Yellowstone National Park! That has to be said with exclamation points. This first-ever national park is truly a nature lovers’ and sports enthusiasts’ playground.
What is in store for you at the park? Let us name a few:
- Its over 2 million acres is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including eagles, elks, moose, the gray wolf and the grizzly bear. It is also home to a dazzling assortment of exotic plants.
- It has over 300 geysers, the most famous of which is Old Faithful.
- It houses the largest caldera in the world, as well as a humongous petrified forests and close to 300 waterfalls
- You can soak in the hot water springs, as well as swimming holes dotting the park. There are also dazzling thermal areas, steam vents and boiling hot mud pots.
The park’s rugged natural beauty will truly enchant and a Yellowstone Family vacation will be simply unforgettable. If you want to have a more “authentic” experience, you can also try camping out in the woods of the park. Yellowstone National Park lodging includes 12 campgrounds with various amenities. Yes, camping in Yellowstone National Park is an experience like no other. You get to see another side of the park when you spend the night under the stars, with only the sound of the crickets and the occasional cry of the wolf interrupting the quiet nights.
Here is a low-down of 12 campground that comprise Yellowstone park lodging:
- Bridge Bay Campground: This is near Yellowstone Lake, about 30 miles from the park’s East Entrance and has 425 campsites. RV hook-ups are also available. The nearest attractions include Mud Volcano, the Natural Bridge and Sulphur Cauldron. Amenities include flush toilets. Laundry and showers are at nearby Lake Village.
- Canyon Campground: This is near the center of the park and near the park’s Grand Canyon, bringing you closer to the park’s most famous attractions. Nearby attractions include Artist Point, Lookout Point, Uncle Tom’s Trail, Grand View and Inspiration Point. Canyon Campground also has 250 sites and some RV spaces. You need to make advanced reservations with this campground. Amenities include flush toilet, a dump station, generators showers and laundry nearby.
- Fishing Bridge RV Park: This has 325 RV hook-ups, most of which have water, sewer and electricity. This is strictly an RV campground. This is located at the park’s northern tip, some 24 miles away from the entrance. Amenities include a general store, visitor center, flush toilets, showers, laundry and a dump station. Fishing Bridge is close to thermal attractions and areas for water sports.
- Grant Village Campground: This campground is also near Yellowstone Lake and provides easy access to attractions such as Old Faithful and the thermal features (mud pots, hot springs, etc.) at East Thumb Geyser Basin. Amenities include a visitor center flush toilets, showers and laundry, some RV sites and a dump station.
- Indian Creek Campground: Near Mammoth Hot Springs, this is a more secluded spot. You can hitch your tent on campsites that are on a first-come, first served basis. This site is great for those who are looking forward to fishing and hiking. Amenities include vault toilets with showers 8 miles away. Pull-through RVs are also allowed.
- Lewis Lake Campground: Another more secluded area, this is great for those who want to do some boating and fishing, as this is in Lewis Lake. Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis although it is easier to get a spot here than in the other campgrounds. Amenities include vault toilets with laundry and showers in Grant Village.
- Madison Campground: You need to make advanced reservations for this since this is a popular choice among campers, especially those who love fishing and hiking. This is near Firehole Falls, and a short drive towards Fountain Paint Pots and Lower Geyser Basin. It is 14 miles of the West Entrance and has 250 sites. You can drop by the geyser basins nearby and enjoy some fishing in Madison River. Amenities include flush toilets and dump station, with showers around 13 miles away.
- Mammoth Hot Springs Campground: For RVs and campers. This is open the whole year through and is close to Fort Yellowstone, Albright Visitor Center, Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces, as well as the park’s geothermal attractions. The 85 sites are available on a first-come, first served basis. Amenities include flush toilets but no shower or laundry.
- Norris Campground: Pitch your tent at any of its 100 sites, which may be had on a first-come, first-served basis. This campground boasts of pretty views of the river and the woods. It is also near Norris Geyser Basin, where you will often find some bison and other wildlife roaming at leisure. Amenities include flush toilets but no shower or laundry close by. There are also 7 RV sites.
- Pebble Creek Campground: This only has 30 sites available on a first-come, first-served basis. Great for avid campers and perfect for fishing, biking and hiking. This is located at the park’s northeast corner. Amenities include vault toilet but no laundry or showers nearby.
- Slough Creek Campground: A beautifully wooded campsite with only 29 slots up for grabs on a first-come, first served basis. This is one great way to rough it out in terms of Yellowstone Park camping. Nearby attractions include the Petrified Tree, Tower Falls and the Yellowstone Association Institute. Amenities include vault toilets, with no laundry or showers on site.
- Tower Falls Campground: This has 32 sites (first-come, first-served) that has you close to the Tower Falls, the Petrified Tree and other attractions in the Tower-Roosevelt area. Amenities include vault toilets, with showers two miles away.
Please note that although there are plenty of camping sites in Yellowstone National Park, these may be hard to come by during the peak months of summer. There are camping areas that are on a first-come, first-served basis (for Indian Creek, Lewis Lake, Mammoth, Norris, Pebble Creek, Slough Creek, and Tower Fall) while there are some camping areas that can be reserved. However, due to the popularity of the park, you may be surprised that reservations come as early as 6 or even 12 months!
Now, if camping is not the thing for you or there are no available sites for you and your family, you can also look at other Yellowstone National Park accommodations. One excellent option would be Yellowstone Holiday, which has RV sites and cabins just a few miles off of the park. You should also remember that camping in the picnic areas, in the car or in any other area that is not part of the campgrounds is strictly prohibited.
Cabins in Yellowstone Holiday provide you with rusty and cozy accommodations that are part of the Yellowstone experience even as it has the amenities of home – a comfortable bed and private bathrooms. You can also do some cooking and save on meal costs. Yellowstone Holiday has log cabins at Hebgen Lake and you can enjoy boating and fishing.