11 Free Yellowstone Campgrounds You’ll Love
Yellowstone campgrounds are the oldest National Park campgrounds in the USA! Signed into law in 1872, Yellowstone was the first American National Park.
While the iconic park has so many marvels of nature, finding an affordable campsite is becoming harder each passing year. Fear not, camper! We’re sharing 11 free Yellowstone campgrounds you’ll love in 2020 and beyond.
Each featured site will include location info, amenities, ideal camping style and a unique “Yellowstone Campground Vibes” score. This score will give you an overview of the campsite combined with previous camper reviews.
Let’s dive in!
Snake River Boondocking
Location: John D. Rockefeller Memorial Parkway – near the south entrance of Yellowstone.
Ideal for: Tents, Vans, Small RVs (not afraid of dirt roads). This site has no cell connectivity.
Why You’ll Love It: This campsite is located on the Snake River and has direct water access. The spots are large, spread out and rather private. In fact, the sites are so large, we easily shared ours with tent campers without crowding the space.
The campground provides a vault toilet (the cleanest we’ve ever seen) and bear boxes for the tenters.
What’s the Word: Kobras Journey on Campendium says, “…nice little camping area on the snake river with wildlife everywhere. The road in was a bit tight but we made it in and to a prime spot right on the river.”
Yellowstone Campgrounds Vibe: 8.3/10 Awesome spot in between Yellowstone & Tetons.
Carbella Recreation Site
Location: Emigrant, MT – near the north entrance of Yellowstone
Ideal for: Tents, Vans and RVs – Cellular is good for Verizon. You may need a cell booster if you’re using AT&T or T-Mobile.
Why You’ll Love It: This wide open site is great for accessibility and amazing views. Class As and 5th Wheels have been seen camping here – we call that big rig friendly! Also, the Verizon cell service is a big plus. In these areas, signal can be hard to come by.
Best of all, there is a river flowing through this campground!
What’s the Word: DenverDMax on Campendium says, “We camped here as a home base for checking out Yellowstone at the end of May. I think this my favorite spot near Yellowstone hands down. No bugs, slight breeze, river sounds to help you sleep, and perfect temperature! The road in is bumpy, but a rig of any size could easily make it without problems”
Yellowstone Campgrounds Vibe: 9.3/10 Close to Yellowstone, waterfront & cell signal!
Targhee Creek Trailhead
Location: Island Park, ID, – near west entrance of Yellowstone
Ideal for: Tents, Vans, RVs – AT&T and Verizon cell connectivity
Why You’ll Love It: This secluded site is great for those campers who want to avoid popular tourist campgrounds. Remember – your stay has to be limited to 14 days, like most public land camping.
If you’re camping with a group, this site is a great spot to corral the wagons and enjoy the fire pit!
What’s the Word: SonjaB on Campendium says, “Beautiful view of the mountains, easy access to trails, quiet, pretty and very green with tons of flowers while we were there. This is a trail head so people park here to take the trail but they were quiet and some very interesting.”
Yellowstone Campgrounds Vibe: 7.8/10 Good access to west Yellowstone entrance – not all campers thought this sight was awesome…but, most did!
Red Rock Pass
Location: Island Park, ID – near west Yellowstone entrance.
Ideal for: Tents, Vans & RVs – Verizon, AT&T and T-mobile signal reported.
Why You’ll Love It: This is another hidden gem campsite where you can escape the rush of Yellowstone tourists. You can camp in a field to collect solar power or tuck into the trees for some good shade.
Big rig friendly, too!
What’s the Word: Meandering Life on Campendium says, “There is a city dump station about 10 miles down the road (away from West Yellowstone) that costs $5 to dump so we dumped there on the way to the next stop. Despite the weekend activity, the campsite was quiet, and we met some great local campers. ”
Yellowstone Campgrounds Vibe: 7.4/10 Solid choice with proven cell connectivity!
Bill Frome County Park
Location: Island Park, ID – west Yellowstone entrance
Ideal for: RVs (but tents & vans allowed) – AT&T and Verizon connectivity
Why You’ll Love It: This is like a real campground with official sites, picnic tables and fire pits. They even have a well maintained vault toilet on site. The lake front views are great, but no swimming or drinking form the lake.
You do have to register to camp – but the price is $0 😃
What’s the Word: Two Plus Lu on Campendium says, “We chose a spot that had good tree dividers on both sides so it was very private. The area is surrounded by cow pastures. Easy in, easy out, no rough roads or awkward navigation to contend with. Nice and quiet.”
Yellowstone Campgrounds Vibe: 8.5/10 All the benefits of an established campground, but none of the cost or crowds!
Cherry Creek Campground
Location: West Yellowstone, MT
Ideal for: Tents & Vans (RVs allowed, but might not fit)
Why You’ll Love It: It’s only 25 minutes to the entrance of Yellowstone! This campsite will keep you away from the congestion, but close enough to the action. There are toilets onsite, but not any other amenities.
Since big rigs can’t access this campground easily, tent campers can expect a little extra peace and quiet.
What’s the Word: Hendiggy on Campendium says, “Six campsites that are fairly close but only one or two others were occupied at a time. Toilets and scenery are the main amenities.”
Yellowstone Campgrounds Vibe: 8.9/10 The location is key!
Fish Creek Road
Location: Island Park, ID
Ideal for: RVs & Vans (might get a little noisy in a tent)
Why You’ll Love It: Fish Creek Road is a great place to camp with your ATV. You can access riding trails right from your campsite.
If you don’t have an ATV, this spot still has great proximity to Yellowstone. It’ll be a good basecamp.
What’s the Word: Rick on Campendium says, “Big rigs will fit but going down a wrong road might be difficult to get back out of. Definitely have a plan and a spot picked out. Check on both sides of the bridge and the road.”
Yellowstone Campgrounds Vibe: 6.4/10 Good location for campers, great site for ATVers.
Raynold’s Pass Fishing Access Site
Location: Cameron, MT
Ideal for: RVs, Tents, Vans – Verizon Cell
Why You’ll Love It: Easy access and waterfront sites. Every site at Raynolds Pass is located on the water. We’ve heard it can be a decent fishing spot, too!
The stay limit is only 7 days.
What’s the Word: Alabill on Campendium says, “Bring your stuff because you’re quite a distance from supplies – I was told some groceries are available at Slide-in a few miles away although I didn’t try it out.”
Yellowstone Campgrounds Vibe: 7.6/10 Remote and beautiful!
Location: Island Park, ID
Ideal for: RVs, Tents & Vans – Verizon Cell
Why You’ll Love It: This is yet another hidden gem near Yellowstone. Every reviewer of this site mentions how private it is. You may see a few cows (and cow pies) during your stay, but they seem friendly 😃
What’s the Word: Cindy on Campendium says, “No water, no electricity, no trash. Surprisingly very clean. Pack it in, pack it out. But you can’t beat free.”
Yellowstone Campgrounds Vibe: 7.4/10 Love the privacy and the neighborhood cows!
Spring Creek Campground
Location: West Yellowstone, MT
Ideal for: RVs, Tents Vans
Why You’ll Love It: This campground just completed an expansion and now offers a dozen sites with fire pits & tables. There’s also a vault toilet onsite.
What’s the Word: MTgirl79 on Campendium says, “Things were still a bit rough around the edges and the newer sites weren’t 100% finished – I’m hoping the FS came through with some gravel to add to the parking areas. No garbage service and no drinking water.”
Yellowstone Campgrounds Vibe: 6.6/10 Not many reviews post-renovation, seems pretty nice though.
Lower Teton View
Location: Moran, WY
Ideal for: RVs, Tents & Vanns
Why You’ll Love It: I’m slipping this one in even though its 60 miles from Yellowstone. If you plan on visiting Yellowstone, you must also visit Grand Teton National Park. They are so close together!
Lower Teton View is the best and most accessible free campground you’ll find at the Tetons.
It has beautiful views from the campsite and multiple nearby hiking trails.
What’s The Word: Sloehr on Campendium says, “This has been one of the best boondocking sites I’ve encountered mainly due to the view and easy access for our giant 37 foot trailer. Although there are no toilets, water or hookups, we stayed until we ran out of water. And even then we filled up a few containers of free water at a Shell station in Jackson to extend our stay”
Yellowstone Campgrounds Vibe: 8.0/10 Since it’s 60 miles from Yellowstone it loses a few points. Otherwise, an awesome site!
The Best FREE Camping in the USA
We love camping across this amazing country. And, we really love it when its free. Here’s our list of the 20 Best Free Campsites in the USA.
If you haven’t tried free camping before, also known as boondocking, take a look at our beginners guide to boondocking filled with everything you need to know to get started.
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