The 6 Best Yellowstone National Park Campgrounds for a Night in the Great Outdoors

There’s a reason why Yellowstone camping tops many a nature lover’s travel wish list.

The pleasures of camping — pristine air, nighttime skies dotted with millions of stars, and a soothing cacophony of nature sounds — have never sounded more alluring. With all that, plus lakes, streams, active geysers, and fragrant conifer trees all spread out in a vast wilderness many miles from civilization, it's easy to see why Yellowstone National Park is one of the world's best places to camp.

Yellowstone camping is a must-do for outdoorsy types and adventure lovers, but deciding between 12 different campgrounds, which comprise more than 2,000 campsites scattered throughout the national park, can be a task in itself — and that's not even counting the 300-plus backcountry options located along the nearly 1,000 miles of trails.

Yellowstone National Park Lodges takes reservations for five of the campgrounds (Canyon, Bridge Bay, Fishing Bridge RV Park, Grant Village, and Madison), while the other seven (Indian Creek, Lewis Lake, Mammoth, Norris, Pebble Creek, Slough Creek, and Tower Fall) can be booked through Nightly prices vary, as do the services available at each campground, depending on size — some of the larger options, for example, have an amphitheater that hosts evening ranger programs.

With that in mind, here are our top picks for the best places to go camping in Yellowstone National Park so you can plan a trip that's right for you. Need a quicker cure for cabin fever? Tune in to the Yellowstone National Park webcams for a taste of the great outdoors, no travel planning required.

An RV camper drives past a sign showing all but one campground is open at the south entrance to Yellowstone National Park on June 15, 2020 outside Jackson Wyoming.

George Frey / Getty Images

Mammoth Campground

Located to the north of Mammoth Hot Springs at an elevation of 6,200 feet, Mammoth Campground is the only Yellowstone camping option that's open year-round (all the others open and close seasonally). Since it's only about five miles south of the park's north entrance in Gardiner, Montana, its 85 sites are relatively easy to access. Due to extensive flood damage in June 2022, the campground is currently closed. Other features in the Mammoth area, like the nearby lodge and hotel, have begun reopening, though, so the campground may soon follow.

Campers love to visit the high sagebrush steppe habitat, complete with juniper and Douglas fir trees, and take advantage of the campground's proximity to fishing, hiking, hot springs, and cell phone reception. It's also not uncommon to spot wildlife, including elk and bison, roaming nearby.

Madison Campground

Due to its central location, nearby rivers, and long season (typically from early May to mid-October), Madison Campground is one of Yellowstone's most popular reservable campgrounds. Situated at an elevation of 6,800 feet, it's located around 16 miles north of Old Faithful and 14 miles east of West Yellowstone. Campers here love the chance to spot grazing bison and meadows blooming with wildflowers in the spring and summer, as well as bull elk bugling in the fall.

The Madison Campground is home to 276 total sites, and seasonal amenities include potable water, flush toilets, firewood and ice for sale, an on-site staff member or volunteer host, food storage lockers, and trash and recycling collection services, among other features. Showers, cell service, and Wi-Fi, however, are unavailable, so you should expect to have a fully immersive Yellowstone camping experience.

Lewis Lake Campground

While there are very few amenities available at Lewis Lake Campground, if you want to get off the beaten path and enjoy a sojourn to remote lakeside bliss, this is the ideal Yellowstone camping spot for you.

The campground is perched at an elevation of 7,800 feet, just a short walk from the southeast shore of Lewis Lake and about eight miles from Yellowstone's south entrance. There are 84 total sites at Lewis Lake Campground and access is reservable, typically between mid-June and mid-October through

Grant Village Campground

With 430 total sites, Grant Village Campground is one of the largest and most populous places to camp in Yellowstone National Park. It's located within Grant Village, at 7,800 feet, offering campers access to nearby stores as well as a restaurant, gas station, visitor center, and boat ramp.

While there is no internet connectivity available, there are seasonal amenities such as an amphitheater, laundry facilities, hot showers, flush toilets, and on-site staff members. It's also situated near the southern shore of Yellowstone Lake, and open from early June to mid-September.

Fishing Bridge RV Park

Because grizzly bears are frequent visitors to the area — which, in this case, is near Yellowstone River — Fishing Bridge RV Park is an RV-only campground; there's no soft-sided tent camping allowed. As such, it's also the only Yellowstone camping spot to offer water, sewer, and electrical hookups for RVs, and has a lot of amenities available, including a seasonal camp store, laundry facilities, and hot showers. Its season typically runs from mid-May to early October.

Baker's Hole Campground

You don't necessarily have to sleep within the national park's confines to enjoy Yellowstone camping. Take Baker's Hole Campground, for instance, located along the Madison River, about three miles from the park's west entrance.

While there is no reservation system in place, the campground is usually open from early May to late September. You'll find 73 first-come, first-served seasonal campsites, as well as amenities like toilets, water, tables, fire grates, and a fishing platform. Come to enjoy scenic views and fishing in the river — best of all, you won't have to battle the usual Yellowstone camping crowds.

Was this page helpful?
Related Articles