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Real camping in Yellowstone?
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GWTWTLW
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 11:41 am    Post subject: Real camping in Yellowstone? Reply with quote

Is it possible?

In a little over a month, we're heading out on our annual pilgrimage to Colorado. we try to take a week on the way home to meander slowly. Last year, we took the Southern Route and came back through Mesa Verde, Monument Valley and Capital Reef. Thanks to great tips from fellow Sambanistas, we found some awesome camping spots.

This year, we are thinking about taking the Northern Route home. I would love to take my son through Yellowstone. The thought of camping with the massive hordes is kind of horrifying though. I know there is some good National Forest camping East of Jackson and in Targee which we will probably do on our way north. If we go North from Old Faithful, it looks like you have to head north on 89 out of the Park past Gardiner to get back to relative seclusion. Anyone know of (and willing to share) any good spots if we wanted to stay in the park and do the Grand Loop? We are self contained and not afraid to scrape a little seam rust off!

Thx!!

Pete
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ZimZam
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pete, my friend is a ranger there. Let me contact him tonight, and I'll get back to ya'.
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GWTWTLW
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 3:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

awesome! Thank you!
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captainkarl
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get a backcountry permit at the ranger station. They'll recommend good places, but there are plenty within a short hike of a parking pullout. Much better than any of the main campsites!
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GWTWTLW
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 4:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Unfortunately, I don't think we will be able to do any hiking in. My wife has a bad back and recovering from kidney surgery as well. Plus, that would be a lot of beer to hike in with! Very Happy
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Keith Kiernicki
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 5:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We liked to stay in the National Forest Campgrounds of the surrounding area (just as pretty). Less crowds and some rustic camping.
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GWTWTLW
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 6:21 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It does look like we can head north into the Gallatin National Forest or East towards Cody. Either one would split up the circle route nicely.
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Grizzly_black
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yellowstone only has camping in camp grounds. You can find some great camping north of the park if you head up into Paradise Valley towards Livingstone. Every drainage has logging roads that head up into the Absaroka mountains. You can find some very cool spots along side the creeks that will be raging from the melt when you are there. Another good spot would be heading out the North East entrance (Cook City). Head up the road a bit and you will start seeing National Forest campgrounds. This time of the year should be OK for avoiding crowds. You can also head up into the Bear Tooth pass and camp. There are lakes all over and the views are incredible! If you do not have a propex or similar, bring some warm sleeping gear! Camping in the Bear Tooth can get cold this time of the year.

Have fun!

Grizz
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j8
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If the urge to get away from the crowds gets outweighed by convenience or the urge to see more of the park I can recommend this: We were able to find a spot at the first-come first-serve Lewis Lake campground, and parked in a way that made it feel less... parking lot.
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simonslp
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PostPosted: Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'd advise you not to try to commute in and out of Yellowstone - it's a big place and the traffic moves slowly. Pay the $$ and tuck in next to Hans and Gretel from Germany in their rented monster CrusieAmerica RV like the rest of the tourists.

Yellowstone is one of the most amazing places I've ever seen and one of the most stunning natural areas on the planet. Immerse yourself and maximize your time there. You'll be so tired at the ends of your days that the last thing on your list of 'to-do's' will be driving for an hour or more to some more isolated campsite.

Just my opinions of course.

Oh, and STAY AT LEAST 4 DAYS!!!

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ps check out Boiling River hotsprings, just past the north entrance, on the MT/WY border. Absolute heaven!
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outwesty
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

191 North Of west Yellowstone has a few cheap forest service campgrounds outside the park. There is one that is right on the Gallatin river and its under $15 a night. If you make it to Bozeman there is some righteous camping past Bridger bowl. Its a forest service campground and is FREE. Heading north out of Bozo, mile marker 21.5, make a left hand turn on Fairy Lake Road. This is approx (1) mile past Battle Ridge Campground. The trail back is several miles but is doable with a 2wd. If you are heading back to OR this may be a good place to stop on your way out of town. There is still plenty of spring snowboarding to be had up there as well. Anyone know if the road is still snow covered? I plan on stopping there on my way to AK next month. Its beautiful, I think god lives up there.




The paradise valley area is amazing too. Heres a pic from last summer
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Last edited by outwesty on Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:31 am; edited 1 time in total
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heidi85ho
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

the campground "slough creek" in the park is awesome. 30 or so site nestled along the slough creek. no generators allowed. hand pumped water. no showers. its great and in demand. be there early in the morning to get a site. we would usually arrive by 9 am to see whos leaving. the campground sits in the lamar river valley 10-15 minutes off the loop road. you will love it.
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Ritter
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We were there last June and there was still significant snow at Lewis Lake campground. It looked lovely, but was closed.

The Norris campground is pretty nice but fairly small so you'll need to work at getting a spot. We were tenting it and it was raining so did not end up camping there, retreating to a hotel instead. Sad The great thing about it is it is centrally located in the park. The other central Yellowstone area parks looked a lot like parking lots/RV lots--acceptable but far from ideal.

The Slough Creek area looked very nice as well and is, by National Park standards, fairly remote. It's in the Lamar Valley where most of the big game is found, so short jaunt in the morning/evening for viewing. But it's a 45 minute drive from central Yellowstone.

The Tower Fall campground also looked quite acceptable but is small. We did not stay but would have if time/weather permitted.

If you get a chance, stay in Grand Tetons as well. I found it to be far more majestic than Yellowstone.
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

simonslp wrote:
I'd advise you not to try to commute in and out of Yellowstone - it's a big place and the traffic moves slowly. Pay the $$ and tuck in next to Hans and Gretel from Germany in their rented monster CrusieAmerica RV like the rest of the tourists.

Yellowstone is one of the most amazing places I've ever seen and one of the most stunning natural areas on the planet. Immerse yourself and maximize your time there. You'll be so tired at the ends of your days that the last thing on your list of 'to-do's' will be driving for an hour or more to some more isolated campsite.

Just my opinions of course.

Oh, and STAY AT LEAST 4 DAYS!!!



Spot on....there is soo much to see you won't want to be commuting in and out each day.

I suggest the campsites near Gardener and the north entrance....Mammoth springs area. Remember its first come first serve, so get there early in the morning to get a spot.

If your going in Late May or early June...take your coat!!

Stay a full four or five days at the least....its worth it!

Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.


ps check out Boiling River hotsprings, just past the north entrance, on the MT/WY border. Absolute heaven!
Image may have been reduced in size. Click image to view fullscreen.
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tschroeder0
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PostPosted: Thu Apr 29, 2010 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Pete,

I agree with some of the others, go through the park spend time, but make camp elsewhere, I have camped there many times during the heart of summer and it sucks. People,people,people and all that goes with it. Have a great time.

p.s. it was great to know I had a friend around near Portland when my linkage started acting up, sorry I was unable to meet up. On the way down we WILL get a beer. Todd.
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GWTWTLW
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 12:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So we ended up taking more time than expected meandering north from Telluride. We made it as far as Grand Junction the first day and moteled it there since we hadnt had a real shower in 10 days or so. There is a really cool dinasaur museum in Fruita which is worth stopping at if you have kids. The next night we camped on the lake in the Flaming Gorge in NE Utah. We made it to the Tetons the next night and camped in the Gros Vente campground. We saw a couple of westies there - a yellow one from Canada and a Red one from not sure where. Unfortunately, we didnt get a chance to chat with either groups. Since we only had one full day in Yellowstone, we decided to just enjoy the day and end up where we ended up instead of stressing about where to stay. We stopped at the Roosevelt Lodge for dinner around 9PM and by then everything was full up so we just headed out the North entrance at Gardiner. I had a couple of tentative camping spots mapped out but in the dark missed them so we ended up driving to Livingstone and moteling it. One day is not nearly enough in Yellowstone so we're going to plan a trip sometime that is just dedicated to Yellowstone so we have more time there.
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Ahwahnee
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 2:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quite right that one day isn't enough for Yellowstone, we usually stay for a week. Once you've seen the well-known spots like Old Faithful , the Falls & the Canyon then you can get to some of the lesser-visited areas.

We usually camp at Norris Basin for most of our stay as it tends to be a bit quieter and the sites more separated with lots of tent campers. It's a no-reservation cg so we just camp somewhere outside the park and get a spot in Norris in the a.m. Lots of NFS CGs in the area.

For the Tetons we usually camp at a NFS CG (Hatchett I think) just east of the Moran entrance and then into Colter Bay in the a.m.

Okay, I'm stoked -- we're already committed to Utah this year but next year definitely retruning to Yellowstone.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 02, 2010 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

A gentle reminder that Yellowstone and Tetons get the press, but there are a lot of nice places around them. If you get a chance take a run down through Dubois (pronounced due-boice) and then through the Wind River Canyon toward Thermopolis. Beautiful country and not nearly as crowded as the national parks. In Thermopolis you can actually bathe and soak in their hot springs.
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 03, 2010 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Pete, awesome to hear that you had a great trip and all your tires stayed put! Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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gonewesty
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PostPosted: Mon Jul 05, 2010 2:04 pm    Post subject: campgrounds Reply with quote

If your going to Mount Rushmore, try COMANCHE campround(named after Gen. Custers Horse, the sole survivor of the "Battle of Little Bighorn"). It is small, and fairly spread out. It's located on South Dakota route 16, west of Custer(near the Wy. border). It's also near Jewel Cave. Try their "lantern adventure". Kids under 10 CANNOT carry a lantern(make sure they understand this upfront!), but it a great way to see it a lesser travelled part of this cave system, and it's original entrance! FYI-Avoid Bear Lake in northern Utah, IT'S A TOTAL ZOO.
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