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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.

Statistics: Posted by yellvet — Mon Mar 25, 2019 9:05 pm


Author: yellvet
Posted: March 26, 2019, 3:05 am
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.

Statistics: Posted by Mike — Mon Mar 25, 2019 2:33 pm


Author: Mike
Posted: March 25, 2019, 8:33 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

Statistics: Posted by Mike — Mon Mar 25, 2019 12:43 pm


Author: Mike
Posted: March 25, 2019, 6:43 pm
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.

Statistics: Posted by yellvet — Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:27 am


Author: yellvet
Posted: March 25, 2019, 5:27 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?

Statistics: Posted by Mike — Sat Mar 23, 2019 2:31 pm


Author: Mike
Posted: March 23, 2019, 8:31 pm
We will be there 10,11,12 of May, We will Staying at the Grizzly RV park in west Yellowstone in the RV we are hiring for our holiday and traveling into the park daily in a hire car.

Statistics: Posted by Spike — Sat Mar 23, 2019 9:57 am


Author: Spike
Posted: March 23, 2019, 3:57 pm
Here's the latest on some of the recent wildlife protection bills that have been introduced in the MT state legislature:

https://www.humanesociety.org/news/legi ... islature-0

Statistics: Posted by yellvet — Wed Mar 20, 2019 10:26 am


Author: yellvet
Posted: March 20, 2019, 4:26 pm
Thanks for the updates to the snow cover,I have informed members of my party to expect "moist" conditions and bring proper boots for slogging

Statistics: Posted by Mike — Mon Mar 18, 2019 5:16 pm


Author: Mike
Posted: March 18, 2019, 11:16 pm
Enjoyed your report. Thanks!

Statistics: Posted by tlveik — Sat Mar 16, 2019 7:18 pm


Author: tlveik
Posted: March 17, 2019, 1:18 am
Awesome. I'll be there in a couple months.

Statistics: Posted by RikWriter — Sat Mar 16, 2019 6:07 pm


Author: RikWriter
Posted: March 17, 2019, 12:07 am
Yellvet, thanks for the moon pictures. We were able to see it here in Colorado, but it was nice to see the view from Southern Cal. I lived in Orange County for several years in the 80's.

--Bill

Statistics: Posted by billandkaren — Sat Mar 16, 2019 3:52 pm


Author: billandkaren
Posted: March 16, 2019, 9:52 pm
Thanks for the report!

Statistics: Posted by lah — Sat Mar 16, 2019 10:41 am


Author: lah
Posted: March 16, 2019, 4:41 pm
This should be a great experience for you and your son. Just a couple of thoughts and suggestions. Is your son up for a 3-4 day backpacking trip his first time out? As a former teacher, I know that some kids can be very enthusiastic about a trip like this, but tire of it very quickly. You know your son of course, but you want his first trip out to be as positive as possible. You might want to consider 1 or 2 nights for his first trip.

In July you will still be in the mosquito and fly season. I found mosquito nets and, of course, bug spray to be very helpful. I would carry a couple of cans of bear spray and stay away from the areas with a greater possibility of grizzly encounter. Also, while less likely in July, thunderstorms can still be a possibility so rain gear is a good idea.

Many backcountry trails lack bridges over the streams so you need to be prepared to ford these streams. Most streams will be relatively easy to cross by July, but I carry watershoes to keep my boots dry.

You wll be traveling at a peak time for backcountry camp sites. So you may be somewhat limited in your choices to get a reservation. Another option would be to choose a trail in one of the surrounding national forests. There are some trails as beautiful, if not more so, than what the park has to offer. The trails are less crowded and you don't need a reservation for a campsite.

That being said, Pebble creek out to Bliss Pass would be a great hike if you can get a camp site. Also hikes in the southwest corner of the park are supposed to be beautiful, especially if you like waterfalls, and campsites might be more available than in other areas.

Hope you guys have a great time. I admire you for doing this with your son.

Statistics: Posted by billandkaren — Sat Mar 16, 2019 12:04 am


Author: billandkaren
Posted: March 16, 2019, 6:04 am
Mike, Karen and I were just there last Tuesday for a quick drive in and out (see our trip report) Sorry to say, I think there is more snow this year than last. At least a foot in Mammoth and close to two feet in Lamar. The good news is there has been some warmer, sunny days recently so that should start the melting process.

Not sure abouth the rest of the park.

--Bill

Statistics: Posted by billandkaren — Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:53 pm


Author: billandkaren
Posted: March 16, 2019, 4:53 am
Made a short trip into the park and thought some of you might like a report of the conditions.

This past week we headed to our cabin near Henry's Lake in Idaho to do some snow shoveling. We were concerned by the weather reports we had seen since January about the amount of snow that could be on our deck and roof. When we arrived, our worries were confirmed--4 feet of snow! After shoveling for parts of two days we decided to head over to Gardiner and make a quick trip into the park before heading back home to Colorado.

On our way through Paradise Valley we saw lots of elk and a few bison. The highlight was a golden eagle on a road kill carcass. We stayed in Gardiner and headed in the park early the next morning. A beautiful verticle rainbow (sun reflecting off of ice crystals) greeted us as we made our way past Mammoth and towards Roosevelt. Lots of snow!!! Over a foot in Mammoth and about 2 feet in Lamar. Obviously more at the higher elevations. Should be a very green spring!!

As we passed Yellowstone Picnic area we spotted a young coyote trotting down the road ahead of us. It was a steady trot and seemed to be with a purpose in mind. He ignored us as we slowly drove past him (or her) and took a couple quick pictures. As we were nearing Slough creek we noticed a group with their scopes out. The Junction Buttes were visible on a distant hillside. There were 7 that we could see through the scopes. We were told that the Eight-mile pack was out the day before back by Hellroaring. As we were watching the wolves, the coyote trotted on by right behind us, ignoring all of us as he kept on true to his mission. He had gone a couple miles I believe since we first saw him.

We left the wolfwatchers and started heading east again. As we got close to the bridge before Slough Creek, Karen noticed some ravens and mentioned the possibility of a carcass. But we couldn't see anything except the ravens and kept on going. We were glad we did because just past Slough Creek, we spotted a red fox in the road ahead of us. We had not seen a red fox in the park for several years so this was exciting for us. He headed off the road to the left then went parallel to the road giving us a nice view as he popped in and out of the holes made by the bison through the snow. He then crossed the road in front of us and headed back to the west. This made a three-dog-day for us in less than half an hour!

As we drove through Lamar, were able to spot a couple of bighorn rams on the hillside by the bend in the river just before hitching post. Several groups of bison were using the road which slowed us down a bit. Some of them were looking a bit thin as a result of the amount of snow, I presume. We went as far as Pebble Creek before turning around. We wanted to head towards home in order to beat the blizzard due to hit on Wednesday. As we recrossed the bridge where we saw the ravens, a group of people had gathered and sure enough, there was a carcass visible as we were heading west. There were 4 coyotes (one of them was likely our road-trotter from earlier) and a fox, maybe the same one we had seen earlier. He seemed to be holding his own against the coyotes, but then trotted into the brush.

Only bison and elk the rest of the way out until we saw a bald eagle flying towards us over the river between Mammoth and Gardiner. A great way to end our trip.

--Bill

Statistics: Posted by billandkaren — Fri Mar 15, 2019 10:43 pm


Author: billandkaren
Posted: March 16, 2019, 4:43 am