Log In
Join Now

Camping at Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park
Scan for Cancellations
All campsites booked in Yellowstone National Park? Create a scan and we’ll notify you when somebody cancels.
Scan for Cancellations

General Information

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most renowned natural parks in the United States; recognized for its geothermal features like geysers, hot springs, and its diverse wildlife. When planning a camping trip to Yellowstone, it's crucial to be aware of the park's size, rules, and the various ecosystems it encompasses.

Camping Options

Developed Campgrounds:

  • There are 12 campgrounds with over 2,000 sites within Yellowstone.
  • Campsites can accommodate tents, RVs, and trailers, but size restrictions vary by campground.
  • Reservations: Five campgrounds require reservations, which can be made through Yellowstone National Park Lodges.
  • First-Come, First-Served: The rest operate on a first-come, first-served basis, so arriving early is advised, especially during peak season.

Backcountry Camping:

  • For a more remote experience, you can obtain a backcountry permit for one of the over 300 backcountry campsites.
  • Permits are required and can be obtained at visitor centers or ranger stations.
  • Backcountry trips require careful planning, including bear awareness and proper food storage.

Best Times to Visit

The peak season for camping in Yellowstone is from late May through September when most campgrounds are open and weather conditions are generally favorable. Snow can persist into June at higher elevations, and early autumn can also be a beautiful, less crowded time to visit.

Campsite Reservations

Reservations for Yellowstone's campgrounds can be made through the official Yellowstone National Park Lodges website or by phone. It's advisable to book as early as possible—reservations can fill up quickly, sometimes as soon as they become available.

Bear Safety


  • Yellowstone is home to both grizzly and black bears.
  • Proper food storage is mandatory; use bear-proof storage boxes when available.
  • Know bear safety protocols: carry bear spray, hike in groups, make noise, and know how to behave during an encounter.

Campground Rules and Regulations

  • Quiet Hours: Typically from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m.
  • Food Storage: Food and all attractants must be stored in bear-proof containers or vehicles.
  • Pets: Are allowed in campgrounds but must be leashed; they are not allowed on trails or in the backcountry.
  • Fires: Must be within established fire rings and attended at all times; firewood collection within the park is prohibited.

Leave No Trace

Yellowstone enforces Leave No Trace principles to minimize human impact on the environment. Campers are expected to pack out all trash, respect wildlife, and leave their campsites as they found them or better.

Weather and Clothing

Weather in Yellowstone can be unpredictable, with sudden changes and extremes. Campers should prepare for all conditions by bringing layers, including waterproof and warm clothing, even in the summer.

Campground Amenities

Amenities vary by campground but can include:

  • Potable Water: Usually available in developed campgrounds.
  • Restrooms: Most have flush toilets, and some may have vault toilets.
  • Utility Hookups: Not available in Yellowstone campgrounds; however, there are RV dump stations.
  • Picnic Tables and Fire Rings: Typically provided at each campsite.


Some campgrounds in Yellowstone are ADA accessible with sites designed to accommodate campers with disabilities. It is recommended to confirm the availability of these sites when making a reservation or inquire at a visitor center upon arrival.

Other Considerations

  • Altitude: Some campgrounds are at high elevations; be aware of altitude sickness.
  • Insects: Mosquitoes can be prevalent; bring insect repellent.
  • Connectivity: Cell service is limited; prepare for little to no reception.
  • Wildlife Watching: Bring binoculars for viewing wildlife at a safe distance.

For the most up-to-date information and any changes to policies or services due to events such as the COVID-19 pandemic, always check the official Yellowstone National Park website before your trip.

Map of Campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park
Scan for Cancellations
All campsites booked in Yellowstone National Park? Create a scan and we’ll notify you when somebody cancels.
Scan for Cancellations
National Parks Badges

Get The Campsite Reservations You Want

Create a scan to get notified once a reservation opens at a campground you're interested in.