How early to book campsites at Yellowstone?

Old Jan 18th, 2006, 09:35 AM
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How early to book campsites at Yellowstone?

We're probably going to make a trip to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons in August. How early do I need to book a campsite?

Also, any recommendations on good, central tent campsites for exploring the park would be great.

I know with Yosemite they open up their reservations 5 months in advance and if you don't get in within that first week, pickings are slim.
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Old Jan 18th, 2006, 12:02 PM
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The Norris camp ground in Yellowstone is centrally located (I think that it is a predominantly tent area). When we were there about 5 years ago we did not need a reservation, but we arrived at the campsite before 10 a.m.
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Old Jan 18th, 2006, 12:14 PM
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In years past we have never made advanced reservations at Yellowstone and have always gotten a site either at Madison, Mammoth or Bridge Bay, but it's getting harder and harder so if you have exact dates, I would make reservations, I just don't think it has to be done to early.

Madison Campground is excellent location for seeing the geyser area in Yellowstone. If you don't mind moving around I'd suggest an east side campground too. There are no showers at Madison, but I think there are tent only loops.

Utahtea
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Old Jan 18th, 2006, 12:17 PM
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BTW, I would not even think about trying to camp at Yosemite without reservations.

Utahtea
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Old Jan 18th, 2006, 01:10 PM
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To be sure, reserve. The campground at Madison Junction is decent enough and fairly central. It is between the geyser basin that features Old Faithful and Grand and the Norris Geyser Basin.

Not all of the campgrounds in Yellowstone have reservable places.

You did not say when you planned on being there. Madison opens on May 5; Grant Village not until June 21.

I would reserve as soon as you know your arrival day and the length of stay.
Some of these fill fast and early.
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Old Jan 18th, 2006, 01:26 PM
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http://www.nps.gov/yell/pphtml/camping.html - this is a list of all the CG in YS with open dates.

We have been going to the YS for years and have never made reservations. We just arrived early at the CG of our choice.
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Old Jan 18th, 2006, 04:56 PM
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Follow the ranger's rules for bear protection TO A TEE!!!
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Old Jan 18th, 2006, 05:34 PM
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bob_brown...read the orginal post, Yale said he was going in August! #-o

Utahtea
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Old Jan 19th, 2006, 06:09 AM
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I spoke to a helpful employee at Yellowstone. One of the nicer campgrounds at Yellowstone is Canyon campground which is centrally located. You can call to book now as the reserved sites are filling up. One of the smaller campgrounds has only 5 tenting sites left, however, Canyon has quite a few. book now. they require a deposit of the first nights stay and you can cancel a few days prior to arrival. (18.35) I do not know if there is a processing fee invilved in a cancellation. There are showers at Canyon as well as washers.
the Grand Tetons are another story. I do not believe you can reserve tenting sites there. First come, first serve. Get there at 8 to be sure of a site. I was not comfortable with that and was able to reserve a tent cabin which is 2 sides log cabin and 2 sides canvas with 4 cots at a rate of 41.34. You can cancel 3 days prior with a 15.00 processing fee. The site at Grand Teton is Colter Bay campgrounds and I am told they are nice with showers. Visit their museum of Plains Indians at the visiter center.Also, they are really flexable in Yellowstone as far as movong from site to site or campground to campground so I have been told.
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