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Great Family Campgrounds in Yellowstone

From easy to roughing it, here are three top places to pitch it -- or park it

flickr/evasight
The view down to the river from Tower Falls Campground

In 1872, Yellowstone National Park was established to preserve the majority of the world’s geysers, as well as the beautiful landscape and species ranging from grizzly bears to bison. Today, more than 2.5 million visitors come to Yellowstone each summer to experience the pristine reserve that spans parts of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.

One of the best ways to experience Yellowstone is at one of the 12 campgrounds located at various spots within the park. They each have something to offer, from nearby fishing or hiking to close proximity to a general store. In each of the following campgrounds, make sure to check out the ranger programs offered from mid-July to early September.

We’ve chosen three campgrounds below, but you can check out the entire list on the Yellowstone National Park website. 

Tower Fall Campground
Amenities: Nearby general store; restaurant and showers; potable water via hand pumps; vault toilets
Generators: Not allowed
Open: Mid May-September
Reservations: First come, first serve
Cost: $12/night

For those who want to rough it—at least as far as car camping goes—there’s Tower Fall. Located in the Northeast section of the park in a mixed pine forest, this campground is very popular with visitors. It’s close to Mammoth, the Lamar Valley and—of course—Tower Falls itself. If you arrive early, you may be able to grab one of the campsites that overlook the river.

Bridge Bay Campground
Amenities: Group sites; nearby pay showers and coin laundry; close to marina and store; flush toilets; dishwashing stations
Generators: OK 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Open: May-mid-September
Reservations: Call for availability
Cost: $20.50/night

If you feel most comfortable in a bustling campground, Bridge Bay is a good option. With more than 400 regular sites available, there will be plenty of fellow campers to meet.

Bridge Bay is in a wide-open setting with views of Yellowstone Lake below. It’s also close to the lake’s fishing pier and hiking trails. For a campsite with fewer trees, stick to the lower loops. If you want a forested spot, head to the upper area.

Mammoth Campground
Amenities: Handicap accessible sites; tent pads; flush toilets; potable water; nearby general store, restaurant, gift shop and showers at the Mammoth Hot Springs area
Generators: OK 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
Open: Year round
Reservations: First come, first served
Cost: $14/night

Just five miles from north entrance of Yellowstone is Mammoth Campground, a great starting point for the hot springs, fishing in the Gardner River and hiking trails.

With 85 campsites, this area is a nice in-between for people who want a quieter campsite, but more access to amenities. Close to Gardiner, Montana, it’s also easy to restock supplies.

 

 

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