Yellowstone Camping Question


Super Active Member
May 28, 2018
For me, it's about balance. I don't want to overspend on a campsite to be right in the middle, but at the same time, I don't want to run up unnecessary miles trying to get places.

This is when my analyst background kicks in. Over the years, I have fine tuned my sightseeing system. I first identify all the sights I want to see during the trip. Any sight/activity that will take more than 4 hours, I designate a full day for it. Sights/activities that require less than 4 hours, I designate a half day for each. These time frames include travel time required.

NOW, I figure out how many days I ideally need to see everything on my list. So if I have 4 sights that will take 4 hours or more and 6 sights that will take 1 hour each and 5 that will take 2 hours, I know I need at least 9-1/2 days (4 full days, 3 days for two 1 hour sights each, and 2 days for two 2 hour sights each, and 1/2 day for one 2 hour sight).

This creates enough down time that I can add in additional sights or change things around. It also means I don't have to be out for 14 hours per day trying to see everything or that I have to skip something I really wanted to see because there wasn't time for it.

Once that is all worked out, I look at lodging (aka campgrounds) and find the one that will be the most effective costwise (nightly fee vs. additional mileage). I also consider proximity to a gas station and dump station. It doesn't make sense to stay at campground A if I have to drive 10 miles out of the way to fill up every day or two, when I can stay at campground B and have a gast station right next door.

This has worked out great for me.

Randy McGuckin

New Member
Nov 19, 2021
Back in 2020 the wife and I, with our 2 dogs found this boondocking site between Yellowstone and the Tetons! Took the last spot before road closure due to remaining snow pack. Had a few fishermen park nearby but that was about all the traffic! Was using my M101A trailer at that time and loved it. Have since acquired the StarCraft Lonestar and wish diesel prices to go back down so we could do it all over again!


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Randy McGuckin

New Member
Nov 19, 2021
Was up Grassy Lakes RD. West of the Snake river.
44.10207° N, 110.75880° W
Saw a YouTube video of a couple giving the top 10 spots to boondock in the Yellowstone area and wasn’t disappointed in our choice! The clean pit toilet supplied us with a great storage area for non-food items. The forest department has bear boxes in place at each site for your food storage. Thinking back there were probably 12-14 sites. Some single spots and some larger, allowing for multiple rigs. Larger sites were closer to the Snake. Road in was fine for larger rigs but as you get farther up it becomes restrictive to 4x4 and smaller ones. Not many places to pass or turn around.


Active Member
May 1, 2013
Bristol, Pa
Thanks for the info..

I just arrived in West Yellowstone this afternoon, gonna be exploring the parks from a rental home a bit north of Gardiner. Family flies in wednesday..

When they fly back 10 days later I'm heading south to Utah ND Colorado for some camping for two weeks prior to heading back east.

Ron B

New Member
May 13, 2020
I'm curious, as I have the same situation I am concerned with at Yellowstone this year, how did your trip turn out? Was the length of your vehicles a problems?


Staff member
Gold Supporting Member
Dec 22, 2002
Southeastern PA
If you're planning a trip to Yellowstone, you may want to use one of the lesser used entrances like the East Entrance coming from Cody, WY or the Northeast Entrance coming from the Beartooth Mountains. If you want a real adventure, some absolute beautiful scenery, and perhaps really camp in nature instead of camping in nature with a thousand people around you, take the trip through the Beartooth Mountains. It's not for the lighthearted, but it's well worth it if you are willing to try.

Here is a photo of the West Entrance to the park at West Yellowstone, MT this morning, 06/10/2022


A bad day camping beats a good day at the office
We were fortunate to arrive for our week long trip camping within the park in the evening, and while there was still a line, it was much smaller. This is definitely an advantage for camping within the park... stay outside and you'll be battling this every day.

Arlyn Aronson

Super Active Member
Jun 11, 2014
Houghton, MI
Which campground? Unlimited boondocking possibilities outside the park but you won’t find flush toilets or showers in any FS campground. I’d keep both reservations. It’s already getting to be too late to reserve a spot. If this summer is anything like the last it’s gonna be crowded. Many campgrounds have a small parking area for tow vehicles.
Our NFS campgrounds have slowed down to prevuis to covid years numbers. Do you wonder why we love the UP of MI? :grin: