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Old 06-10-2021, 01:35 PM   #1
Nard Dog
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Advice for Yellowstone?

We keep saying every year we want to take a trip to Yellowstone (live in Iowa). But each time I start to try and make a plan I get overwhelmed and just call it off. I don't have a great understanding at all if I can try to just go day by day there or if I have to have a reservation. I have a generator and just need some spots to dump and fill up every few days and a place to park. Is this possible? Or should I expect to only go if I can get a series of reservations made? Thanks for any help!
 
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Old 06-10-2021, 02:53 PM   #2
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There are forest service camp grounds on the west side of Yellowstone. You might check them out. When I go to Yellowstone I like to stay at the Madison Camp ground. But I suspect you will need a reservation this year.
The first time I went out west it was daunting. It’s so far, where do you stay, how do you find a place to stay at night, what about fuel. After you start it is really no big deal. Get in your truck and head out there if you don’t like it you can always turn around. Try it you WILL NOT regret it. Yellowstone is magical place. You need to see it and the only way is to go. The sights, sounds, the wild life oh and the smells that is what you will never forget. Have you ever smelled sage brush, sulfur or looked way out in the prairie and saw white dots. They will be antelope.
Just go. Quit worrying.
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Old 06-10-2021, 07:30 PM   #3
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We went several times in the 80ís in a tent (Flagg Ranch) and the last couple of times was in a pop up (92 and 94). We stayed at the West Yellowstone KOA. Very nice place back then. Iím sure it is still nice. If I was going back now with the Monte I would be asking same questions as you! Where is the best place to park this big rig and to use as a base camp for exploration?

I would look forward to swimming in the Fire Hole River again. It was great.
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Old 06-10-2021, 07:55 PM   #4
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Don’t know about Yellowstone, but some National parks that had some first come first serve campgrounds have changed to a reservation system due to the anticipated surge in visitors. Check their web site before you go.
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Old 06-10-2021, 08:09 PM   #5
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Start your planning for next year. There is only 1 campground that has full hookups and many larger sites. Fishing Bridge. It is near the center of the park. It has been going through a rebuild the last 2yrs. Hopefully it is done and accepting reservations.
Plan at least 7-10 days in Yellowstone/Grand Tetons. Yes there is that much to see and that's just the highlights
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Old 06-10-2021, 10:17 PM   #6
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Fishing Bridge campground is STILL not open until maybe Sept. ANything in the park needs a reservation and probably not available at this late date. By using a genny you can probably stay at several parks inside the park if you can book it. Some things depend on how big your rig is. I am not sure you can squeeze in with anything over 35 feet, but I may be off.

As someone else said, W. Yellowstone has many campgrounds, but my guess is they are booked already too. Grizzly RV park is really nice and about 3 blocks to entrance, but very expensive.
And not mentioned here, is that with the Covid shutdown rv's were sold out last year and those people are all going camping now. Good luck.
p.s. I got to Yellowstone about every 4-5 years since I have family 20 miles east of Cody, so am always in the neighborhood.
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Old 06-11-2021, 06:40 AM   #7
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For large rigs > 30' you need a spot in Fishing bridge. It has been under construction for the last 3 years and is finally open for reservations for 2022. It filled up in the first few minutes of opening the reservations system for Fishing Bridge.
When we were in YS last year we toured each and every Campground looking for sites big enough for us (35' rig + 22' TV). There was nothing I felt comfortable with trying to get into. I am terrible for backing up. We stayed at KOA Mountainside. A little further out (10 miles) but nice.
The other KOA, Yellowstone Park / West Gate KOA Holiday, looks a bit tight. Not a lot of elbow room between sites. Grizzly is the best for this area.
https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm
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Old 06-11-2021, 08:38 AM   #8
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Grizzly Campground in WestYellowstone, Montana is very nice, and right outside the gate. The only advice I could give you about the park itself, is that it’s HUGE, so allow plenty of time. It’s set up basically in loops, so you can do one loop a day, if you want to. Everyone should see Yellowstone at least once. Have a great trip!
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Old 06-11-2021, 09:04 AM   #9
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Yellowstone Alts

We had a reservation at Flagg Ranch but arrived a day early and stayed a nite at Gros Ventre campground near Jackson, then spent a nite at Flagg but didn't like it. We called into Madison Campground and they said c'mon up. We stayed for a week and had a great time. We were in our Tioga for that trip. Next time we'll be in the Montana HC and we'll stay the whole time in Gros Ventre. They have large spots with water and electric and a dump station and it's only a half hour from the Park. Also, there many other things to see and do around Jackson. We live in SoCal so we'll take at least two weeks for the trip.
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Old 06-11-2021, 09:32 AM   #10
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we stay at either Rocky Mountain camp in Gardiner Montana, right at the North Entrance or in Colter Bay resort (Tetons) at the south entrance. CBR is one of the most beautiful campgrounds in the country, you need a minimum 10 days as mentioned, way too much to see. We had to take the family 3 years in a row, they actually chose Yellowstone over WDW. Get off the main path, there are many secluded trails without tourists, just take bear spay and keep talking. we only had 1 bear encounter, small black bear, he just wandered by. you will love the trip.
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Old 06-11-2021, 10:59 AM   #11
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When we visited in 2018 we stayed in a CG in Cody and enjoyed it. It was a pleasant short drive to the NP on the days we wanted to go and there was no pressure or overcrowding.
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Old 06-11-2021, 02:54 PM   #12
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Reservation booked!

Thanks for all this advice. We got reservations at the Fishing Bridge park for next summer and weíll just stroll up the Michigan UP this August. Iíll learn all I can on that trip.
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Old 06-11-2021, 03:07 PM   #13
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Had reservations at Fishing Bridge for Sept 2020. They canceled because construction wasn't done. Then had reservations there for Sept 2021. Once again they canceled. Now going to Grizzley this Sept.
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Old 06-11-2021, 03:08 PM   #14
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Yeah it’s touch and go for now. I’ll look at Grizzly as a backup. Thx
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Old 06-11-2021, 07:32 PM   #15
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You are going to love Yellowstone. Every American should see it and if you do it will call you back.
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Old 06-11-2021, 07:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scattershot View Post
Grizzly Campground in WestYellowstone, Montana is very nice, and right outside the gate. The only advice I could give you about the park itself, is that itís HUGE, so allow plenty of time. Itís set up basically in loops, so you can do one loop a day, if you want to. Everyone should see Yellowstone at least once. Have a great trip!
Exactly! And you are walking distance to town with lots to see right there.
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