A Comprehensive Guide to Camping in Yellowstone

CampingJerry Lee

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most incredible natural wonderlands in the United States. It's home to a huge variety of wildlife, diverse landscapes ranging from grassy meadows to towering mountains and cascading waterfalls, and some of the most spectacular camping spots in America. Whether you're a seasoned explorer or just starting out on your outdoor adventures, camping in Yellowstone will be an experience like no other! In this blog, we've put together 10 top campgrounds and essentials you need for your camping trip through this amazing park. We can’t wait to share these insights into how best to enjoy Yellowstone's incredible wilderness at any skill level—so let’s get started!


10 Best Campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park

To immerse yourself in the park's beauty by camping in Yellowstone National Park, check the list of the ten best campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park:

1. Madison Campground


Situated near the park's western entrance, Madison Campground offers stunning views and convenient access to various attractions. With 278 sites, it accommodates both tents and RVs. Its central location makes it an ideal base for exploring the park's geysers, hot springs, and wildlife.

2. Bridge Bay Campground


Located near the majestic Yellowstone Lake, Bridge Bay Campground is a popular choice for campers seeking serene surroundings. The campground provides easy access to fishing, boating, and hiking opportunities. Its 432 sites can accommodate both tents and RVs, making it suitable for different camping preferences.

3. Grant Village Campground


Situated in the southern part of the park, Grant Village Campground offers a peaceful setting near the picturesque West Thumb Geyser Basin. With 430 sites, it provides a range of options for campers. The campground's proximity to Yellowstone Lake allows visitors to indulge in various water activities.

4. Canyon Campground


Nestled in the heart of the park's Grand Canyon area, Canyon Campground offers a breathtaking camping experience. Its 273 sites provide easy access to scenic viewpoints and hiking trails that lead to majestic waterfalls. The campground's central location allows campers to explore both the Upper and Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River.

5. Mammoth Hot Springs Campground


Located near the park's north entrance, Mammoth Hot Springs Campground offers a unique camping experience. Campers can witness the impressive thermal features of the Mammoth Hot Springs area and explore the historic Fort Yellowstone. The campground provides 85 sites for tents and RVs.

6. Norris Campground


Positioned near the Norris Geyser Basin, Norris Campground is an excellent choice for those fascinated by Yellowstone's geothermal wonders. The 111 sites at this campground offer a peaceful retreat surrounded by the park's geysers, hot springs, and steam vents.

7. Fishing Bridge RV Park


Primarily catering to RV campers, Fishing Bridge RV Park is situated near the Yellowstone River. Its strategic location allows visitors to enjoy fishing opportunities and witness the park's wildlife. With 346 sites and full hookups, this campground is an excellent option for RV enthusiasts.

8. Slough Creek Campground


For those seeking a more remote camping experience, Slough Creek Campground in the northeast corner of the park is a hidden gem. With only 16 primitive sites, this campground offers a peaceful retreat amidst stunning natural surroundings. It is particularly popular among anglers, as the nearby creek is known for its excellent fishing.

9. Lewis Lake Campground


Located in the southern part of the park, Lewis Lake Campground provides a tranquil camping experience near the lake. With 84 sites nestled among the trees, campers can enjoy serene views and engage in various outdoor activities, including fishing and boating.

10. Pebble Creek Campground


Tucked away in the northeast section of the park, Pebble Creek Campground offers a peaceful environment for campers. With 25 primitive sites, it is a great option for those seeking solitude and a closer connection with nature. Wildlife enthusiasts will appreciate the frequent sightings of animals in this area.

Camping in Yellowstone National Park Essentials

Before embarking on your camping adventure in Yellowstone National Park, it's important to be prepared with the following essentials:

  • Tent and Sleeping Gear: A sturdy tent, sleeping bags, sleeping pads, and pillows for a comfortable night's sleep.
  • Camping Stove and Cookware: A portable camping stove, fuel, and cooking utensils for preparing meals.
  • Food and Water: Pack non-perishable food items, snacks, and plenty of water. Remember to store food properly to prevent attracting wildlife.
  • Clothing and Layers: Prepare for changing weather conditions by bringing layers, including warm clothing, rain gear, and sturdy footwear for hiking.
  • Camping Supplies: Bring essentials like a flashlight or headlamp, extra batteries, a pocket knife, a camping chair, and a camping table.
  • Personal Items: Don't forget items like sunscreen, insect repellent, toiletries, medications, and a first aid kit.
  • Camping Essentials: Include items such as a camping lantern, a lighter or matches, a camping shovel, and a water filter or purification tablets.

Camping in Yellowstone National Park Tips

To make the most of your camping experience in Yellowstone National Park, consider the following tips:

Making Reservations

When planning your camping trip to Yellowstone National Park, it's important to know that most campgrounds accept reservations during the summer season. The following campgrounds allow reservations: Bridge Bay, Canyon, Fishing Bridge, Grant Village, Madison, Mammoth, Norris, Pebble Creek, and Slough Creek. You can make your reservations through Yellowstone National Park Lodges or Recreation.gov.

Best Time to Camp

For the optimal camping experience, it is recommended to visit Yellowstone National Park between late May and mid-September. During this period, the weather is generally favorable, and most facilities and services are available.

Generator Usage

If you rely on a generator for power during your camping trip, note that generators are permitted in seven out of the ten campgrounds. You can use generators at Madison, Bridge Bay, Canyon, Fishing Bridge, Grant Village, Mammoth, and Norris. However, please remember that generators are not allowed at Pebble Creek, Slough Creek, or Lewis Lake. An alternative is to take a solar generator, which converts solar energy to electricity without making any noise, perfect for camping.

Fire Restrictions

During the summer months, fire restrictions may be in place within Yellowstone National Park, from July through September. These restrictions may limit when and where you can have fires, including wood and charcoal fires in campgrounds.

Bear Safety

Yellowstone National Park is located in bear country, and it's crucial to take precautions to protect both yourself and the wildlife. To minimize bear encounters, store food, trash, and scented items inside the food locker provided at your campsite.

Pet Regulations

While pets are allowed in the campgrounds, they are not permitted on hiking trails and cannot be left unattended.

Final Thoughts

Camping in Yellowstone National Park offers a unique opportunity to immerse yourself in the wonders of nature. From the geothermal features to the abundant wildlife, each campground provides its own charm and access to different attractions. Remember to plan ahead, pack accordingly, and follow the park's guidelines to ensure a memorable and safe camping experience.

Whether you choose the popular Madison Campground or opt for a more secluded experience at Pebble Creek Campground, camping in Yellowstone is an adventure that will leave you with lifelong memories. Embrace the serenity of the park, marvel at its natural wonders, and create unforgettable experiences amidst its stunning landscapes.