Mammoth CG and RVs

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Mike
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Mammoth CG and RVs

Post by Mike » Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:31 pm

As usual I will be at Mammoth this Spring and I am being joined by family in a RV that is 30' in length,my truck is 20' in length.I can't picture in my mind any of the pull through sites in the first loop that can accommodate both vehicles.Has anybody had any luck getting a RV and a crew cab truck in one spot or am I going to have to get two sites?



yellvet
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Re: Mammoth CG and RVs

Post by yellvet » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:27 am

Mike, check out this link: https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/mammothhscg.htm
It should give you a better idea of what you may be dealing with.

You didn't mention when you were planning to go to the Park. "Spring" covers a lot of territory, Mike. During the summer, you probably won't have a problem at Mammoth because it has a number of pull-thru sites that are 65' long. However, because the Park can get snow during any month of the year and does get a lot of late spring snow, that's one of the reasons why I suspect that the Park has had to impose some RV restrictions...for safety reasons.

A few years ago I contacted the Park to get clarification on the Park's site length limit rule and asked whether or not a camper could park their tow vehicle next to their trailer as long as 1) there was sufficient room and that 2) the vehicles wouldn't block the campground road in any way and/or destroy any vegetation. I was told by the Park's C.S. supervisor that this would be OK. But as you probably know, the Park can change its rules, without warning, at any time. So to be on the safe side, you may want to call or email the Park's Customer Service Dept.. I should also mention that the hosts at Mammoth are excellent...really top-drawer. They know the logistics of all the camp sites and can recommend the best ones for your situation.



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Mike
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Re: Mammoth CG and RVs

Post by Mike » Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:43 pm

Thank you for the reply,I 'll be there on April 19th so the only loop open is the first loop( I believe that they open the rest of the camp/loop on May 1st)and with it being "west entrance opening week" and Easter weekend I expect that the camp will fill up just as it did last year at that time.

What I am trying to figure out is if I am not getting to the camp till the afternoon of the 19th,I might not be able to get one site let alone two sites,I could arrive on the 18th but that is going to require a trip from West Yellowstone all the way up to Livingston and back down to Gardiner,what's that,about a 170 mile detour.I have to figure this out as the RV is coming from Washington state and I from California and I being the one with the knowledge :roll: , at least of the park,I am the trip planner/coordinator/concierge/wrangler for the whole trip. My experience of last year when I could not find a camp in the park and forced me to go outside the park to Yankee Jim Canyon.

Edit:I just looked at google earth and can see some large RV/trailers in the camp with a tow/2nd vehicles and it looks like it's doable,mostly on the east side of the lower camp road



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Mike
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Re: Mammoth CG and RVs

Post by Mike » Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:33 pm

yellvet wrote:
Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:27 am
During the summer, you probably won't have a problem at Mammoth because it has a number of pull-thru sites that are 65' long. However, because the Park can get snow during any month of the year and does get a lot of late spring snow, that's one of the reasons why I suspect that the Park has had to impose some RV restrictions...for safety reasons.

That I believe is due to the hairpin turn at the end of the 1st loop,not only sharp left but slight uphill too,you can the see plenty of gouges in the road to attest to that ,with the 2nd loop open long rigs can loop around and hit that straight.



yellvet
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Re: Mammoth CG and RVs

Post by yellvet » Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:05 pm

Mike, have you considered staying at a campground outside of the Park until you can get a site at Mammoth? The Canyon Campground is 16 miles north of Gardiner on Hwy 89. Sites are only $7 a nite but they're also available on a "first come, first serve" basis. So the CG usually fills up quickly on holidays and weekends. Here's the link with more info: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/custerg ... recid=5582

The other CG I was thinking of was the Baker's Hole Campground, 3 miles north of West Yellowstone on Hwy 191. It's a lovely campground and it's located right along the Madison River. It has over 70 sites with lots of pull-thru RV sites. Sites are located in the pines, they have good spacial separation and you'll have walking access to the Madison River. Lots of moose and wildflowers in the area with part of the CG bordering Yellowstone NP. If you're into photography, you'd be hard pressed to find any finer landscape than a misty morning sunrise hovering over the Madison River.....absolutely breathtaking!
Here's a link with more info: https://www.fs.usda.gov/recarea/custerg ... recid=5573 Hope this helps.



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Mike
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Re: Mammoth CG and RVs

Post by Mike » Tue Mar 26, 2019 10:02 am

I have stayed at Canyon for just one night till I could find a spot in the park,so that is plan B and if the snow is not too bad one of the camps up Jardine Rd as a 2nd choice.

Unfortunately Baker's Hole site is not open till May 15th not unlike most private and public sites in the area,but I did find a couple of options on the west side,Valley View and Buffalo Run RV parks both commercial and both in Island Park.Also found Bill Frome Campground (Fremont County) at Henry's Lake,any one with experience there ?



yellvet
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Re: Mammoth CG and RVs

Post by yellvet » Tue Mar 26, 2019 11:38 am

Just thought of another CG that might work for you until you can find a site at Mammoth. It's the Mallard's Rest Fishing Access off Hwy 89 south of Livingston. It's located along the Yellowstone River and has tent and RV sites. I didn't mention it before because it has a fairly steep entrance road off Hwy 89 which could get kind of hairy if there's snow on the ground. But it's open on a year round basis. Here's the link in case you're interested: https://www.visitmt.com/listings/genera ... -site.html If you like to fly fish, Mallard's Rest might be a dandy place to stay for a few nights at the front end of your trip. It's also less than 30 minutes to the the Park's north entrance in Gardiner.



L_Photo
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Re: Mammoth CG and RVs

Post by L_Photo » Mon Apr 15, 2019 2:31 pm

Is there a way to find out when the rest of Mammoth CG opens up? Since the website just says Winter/Summer, that doesn't help me with my April visit :) I know it was open when I was there in early May last year and if it's true that it fills up on the opening weekend of the West entrance - does that mean the whole CG is open on the 19th, or still just the front half?

thanks!



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Mike
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Re: Mammoth CG and RVs

Post by Mike » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:51 pm

Mammoth campground first loop is open all year,second loop usually opens May 1St



yellvet
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Re: Mammoth CG and RVs

Post by yellvet » Sun Apr 28, 2019 1:03 pm

Mike, I think you and all the folks who usually bring a trailer to the Park may want to read this. The policy is posted at the Park's website. Here's the link to the site and vehicle length limit policy. It's posted on the campground details page and says, "Sizes are for total length of vehicle and towed equipment." Here are the details for the Mammoth CG, specifically. https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/mammothhscg.htm

I knew that the Park was trying to add more campsites. In fact, last fall, I heard that the existing sites at Indian Creek were being shortened so more sites could be added for tent campers. But it looks to me like,this year, the Park may be going one step further, trying to force folks with a trailer to go outside the Park or force them to camp at the large RV campgrounds like Grant Village and Bridge Bay. It might be using the rule so the Park can get back to being a "tent-only" Park. I sent the Park's CS dept an email requesting clarification about the camp site/vehicle length limitation policy last week but haven't gotten a response yet. I'll post a reply when I get clarification of the policy for 2019. Here's what I know.

I first saw the site/rv length restriction at the Park's website either last year or the year before. I contacted the Park right away because our little 16' A-frame pop-up trailer plus our 17' SUV would put us over the maximum 30' length limit, not only at the Slough Creek CG, but also at most of the other Yellowstone campgrounds, as well. I really didn't want to have a bad ranger encounter over a miniscule 3', especially, since I was a senior who's been an annual Park visitor, camper and supporter since 1978. On the other hand, I also didn't want to be told that I'd have to leave SC and camp elsewhere because we were over the limit by 3 feet. When I made my initial Park inquiry about the rule (last year or the year before), I was told by the Park's lead CS ranger "NV"that we'd be OK if we parked our car next to our trailer provided that 1) there was enough room at the campsite, 2) we didn't block the campground road and 3) that our parked car didn't disturb the vegetation. So we parked our car next to our trailer and we didn't have a single problem. But I also know that the Park has a new Super this year, there's also a huge shortage of camp sites in the Park and that Park management personnel and the Park's rules and regs can change at any time. I also know from personal experience that there has always been a few "well intentioned" rangers, park planners and "bean counters" in the Park who have done some pretty silly things without thinking of the consequences, including making up a new Park rule and/or policy that, in the long run, does more harm than good.

Hopefully, the Park won't be strictly enforcing the RV/campsite/trailer length limit this year....but ya never know. To be safe, trailer and RV owners may want to consider contacting the Park to get clarification and the details about the policy before they come to the Park this year. The policy, the Park's phone number and email address for questions are posted at the Park's website under "Planning Your Visit" and the details appearing for each campground. IMHO, the Park should really clarify the site/ RV length limit rule ASAP so people aren't wasting their time and money, thinking that they'll be able camp in Yellowstone with a trailer or an RV. On the other hand, maybe that's the Park's intent...to get rid of all the big RV's and trailers and return Yellowstone to a more primitive tent-only national park. Not sure what the motivation or rationale was behind the length limit policy but I think that the Yellowstone visitors and supporters have a right to know.

Last fall, I heard that the existing sites at Indian Creek were being shortened to make room for adding some additional tent sites. Personally, I can't think of a single car/truck and trailer setup that would ever be able to meet the combined 30' site/vehicle length limit. I'll let ya know if we get kicked out of the Slough Creek CG in June because our car+ our little A-frame trailer exceeds the 30' length limit by 3 feet. If that happens, as a senior and as a long-time Park advocate and Yellowstone camper since 1978, I WILL NOT BE A HAPPY CAMPER! I suspect that many forum members like myself who own and/or camp with a trailer will not be happy either. So I hope you'll voice your concerns to the Park NOW and not wait. Thanks for listening and for allowing me to vent and voice my concerns about the new camp site/vehicle length limit policy. What do you think? Does the Park even need such a policy or is it just trying to lower the number of Park visitors because the Park is getting so over crowded.



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