenty of room,
Cons: The long 7 mile gravel road on cruiser motorcycles is a pain.
This was our first trip to this campground. My friend reserved the site for us so we did not know anything about this area.
PROS -Very small campground-
Cleanest & best smelling toilets I have have ever encountered.
Lake at Campground
Great Hiking area's
Lake is clean & beautiful (Go for Kayaking & Fly Fishing)
Moose in area
7 miles of Gravel road to get to Campsite -Very bumpy ride for 3500 ton Truck
Campsites are small. We have a 27 Foot bumper pull -No problem but some sites smaller & uneven. (Research your site)
No Camp Host on Site-Have to drive about 4 miles to buy wood bundles.
Dry Camp-No Electric
Dump Station about 13 miles away
campground is a little rustic and at a high elevation. best part of the week was watching happy tourist pitch a tent and leave after freezing to death at night.
Early fall, perfect night
At first we couldn't find this place because Google Maps will take you to the entrance of Sitting Bull Campground down the road. Follow the directions on reserveamerica.com or just head west from Sitting Bull Campground about 4 miles and turn on West Tensleep Lake Road.
It's a dirt/rock road and you'll be on it for 7 miles. Along the route is a half dozen other campgrounds. Each time you approach one you'll get excited thinking it's yours but it isn't. Don't worry. West Tensleep Lake Campground is better than those campgrounds.
Finally, you'll arrive at the last campground on the road which is also the trailhead. It is only 10 spots that are tent only. Half along the lake-side and half road-side. If you can take a lakeside spot (you can reserve these). The road side ones aren't bad but they are more exposed and a bit less wooded. Each site has a parking spot, picnic table and fire-pit with grill. Camp is at 9000+ elevation so when you search for weather reports they will not be accurate. The nearest town, Tensleep, is about 4000 ft lower in elevation so the weather can be dramatically different.
There are vault toilets which are probably the cleanest toilets I/we have ever seen in a campground. They were clean when we got there, cleaned while we were there and still clean when we left. There is a by the book Park Ranger who will sell you wood (if you arrive at a weird hour or don't want to wait stop by the second campsite on the road and you can buy wood there). He will also give you a speech about bears and a massive hefty bag for trash which seemed like major overkill, not to mention a lot of wasted plastic.
The lake is shallow (snow dependent?) but beautiful and teeming with beavers, fish and usually at least one canoe. It is deceptively large, and you can see Big Horn National Forest surrounding it and mountain peaks in the distance. There is a trailhead where you need to fill out some paperwork when you leave on a hike and then trails heading off for miles in a few different directions. We followed the lake to the northern end and then followed the path along creek/river into the woods. It was easy hiking, but really beautiful and worth the effort to get down that long road at the beginning.
On a 5625 mile road trip through forests and parks this campsite was a highlight. Stop in Tensleep on the way out of town. It is worth a visit.