Shoshone National Forest campgrounds

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Shoshone National Forest campgrounds

Postby mustangcats » Wed Nov 14, 2012 7:08 pm

I am planning to visit Yellowstone next summer and have been trying to research the campgrounds between Cody Wyoming and the east entrance to Yellowstone. Wapiti, Rex Hale, Three Mile, etc. About the only information I can find is what is on the NFS website. What I am wanting to know is how full are these campgrounds during the summer months? A couple of them do take reservations, but I would like to avoid doing that if I can. The NFS website decribes the usage of the campgrounds as "heavy", but I don't know if that means usually full. I plan to be there the end of July and the first week of August. I could call the ranger station, but thought maybe someone on this board has first hand experience with these campgrounds and could share their experiences and what to expect. Last summer when I visited Glacier National Park I stayed at the Devil Creek Campground on hwy 2 in the Flathead National Forest, midway between the east and west entrances to the park and it was a great experience. The campground was lightly used and well maintained. Because of this good experience, I would like to stay at NFS campgrounds again. :)
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Re: Shoshone National Forest campgrounds

Postby Shadow Catcher » Wed Nov 14, 2012 9:27 pm

If you are coming over Tioga pass I can recommend Saddle Bag lake at 10,000 feet, it will leave you breathless :?

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Re: Shoshone National Forest campgrounds

Postby Pizzaguy » Thu Nov 15, 2012 1:12 pm

Typically the closer you get to the park the earlier these campgrounds fill up during the day. Are you planning on a one night stop then heading to the park in the morning or do you plan to use this as your base and day tripping into the park for the duration of your visit? I would suggest the former and moving your base in the park every couple of days as you will be doing a LOT of driving. I've never had a problem finding a site on this stretch of road between Cody & the East Entrance. If nothing else I'm sure you can find a spot at Buffalo Bill State Park by the Reseivor outside Cody.

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Re: Shoshone National Forest campgrounds

Postby mustangcats » Thu Nov 15, 2012 6:38 pm

My plan is to use a Shoshone campground as base camp and drive to and from Yellowstone. I know there will quite a bit of driving involved and maybe I'll change my mind once I am out there. I just don't like to be around crowds all the time and thought the Shoshone campgrounds would be a little more peaceful. After a few days in Shoshone, I thought I could move camp to one of the campgrounds in the Bridger Teton National Forest. Looks like several nice campgrounds there with so much to see. Next summer can't come soon enough! :)
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Re: Shoshone National Forest campgrounds

Postby Wolffarmer » Sat Nov 17, 2012 11:31 pm

It is my suspicion that the description of use of a camp ground is designed to make more people use the reservation system so the company that runs it can rake in more money. Several years ago I booked a reservation at a Utah State Park. The private reservation company charged $8 for making the reservation. Now really, just what is their costs?

Just me trying out my grumpy old fart tag.

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Re: Shoshone National Forest campgrounds

Postby blue66 » Fri Nov 23, 2012 7:09 pm

I checked out several of those campgrounds last June and most were almost empty. I was there about the middle of June. You better be careful, plenty of Griz in that area.
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Re: Shoshone National Forest campgrounds

Postby mustangcats » Mon Dec 03, 2012 6:39 pm

blue66 wrote: You better be careful, plenty of Griz in that area.


I hope they are around when I am there. I was disappointed that I didn't see any when I was at Glacier National Park and the surrounding area last summer.
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Re: Shoshone National Forest campgrounds

Postby Wolffarmer » Mon Dec 03, 2012 7:18 pm

I have seen plenty of bears in Yellowstone. That was a long time ago. Don't know if any of them were grizzles. Don't think I have ever seen one outside of the park. This fall a dead cub was found about 10 miles from where I live. The first sighting of a bear in this area in about 100 + years.

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Re: Shoshone National Forest campgrounds

Postby DataGuy » Mon Dec 03, 2012 10:51 pm

mustangcats wrote:
blue66 wrote: You better be careful, plenty of Griz in that area.


I hope they are around when I am there. I was disappointed that I didn't see any when I was at Glacier National Park and the surrounding area last summer.



My experience has been the same as wolffarmer. Plenty of Griz in Yellowstone - and Glacier, too. Particularly in the northeast section by Many Glacier. The trail to Iceberg Lake is said to have the highest Griz population in the lower 48.

Of course, now that I've said that, I probably won't see any on my next trip!

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Re: Shoshone National Forest campgrounds

Postby Bogo » Wed Dec 05, 2012 9:24 pm

Likely the best place to ask your question is at Yellowstone Net (http://forums.yellowstone.net/). Lots of Yellowstone and Grand Teton nuts over there, including me. :)

One thing to know about Yellowstone is it is BIG!!! Many miles from place to place and 45MPH is the maximum speed limit. Some areas are marked slower. Furthermore there will be critter jams here and there around the park where it may take 30 minutes to as much as and hour or more to get past them. They will add time to travel times. I'm now of the opinion to stay in the park. With the prices of gas, you will save more than the additional cost of the higher campground fees. Reserve the first night or two at one of the reservable campgrounds. The look for a place at the campground you really want after you get there. yeah, the campgrounds will be full and crowded in the summer, but that is life. how much time will you be spending at them.

For best animal watching, get up before dawn, and go out so you are out there at dawn and sunset when the temperatures are cooler. Most of the animals will bed down and sleep during the mid day. I do the same, or I photograph stuff that isn't going to be washed out by the stronger mid day light.

BTW, on the east side, very close to Yellowstone is a distributed camping area along one of the side roads.

PS, if you do want to stay in the park, GET YOUR RESERVATIONS IN EARLY!!! They fill up fast. They need to double or triple the amount of campsites in the park. They could stand to do the same with the hotel rooms too. The environmentalists would flip over either.
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Re: Shoshone National Forest campgrounds

Postby Pizzaguy » Wed Dec 05, 2012 10:01 pm

Bogo, are you the Bogo from the Loon Page?
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Re: Shoshone National Forest campgrounds

Postby Bogo » Wed Dec 05, 2012 11:18 pm

Yep..
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Re: Shoshone National Forest campgrounds

Postby mustangcats » Sun Dec 09, 2012 8:48 pm

Bogo wrote:Likely the best place to ask your question is at Yellowstone Net (http://forums.yellowstone.net/). Lots of Yellowstone and Grand Teton nuts over there, including me. :)


Thanks for the link. I've been reading through the different threads and there is so much valuable information. Right now my plan is to stay a night or two in the Shoshone National Forest. That will give me time to check out some of the campgrounds in Yellowstone to see what's available and the best times to get a campsite. I sure don't want to move from Shoshone and go to Yellowstone...only to find nothing is available :frightened: ! (I wonder how often people leave a campsite to find another...and can't find a vacant site...and then end up with no place to stay!)
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Re: Shoshone National Forest campgrounds

Postby Bogo » Mon Dec 10, 2012 5:08 pm

Ask over there for the best times, but morning is usually when it is best for most of the campgrounds. Some times of year they fill up much sooner than other times.
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