Travel Trailer Camping in Yellowstone
Yellowstone is America’s first national park, established in 1872, and covers parts of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana. It is famous for its geysers, as well as wildlife and vast wilderness. There are many camping opportunities here.
Xanterra Parks and Resorts runs five campgrounds for the park service inside Yellowstone. These campgrounds–Bridge Bay, Canyon, Grant and Madison–are the only campgrounds where sites may be reserved. Fishing Bridge RV Park also takes reservations, but it is only for “hard sided” campers. These campgrounds offer 1,400 sites. It is advisable to make reservations early as they fill up fast each summer. Xanterra also runs the various restaurants and many other facilities at Yellowstone.
There are six other sites within the park that are on a first come-first served basis. These campgrounds are a bit more remote and represent about 700 more sites. They are usually full by 11 a.m. in the summer time. It is important to check maps because some are difficult to get to, with hairpin turns and rough terrain. People are advised to scout the area to make sure their trailer can get through before proceeding. Some of these sites have water, none has electricity. All the sites have showers and bathrooms.
There are five entrances to Yellowstone. Each of the entrances has a group of campsites within a few miles. These range from modern RV sites with full hookups to primitive camping areas. These sites offer more convenience and comforts, though they also tend to be more crowded and touristy in the summer. These campgrounds can be found on the National Park Service website.
Yellowstone National Park covers three states, is 100 miles wide and nearly 300 miles deep from north to south. It is a good idea to do some homework before you go, to decide where you would like to camp and what you would like to do there. Brochures are available from the National Park Service, as well as information on their web site, to help plan a great trip.
Yellowstone is a natural wonder, and it is raw nature. Be careful of bears and other wild animals. The campsites are gorgeous and park officials have made a great effort to keep them as natural as possible. This means there are few services, few modern amenities, and that camping there is “roughing” it. With a little preparation, it will be a great adventure.
For real hardy souls, there is also backcountry camping available. These are very long trails, and camping is primitive. You must have a permit to go on these trails and to camp in the backcountry.
There are other lodging opportunities inside Yellowstone, such as hotels and cabins. There are also many hotels on the edge of the park.