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Camping In Yellowstone

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Camping In Yellowstone

Postby InsaneBoost » Wed Jul 23, 2014 8:17 pm

As some of you may know, I recently moved to California and have been making up for all the lack of camping my family had no desire to do as a child.

With that said the girlfriend and I have a vacation planned for six days coming up, and while we were thinking of doing Yosemite Creek, we kind of want to try something new. We've already camped there this year, we were going to do the full moon at Mono Lake, but we also did that too, so it seems to be not worth it.

We're thinking about heading out to Yellowstone, but know it's similar to Yosemite as far as camping goes during peak time. We're currently looking at Slough Creek Campground and Lewis Lake Campground as they appear to be the ones that most people don't go to (I assume like Yosemite Creek) and are first come first serve.

Does anyone have suggestions out there? I've also heard outside the park there are usually a lot of open campsites in case the ones inside fill up.

It is a lengthy drive for us, which isn't a problem, just want to know any suggestions anyone might have.



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Re: Camping In Yellowstone

Postby dave54 » Wed Jul 23, 2014 9:22 pm

I am not familiar with those two campgrounds so I have only very general knowledge.

Some campgrounds are restricted to hard sided vehicles, no tents. So you must either use an RV or sleep and store food in your car. I believe which campgrounds have the restriction varies from year to year depending on the bear problem in the area. The Park website should have the current list of camping restrictions.

Most national forest land is open to dispersed camping unless specifically prohibited, compared to NPS which is no dispersed camping unless specifically allowed. Check out the dispersed camping rules on each NF website. Most of the more popular/accessible NF campgrounds are now under a reservation system. The remote NF campgrounds (way up a dirt road far from any town or attraction) may be first come first serve, no reservations. Sometimes even the reservation campgrounds will have a few sites left open for first come.



One of my bucket list trips is bicycling Yellowstone in the Spring. There is a short period of time each year -- a few weeks-- when the roads are plowed and free of snow, but not yet open to public automobiles. You can bicycle/bikepack many of the park roads during this time and have the road all to yourself -- no sucking diesel fumes from tourist buses, fighting hordes of crowds, pushed off the shoulder by passing cars, etc. Plus the wildlife tend to be real active after just emerging from a long winter and are not yet scared off into the backcountry by the crowds. Downside -- most fishing is not yet open, and the lodges and stores are not yet open. Small price to pay. I believe only a few campgrounds are open during the Spring bicycle only season.

My wife and I bicycled the Going-to-the-Sun Road in Glacier a few years ago the last weekend before it opened and it was great -- the entire road to ourselves with only a couple Park Service vehicles and other bicyclists encountered the entire trip.

I can make it to West Yellowstone from my house in one day -- but it is a long hard day's drive and we are wiped out when we get there.
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Re: Camping In Yellowstone

Postby InsaneBoost » Thu Jul 24, 2014 9:58 am

Thanks for that information.

I'll check into the tent/rv thing as well as the dispersed camping.
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Re: Camping In Yellowstone

Postby LMBSGV » Thu Jul 24, 2014 4:07 pm

My wife and I went to Yellowstone last summer. We camped at Bridge Bay (you need a reservation and should request a site in E, F, G, or H loop so you aren't stuck in the open with RVs). We only stayed at Bridge Bay one night so we could see sunset and sunrise on Yellowstone Lake, which was spectacular. We also stayed at Norris, which is great campground and centrally located. However, you need to arrive by 8:00 or 9:00 on a weekday morning to get a site. Look at the date numbers on the posts at the end of each site.

Slough Creek was really nice and the location near Lamar Valley puts one in one of the best wildlife areas in the world. We didn't stay there but we wish we had instead of Roosevelt Lodge. Another one you might check out is Indian Creek. Also, it's not that far out of Yellowstone to stay at Lizard Creek on Jackson Lake in the Tetons. It's a great campground and didn't fill either night we were there.

If you want to wade through my trip report, it's here:

http://www.sonic.net/~words/Images/Trip ... G-2013.pdf
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