Camping is available at a dozen sites scattered along the Yellowstone  road network. Most of these campsites are open from at least late May-mid-September, but only Mammoth Campground remains open throughout the year.
Generators are allowed in more than half of the campgrounds but can be used only between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. Roadside or parking-lot camping is prohibited, and rangers vigorously enforce this rule.
Reservations are available—and advised—for five concessioner-managed campgrounds: Bridge Bay Campground, Canyon Campground, Grant Village Campground, Madison Campground, and Fishing Bridge RV Park. Contact Xanterra Parks and Resorts (307/344-7311 or 866/439-7375, www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com ) for reservations (no extra charge).
The other seven (Park Service-managed) campgrounds inside Yellowstone are available on a first-come, first-camped basis with no reservations. You can pay with cash, checks, or credit cards.
Historically, the Park Service increases rates annually by a small percentage every March or April. Call to confirm rates before booking.
During July and August, virtually all campsites in Yellowstone fill before noon, so get there early or reserve a space! The busiest weekends are—not surprisingly—around July 4 and Labor Day, but Yellowstone’s most popular campgrounds fill up even in late fall and early summer. Call the Park Service at 307/344-2114 for a recording noting which campgrounds are full.
Sixteen miles north of Old Faithful , this is the closest campground to Yellowstone’s most famous attraction. West Yellowstone is 14 miles to the west. The campground is near the confluence of the Gibbon, Madison, and Firehole Rivers and makes a fine base for exploring all the park’s main attractions. All 277 campsites at Madison fill early in the day throughout the summer. Generators are allowed 8 a.m.-8 p.m., and the campground has flush toilets and a dump station, but no showers. It’s open early May-late October and costs $20. Contact Xanterra Parks and Resorts (307/344-7311 or 866/439-7375, www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com ) for reservations (highly recommended). Group sites are available.
One of Yellowstone’s most dramatic geyser basins is just a quarter-mile from Norris Campground. The campsites fill early most days, and the campground has flush toilets. Food and supplies are available at Canyon Village, 12 miles east of Norris. Generators are permitted 8 a.m.-8 p.m., and the campground is open mid-May-late September. The 116 sites cost $14. No reservations.
This extremely popular campground is near a residential area and along the busy park road, but just a short walk from the hot springs, visitor center/museum, shops, horseback rides, and eating places in Mammoth. Generators are permitted 8 a.m.-8 p.m., and road traffic can be noisy, so this isn’t the most peaceful spot. It has flush toilets and is the only park campground that remains open year-round. The 85 sites (all pull-through) cost $14. Reservations are not accepted, so get there early to be assured of a spot—even in winter and spring.
This quiet campground generally fills late in the day. It is just eight miles south of Mammoth, where you’ll find food and other services. There are generators, and it has vault toilets. It sits alongside pretty Indian Creek and is open mid-June-mid-September. The 75 sites go for $12 each. No reservations.
This campground makes a good base for wildlife-watching in Lamar Valley and for exploring the scenic Icebox Canyon area. It’s in a quiet corner of the park, seven miles from the Northeast Entrance. Food and limited supplies are available at Tower Fall and Roosevelt. Pebble Creek Campground has vault toilets and is open mid-June-September. The 32 campsites are $12. No reservations.
This fairly small 29-site campground is especially popular with anglers who come here to fly-fish for cutthroat trout and with wildlife enthusiasts who watch the bison, elk, and wolves of Lamar Valley. Good local hiking is nearby, too. Food and limited supplies are available at Tower Fall and Roosevelt. The campground is open late May-October and has vault toilets. Campsites are $12. No reservations.
Close to a dramatic waterfall on Tower Creek, this campground has 32 sites and vault toilets. Limited groceries and supplies are available at the nearby general store, with meals at Roosevelt Lodge. The campground is open mid-May-September. Campsites cost $12. No reservations.
This exceptionally popular camping area is close to the dramatic overlooks at Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone . A park visitor center, Yellowstone General Store, restaurant, cafeteria, post office, gas station, and other lodgings are a short walk away. Not surprisingly, the campground’s 250 sites fill early most summer days. It has coin-operated washers and dryers, coin-operated showers, flush toilets, and a dump station. Generators are permitted 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Canyon Campground is open early June-early September and costs $20. Contact Xanterra Parks and Resorts (307/344-7311 or 866/439-7375, www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com ) for reservations—highly recommended.
This camping area is adjacent to the Bridge Bay Marina on the north side of Lake Yellowstone and also near a ranger station and store. Meals are available at Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Lake Lodge, just a few miles from here. This 425-site campground (the largest in Yellowstone) fills quickly most summer days. Generators are permitted 8 a.m.-8 p.m., and it has flush toilets and a dump station, but no showers or laundry. The campground is open late May-mid-September and costs $20. Contact Xanterra Parks and Resorts (307/344-7311 or 866/439-7375, www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com ) for reservations—highly recommended. Group sites are also available.
On the north end of Yellowstone Lake , this very crowded 325-site campground is open only to hard-sided RVs, with a 40-foot maximum length. No tents, pop-ups, or other campers that bears might break into easily are allowed. Sites with full hookups cost $28 for up to four people, and generators are permitted 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Bathhouses have coin-op showers, flush toilets, washers, and dryers. Dining is available a few miles away at Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Lake Lodge. The RV Park is open mid-May-September and fills early most days. Contact Xanterra Parks and Resorts (307/344-7311 or 866/439-7375, www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com ) for reservations—highly recommended.
Near the south end of Yellowstone Lake and 19 miles southeast of Old Faithful , this campground fills early and offers more than 400 woodsy sites. It has coin-op showers nearby, flush toilets, washers and dryers, and a dump station. Generators are permitted 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Nearby are restaurants, a park visitor center, and a general store. The campground is open late June-September and costs $20. (Grant Village Campground opens later than others due to bear activity early in the summer.) Contact Xanterra Parks and Resorts (307/344-7311 or 866/439-7375, www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com ) for reservations—highly recommended. Group sites are available.
On the southeast end of Lewis Lake, this 85-site campground is the southernmost in the park. It fills early and is open mid-June-early November. It has vault toilets, and a boat ramp is nearby. Campsites are $12. Food and other services are available at Grant Village to the north or Flagg Ranch  to the south. No reservations.
When everything else is packed, folks head to campgrounds on surrounding Forest Service and Grand Teton National Park  lands or to private campgrounds and motels in the gateway towns. The farther you get from Yellowstone, the more likely you are to find space. If you reach Nebraska, you should have no trouble at all. Campers can take showers ($4) at Old Faithful Lodge, Mammoth Hotel, Grant Village, Fishing Bridge RV Park, and Canyon Village Campground.