Best Places to Stay In Yellowstone: Camping + Lodges

Discover the best places to stay in Yellowstone National Park including first-come, first-served campgrounds, reservable campsites, and rustic lodges.

Bison walking through campground in Yellowstone National Park

Looking for the best places to stay in Yellowstone? Yellowstone is a behemoth of a National Park and there is so much to explore within the park boundaries. Choosing where you will stay during your visit is an important consideration. Luckily, Yellowstone has more hotels and lodging options than any other National Park and campgrounds are plentiful as well.

Now you are probably thinking, “plan ahead because National Parks are popular” and yes, while planning ahead is important in helping you maximize your vacation, if you are planning a last-minute getaway you might still be able to snag a first-come, first-serve camping spot or hotel room. A few years back, I did just that. Using Yellowstone’s online tools, which we’ll talk about in this blog post, I was able to get a last-minute campsite in my Sprinter Van with zero ahead planning.

In this blog post, we’ve put together a guide to help you find the best camping in Yellowstone as well as other Yellowstone lodging options. If you can’t get a spot in the park, you’ll also find some helpful tips for where to stay outside the park boundaries.

Looking for the best places to stay in Yellowstone? In this post, we cover the best Yellowstone camping, hotels, and other tips for snagging lodging for your Yellowstone getaway.

Yellowstone National Park Overview + Map

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the United States. The park is located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho and covers nearly 3,500 square miles. Yellowstone is best known for its geothermal features, such as geysers and hot springs. It is also home to a variety of wildlife, including bison, elk, bears, and wolves. The park was established in 1872 and is managed by the National Park Service. Every year, over four million people visit Yellowstone to enjoy its scenic beauty and unique geology.

The map below highlights some of the top sights to see in Yellowstone as well as Yellowstone camping and lodging options.

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Yellowstone Camping Options

Campgrounds offer some of the best places to stay in Yellowstone with great views and easy access to some of the park’s best trails and sights. The National Park offers 12 campgrounds with over 2,000 campsites.

Five of these campgrounds are managed by Yellowstone National Park Lodges while the other 7 are managed by the National Park Service.

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5 Yellowstone National Park Lodges Campgrounds

These 5 campgrounds can be reserved online at the Yellowstone National Park Lodges website.

1. Bridge Bay Campground:

  • Season: May 20, 2022 through September 5, 2022
  • # of sites: 400+
  • Reserveable? Yes
  • Need to know: No electricity, water, or sewage hookups
  • Price per night: $29

Bridge Bay Campground is one of the busiest campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park, due to its convenient location near many of the park’s popular attractions. Situated on the shores of Yellowstone Lake, the campground offers stunning views of the water and nearby mountains. There are over 400 sites available for RVs and tents, as well as several group sites. The campground also has a general store, laundry facilities, and a dump station. Although it can be crowded, Bridge Bay Campground is a great place to stay if you want to be close to all the action in Yellowstone National Park.

2. Canyon Campground

  • Season: May 27, 2022 through September 18, 2022
  • # of sites: 270+
  • Reserveable? Yes
  • Need to know: No electricity, water, or sewage hookups
  • Price per night: $34

Canyon Campground is one of the most popular campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park. Situated along the banks of the Yellowstone River, the campground offers stunning views of the river and the nearby canyon. There are sites for tents and RVs, but no group camping area. The campground is also close to several of the park’s major attractions, including the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.

3. Fishing Bridge RV Park

  • Season: May 27, 2022 through October 8, 2022
  • # of sites: 310
  • Reserveable? Yes
  • Need to know: Hard-sided recreational vehicles only, no tents
  • Price per night: $83

Fishing Bridge RV Park – newly renovated for the 2022 season – is the perfect place to set up camp in your RV or van (no tents allowed) when exploring Yellowstone National Park. Located on the shores of the Yellowstone River, the RV park offers stunning views of the mountains and ample opportunities for fishing, hiking, and wildlife watching. There are over 300 RV sites available, and each site has full hookups for water, electricity, and sewer. The park also has a grocery store, laundry facilities, and a dump station.

4. Grant Village Campground

  • Season: June 3, 2022 through September 11, 2022
  • # of sites: 400+
  • Reserveable? Yes
  • Need to know: No electricity, water, or sewage hookups; showers available offsite at Camper’s Services facility
  • Price per night: $34

Nestled amongst the towering pines in the southwest corner of the park, Grant Village Campground is one of the most popular camping destinations in Yellowstone National Park. With its convenient location and incredible views, it’s no wonder that this campground is a favorite amongst visitors. Grant Village Campground offers stunning views of Yellowstone Lake, as well as easy access to hiking trails, fishing spots, and other outdoor activities. The campground is also just a short drive from the geysers and hot springs for which Yellowstone is famous.

5. Madison Campground

  • Season: May 5, 2022 through October 16, 2022
  • # of sites: 270+
  • Reserveable? Yes
  • Need to know: No electricity, water, or sewage hookups; no showers
  • Price per night: $29

Nestled at the edge of the Madison River, Madison campground offers stunning views of the river and the surrounding mountains. There are also plenty of opportunities for fishing, hiking, and wildlife watching. Best of all, the campground is just a short drive from some of the park’s most iconic attractions, including Old Faithful geyser.

7 Yellowstone National Park Service Campgrounds

National Park Service Campgrounds can be reserved online at recreation.gov

For more info on each Yellowstone National Park campground, their availability, and nightly fees head to the Yellowstone National Park Camping website.

1. Mammoth Campground

  • Season: Year-round
  • # of sites: 85
  • Reserveable? Reservation-only April 1st through October 15th
  • Need to know: No electricity, water, or sewage hookups; no showers
  • Price per night: $25

The only campground in the park open year-round, Mammoth Campground is very conveniently located near the geothermal features of Mammoth Hot Springs, as well as its plentiful amenities. Mammoth Campground is a great base camp for exploring all that Yellowstone has to offer. Whether you’re looking to relax in a natural hot spring or explore the incredible geysers and waterfalls of Yellowstone, Mammoth Campground is one of our favorites.

2. Norris campground (Closed for 2022)

  • Season: Closed for 2022
  • # of sites: 112
  • Reserveable? NA
  • Need to know: No electricity, water, or sewage hookups; no showers
  • Price per night: NA

Norris Campground is one of the most beautiful places in Yellowstone National Park. The campground is situated on the banks of the Gibbon River, and it offers stunning views of the river and the surrounding mountains. There are plenty of activities to keep campers busy, including hiking, fishing, and canoeing. And at night, the campground comes alive with the sounds of nature.

3. Slough Creek Campground

  • Season: June 15, 2022 through October 12, 2022
  • # of sites: 16
  • Reserveable? Yes
  • Need to know: No electricity, water, or sewage hookups; no showers; vault toilets
  • Price per night: $20

Slough Creek Campground is one of the best places to view wildlife in Yellowstone National Park. The campground is situated on the banks of Slough Creek, and it offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. In addition to wildlife watching, there’s also great fishing and hiking nearby.

4. Pebble Creek Campground

  • Season: June 15, 2022 through September 25, 2022
  • # of sites: 27
  • Reserveable? Yes
  • Need to know: No electricity, water, or sewage hookups; no showers; vault toilets
  • Price per night: $20

Pebble Creek Campground is situated on a plateau near the continental divide, offering stunning views of both the Absaroka and Beartooth mountain ranges. In addition to its scenic location, the campground is just a short drive from many of Yellowstone’s most popular attractions as well as numerous hiking trails, making it the perfect basecamp for exploring everything the park has to offer.

5. Tower Fall Campground (Status TBD for 2022)

  • Season: TBD
  • # of sites: 31
  • Reserveable? TBD
  • Need to know: No electricity, water, or sewage hookups; no showers; vault toilets
  • Price per night: $20

Tower Fall Campground is a great place to set up camp when exploring Yellowstone National Park. The campground is situated near Tower Fall, a popular tourist spot in the park. There are plenty of hiking trails nearby, as well as a general store and a visitor center. The campsites are spacious and well-organized, and the views of Tower Fall are postcard-worthy.

6. Indian Creek Campground

  • Season: June 10, 2022 through September 11, 2022
  • # of sites: 70
  • Reserveable? 80% of sites are reservable six months in advance, while the remaining 20% of sites are available two weeks in advance.
  • Need to know: No electricity, water, or sewage hookups; no showers; vault toilets
  • Price per night: $20

Indian Creek Campground is located about 8 miles south of Mammoth Hot Springs on the road to Norris. With stunning views that include Electric Peak, this campground offers a more primitive experience than many other locations in Yellowstone while still being close enough for easy access in and out with all amenities at your fingertips.

7. Lewis Lake Campground

  • Season: June 15, 2022 through October 14, 2022
  • # of sites: 85
  • Reserveable? 80% of sites are reservable six months in advance, while the remaining 20% of sites are available two weeks in advance.
  • Need to know: No electricity, water, or sewage hookups; no showers; vault toilets
  • Price per night: $20

This campground is located on the shores of Lewis Lake and offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains. There are plenty of activities to keep visitors entertained, including hiking, fishing, and boating. The campground also has a store and a ranger station, so it’s easy to get information about the area.

Two bisons walking along paved road in winter in Yellowstone National Park.

Tips For Choosing a Yellowstone Campsite

Before you make your reservations, here are a few helpful tips to make the most out of your Yellowstone camping experience.

Plan campsites around your itinerary

When choosing your Yellowstone campsites, start by figuring out what Yellowstone sights you want to check out. I would recommend planning to stay at 2-3 campgrounds for 1-2 nights each depending on how long you want to be in the park and how much you want to see. The park is huge and spreading your stay out at 2 different campsites will minimize your back and forth driving.

Have a first-come, first-served campsite strategy

If you want to snag a first-come, first-served campsite, plan on arriving early because many of the first-come, first-served campsites are full by 8am.

The first website you need to go to if you are trying to find a first-come, first-serve campsite in Yellowstone is their live-time website that provides updates on campground availability. It tells you:

  • Which campgrounds are open or closed. 
  • The time that the campground was filled to 100% capacity the day before.
  • If the campground still has availability currently or what time it was filled that day.

Keep in mind that while within Yellowstone National Park you won’t always pick up cell service or find wifi readily available to check campsites updates. In fact, we didn’t have service anywhere between the West Yellowstone entrance and Mammoth Hot Springs. It was also sparse on the east and south ends of the park. So I suggest checking this website before you enter the park and make a plan of action for where you want to head. All of the visitor centers also post this information.

Yellowstone campground and camping availability

Book campsites as soon as possible

Yellowstone camping reservations can sell out months in advance, so if you want peace of mind and to have a guaranteed spot, plan accordingly. The largest Yellowstone Campgrounds are Grant Village (430 sites) and Bridge Bay (432 sites), both of which can be reserved online. Canyon, Madison, and Fishing Bridge RV Park all have over 200+ sites and can also be reserved online.

Know Yellowstone’s camping rules and regulations

Camping in Yellowstone is limited to 14 days from July 1st to the first weekend in September, so don’t get too crazy in your itinerary length. (Fishing Bridge RV park does not have any limits).

Camping or overnight vehicle parking is also prohibited in pullouts, parking areas, picnic grounds, or any place other than a designated campground. If you don’t have a campsite reservation and you can’t get a first-come, first-served site, the nearest campsite or hotel room may be hours away.

Yellowstone Backcountry Camping

If you’re looking for some backcountry adventure, there are hundreds of miles of trails in Yellowstone’s backcountry and 293 designated backcountry campsites. All overnight stays in the backcountry require a permit and you can find more information on permits and where to stay in Yosemite National Park backcountry here.

Cascading waterfall surrounded by nature in Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Lodging Options

Not into camping? Some of the best places to stay in Yellowstone National Park include rustic lodges and cabins. You will pay a pretty penny for staying at one of the 9 indoor lodges within the park, but if you’re an early morning person, it is worth it just to get outside and beat the morning Yellowstone crowds. Yellowstone lodging prices range from roughly $100-$500+; there are numerous options to fit all types of budgets and needs.

If you do want to spend a night indoors, it’s a good idea to book early, but sometimes you can find last-minute cancellations just like with the campgrounds. Also, consider booking dinner reservations when booking your lodging as the restaurants also can fill up.

Speaking of reservations and availability—the National Park also hosts a live-time website to showcase the availability of indoor lodging options at these 9 Yellowstone lodges and cabins:

1. Canyon Lodge

Canyon Lodge is situated on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, offering stunning views of the canyon and the river below. The lodge itself is large and modern, with a variety of room types to choose from. There are also several restaurants on-site, as well as a grocery store, gift shop, and laundry facilities.

2. Grant Village Lodge

Nestled on the shores of Yellowstone Lake, Grant Village Lodge is one of the most popular destinations in Yellowstone National Park. The lodge itself is a beautiful log cabin-style building with a large wrap-around porch, and the grounds are dotted with flower gardens and walking trails. Inside, the lodge features a cozy fireplace lounge, a restaurant serving regional cuisine, and a gift shop selling souvenirs and local art.

3. Lake Yellowstone Hotel

Lake Yellowstone Hotel is one of the most iconic hotels in Yellowstone National Park. Situated on the edge of Lake Yellowstone, the hotel offers stunning views of the water and surrounding mountains. Built in 1891, it’s the oldest hotel in the park and has a rich history.

One of our favorite features of this hotel is the beautiful sunroom that overlooks Yellowstone Lake with numerous comfy couches and chairs available to take in the view. Outside you’ll often find vintage Yellowstone touring cars. Lake Yellowstone Hotel is among the nicest in the park and features a large bar, which makes for a great place to grab a cocktail and take a little break from touring.

Lake Yellowstone Hotel

4. Lake Lodge Cabins

Lake Lodge Cabins is a historic lodge located in Yellowstone National Park. The lodge was built in the early 20th century and is situated on the shore of Lake Yellowstone. The lodge features a variety of cabins and suites, as well as a restaurant, bar, and general store. Guests can enjoy a variety of activities such as hiking, biking, fishing, and wildlife watching.

5. Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Cabins

Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Cabins is a historic hotel located in Yellowstone National Park that is open during both summer and winter months and is conveniently located near Mammoth Hot Springs. The hotel was built in the early 1900s and is one of the oldest hotels in the park.

Don’t miss the famous map room at the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. It features a map of the United States built from various types of wood.

6. Old Faithful Inn

Old Faithful Inn is a national historic landmark hotel located in Yellowstone National Park. It is a must-visit and one of the best places to stay in Yellowstone. It is one of the most historic and famous hotels in the entire National Park system. You can’t miss its grand presence behind Old Faithful.

The Old Faithful Inn was designed by architect Robert C. Reamer and completed in 1904. It is the largest log hotel in the entire world. They offer FREE tours daily when the hotel is open, call or check online for tour times.

Insider Tip: There is a great little coffee stand tucked away upstairs and there is also a bakeshop in the hotel if you are craving a sweet treat.

Photo of the front of Old Faithful Lodge with sign hanging from eaves

7. Old Faithful Lodge Cabins

Old Faithful Lodge Cabins in Yellowstone National Park is the perfect place to stay if you’re looking for a rustic and authentic experience. The cabins are located right next to Old Faithful geyser, so you’ll be able to enjoy the famous eruptions up close. The lodge also has a restaurant and bar, so you can relax after a long day of exploring the park.

8. Old Faithful Snow Lodge & Cabins

The Snow Lodge is Yellowstone’s newest hotel that was completed in 1999. The heavy timber construction and exterior log columns give it a classic “parkitecture” feel. It’s one of two hotels in the park that stays open throughout the winter, so you can cozy up by the fire after enjoying a day of exploring Yellowstone’s winter wonderland.

9. Roosevelt Lodge & Cabins

Roosevelt Lodge is named after President Theodore Roosevelt, who was an avid conservationist and played a key role in establishing Yellowstone as a national park. Roosevelt Lodge is located in the heart of the park, just a short distance from many of the park’s most popular attractions. The lodge offers a variety of accommodations including cabins and lodge rooms. Roosevelt Lodge also has a restaurant, grocery store, and gift shop. Visitors can take part in a variety of activities, including hiking, horseback riding, and ranger-led programs.

Important Notes to Consider About Yellowstone Lodging

  • Old Faithful Snow Lodge & Cabins and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel are the only two indoor lodging options open year-round.
  • Roosevelt Lodge & Cabins are the earliest to close at the end of the summer season. They are only open early June to early September.
  • None of the lodging options in Yellowstone have televisions. We only say this to remind you that you are staying in a lodge in a National Park. Expect it to be a little rustic!
  • And don’t get too caught about trying to figure out which lodge/cabins are the best. They are all run by the same park concessionaire, Xanterra. The amenities from one lodge to another only differ slightly. Again, the same advice as selecting campgrounds–focus on the area of the park you want to stay for the night.

Pet-friendly Lodging in Yellowstone National Park

Traveling with a pet in Yellowstone may severely limit your experience in the park since pets are not allowed more than 100 feet from roads, parking areas, or campgrounds. This means you won’t be able to take Fido with you out on the trails. Pets also must be kept on a 6-foot leash or in a crate when outside your car. Many visitors opt to board their pets for a few days so that they have more flexibility to enjoy the park.

If you have no other option but to bring your pets with you, there are several pet-friendly lodging options in Yellowstone including:

  • Lake Hotel and Cabins
  • Lake Lodge Cabins
  • Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Cabins
  • Canyon Lodge Cabins
  • Old Faithful Lodge Cabins
  • Old Faithful Snow Lodge Cabins
  • Roosevelt Lodge Cabins

Even if you book a pet-friendly cabin, though, dogs or other pets are not allowed to be left alone inside the cabin and a $25 pet fee is required for each booking. These strict rules are in place to help protect Yellowstone’s wildlife and pristine landscapes and also protect your pooch from dangerous geothermic areas.

Geothermal pool in Yellowstone National Park in winter

Where To Stay Outside Of Yellowstone

There are a few unique towns just outside some of the Yellowstone entrances that offer a broad range of competitive lodging options, both campgrounds and hotels. Just keep in mind, you might encounter long lines every day going into and out of the park.

West Yellowstone is probably the most famous town for staying outside the park. And yes, based on its name, it is just outside the West entrance.

Gardiner is just outside the North entrance and is an option if you are visiting the Lamar Valley area and Mammoth Hot Springs. Rates are competitive and hotels can book up early.

Insider tip: The farther you travel from the park, the cheaper lodging will get.

If you are looking for dispersed camping options outside of Yellowstone, check out the tools I use in my Ultimate Guide to Finding Free Camping.

Beautiful sunset over river in Yellowstone National Park

We hope this guide on the best places to stay in Yellowstone helps you get ready for an epic road trip to one of our nation’s most unique and beautiful National Parks.

Do you have a favorite Yellowstone campsite or lodge? Let us know in the comments below!

Discover the best places to stay in Yellowstone including first-come, first-served campgrounds, reservable campsites, and rustic lodges.

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12 Comments

  1. Hey! Very nice blog. Thanks for the useful info about Yellowstone.
    Do you know about any nice multi day hike in Yellowstone (3-4 days) ?
    Thanks!

  2. I like how you mentioned that spreading your stay at Yellowstone over 2 different campsites will minimizing driving time. My wife and I are wanting to go to Yellowstone soon and we were wondering where we should stay in the park. I’ll be sure to tell her that we should look for 2 different campsites to stay in during our trip.

  3. Thanks, Kim for sharing such detailed articles about Yellowstone campgrounds. I had a little question, can you please tell me How do I reserve a Yellowstone campground?

  4. Very nice web page lots of information for a first time trip to Yellowstone thank you for sharing ❤️ Question you stated there is no or very little cell phone connection I was wondering about gps connection? Also the best week to go see the fall colors?

    1. Thanks for reading! Late September/early October tends to be a good time for Fall colors although that can vary slightly year to year. Depending on what GPS you’re using sometimes you can download maps ahead of time and since most use satellite data I believe they should work without cell phone signal but am not 100% sure on that. Happy travels!

  5. Very detailed and informative information. Thank you for this!! I concur that staying at several campgrounds would eliminate a lot of the back and forth driving. We will be going this summer and I intend to rent a Class B. Praying because I have gotten a late start.