best campgrounds in yellowstone national park

Best Campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park

With over 2000 campsites available in one of the most visited parks in the country, picking out the Best Campground in Yellowstone National Park for your visit is not an easy task.  There are a ton of options spread across 12 campgrounds, but also quite a bit of competition for the spots, making trip planning a significant challenge.

We’ll run through all the campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park, the benefits that they offer, what you can expect and what you can do nearby each campground.  We hope that this article helps you figure out the best campground when you make a visit to Yellowstone National Park!

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK CAMPGROUNDS: OVERVIEW

As you likely know, Yellowstone National Park is hugely popular, drawing in millions of visitors annually.  The park is quite large as well, making camping or staying in the park highly desirable to avoid long drives to attractions and hikes. 

The 12 campgrounds in the park are spread out well, which means that if you want to spend a few days in one area and then move to another, that can be a good option to consider.  In any case, staying in the park will be a very memorable experience and something you should do!

If you need to get camping supplies in Yellowstone, there are a few options available to you.  While most parks have very limited options if you are need of something critical, Yellowstone National Park is fairly well stocked and can offer you a good amount of services to help you get you through your visit.  There are General Stores available in Mammoth Hot Springs, Roosevelt and Fishing Bridge.  Smaller stores and gas stations are in those areas as well as West Thumb, the Old Faithful area and Madison.

As with all park camping experiences, we recommend that you stock up well ahead of your entry into the park.  This will ensure you have access to what you need, as well as getting reasonable prices (prices in the park can be quite high).  You can find large box stores east of Yellowstone in Cody, WY, grocery stores to the south in Jackson, WY and to the west and north right outside of the park in West Yellowstone, MN and Gardiner, MT, respectively.

Yellowstone national park itinerary

Before you visit Yellowstone, download our guide for Yellowstone National Park, which has the best hiking trails, what to pack ahead of your visit, what to visit in the area and detailed maps.  We also have sample itineraries based on your travel style and how many days you plan on staying in the park.

 

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK CAMPING – YELLOWSTONE LAKE AREA

Yellowstone Lake Camping Areas map

Map of the Yellowstone Lake Area in Yellowstone National Park, courtesy of the National Park Service

Bridge Bay Campground:

  • Location: The Bridge Bay Campground is located across Grand Loop Road from Bridge Bay near Yellowstone Lake and just south of Fishing Bridge. Directions from Fishing Bridge to the Bridge Bay Campground.
  • Accessible via: Vehicle
  • Reservations: Offered mid-May through early September. Bridge Bay Campground Reservations.
  • Capacity: 432 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / Yes.
  • Toilets / Showers: Flush toilets and no showers.
  • Nearby: If you are in the area, then you’ll have to check out the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center, which has a small museum. The Natural Bridge Trail heads out just south of the campground.  This is a trail without boardwalks, and only a bit of elevation gain as it heads to a natural bridge (2.5-mi round-trip).  There are also some nice day-programs worth checking out at Fishing Bridge (inquire at the Visitor Center).  Of course the big headline is Yellowstone Lake, which is just east of the campground.
  • Additional details: The Bridge Bay Campground is very large but at a gorgeous location. There is a mix of open and wooded sites, so check out the maps prior to getting a spot.  Click here for the latest information on the Bridge Bay Campground

 

Fishing Bridge RV Park:

  • Location: The Fishing Bridge RV Park is located on Highway 14, just east of Fishing Bridge near the exit of the Yellowstone River into Yellowstone Lake. Directions from Fishing Bridge to the Fishing Bridge RV Park.
  • Accessible via: RV.
  • Reservations: Offered late-May through early October. Fishing Bridge Campground Reservations.
  • Capacity: 310 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: Yes / Yes / Yes.
  • Toilets / Showers: Flush toilets and showers.
  • Nearby: As with all campgrounds in this area, you’ll have to check out the Fishing Bridge Visitor Center and its museum. You can also get on the Pelican Creek Nature Trail for an easy hike (1 mile east of Fishing bridge).  This short (0.6-mile round-trip) trail leads to the shores of Yellowstone Lake.
  • Additional details: The Fishing Bridge RV Park reopened for reservations in 2022 after a massive amount of improvements, including larger sites. You must have a hard-sided camper to stay here due to the high amount of bear activity that this campground is known for, so no tents are allowed.  This is the only campground in Yellowstone that offers full hookups.  Click here for the latest information on the Fishing Bridge RV Park

Grant Village Campground:

  • Location: The Grant Village Campground is located about 3.5 miles from the West Thumb Geyser Basin, right near Grant Village. Directions from West Thumb Geyser Basin to Grant Village Campground.
  • Accessible via: Vehicle
  • Reservations: Offered early June through mid-September. Grant Village Campground Reservations.
  • Capacity: 430 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / Yes.
  • Toilets / Showers: Flush toilets and no showers.
  • Nearby: The Grant Village area has a few great things to explore nearby. First of all, the campground is right near Yellowstone Lake, which is beautiful.  There is also a small visitor center right in Grant Village, which has exhibits and videos.  For exploring, the West Thumb Geyser Basin is nearby, which is a short boardwalk trail that is very scenic with amazing colors.  The Duck Lake Trail (easy, 0.9-miles round-trip) is a good option, as is the Yellowstone Overlook Trail (easy, 1.7-miles round-trip) that start nearby the West Thumb Geyser basin.
  • Additional details: The Grant Village Campground is quite large and popular. Located in the southern part of the park, it’s a bit out of the way from many of the park’s attractions, so expect to have to drive a bit when you start your day.  Most of the sites are wooded.  Click here for the latest information on the Grant Village Campground

 

Lewis Lake Campground:

  • Location: The Lewis Lake Campground is located about 10 miles south of the West Thumb Geyser Basin and about 10 miles north of the southern entrance to Yellowstone. Directions from West Thumb Geyser Basin to Lewis Lake Campground.
  • Accessible via: Vehicle
  • Reservations: Offered mid-June through mid-October. Lewis Lake Campground Reservations.
  • Capacity: 84 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / No.
  • Toilets / Showers: Vault toilets and no showers.
  • Nearby: The Lewis Lake Campground offers access to beautiful Lewis Lake. You also can go and visit nearby Lewis Falls, which is a 30 foot waterfall that is worth checking out.
  • Additional details: The Lewis Lake Campground is the furthest south campground in the park, so expect to drive quite a bit if you are wanting to explore other parts of the park. The sites are wooded (and some can have a bit more roots than you might want if you are pitching a tent).  There is also a boat ramp to Lewis Lake, accessed right near the campground.  This is a great spot if you plan on also visiting Grand Teton National Park during your visit to Yellowstone.  Click here for the latest information on the Lewis Lake Campground

 

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK CAMPING – MADISON, NORRIS AND CANYON VILLAGE AREA

madison, norris and canyon village camping map

Map of the Madison, Norris and Canyon Village Area, courtesy of the National Park Service

Madison Campground:

  • Location: The Madison Campground is located across 16 miles north of Old Faithful and 14 miles east of the West Entrance to Yellowstone. Directions from West Yellowstone to Madison Campground.
  • Accessible via: Vehicle
  • Reservations: Offered mid-May through mid-October. Madison Campground Reservations.
  • Capacity: 430 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / Yes.
  • Toilets / Showers: Flush toilets and no showers.
  • Nearby: There are a few things nearby, including the beautiful Firehole Lake Drive and Firehole Canyon Drive. They are both short (3 and 2 miles, respectively) but are worth checking out.  There are several hikes nearby, including the Purple Mountain Trail (moderate, 6.5-mi round-trip) that leads to great views of Madison, Gibbon and Firehole Rivers.
  • Additional details: The Madison Campground is a great choice if you are looking to be relatively close to Old Faithful. Most of the sites are wooded.  Click here for the latest information on the Madison Campground

Norris Campground:

  • Location: The Norris Campground is located Madison Campground is located on Grand Loop Road, just about a mile north of the intersection with Norris Canyon Road. Directions from West Yellowstone to Norris Campground.
  • Accessible via: Vehicle
  • Reservations: Offered, but dates were not available as of this writing.
  • Capacity: 112 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / No.
  • Toilets / Showers: Flush toilets and no showers.
  • Nearby: Just a short walk from the campground is the Museum of the National Park Ranger. You can also check out the Norris Geyser Basin, which is a hugely active geothermal area that is a must see.  The Artist Paint Pots are about 3.9 miles away.  The 1.1-mile walkway has colorful hot springs and mud pots.
  • Additional details: The Norris Campground is one of the smaller campgrounds in the park. It’s central location is ideal.  There is limited camping options for RV’s (only 7 sites available).  Most of the sites are wooded.  Click here for the latest information on the Norris Campground

 

Canyon Campground:

  • Location: The Canyon Campground is located in the Canyon Village area, a few hundred feet east of the intersection of Norris Canyon Road and Grand Loop Road. Directions from Mammoth Hot Springs to the Canyon Campground.
  • Accessible via: Vehicle
  • Reservations: Offered mid-June through mid-October. Canyon Campground Reservations.
  • Capacity: 273 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / Yes.
  • Toilets / Showers: Flush toilets and no showers.
  • Nearby: Just a short walk from the campground is the Canyon Visitor Education Center, which is worth checking out. You’ll want to head south a bit too to check out the North and South Rim drive of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.  This area gets crowded, so having a campsite here allows you to beat the crowds or stay a bit later than everyone else!  You can also check out Uncle Tom’s Trail, if it’s open at the time of your visit.
  • Additional details: The Canyon Campground is in a nice central location as well, if you are wanting to explore Yellowstone Falls or head down to Fishing Bridge and Yellowstone Lake. The sites are wooded and quite spacious.  Click here for the latest information on the Canyon Campground

 

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK CAMPING – MAMMOTH HOT SPRINGS AREA

mammoth hot springs camping areas map

Map of the Mammoth Hot Springs Area, courtesy of the National Park Service

Mammoth Campground:

  • Location: The Mammoth Campground is located in the northern part of Yellowstone National Park on the North Entrance Road. Directions from Gardiner, MT to Mammoth Campground.
  • Accessible via: Vehicle
  • Reservations: Offered early April through mid-October (though the campground is open year-round). Mammoth Campground Reservations.
  • Capacity: 85 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / No.
  • Toilets / Showers: Flush toilets and no showers.
  • Nearby: The Mammoth Hot Springs area has a lot of things to do, for sure! The exhibits at the Albright Visitor Center are worth exploring.  The Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces are a must-see, and easy to get to from the campground.  The Beaver Ponds Loop Trail (moderate, 5.6 miles round-trip) travels to a beaver pond as is a great spot to see wildlife.
  • Additional details: The Mammoth Campground is the only campground in the park open year-round. It is near great scenery and quite a few supplies, if needed.  Gardiner, MT is nearby as well, which has groceries and great restaurants.  Click here for the latest information on the Mammoth Campground

Indian Creek Campground:

  • Location: The Indian Creek Campground is about 12 miles south of the northern entrance to Yellowstone and 8 miles south of Mammoth Hot Springs on Grand Loop Road. Directions from Gardiner, MT to Indian Creek Campground.
  • Accessible via: Vehicle
  • Reservations: Offered early June through mid-September. Indian Creek Campground Reservations.
  • Capacity: 70 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / No.
  • Toilets / Showers: Vault toilets and no showers.
  • Nearby: Just north of the campground (about 5 miles) are two hikes. The Bunsen Peak Trail (moderate, 4.4-miles round-trip) heads to the top of Bunsen Peak and offers amazing views of Mammoth and the northeast part of the park.  The Osprey Falls trail begins from the same spot, but heads south (8.5-miles round-trip, moderate).  The falls are 150 feet high and beautiful!
  • Additional details: The Indian Creek Campground is in a relatively quiet spot of the park and set back, making it a nice choice if you don’t mind being away from supplies. Most of the sites are wooded, and the campground has great views of the surrounding mountains.  Click here for the latest information on the Indian Creek Campground

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK CAMPING – TOWER-ROOSEVELT AREAS

tower and roosevelt areas camping map in yellowstone

Map of the Tower-Roosevelt Areas, courtesy of the National Park Service

Tower Fall Campground:

  • Location: The Tower Fall Campground is located on Grand Loop Road just south of Tower-Roosevelt. It’s about 50 miles from the eastern entrance to the park.  Directions from Silver Gate, MT to the Tower Fall Campground.
  • Accessible via: Vehicle
  • Reservations: Offered, but dates were not available as of this writing.
  • Capacity: 31 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / No.
  • Toilets / Showers: Vault toilets and no showers (but you can take a shower at the Roosevelt Lodge nearby).
  • Nearby: The Tower Fall Campground is right across the street from the Tower Falls Trail, one of the more popular hikes in the park. This easy, 0.9-mile (round-trip) trail starts behind the Tower General Store and leads to a waterfall.  You can also head down to the Mount Washburn Trail (6.8-miles round-trip, hard) for a hike that has a lookout tower and amazing views.  To the east is the amazing Lamar Valley, which is a premium post for wildlife viewing.
  • Additional details: The Tower Fall Campground is in a great area, with good access to most of the park as well as the Lamar Valley and the Beartooth Pass. It is not fancy, but it’s a great option!  Click here for the latest information on the Tower Fall Campground

Slough Creek Campground:

  • Location: The Slough Creek Campground is located about 8 miles to the northeast of Tower Junction. It’s located on Slough Creek.  Directions from Tower Junction to Slough Creek Campground.
  • Accessible via: Vehicle
  • Reservations: Offered mid-June through mid-October. Slough Creek Campground Reservations.
  • Capacity: 16 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / No.
  • Toilets / Showers: Vault toilets and no showers.
  • Nearby: The Slough Creek Campground is remote, but there is some good fishing right nearby in Slough Creek. You can also hop on the Slough Creek Trail (moderate, 3.4-mile round-trip) to get a great view of the meadows.  Be advised that you may see large wildlife (bears or moose!) on the trail!
  • Additional details: There isn’t much here at the Slough Creek Campground other than quiet and wilderness. The campground is great for tents and pop-up campers (or small trailers).  It is off the beaten path, so you’ll have a great night’s sleep!   Click here for the latest information on the Slough Creek Campground

Pebble Creek Campground:

  • Location: The Pebble Creek Campground is the furthest east campground in the park, located in the heart of the Lamar Valley. Directions from Silver Gate, MT to Pebble Creek Campground.
  • Accessible via: Vehicle
  • Reservations: Offered mid-June through mid-September. Pebble Creek Campground Reservations.
  • Capacity: 27 sites.
  • Electricity / Water Hookups / Dump Station: No / No / No.
  • Toilets / Showers: Vault toilets and no showers.
  • Nearby: The Lamar Valley is the closest attraction, and this has an abundance of wildlife that is worth checking out. You can also get on the Lamar River Trail, which is on the southernmost point of the NE Entrance Road.  You can hike up to 33 miles long!
  • Additional details: The Pebble Creek Campground is quite remote, but it’s in a beautiful location. It’s a great place to use as a home base if you are a photographer and want to seek out the wildlife in Lamar Valley.  Click here for the latest information on the Pebble Creek Campground

YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK CAMPGROUNDS - GROUP CAMPING

Group camping is offered at the Bridge Bay, Grand Village and Madison Campgrounds.

CAMPING OUTSIDE YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK

As we said earlier, there are over 2000 campsites within the park.  However, if you are unable to get a spot, or prefer to be closer to full hookups or creature comforts of private campgrounds, there are plenty of options outside the park.  Check out West Yellowstone, the area of Cooke City, MT or head to Dubois, WY.  You’ll pay a bit more and have a longer driver into the park, but they are in great areas.

You can also boondock near Yellowstone National Park.  Check out the options for free camping near Yellowstone National Park.  You can also checkout camping in one of the local public lands, like the Shoshone National Forest or Custer Gallatin National Forest.

FURTHER INFORMATION ON YELLOWSTONE NATIONAL PARK FROM JUST GO TRAVEL STUDIOS

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About Just Go Travel Studios

We are Amy & Pete Brahan. Very simply, we are passionate about our National Parks and Public Lands and explore them with our three kids whenever we can.

As much as we enjoy traveling, we also love sharing our knowledge and helping others create everlasting memories through our custom-made travel posters, downloadable travel itineraries and detailed blog articles.

10% of all after-tax profits are donated to the National Park Foundation.

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