Yellowstone

Discussion in 'Campground / Trip Planning & Suggestions ?' started by Josh Stockman, Oct 21, 2018.

  1. Josh Stockman

    Josh Stockman New Member

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    We are plAnning a family trip to Yellowstone in July. We are going for sights and hikes. Anyone have info on positive places to stay that aren’t touristy but still meet the bare minimum of family fun. Any info is appreciated. We plan on bringing a group of at least 10 adults over 4 campsites. A couple in our group require electric. Also has anyone had issues with the no reservation campgrounds like do they run at capacity or is there always a spot to call home. Just a little concerning driving 12 hours with no reservation especially with a group. Just not too sure how that all works out.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
  2. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Definitely get up on the Beartooth Highway, route 212 above Yellowstone. Several primitive campgrounds up there and the area is spectacular!
    801EDAAD-510C-43AF-AA1F-97D4EB643B48.jpeg 78E67A83-43FE-405D-8D4F-803E916AD947.jpeg
     
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  3. jmkay1

    jmkay1 2004 Fleetwood/Coleman Utah

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    this is going to be your problem. From everything I read Fishing Bridge campground is the only campground with hookups but no canvas allowed. All the rest of the campgrounds have no hook ups in the park itself. You might be able to find something outside the park that has hookups but you may be looking at a longer drive to get to see things in the park itself.
     
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  4. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    Gros Ventre campground in GTNP has electric hookup. Trying to get space for a large group in July with no reservations will be difficult. I don’t think any of the park campgrounds that can be reserved have electric. I’d be looking at campgrounds in Gardiner and west Yellowstone Montana. The campgrounds in the park are nothing special.
     
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  5. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    If you have a pop up and need electric, there is nothing in the park. If you stay outside of the park, you will spend a great deal of your time driving to the things you want to see. Would strongly encourage you to be able to camp without electric by using 12V battery. In the end, there are very few NP campgrounds that have electric. Canyon and Grant are nice options for exploring the North and South loops. There are plenty of places for hiking and if you are willing to get up early to see the "main" attractions, you can avoid the crowds.
     
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  6. Josh Stockman

    Josh Stockman New Member

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    Looks like some of our more seasoned in life group may have to stay behind on this one. quick question for those who have visited this area repeatedly. Do you recommend a mid week, beginning of week, or weekend arrival to increase your chance of getting a spot in first come first serve CGs.
     
  7. gladecreekwy

    gladecreekwy Well-Known Member

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    Sunday pm is good. July is tough no matter what day. Important to be flexible. I’ve noticed the campgrounds fill up generally from south to north. I would make a reservation for the first night outside the park and get an early start in the am. What direction are you coming in from?
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2018
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  8. MileHigh

    MileHigh Active Member

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    Josh - as has been mentioned above, there isn't electricity inside the park unless you're at Fishing Bridge and they don't allow popup campers (hard sided only). With you needing 4 campsites, I highly recommend that you have reservations - either inside the park or out. Gros Ventre in GTNP does have electricity but it's at least an hour to just get to the entrance to YNP. Could you bring a small generator?

    Drive times in YNP can be long and I always recommend that people stay inside the park if possible. You can get up early and avoid the crowds that will be there in July. This website (https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm) will show when campgrounds have filled but in July, things fill up right away inside the park. I don't want to discourage you but the odds of finding 4 campsites may be slim unless you have reserved them in advance. The reservable sites are starting to fill up now. There are many options outside the park if you choose that route. West Yellowstone and Gardiner are the areas that I would be looking at.
     
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  9. kcsa75

    kcsa75 Well-Known Member

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    If you stay inside the park you're going to spend a great deal of time driving to the things you want to see.

    When we were there in 2015, we stayed at the Rustic RV Campground in West Yellowstone, MT. It's a small campground, but very well-kept and you could eat off the floor in the shower house. The campground is on the west edge of town, but West Yellowstone is pretty small so it took less than five minutes to get to the West Entrance to the park.

    It took about 25-30 minutes to get to the Madison Junction, but it's a great drive along the Yellowstone River. Even though we drove it several times, I saw something new each time including these guys working out a difference of opinion.

    16B.jpg

    Enjoy the trip. Yellowstone is breathtaking. It took me almost 50 years to get there but it was worth the wait. [:)C]
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2018
  10. crackerJack

    crackerJack Well-Known Member

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    X2 on the Beartooth Highway!
    X2 on all the driving if you stay outside of the park.
    Yellowstone Valley CG near Cody WY was good.
     
  11. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    We have stayed at Bridge Bay and Grant. Both are nice CG's with no hookups. I would think twice about going in to find a site. If you are going to stay in the park I would make reservations, especially if you need multiple sites. When we came from Glacier NP to head into Yellowstone we planned on coming in thru the West entrance. So we stayed a night at the West Yellowstone KOA. It was like 5 minutes from the West entrance of the park. They have full hookups.

    Staying in the park shaves driving time to where you want to go within the park. If you do stay outside the park make sure to purchase a National Park annual pass or a 7 day pass for that park.

    I can say that Grant campground is really nice and the bath house/laundry facility is really clean. They are pay showers though.

    NOTE: We made our reservations 6 months in advance to make sure we got a site at Grant.
     
  12. PopUpSteve

    PopUpSteve Administrator

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    Also, the reservation is for a site but not a particular site. They will assign you a site when you check in so there’s no guarantee you group will be together.
     
  13. MileHigh

    MileHigh Active Member

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    When you make reservations, you can mention that you would like to be near other groups. That worked for me last year in Grant Village. No guarantees though...
     
  14. silvermickey2002

    silvermickey2002 Morris County, NJ

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    When we made our reservations we could not choose a site. But, when we checked into Grant they already had our site chosen for us and it worked out very well. We had a site close to the trail down to the lake.

    When you call to make your reservations tell them you are with a group of other campers and ask to be near each other. But when you do call to make reservations do it together. Have everyone get together and just pass the phone around to make their reservations.
     
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  15. bearfilm

    bearfilm New Member

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    two things in our research for this July as well... Fishing Bridge is closed for renovations in 2019 and there are not a lot of sites available for trailer/TV... we have a pop up that is 25' extended and our TV is 18' (yukon XL) so we are at 43 total feet and the largest spot to reserve is 40'. FYI looked into that Rustic RV campground and it looks as if they may be closed, website is off line and phones are not working...
     
  16. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    You won't need a spot anywhere that long with your rig. I am 25' open and we towed out there with a sprinter van. A regular 25' or 30' spot will likely work. Back your wheels all the way to the back of the spot and then you can find a way to get the vehicle in there even if it is sideways. As long as your wheels are on the pavement / site area, you are fine.
     
  17. bearfilm

    bearfilm New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback - the site reservation list is pretty clear about combined length and with the shutdown, we cannot get a specific answer from the park. It is an 18 hour drive for us to go, so we are not trying to screw this up!
     
  18. J E A

    J E A New Member

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    You've been given some great advice above. We stayed at Grant Village Campground and really wished we'd stayed more central in the park. Everything is a long drive. You can use generators at some of the sites if you require electricity. It just depends upon how much electricity you need. You should definitely make reservations. When we were there in early August 2017, it was full every night. The non-reservable campsites were gone almost immediately in the morning.
     
  19. MNTCamper

    MNTCamper Active Member

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    Well, I towed my long pop up out there with a sprinter van (larger than the Yukon). The length they give you is the paved back in length. In Grant, many / most of the spots are pull through, no issues there and if you stay at Canyon, they are back in, but again, the camper length is the hitch to the back of the wheels. Almost all pup / tow combinations can fit into a 30 or 35' spot no problem. They have the length set up like that for very long, large RVs and those do need the full length. With the pup, you can cheat that part and it gives you a lot more options.
     
  20. tdiller

    tdiller Active Member

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    Years ago there was a KOA near the west entrance to the park. Not sure if it is still there or not.
     

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