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

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

The pleasures of camping have never sounded more alluring: pristine air, nighttime skies dotted with millions of stars, and a soothing cacophony of nature sounds. With all that, plus lakes, streams, active geysers, and fragrant conifer trees — all spread 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 National Park camping is a must-do for outdoorsy types and adventure lovers, but deciding between the 12 different campgrounds, which comprise more than 2,000 campsites scattered throughout the park (not including the 300-plus backcountry options along the nearly 1,000 miles of trails), can be a task in itself.

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Yellowstone National Park Lodges takes reservations for five of the campgrounds, but the other seven are first-come, first-served, and nightly fees vary. Services available at each campground also differ, especially depending on size. For example, some of the larger options have an amphitheater to host an evening ranger program.

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

With that in mind, here are our top picks for Yellowstone National Park campgrounds so you can plan the camping trip that's right for you.

Mammoth Campground

Located north of Mammoth Hot Springs, at an elevation of 6,200 feet, Mammoth Campground is the only campground in Yellowstone that's open year-round (all others open and close seasonally). It's about five miles south of the park's north entrance in Gardiner, Montana, so its 85 total sites are relatively easy to access. Campers love to visit the high sagebrush steppe habitat, complete with juniper and Douglas fir trees, as well as take advantage of the campground's proximity to fishing, hiking, hot springs, and cell phone reception. In addition, it's not uncommon to spot wildlife, including elk and bison, roaming nearby.

Madison Campground

Madison Campground is one of Yellowstone's five reservable campgrounds — and due to its central location, nearby rivers, and long season, it's also one of its most popular. Madison Campground, which sits at an elevation of 6,800 feet, is 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. Madison Campground is home to 278 total sites; seasonal amenities include potable water, flush toilets, firewood and ice for sale, an on-site staff member or volunteer host, food storage lockers, trash and recycling collection services, and more. Showers, cell service, and Wi-Fi, however, are unavailable, so expect a fully immersive Yellowstone camping experience.

Lewis Lake Campground

There are very few amenities available at Lewis Lake Campground, but if you want to get off the beaten path and enjoy a sojourn to remote lakeside bliss, then this is the 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 85 total sites at Lewis Lake Campground and access is reservable.

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. There's no internet connectivity available, but there are seasonal amenities like an amphitheater, laundry facilities, hot showers, flush toilets, on-site staff members, and more. It's also situated near the southern shore of Yellowstone Lake.

Fishing Bridge RV Park

Because grizzly bears are frequent visitors to the area, which 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 campground in Yellowstone to offer water, sewer, and electrical hookups for RVs, and it has a lot of amenities available, including a seasonal camp store, laundry facilities, hot showers, and more.

Baker's Hole Campground

You don't necessarily have to sleep within the park confines to enjoy Yellowstone National Park camping. Take Baker's Hole Campground, for instance — it's located along the Madison River, about three miles from the west entrance of Yellowstone. There are 73 first-come, first-served seasonal campsites, and you can come here to enjoy scenic views and fishing in the river. Best of all, you won't have to battle the Yellowstone camping crowds.

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