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    Great Family Campgrounds in Yellowstone

    By By Megan Taylor Morrison
    March 12, 2013, 8:11:47 AM EDT

    In 1872, Yellowstone National Park was established to preserve the majority of the world’s geysers, as well as the beautiful landscape and species ranging from grizzly bears to bison. Today, more than 2.5 million visitors come to Yellowstone each summer to experience the pristine reserve that spans parts of Wyoming, Idaho and Montana.


    One of the best ways to experience Yellowstone is at one of the 12 campgrounds located at various spots within the park. They each have something to offer, from nearby fishing or hiking to close proximity to a general store. In each of the following campgrounds, make sure to check out the ranger programs offered from mid-July to early September.

    We’ve chosen three campgrounds below, but you can check out the entire list on the Yellowstone National Park website.

    Tower Fall Campground Amenities: Nearby general store; restaurant and showers; potable water via hand pumps; vault toilets Generators: Not allowed Open: Mid May-September Reservations: First come, first serve Cost: $12/night

    For those who want to rough it—at least as far as car camping goes—there’s Tower Fall. Located in the Northeast section of the park in a mixed pine forest, this campground is very popular with visitors. It’s close to Mammoth, the Lamar Valley and—of course—Tower Falls itself. If you arrive early, you may be able to grab one of the campsites that overlook the river.

    Bridge Bay Campground Amenities: Group sites; nearby pay showers and coin laundry; close to marina and store; flush toilets; dishwashing stations Generators: OK 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Open: May-mid-September Reservations: Call for availability Cost: $20.50/night

    If you feel most comfortable in a bustling campground, Bridge Bay is a good option. With more than 400 regular sites available, there will be plenty of fellow campers to meet.

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    Bridge Bay is in a wide-open setting with views of Yellowstone Lake below. It’s also close to the lake’s fishing pier and hiking trails. For a campsite with fewer trees, stick to the lower loops. If you want a forested spot, head to the upper area.

    Mammoth Campground Amenities: Handicap accessible sites; tent pads; flush toilets; potable water; nearby general store, restaurant, gift shop and showers at the Mammoth Hot Springs area Generators: OK 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Open: Year round Reservations: First come, first served Cost: $14/night

    Just five miles from north entrance of Yellowstone is Mammoth Campground, a great starting point for the hot springs, fishing in the Gardner River and hiking trails.

    With 85 campsites, this area is a nice in-between for people who want a quieter campsite, but more access to amenities. Close to Gardiner, Montana, it’s also easy to restock supplies.

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