9 Top-Rated Campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park
Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park stands proudly as the nation's first national park, and what attracted such attention in the late 19th century still draws international crowds today.
Taking more than two hours to drive from the South to North Entrance, with plenty of hydrothermal features, canyon walls, and general stores to check out along the way, Yellowstone can be an overwhelming experience. The key to a satisfying Yellowstone adventure is staying more than one night, and thanks to the many campgrounds located within the park, plenty of overnight opportunities await your arrival. Split between concessionaire and national park-operated campgrounds, and stretching from Grant Village in the south to Mammoth Hot Springs up north, every campground in Yellowstone lends access to the unique features that define the Yellowstone landscape.
1 Norris Campground
Located in Central Yellowstone, Norris is a national park-operated campground featuring 100 non-electric campsites on a first-come, first-served basis. Many of the campsites at Norris are tucked neatly into the wooded surroundings, and besides a fire-ring and picnic table, each campsite shares access to food-storage boxes, flushing toilets, and potable water. Evening campfire programs are hosted by park rangers throughout the summer and connected by a one-mile trail, the Norris Geyser Basin, which is easy to explore from the campground. Most of the campsites at Norris are best suited for tents and small trailers, while a few can host RVs up to 50 feet in length. Also located within the campground, the Museum of the Park Ranger can provide a quick and entertaining side trip.
2 Madison Campground
Featuring more than 270 non-electric campsites that can accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs, the concessionaire-operated Madison Campground is a popular overnight spot for a variety of reasons. Fly-fishing enthusiasts can't get enough of the campground's nearby namesake, the Madison River, and for those interested in the hydrothermal wonders of Yellowstone, Madison Campground is the closest to the Lower, Upper, and Midway Geyser Basins. Madison Campground is easily accessed from the West Entrance of Yellowstone and the amenity-rich town of West Yellowstone, allowing an easy entry or exit into the park. All overnight users at Madison Campground share access to restroom facilities equipped with running water, and each campsite comes with a fire pit and picnic table. Reservations are available online or by phone and are highly recommended for the summer season.
3 Grant Village Campground
With more than 400 sites available to accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs, the Grant Village Campground is one of the largest campgrounds in Yellowstone. If you ask a concession employee of the campground what makes Grant Village the best in the area, they'll tell you it's the campground with the closest shower facilities, but others would mention the lodgepole pine surroundings and quick access to other attractions. Within a short drive from the campground, popular attractions to check out include the West Thumb Geyser Basin, Yellowstone Lake, and the many amenities of Grant Village.
Grant Village Campground is non-electric, and each campsite is equipped with a picnic table and fire ring and provides close access to flushing toilets and potable water. Grant Village is a very popular campground, with all 430 sites often filling up throughout the season. While not all sites can accommodate RVs, the maximum length allowed for those that do is 40 feet. Located less than a mile from the campground, Grant Village provides a full-service restaurant, gas station, post office, and general store offering groceries and souvenirs.
4 Mammoth Hot Springs Campground
As the northernmost campground in Yellowstone, the Mammoth Hot Springs Campground can provide a memorable introduction or conclusion to your visit. Operated by the National Park Service, Mammoth offers 85 non-electric campsites on a first-come, first-served basis and can accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs. Mammoth Hot Springs Campground lends quick access to the dynamic area for which it's named, including the active Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces and the nearby hot spot in the Gardner River known as the Boiling River. All campsites at Mammoth Hot Springs provide access to flushing toilets and potable water, as well as potential wildlife sightings, including elk and bison. Located not far from the sagebrush steppe that defines the campground, the Mammoth Hot Springs Historic District provides plenty of modern facilities, including the Mammoth Terrace Grill, General Store, and Albright Visitor Center.
5 Canyon Campground
There are many roads to adventure leading out from the Canyon Campground, located in central Yellowstone. Featuring 270 sites that range from hiker/biker only to 40-foot RV-accessible, Canyon Campground is run by a concessionaire and is completely non-electric. The entire campground is found within an aromatic pine setting, and each campsite provides a fire pit and picnic table, as well as quick access to potable water and flushing toilets. In the nearby Canyon Village, visitors can find laundry and shower facilities, a well-equipped general store, and an engaging Visitor Education Center. However, the real appeal of Canyon Campground comes from its central location, and within a short drive in any direction, the best hiking trails in Yellowstone National Park can be found, including the stunning trails surrounding the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.
6 Slough Creek Campground
Operated by the National Park Service, the Slough Creek Campground is in the far northeast corner of Yellowstone and provides the perfect sites for wolf watchers, avid anglers, and a wide variety of wildlife. Despite being a bit off the beaten path, and a fair distance from Yellowstone's central attractions, the 23 non-electric campsites at Slough Creek Campground tend to fill up fast throughout the season.
All campsites at Slough Creek cater best towards tents and small trailers, and each provides a picnic table and fire ring, as well as access to potable water and basic restroom facilities. While it might be a long drive to Old Faithful from the Slough Creek Campground, the adjacent Lamar Valley provides plenty to explore, including often less-crowded conditions. Fishing enthusiasts can be found all along the shore of Slough Creek and throughout the surrounding meadows, and for a great day hike or overnight adventure, the Slough Creek Trailhead can be found at the entrance to the campground.
7 Bridge Bay Campground
Adjacent to Yellowstone Lake and the Bridge Bay Marina in the park's southeast region, Bridge Bay Campground provides more than 400 campsites with proximity to the water. While anglers and boaters often take advantage of this lake-side location, Bridge Bay Campground is also a popular overnight spot for anyone looking to appreciate the scenic surroundings. Split between shaded and exposed sites, Bridge Bay is a non-electric campground that can accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs. Overnight visitors share access to flushing toilets and facilities with dishwashing stations and potable water, as well as evening Ranger Programs at the amphitheater. Just outside the gates of the campground, the Bridge Bay Marina is a central hub for boat rentals, guided tours, and fishing gear.
8 Tower Fall Campground
Located in the northern region of Yellowstone, the Tower Fall Campground sits on a hill overlooking Tower Creek and provides quick access to surrounding attractions, including the Lamar Valley and the Black Canyon of the Yellowstone. Operated by the National Park Service, Tower Fall Campground provides 32 non-electric campsites on a first-come, first-served basis and is best suited for tent campers. All overnight users at Tower Fall share access to potable water and basic restroom facilities, and each campsite comes equipped with a picnic table and fire ring. With proximity to the Tower General Store across the street, overnight users can pick up camping supplies, fresh food, and any souvenirs they may want to take home with them.
9 Lewis Lake Campground
Squarely positioned between Lewis and Shoshone Lake in southern Yellowstone, the Lewis Lake Campground is operated by the National Park Service and features 85 non-electric sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. Located eight miles from the Southern Entrance of the Park, Lewis Lake Campground isn't only a gateway into Yellowstone, but it lends quick access to some of the best hiking trails in Grand Teton National Park. The wooded campsites accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs up to 25 feet in length, and overnight users share access to potable water and vault toilets. With proximity to the Lewis Lake boat launch, the campground makes it easy to explore the nearby water. For those in need of a boating or fishing permit, a ranger station is conveniently located at the entrance to the campground.
Where to Stay near Yellowstone National Park
If the weather isn't cooperating for camping, or if you just want a night under the covers of a comfortable bed, you'll find many hotel options surrounding Yellowstone. The more affordable options at Yellowstone can be found right outside of the park in surrounding towns like West Yellowstone and Gardiner.
- Mid-Range Hotels: If you are looking for overnight accommodations that go beyond the ordinary, the Kelly Inn West Yellowstone provides comfortable king beds, well-furnished rooms, and breakfast included with each stay. Just down the street, the Holiday Inn West Yellowstone comes equipped with large rooms, an indoor pool, and an attached restaurant where kids eat free. Also in West Yellowstone, the Best Western Weston Inn features well-maintained facilities, a friendly staff, and high-speed wireless internet.
- Budget Hotels:: For the best intersection between value and services, hotels like the Super 8 West Yellowstone has a rustic appeal alongside its clean rooms and spacious lobby. Just down the street in West Yellowstone, West Yellowstone's City Center Motel features proximity to the city's many amenities, as well as huge rooms and a helpful staff. Also in West Yellowstone, the Stage Coach Inn is a historic hotel with an elegant lobby and affordable rates for their well-maintained rooms. Up north, the town of Gardiner also offers affordable overnight options, including the Super 8 Gardiner/Yellowstone, which features clean rooms, an inviting indoor pool, and easy access to Yellowstone's North Entrance.
Other Outdoor Adventures near Yellowstone
For even more camping options in Wyoming, our Best Campgrounds in Grand Teton National Park and Best Campgrounds in Wyoming articles point out other great spots to pitch a tent. To fill your days with adventure, our articles on the Best Hiking Trails in Yellowstone, Best Hiking Trails in Grand Teton, and Top-Rated Hiking Trails in Jackson Hole can send you down a scenic path. For even more exciting things to do, our 10 Top-Rated Fly Fishing Destinations in Wyoming and 12 Top-Rated Tourist Attractions in Wyoming can add even more destinations to your Wyoming itinerary.