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9 Top-Rated Campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park

Written by Brad Lane
Jun 8, 2020

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Established in 1872, Yellowstone National Park stands proudly as the nation's first national park. Encompassing over two million acres, Yellowstone is large enough to support its own diverse ecosystem and wide array of dramatic landscapes.

The most notable of these landscapes are the hydrothermal features of Yellowstone, including hot springs, geysers, and fumaroles. Few other places in the world have such a dense concentration of these hot water attractions than Yellowstone. With so much to see and do throughout this massive national park, camping in Yellowstone is the best way experience it all.

Taking more than two hours to just drive from the South Entrance to North Entrance, Yellowstone can be an overwhelming experience. The key to a satisfying Yellowstone adventure is staying more than one night, which is made easier with several campgrounds in Yellowstone.

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 bucket-list adventures.

Find the best place to pitch your tent with our list of the top campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park.

See also: Where to Stay near Yellowstone National Park

Note: Some businesses may be temporarily closed due to recent global health and safety issues.

1. Norris Campground

Norris Geyser Basin
Norris Geyser Basin

Located in Central Yellowstone, Norris Campground 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 amid lodgepole pine surroundings, where the park's native bison are occasionally known to roam. Alongside a fire-ring and picnic table, each campsite shares access to food-storage boxes, flushing toilets, and potable water.

Park Rangers host evening campfire programs throughout the summer at the Norris Campground. The fuming Norris Geyser Basin is easy to access from the campground with a designated one-mile hiking trail. 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 provides a quick and entertaining side trip.

Official site: https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/norrishscg.htm

2. Madison Campground

The Fountain Paint Pots of Lower Geyser Basin near Madison Campground
The Fountain Paint Pots of Lower Geyser Basin near Madison Campground | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Featuring more than 270 non-electric campsites that 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, with the best fishing conditions in the spring and fall. For those interested in the hydrothermal wonders of Yellowstone, Madison Campground is the closest to the Lower, Upper, and Midway Geyser Basins of the park.

Madison Campground is closest to the West Entrance of Yellowstone, as well as the the amenity-rich town of West Yellowstone, which is a great place to stock up on camping supplies. 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 up to a year in advance and are highly recommended for the summer season.

Official site: https://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/lodgings/campground/madison-campground/

3. Grant Village Campground

The West Thumb Geyser Basin near the Grant Village Campground
The West Thumb Geyser Basin near the Grant Village Campground | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

The Grant Village Campground is one of the largest campgrounds in Yellowstone, with more than 400 sites available to accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs. It's regarded by longtime visitors as the best campground in Yellowstone thanks to being the campground closest to shower facilities.

Others opt for Grant Village Campground for its lodgepole pine surroundings and quick access to other park 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 with 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. The campground is operated by a concessionaire and allows reservations one year in advance.

While not all sites can accommodate RVs at Grant Village Campground, 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. Guided hikes by park rangers take place at the nearby West Thumb Geyser Basin throughout the summer.

Official site: https://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/lodgings/campground/grant-village-campground/

4. Mammoth Hot Springs Campground

Mammoth Hot Springs, the namesake attraction of Mammoth Springs Campground
Mammoth Hot Springs, the namesake attraction of Mammoth Springs Campground | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

As the northernmost campground in Yellowstone, Mammoth Hot Springs Campground is also the only campground that is open year-round. 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 Mammoth Hot Springs itself, where unique travertine terraces catch the eye. Other attractions nearby include the hot spot in the Gardner River known as the Boiling River, which offers one of the only spots in the park to soak near a hydrothermal feature.

All campsites at Mammoth Hot Springs are non-electric and provide access to flushing toilets and potable water. Wildlife sightings, including elk and bison, are common in the campground.

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.

Official site: https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/mammothhscg.htm

5. Canyon Campground

View over the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River near the Canyon Campground
View over the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River near the 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.

The real appeal of Canyon Campground, however, comes from its central location. Many of the best hiking trails in Yellowstone are accessible within a short drive from the campground, including the stunning Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone.

Official site: https://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/lodgings/campground/canyon-campground/

6. Slough Creek Campground

Bison near the Slough Creek Campground
Bison near the Slough Creek Campground | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Operated by the National Park Service, the Slough Creek Campground is in the far northeast corner of Yellowstone. This more remote area provides the perfect sites for wolf watchers, avid anglers, and a wide variety of wildlife enthusiasts.

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 summer season.

All campsites at Slough Creek cater best to tents and small trailers. Each site 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 with often less-crowded conditions.

Fishing enthusiasts are often found along the shore of Slough Creek and throughout the surrounding meadows. For a great day hike or overnight adventure, the Slough Creek Trailhead can be found at the entrance to the campground.

The night is noticeably quieter at Slough Creek compared to the bigger campgrounds in the park, as well as darker, which enables stunning stargazing and glimpses of the milky way.

Official site: https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/sloughcreekcg.htm

7. Bridge Bay Campground

Bridge Bay Campground
Bridge Bay Campground | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

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 lakeside location, Bridge Bay Campground is also a popular overnight spot for anyone looking to explore this region of the park.

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. Evening Ranger Programs at the campground appeal to all members of the family.

Just outside the gates of the campground, the Bridge Bay Marina is a central hub for boat rentals, guided tours, and fishing gear.

All 432 sites at Bridge Bay Marina can be reserved up to one year in advance, and the campground is known to routinely fill up throughout the summer.

Official site: https://www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/lodgings/campground/bridge-bay-campground/

8. Tower Fall Campground

Tower Fall Campground
Tower Fall Campground | Photo Copyright: Brad Lane

Located in the northern region of Yellowstone, the Tower Fall Campground sits on a scenic hill overlooking Tower Creek. The campground 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 31 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.

Near the campground, a six-mile trail that leads to the summit of Mount Washburn entices day hikers with a fun trek.

Official Site: https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/towerfallcg.htm

9. Lewis Lake Campground

Lewis Lake Campground
Lewis Lake Campground

This slightly less busy campground is 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 also lends quick access to some of the best hiking trails in Grand Teton National Park.

The wooded campsites at Lewis Lake accommodate tents, trailers, and RVs up to 25 feet in length. 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.

Official site: https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/lewislakecg.htm

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, 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.

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