Camping Near Yellowstone: 12 Top-Rated Nearby Campgrounds
K.C. was a featured writer for Yahoo! Travel before joining trips to discover in 2013. She is the author of Best Travel Guide for First Time Visitors to Ireland, an Amazon bestseller every year between 2013 and 2016. She has been a featured expert on Newsweek, Travel + Leisure, Travelocity, among others.
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Many people who start making plans to visit Yellowstone National Park end up disappointed when finding all campgrounds within its boundaries are sold out. But that doesn’t mean you can’t go, in fact, even when there is availability, campgrounds outside the park are usually much less crowded and offer more of a “wilderness” experience the farther away you go. There are plenty with hook-ups for RVs and trailers too, complete with facilities like showers and laundry rooms. Whatever you’re looking for, you’re sure to find the right site for your trip on this list.
Close to Yellowstone’s north entrance nestled within the Custer Gallatin National Forest in a quiet spot on top of a hill, Eagle Creek is a first-come, first-serve campground with 16 sites, all of which include fire rings and picnic tables, while most have grassy areas. You’ll enjoy nearly 360-degree views of the mountains in a peaceful place where you don’t have to give up cell reception, and you’ll be in one of the best national forests for hiking. About half fit larger rigs, but the access road is steep and not suitable for vehicles longer than 48 feet. The other half includes sites for small RVs, trailers, and tents. As you might imagine, it fills quickly, usually by mid-afternoon from late May through around mid-September.
Just 7.5 miles from the west entrance of the park, this KOA campground offers beautiful views of the surrounding mountains and plenty of space in between the sites. It’s close enough to town and the park, yet far enough from the crowds and to feel like you’re actually camping in the great outdoors. The property includes ponds and grand old-growth lodgepole pine trees along with some of the longest and widest pull-thru RV sites in the area. There are peaceful tent sites and camping cabins which sit among aspen and willow trees along the banks of Denny Creek. Wildlife watching is abundant with creatures small and large, including elk, moose, and bison. You’ll also find four-wheel and hiking trails that lead right from the campground into Gallatin National Forest. There are many amenities too, including Wi-Fi, cable TV, and a snack bar.
Enjoy beautiful grounds with RV sites and cabins that have grassy areas and trees on each one. Some sites back to the Gallatin National Forest, providing even more beautiful views. Full hook-ups with 30-50 amp electric service, water, sewer, cable TV and Wi-Fi are all included, with premium pull-through sites accommodating even the largest RVs. There are restrooms with showers, laundry facilities, and a convenience store on the property as well. It’s just a mile from the park’s west entrance, with dining, shopping and multiple attractions within easy walking distance. That includes the Grizzly and Wolf Discovery Center, IMAX Theatre, Museum and Historic Center, and a thrilling aerial ropes adventure course.
Wapiti Campground is located along the Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway about 30 miles west of Cody and 22 miles east of the east entrance to the park. It hosts 41 campsites on the North Fork of the Shoshone River, some with units that include electricity. It’s next to the historic Wapiti Ranger Station and a trailhead from the campground leads into the Washakie Wilderness. Throughout the surrounding area you’ll have a long list of outdoor recreational opportunities at your disposal, including hiking, fishing, and wildlife viewing. The North Fork of the Shoshone River is a popular fly-fishing spot for both Yellowstone cutthroat and rainbow trout. Less than a quarter-mile east, the Wapiti Wayside offers interpretive information on grizzly bears and other local wildlife.
Just three miles from the east entrance of the park and 50 miles west of Cody, Wyoming, Threemile Campground hosts 21 seasonal sites (July through September) along the North Fork of the Shoshone River. Each site is equipped with a table, campfire ring and food storage locker, and some overlook the river. Tucked between the Washakie and Absaroka Wilderness areas, there is no cell service here but it’s the perfect spot to get away from it all without your electronic gadgets. Opportunities for outstanding trout fishing, hiking, and wildlife watching abound. Deer, elk, bison, moose, fox, coyotes and bald eagles are often spotted, and as there is grizzly bear activity in the area, no tents or pop-up campers are allowed.
The views are stunning, but be aware that due to the bear activity, Soda Butte Campground is only for hard-sided camp trailers and RVs. It’s open from late June through Labor Day, depending on the weather, located in Beartooth Country just a few miles from the park. There are 27 sites, all with tables, fire grates, and food boxes, available on a first-come, first-served basis. The largest site is 22′ X 60′ and stays are limited to 16 days. It fills quickly, especially on weekends and holidays so you’ll want to arrive in the early afternoon to grab a space. There are handicapped vault toilets available and fishing can be enjoyed nearby.
Located at the entrance to Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner, Rocky Mountain RV Camp is surrounded by mountains, with the Yellowstone and Gardner Rivers flowing into the canyon just below, providing impressive views. If you’re an RVer looking for a scenic campground with all the amenities, this is the place for you. There are 37 Deluxe and 29 Standard RV sites along with nine cabins. Sites are spacious and there are lots of amenities, including a dog park, showers, laundry facilities, Wi-Fi, and mini-golf. Plus, elk and bison frequently pass through, a big reward for wildlife enthusiasts.
Located on Hebgen Lake about eight miles west of Yellowstone, this campground delivers when it comes to beautiful scenery, away from the crowds yet close enough to the park. There are a variety of sites, some with electric, and all include a fire ring, picnic table, and bear box. The maximum trailer length is 45 feet. If you’re lucky you might even find something on the waterfront. You’ll find clean toilets with toilet paper supplied, firewood for sale, drinking water, and boating and fishing access too.
North Fork Campground is located in Buffalo Bill State Park, 40 miles east of Yellowstone and 10 miles west of Cody, providing access to Buffalo Bill Reservoir and Cody Country, rooted in the rich lore of the Wild West. Open from May through September, it includes 60 RV and tent campsites, all of which are reservable, plus a group camp area, ideal for campers who want to relax and enjoy more solitude. Those who want to enjoy shore fishing will appreciate it too. The campground has a playground, shower facility with flush toilets, abundant wildlife, and a large riparian area.
Beaver Creek Campground is located in the Gallatin National Forest along the Madison River about 30 minutes from the west entrance of Yellowstone National Park and just a few miles from Hebgen Lake. It offers serene views that can be enjoyed from 65 campsites with both tent and RV sites available with a maximum length of 56 feet. All come with picnic tables, fire pits and bear boxes. You’ll have access to drinking water and handicap accessible restrooms, while trails from the campground lead right to the lake.
If you’re looking to immerse yourself in the wilderness of Beartooth country and then take a drive on the famously scenic Beartooth Highway into Yellowstone via the Cooke City-Silvergate entrance, you might want to consider Cascade Campground. Located 11 miles west of Red Lodge, it’s about a 70 mile drive from the park in an area popular for hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, and fishing. Wildlife viewing is outstanding with everything from mule deer and elk to bobcats, mountain lions, and bears. It’s only open in the summer, a time when you’ll see an abundance of wildflowers too. There are 30 sites for tents, trailers, and RVs, with hook-ups available.
Located at the edge of West Yellowstone close to the park, Fox Den Yellowstone offers a unique stay with a wide variety of options. There are RV sites with full or partial hook-ups, pull-through and back-up sites for trailers, tent sites, and fully furnished glamping tents that come complete with a queen-size bed, electric heat and power. Free Wi-Fi and cable are available and there are restrooms, showers, and laundry facilities all on-site. Kayaks, e-scooters, and e-bikes can be rented along with some camping supplies, and it’s so pet-friendly, kennels, dog dishes, and water are all provided for your dog, you just have to bring the food.