RV Campgrounds in Yellowstone: The Ultimate Guide

Planning a grand RV trip to Yellowstone National Park? That’s fantastic! It’s definitely one of the most beautiful and special destinations in the country. However, it comes with its own set of challenges too. With an estimated 4 million visitors arriving in Yellowstone each year, RV campsites are hard to find.

RV Campgrounds in Yellowstone: The Ultimate GuideIn our ultimate guide, we’ll help you locate the perfect camping spot for you. The main things you need to know about RV camping in Yellowstone are –

  1. Yellowstone National Park covers an area larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined, so you need a campground that’s close to the attractions you want to see.
  2. Public campgrounds are inexpensive but offer fewer amenities.
  3. Outside the park, more pricey RV parks have full hookups for any size RV.
  4. Your camping needs will determine which campground to choose.

First, we’ll give a full description of all the campgrounds located inside Yellowstone National Park. Then we’ll explore other options for RV camping outside each of the main entrances to Yellowstone.

To start you off, here’s the full list of RV campground options in and around Yellowstone National Park (descriptions and links follow in the body of the post) –

1. RV parks within Yellowstone National Park that require reservations:

  • Canyon Campground
  • Fishing Bridge RV Park
  • Bridge Bay Campground
  • Grant Village Campground
  • Madison Campground

2. RV parks within Yellowstone on a first-come-first-serve basis:

  • Mammoth Campground
  • Indian Creek Campground
  • Norris Campground
  • Pebble Creek Campground
  • Slough Creek Campground
  • Tower Fall Campground
  • Lewis Lake

3. RV parks outside Yellowstone (arranged by location in the body of the post)

  • Rocky Mountain RV Park
  • Yellowstone RV Park
  • Eagle Creek Campground
  • Soda Butte Campground
  • Colter Campground
  • Chief Joseph Campground
  • Threemile Campground
  • Eagle Creek Campground
  • Headwaters Lodge At Flagg Ranch
  • Buffalo Crossing RV Park
  • Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park
  • Wagon Wheel RV Campground
  • Bakers Hole Campground

We have a map for you, showing all of these locations, marked by type –

  1. In blue: RV campgrounds that require reservation within the park
  2. In green: RV campgrounds within the park that don’t require reservations
  3. In orange: RV campgrounds outside the park borders.

Before we go any further, let’s emphasize again that Yellowstone National Park is a very popular destination for campers. If you like having reservations secured ahead of time, you should book your campsite a year in advance. However, if you are more flexible and adventurous, you can probably still find a campsite closer to the time of your trip. You just need the following information about the campgrounds in order to score a first-come, first-served spot.

RV Camping Inside Yellowstone National Park

There are 12 campgrounds that can accommodate RVs located inside Yellowstone National Park. However, all of these campgrounds are very limited when it comes to RV units longer than 40 feet.

If your rig is over 40 feet, there will be very few campsites within the park to meet your needs. Don’t worry, there are many RV parks just outside the entrances to Yellowstone which can accommodate you.

If your RV measures 40 feet or less, then read on to determine which reservable campground may be best for you.

Can I Reserve A Spot Ahead of Time?

5 campgrounds inside the park accept reservations up to a year in advance. All accommodations in Yellowstone National Park are managed by a private concession company and can be booked on the Yellowstone National Park Lodges website. Be prepared to give the length of your RV when you reserve your campsite, as longer sites (between 30-40 feet) are limited.

For the 2019 season, the nightly fee at each of these five campsites ranges from $26.00-$31.00. While there are a few exceptions, most campgrounds are only open from May until September. It’s always wise to check weather conditions which will affect campground openings and closures.

The campgrounds are listed below according to the entrance they are closest to. You may also reference the map at the end of this post which shows in more detail where the various campgrounds are located in relation to other park attractions. Also, note that all of these campgrounds are located between 6,000-8,000 feet (1,800-2,500m) in altitude.

Northern Section – Reservation Required

Canyon Campground

20 miles from the North Yellowstone Entrance on Highway 89, Canyon Campground has 270 sites. This heavily wooded campground is also located 30 miles from the West Yellowstone Entrance. It’s located on the edge of Yellowstone Lake. Its central location makes it a popular campground all season long.

No hookups for RVs are offered at this campground. Bathrooms with flush toilets, water faucets, and a dump station are available. Coin-operated showers and laundry machines are located at a nearby facility. Campsites are not all level, so be sure to bring your leveling blocks.

 

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Eastern Section – Reservation Required

Fishing Bridge RV Park

This campground is 13 miles from the East Entrance of Yellowstone near the mouth of the Yellowstone River. Contrary to its name, fishing is no longer allowed from the bridge at this campground.

Fishing Bridge campground is the only campground that offers full-hookups inside of Yellowstone National Park. The 340 campsites can accommodate RVs up to 40 feet in length with tow vehicles parked alongside the rig.

Because this campground is in bear-habitat only hard-sided RVs are allowed to park here.  No tent camping is allowed. Campers must be prudent and use the food storage containers for bear safety as well (and that’s true across the park).

Due to renovations, Fishing Bridge campground will not be open during the summer of 2019.

 

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Bridge Bay Campground

Located 30 miles from the East Entrance, Bridge Bay Campground is the hub for boating in Yellowstone National Park.  There is a marina with boat rentals and tours available from this location.

There are 432 sites at this campground situated at 7,800 ft in altitude. Sites for group camping, hikers and cyclists can also be found here. There are no hookups, but generators are permitted between 8 am and 8 pm. There is a dump station near the Bridge Bay Marina.

Campground services include public bathrooms, water faucets, and dishwashing sinks. Each campsite has a picnic table and a fire grate. Pay showers and laundry facilities are 3 miles away at Fishing Bridge RV Park.

Southern Section – Reservation Required

 

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Grant Village Campground

11 miles from Yellowstone’s South Entrance, Grant Village Campground has 430 campsites for tents, RVs, and group camping. This campground is found at 7,800 feet in a wooded setting on the southwest edge of Yellowstone Lake. Both back-in and pull-through sites can be reserved for rigs up to 40 feet.

Campsites include one picnic table and one fire grate.  There are no hookups here but there are bathrooms and water faucets near campsites. Coin-operated showers and laundry facilities are located at Camper Services outside the campground.

Western Section – Reservation Required

 

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11 miles into the park from the west entrance, Madison Campground has 278 campsites. It is located at 6,800 ft. next to the Madison River and is popular for fishing.

Madison Campground

There are no RV hookups at Madison, but water is available and there is a dump station at this campground. Each campsite has a picnic table and a fire ring. There are bathrooms (toilets only) and dishwashing sinks. Generators are allowed between 8 am and 8 pm. This campground is not pet-friendly.

This sums up the five campgrounds inside Yellowstone National Park which accept reservations up to a year in advance. Read on if you don’t need to have reservations ahead of time, but still want to try and camp inside the park’s limits.

 

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Can I Get a First-Come, First Served Campsite?

Yes, you can visit Yellowstone during the peak season and get a first-come, first-served campsite. However, read the following information carefully before you make your decision.

Timing

The 7 campgrounds listed below do not accept any reservations.  The old saying that “the early bird gets the worm,” definitely holds true when securing these campsites in Yellowstone. It isn’t unusual for all of the campsites to be claimed by 8 am during the peak summer months. Go early, and plan to wait in line for available spots to be assigned for the day. If you don’t get your first choice, have a back-up campground in your mind.

Location

6 of the 7 first-come, first-served campgrounds are located in the northern parts of the park. Three campgrounds are found near the north entrance, three campgrounds are located closer to the northeast entrance and only one is in the southern half of the park. Know which features and locations you want to visit inside the park, and see if these campgrounds are convenient for your sightseeing.

Amenities

None of the campgrounds in this list have RV hookups.  All do have access to water and have either flush or vault toilets at the campground. Some of them allow generator use.

Cost

The price range at the time of writing this guide was $15-$20 per night for all of the first-come, first-served campgrounds inside the national park.

So, if you think you’re up for the challenge of scoring a first-come-first-serve campsite inside the national park, here are your choices.

Northern Section – No reservation required

Mammoth Campground

This campground is located just five miles past the North Entrance of Yellowstone National Park and the town of Gardiner, MT. Mammoth Campground is located at 6,200 feet and is the only campground in Yellowstone that is open all year round.

RV campsites here can accommodate rigs up to 65 feet in length during the summer months.  The longer campsites are closed during the winter months. Most of the campsites are pull-through. There is no dump station here.

Generator use is allowed at this campground between 8 am and 8 pm.

 

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Indian Creek Campground

8 miles south of Mammoth Hot Springs, you will find Indian Creek Campground. It’s 7,300 ft above sea level and has 70 campsites. This is a quiet and peaceful campground, located away from the main road with great wildlife viewing and scenic views of Electric Peak.

There are no flush toilets at this campground, but vault toilets are available. No generators are allowed.  RV length is limited to 35′ and under. 10 sites can accommodate RVs up to 35 feet.  35 sites can fit RVs up to 30 feet in length. There is no dump station.

 

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Norris Campground

18 miles from the northern entrance, Norris Campground is located near the Norris Geyser Basin, a dynamic thermal area in Yellowstone. The elevation is 7,500 feet. It’s centrally located to other well-known features within the park, making it a popular campground for campers.

There are 100 sites here, 2 of them can handle RVs up to 50 feet in length.  5 more sites can fit an RV up to 30 feet. There are fire pits with grates and a picnic table at each campsite. Generators are allowed from 8am-8pm. There are bathrooms with flush toilets and water is accessible.  There’s no dump station at the Norris Campground.

 

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Northeast Section – No reservation required

This is a less-used entrance for Yellowstone National Park.  There are no major towns at this entrance and the campgrounds closest to this entrance are geared towards the self-sufficient camper who wants a more rugged experience.

With that said, campers here can enjoy fewer crowds and have more contact with nature. Guests often report that the best wildlife viewing is in this section of the park.

Pebble Creek Campground

Those looking for a remote experience away from the crowds of Yellowstone may want to head for Pebble Creek Campground. The campground sits 6,900 feet above sea level and has many hiking opportunities nearby.

There are 27 sites here, with no hookups. Some sites can accommodate longer RVs in pull-through sites. Each campsite has a picnic table and a fire pit.  Generators are not allowed. There are vault toilets only and no dump station is available.

 

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Slough Creek Campground

Slough Creek is located at the end of a two-mile graded dirt road and is definitely not fit for longer RVs. The longest sites here have a maximum length of 30 feet. Tent camping and small RVs only are recommended here.

RVers that choose to stay in one of the 16 sites here should expect primitive conditions: vault toilets only, no hookups or generators allowed, and no dump station available. Picnic tables, fire grates, and food storage are provided. This campground is located at 6,250 feet above sea level.

 

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Tower Fall Campground

Tower Fall Campground, like Slough Creek, is located down a steep, winding road and isn’t recommended for longer rigs. Check the conditions on the road before heading down to this campground. The campground loop has a hairpin curve and cannot accommodate rigs longer than 30 feet.

At 6,600 feet high, Tower Fall Campground has 31 campsites. Only vault toilets are located here, and no generators are allowed. There are picnic tables, fire pits with grates and food storage available for each campsite.

 

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Southern Section – No reservation required

Lewis Lake

Lewis Lake Campground is 8 miles from the South Entrance on the shores of Lewis Lake.  It is 7,800 feet in elevation and has 85 campsites. This campground cannot accommodate rigs longer than 25 feet long. There are no hookups, no generators allowed, and no dump station available.

In the middle of a lodgepole pine forest, Lewis Lake Campground is equipped with picnic tables, fire pits and food storage boxes. You may take your boat out onto Lewis Lake as long as you follow all boating regulations.

 

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RV Camping Outside Yellowstone National Park

For the purposes of this guide, we’re limiting our camping options to within 30 minutes of Yellowstone’s main entrances.  Since Yellowstone is already such a large area to drive around, we assume our readers would prefer to be located closer to a park entrance.

First, we’ll list the private RV campgrounds located near each main entrance to Yellowstone. These campgrounds will be best suited for longer RVs, folks wanting full-hookups, and those willing to pay competitive prices. Then we’ll list camping options outside the park on public lands.

North Entrance/Gardiner, MT – Private RV Campgrounds

During peak season in 2019, the rates for the following RV Parks near the north entrance are between $62-$72 per night.

Rocky Mountain RV Park

This RV Park is located within walking distance of the town of Gardiner, Montana, and four blocks from Yellowstone National Park.

It has electric, sewer and water hookups for RVs of all lengths. Sites are somewhat close together, but the facilities are clean and well-maintained.  Gravel sites are mostly level. There are laundry facilities and a camp store here.

Previous guests have reported that there is a per person charge for extra guests. Call ahead of time to confirm if this fee is still in place if you’re traveling with children or with more than two adults.

 

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Yellowstone RV Park

Yellowstone RV Park is also conveniently located 1 mile from the north entrance to Yellowstone National Park. All of the RV sites back up to the Yellowstone River with nice views. Campsites are tight, with not much space in between sites.

Full hookups for RVs are included at this RV park. Electric hookups are either 30 Amp or 50 Amp. Up to 6 adults & 2 children may camp on one RV site at a time. Guests appreciate the clean bathrooms and laundry rooms available here.

 

North Entrance/Gardiner, MT – US Forest Service Campgrounds

Eagle Creek Campground

This campground maintained by US Forest Service is also close the north entrance to Yellowstone. It is a first-come, first-served only campground, with no reservations taken. It’s recommended to arrive by early afternoon to occupy your campsite, as it fills up during the peak season. The current rate is $7 per night, with a 14-night maximum stay.

RVs over 40 feet long are not recommended at this 16 site campground.  This is a dry-camping set up: no hookups, and no access to water. You must pack out whatever you pack in. Vault toilets are available, and rangers do come around and make sure they are maintained. Eagle Creek Campground is open all year round.

Northeast Entrance/Cooke City, MT – US Forest Service Campgrounds

There are no private RV Parks near this entrance to Yellowstone National Park.

There are 3 campgrounds along Highway 212 that will accommodate RVs from 42′-48′ long. None of these campgrounds offer any hookups for RVs. All three of these campgrounds are first-come, first served only. Plan to arrive by the early afternoon to claim your spot.

Each of these three campgrounds offers food storage boxes, picnic tables, fire grates, trash cans, toilets and access to water.

Depending on the weather, these campgrounds are scheduled to be open from mid-July until the end of September. The nightly fee for all three campgrounds is $8-$9, with a $3 charge for extra vehicles.

Soda Butte Campground

6 miles outside the northeast entrance, this is a 27 site campground.  Hard-sided RVs only are allowed at this campground due to bear activity in this part of the forest.

 

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Colter Campground

1 more mile past Soda Butte Campground is Colter Campground. It has 18 sites and is for hard-sided RVs only.

Chief Joseph Campground

2 miles past Colter on Highway 212, lies Chief Joseph Campground with only six campsites. This campground does not specify that it’s for hard-sided RVs only.

East Entrance – US Forest Service Campgrounds

There are no private RV Parks near this entrance to Yellowstone National Park. The closest RV Parks will be located near the town of Cody, WY which is 50 miles away.

There are two campgrounds for RVs near the East Entrance, both maintained by USFS. Both campgrounds have nightly fees of $15 and a 16-day limit. Due to grizzly bear activity, only hard-sided RVs are allowed in these campgrounds.

Each of these two campgrounds offer vault toilets, water spigots, food storage and trash collection. Individual campsites will also have a picnic table and a fire grate.

Threemile Campground

Located three miles from the entrance, this 20 site campground offers reservations for 8 of its sites on recreation.gov. The sites overlook the North Fork of the Shoshone River. Fishing and hiking are available nearby.

Some campsites are long enough to fit RV combinations up to 60′ long. There are three pull-through sites.

 

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Eagle Creek Campground

Five miles past Threemile Campground is Eagle Creek Campground, with 20 sites overlooking the river. No reservations are accepted.  All campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Arrive by early afternoon in peak season for a campsite.

RVs up to 40 feet can park at this campground.

South Entrance – Private RV Parks

The entrance to the Grand Teton National Park is located 8 miles south of Yellowstone National Park’s south entrance. This space in between the two national parks is referred to as the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Highway. Within this 8 mile stretch, there’s one private RV park and several primitive campgrounds for boondocking off of smaller side roads.

Headwaters Lodge at Flagg Ranch

Two and a half miles from the south entrance to Yellowstone, this campground is located along the Snake River in between both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks.

There are full hookups for RVs at this campground and there is a full-service hotel right across the street. Sites are gravel and mostly level. Laundry, showers and a dump station are available. The nightly rate here is $75.

 

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Boondocking Along Grassy Lake Road

For the adventurous RVer with a smaller rig and rugged tow vehicle, Grassy Lake Road is a  great place to find limited dispersed boondocking sites. This 36-mile gravel road can be narrow and windy at times. Always scout out roads ahead of time to make sure your RV has overhead clearance and space to turn around.

These boondocking campgrounds are free camping sites, and you may even find some with pit toilets, food storage containers or trash cans. Bring in your own water.

In some navigation apps, Grassy Lake Road is also referred to as Ashton-Flagg Ranch Road.

West Entrance/West Yellowstone, MT

The town of West Yellowstone, Montana sits just outside of the western entrance and is a very popular launching point for exploring Yellowstone National Park. There are many options for camping with full-hookups as well as camping on public lands in this area.

Private RV Parks in West Yellowstone

Buffalo Crossing RV Park

This RV park is the closest to the West Entrance of Yellowstone. The campground has 25 gravel sites which are both back-in and pull-through. The longest sites are up to 70 ft. in length.

Full hookups are included, but previous guests warn that the sewer connection is at the very back of the site. Sewer hose extensions may be needed. Bathrooms with showers and laundry facilities are on-site. Peak season rates vary from $58-$65 per night, which includes up to 6 people per site.

 

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Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park

This 222 site campground is located just four blocks from Yellowstone’s west entrance. All of the RV sites include full-hookups and premium sites can accommodate the longest rigs. Both pull-through and back-in sites are available. Sites are level and spacious.

Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park boasts modern bathhouses, hot showers, complimentary hot beverages in the morning, and a camp store. There is a playground for children and a dog run area.

In 2019, the nightly rate is $76-90 per night for up to 8 people. Longer sites are considered premium, and cost more than shorter, back-in spots.

 

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Wagon Wheel RV Campground

This is a 32-site RV Park with full-hookups and modern amenities for RVers.  Cabin rentals are also available here. The location is close to the West Entrance and convenient for exploring Yellowstone National Park.

RV sites here are gravel surface, and there are some trees for shade. Laundry and bathhouses are kept clean. Guests report that this is an older facility but maintained with level sites. There is laundry and a game room for guests to use.

Nightly rate for 2019 starts at $69 for 2 people occupancy. Longer sites can cost up to $82 for two people. Each extra person adds $5 onto the nightly fee.

 

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US Forest Service Campgrounds near West Yellowstone

Bakers Hole Campground

This public campground is located 3 miles from Yellowstone’s west entrance. There are 73 campsites here. 33 of the sites here have an electric hookup. It is completely a first-come, first served campground. Rigs up to 70 feet can fit on a campsite.

The campsites are located along the Madison River and fishing is allowed here. There are picnic tables, fire grates, water spigots and toilets available at the campground. Nightly rates for non-electric sites are $16. Electric sites are $23 per night. This is a popular campsite, so plan to arrive by early afternoon to grab a spot here.

 

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And that wraps up our ultimate guide!  We hope we provided the information you need to choose the best campground for your Yellowstone RV vacation.

Before we leave, a couple of posts you might find interesting. The first is about how to plan an RV road trip and the second one deals with the pros and cons of an RV vacation (just in case you haven’t made up your mind yet). And if you don’t own your own rig, you’ll probably find the post about renting an RV useful too.

Read more about camping here –

Are RV Campgrounds Safe?

What Does “Full Hookups” Mean in an RV Park?

How long does it take to set up a travel trailer in the campground?

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