All You Need To KNow About Camping In Yellowstone?

camping in yellowstone

The fact is, yes, you can go camping in Yellowstone. It all comes down to where you can and cannot.

Camping in Yellowstone, what a wonderful thought…the fresh air, the wildlife and heck, even the bears! If you’re planning on camping in Yellowstone this season, there are some things to know before you go.

Let’s face it. Yellowstone is huge. It’s so big that when some campers ask if they can go camping in Yellowstone they are really asking “can I go camping anywhere in Yellowstone?”

There are different types of camping in Yellowstone: Reservable, backcountry, first-come, first-served campgrounds in Yellowstone.

There are many different campgrounds in the Yellowstone National Park. Each one provides different types of camping. Some offer campsites just a stone’s throw from the parking lot while others require hiking or boating to reach them. All of them provide the comforts of a warm fire and running water, so you don’t need to worry about planning for everything yourself. They do require reserving in most cases, but some are first-come, first-served.

What are Reservable campgrounds in yellowstone?

When it comes to camping, you don't want to look like a fool and not know the difference between a reservable campground and not. You probably already have your sights set on one or two popular Yellowstone campsites, but have you decided which kind of site you would like? Do you prefer the privacy of reservable camping? Are you open to any kind of spot, even if it isn't reservable? Whatever you choose, be sure to remember that the best way to guarantee your spot is to make a Yellowstone National Park campsite reservation ahead of time.

One of the burning questions I had before going to Yellowstone was what are reservable campgrounds in yellowstone. The National Park Service site is a great resource for camping information, but it doesn’t point out what campgrounds have campsites which can be reserved and which cannot. I had visions of driving up and seeing a long line of people waiting to get into a campground, when in fact they were just there to look at a sign board that told them where they might be able to find available campsites.

What are First-come, First-serve campgrounds in yellowstone?

When planning a trip to Yellowstone it’s important to make sure you know everything you need to know. One big question can be “what are first-come first serve campgrounds in Yellowstone?”.

The key words here are "first come" and "first serve."   In other words, if you arrive before others, you will be able to pick your campsite.

What is backcountry camping?

If you have never backpacked before, let alone camped in the wilderness, you may have stumbled upon some information on Yellowstone’s backcountry. The first time I heard about it while looking up camping reservations in the park, I was confused and curious - “what is this backcountry thing?”

Backcountry camping is an outdoor recreation activity where the visitor carries their own equipment in to a campsite located away from any established campground. Some parks only have this option, but Yellowstone National Park is one of the few that has more than just a backcountry campground.

What about yurt camping?

Yurt camping is a great alternative that you can think about as well. A yurt will get you away from big crowds and into nature, making it a more authentic camping experience. There are also more yurt camps in Yellowstone than any other camp type. All of this mean that you have the best chance of getting a reservation at these types of campsites.

How Do You Get a Campsite in Yellowstone?

You will need to plan ahead if you want to get a campsite in Yellowstone. The best sites are reserved six months in advance, so be prepared to make your reservation as soon as possible.

Reservations can be made online or by phone. If you reserve online, you will have a limited amount of time to complete your transaction, so make sure that you have all the information ready before you begin the process.

If you call, be prepared for long wait times — many people are trying to get through at the same time. If you miss out on these spots, there are several other ways that you can camp in Yellowstone.

Can I bring my dog on a yellowstone camping trip?

You have read the many stories, articles, photos and videos that give you a visual of what Yellowstone National Park is all about. Now you are planning your trip and preparing for a truly memorable experience. You are planning to spend a ton of time hiking trails like the Grand Loop Trail. Wherever you go, however, there is one question that seems to be on everyone’s minds: Can I bring my dog with me?

Yes, dogs and other types of pets are allows in many different locations in Yellowstone. Below are some of those locations:

  • Wagon Wheel Cabins & RV Park
  • Under Canvas Yellowstone
  • Yellowstone Park / West Entrance KOA
  • Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park


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Yellowstone Campground Rules and Tips

You will find many of the same campground rules and tips that you will find at most parks and campgrounds. However, because Yellowstone National Park is a national park, there are additional rules and restrictions that you should be aware of. Some of the rules and tips are listed below.

  • Bicycles and motorized vehicles are not allowed on the trails or in the backcountry.
  • The National Park Service and the park staff ask that you pack out all your trash.
  • The National Park Service asks that you do not feed the wildlife.
  • If you have a tent, you will need to bring your own gear.
  • You will need to pack out your trash.

Campfires in Yellowstone

It is illegal to bring firewood into Yellowstone National Park, as it can introduce invasive insects and diseases into the park.

There are restrictions on when and where you can have a campfire. Campfires are not permitted at Fishing Bridge RV Park, but they are allowed at other campgrounds. If you're camping outside of a designated campground, fires are allowed only in the backcountry.

During the summer, check with park rangers for the current status of fire bans. Fires may be prohibited when the fire danger is high. In the event of a fire ban, no fires may be started anywhere in Yellowstone, including inside fire rings in designated campsites. If you arrive during a fire ban, bring an alternative source of heat to cook with (such as a stove).


Camping in Yellowstone is a touchy subject with many people. You can totally camp in Yellowstone. Camping is one of the most popular activities in Yellowstone, and you'll have no problem getting your campground fix. The only bonus about staying at a lodge might be that breakfast comes with the package, but you could still opt for a B&B experience instead, so it's really not necessary. All in all, if you want to go camping in Yellowstone, go for it - just book a campsite before you arrive to avoid any unpleasant surprises.

About Author:

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Hi, I'm Kevin Pommells, a lover of camping and the great outdoors as everyone says nowadays. I'm also a passionate soccer fan and the proud owner of, a website dedicated to helping campers and outdoor enthusiasts make the most of their adventures. With years of experience exploring the wilderness and a deep love for the sport of soccer, I'm always looking for new ways to combine my two passions and share my knowledge with others. Follow me for tips, tricks, and insights on all things camping and outdoor recreation.

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