Slough Creek

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rzrpirate
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:14 pm

Slough Creek

Post by rzrpirate » Tue Sep 26, 2017 10:33 am

If I am camping at Mammoth campgrounds when SC opens what is the best way to get a site? Is this something that everyone is going to be attempting?



yellvet
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:54 pm

Re: Slough Creek

Post by yellvet » Wed Sep 27, 2017 7:53 am

Getting a site at SC is very difficult, at best. On opening day, there may be as many as 20 cars in line with all the people waiting to get a site at the campground. There are less than 20 sites now so the competition for sites is fierce. That being the case, concentrate on getting a site....any site. (don't be picky). Once you've got a site, you can always move to a different location when the site becomes available.

It's important to be friendly, courteous and patient. NEVER EVER get pushy about getting a site! That will not serve you well. Keep in mind that campers are allowed to camp in the Park for 14 days during the peak visitor season. They can also extend their stay at a site, if they so choose, as long as they aren't violating the Park's 14 day camping rule. Be sure to include the SC host in any site move that you'd like to make or with any site arrangement that you make directly with a camper at the campground. This helps prevent double-booking the same site, which often leads to stressed out and infuriated campers.

The host keeps pretty close tabs on all the campers/sites and has a fairly good idea of who and when someone will be leaving. If you already have a site at Mammoth, my advice is to take a day trip over to SC and talk to the host. They keep pretty close tabs on all the sites and they should be able to tell you what site(s) will be available and when. Lastly, if you already have a site at Mammoth, do not give it up until you're absolutely sure that you've got a site at SC. It's better to pay for an extra night at Mammoth rather than not have a site to go back to. It takes about 30 minutes to drive from SC to Mammoth (without any traffic/animals) on the road and site checkout is at 11am. So if you can't get a site at SC you'll need to either return to Mammoth or find a site at another campground. Just don't get caught without having a site for the night. OB camping is prohibited and will get you a one-way trip out of the Park and a hefty citation. Not good if you're on vacation. Hope this helps.



rzrpirate
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:14 pm

Re: Slough Creek

Post by rzrpirate » Wed Sep 27, 2017 9:22 am

It does. Over the years I have lined up at many campgrounds before the gates opened to secure a site. Is that the way SC will be on opening day? If so what time should I be there to line up?



yellvet
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:54 pm

Re: Slough Creek

Post by yellvet » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:41 am

If you want to get a site on opening day at SC, it's gonna be hard. You probably won't be able to get a site unless you're willing to spend all night waiting for the barricade to be removed on the CG entrance road. The barricade is usually set up by the outfitter's horse station, where people can turn around. Technically, the CG doesn't open until 6/15 at 8am. However, sometimes a sympathetic host or ranger will remove the barricade sooner if the host is at the CG. It just depends on the local Park management. Weather can also affect the opening date of the CG. In mid June, the water level might be too high for the park to safely allow visitors to stay at SC because of the risk of flash flooding. Over the past decade the spring runoff has eroded creek banks, flooded and/or wiped out many of the SC campsites. For years, there were 29 sites at SC. This year, there were 16. Another reason why the CG opening date can change is because of the high level of bear activity in the SC area and the increasing number of early season campers who refuse to follow the Park's campground rules and regs, putting the safety of bears and the SC campers at risk. This year, I think the Park did a pretty good job, overall, patrolling the SC campground, responding to SOS calls and doing a few bear awareness presentations at the CG.

But there's always room for improvement. Sadly, the funding for making improvements and hiring more rangers, reportedly, just isn't there. For the past two years, hubby, myself and another long-time SC couple have submitted an idea to Tower rangers and to the Park's campground supervisor on how the Park could add additional sites to the existing SC CG at minimal cost or expense and without endangering the wildlife or the primitive nature of the SC ecosystem. With a few more sites at SC, the Park would be able to generate more revenue for the Park each year (from the collection of the additional site fees) without having to ask Congress, taxpayers or Park visitors for more money. Never got a response or any interst from any Park personnel, so I guess our idea died.



yellvet
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:54 pm

Re: Slough Creek

Post by yellvet » Thu Sep 28, 2017 10:48 am

If you want to get a site on opening day at SC, it's gonna be hard. You probably won't be able to get a site unless you're willing to spend all night waiting for the barricade to be removed on the CG entrance road. The barricade is usually set up by the outfitter's horse station, where people can turn around. Technically, the CG doesn't open until 6/15 at 8am. However, sometimes a sympathetic host or ranger will remove the barricade sooner if the host is at the CG. It just depends on the local Park management. Weather can also affect the opening date of the CG. In mid June, the water level might be too high for the park to safely allow visitors to stay at SC because of the risk of flash flooding. Over the past decade the spring runoff has eroded creek banks, flooded and/or wiped out many of the SC campsites. For years, there were 29 sites at SC. This year, there were 16. Another reason why the CG opening date can change is because of the high level of bear activity in the SC area and the increasing number of early season campers who refuse to follow the Park's campground rules and regs, putting the safety of bears and the SC campers at risk. This year, I think the Park did a pretty good job, overall, patrolling the SC campground, responding to SOS calls and doing a few bear awareness presentations at the CG.

But there's always room for improvement. Sadly, the funding for making improvements and hiring more rangers, reportedly, just isn't there. For the past two years, hubby, myself and another long-time SC couple have submitted an idea to Tower rangers and to the Park's campground supervisor on how the Park could add additional sites to the existing SC CG at minimal cost or expense and without endangering the wildlife or the primitive nature of the SC ecosystem. With a few more sites at SC, the Park would be able to generate more revenue for the Park each year (from the collection of the additional site fees) without having to ask Congress, taxpayers or Park visitors for more money. Never got a response or any interest, so I guess our idea died.



rzrpirate
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:14 pm

Re: Slough Creek

Post by rzrpirate » Thu Sep 28, 2017 1:22 pm

Thanks Yellvet. from what I am hearing it doesn't sound like its worth the hassle unless a camper is going to spend a lot of days in the CG. I cant see that happening. I will probably check it out but certainly not count on it. Most of my trips to YP I usually camp wherever I end up for the day to cut down on driving time. This probably wont change this trip. I haven't tried to get in SC and it may not happen again. We will just play it by ear. Thanks again.



yellvet
Posts: 26
Joined: Tue Aug 01, 2017 5:54 pm

Re: Slough Creek

Post by yellvet » Sun Oct 01, 2017 10:07 am

rzrpirate, if you want to reduce your driving time, gas consumption and maximize your time each day in the Park, then you may want to consider securing your campsite first, at the start of each day, rather than wait until the end of the day, when most campgrounds have already filled. That way you'll know that you've got a campsite to go back to at the end of the day and won't get stuck having to find another site or one that is outside of the Park. If you'll be bringing your computer, you can check the current status of each Yellowstone campground at the following official YNP link. It's especially helpful/useful for visitors like yourself who like to "wing it" or play it by ear when they're in the Park. Here's the link:

https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/campgrounds.htm.

Just keep in mind, that the live campground status can change at any time because of the high number of visitors who are also looking for campsites. The Park does it's best to keep the page updated but with the constant changeover and availability of campsites, on a minute to minute basis, the info isn't always reliable. If you find yourself in a pinch trying to find a site in the PM, your best bet finding a site will be at the Indian Creek Campground since it doesn't fill very often. However, if there are any grizzly bears that that have been spotted in the area or over by Swan Lake Flat, that CG will likely fill fast, as well, due to its close proximity to Swan Lake.

With so many visitors, anglers and photographers going to the Park from April through mid October, that's why I recommended that you find a site first and tag it, before you go exploring for the day, especially, if you want a good Park experience and not one that has you stressed out, frustrated and/or scrambling and putting on the miles at the end of the day trying to find a campsite. Thirty years ago, I used to wing it, too. But, you just can't do that anymore. There just aren't enough campgrounds in the Park now to support the high volume of Yellowstone campers. That being the case, until such time that the Park can can afford to add another campground, I suspect that the campsite/campground problem will more than likely continue or get worse.



rzrpirate
Posts: 12
Joined: Tue Jul 25, 2017 4:14 pm

Re: Slough Creek

Post by rzrpirate » Sun Oct 01, 2017 8:44 pm

Thanks Yellvet, I guess I didn't make it too clear. I always do find a campsite as soon as I get in the area I'm exploring. I agree, it would be nerve wrecking to wait very late with no place to hang my hat.



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