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Old 08-09-2011, 08:35 AM   #1
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Camping in Yellowstone, Tetons and Rocky Mountain

Will be flying into Bozeman after Labor Day and will be picking up my van and heading down through Yellowstone, Grand Tetons and then over to Rocky Mountain NP. Am new to sportsmobile and would love any suggestions concerning the area and specifically camping. From Denver I will be driving back to North Carolina.

Thanks,
Dick and Cheryl
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Old 08-09-2011, 01:46 PM   #2
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Re: Camping in Yellowstone, Tetons and Rocky Mountain

I've never been to Rocky Mountain National Park but have spent lots of time in both Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Both are great parks and only ten miles separate them.

If you want to camp in the Parks you have to stay at a designated camp site. You can go to the website, nps.gov and type in 'Yellowstone campgrounds' in the search bar for example and it will list all the campgrounds, maps, amenities and such. Same with the Tetons. Yellowstone has several campgrounds with hook ups but Grand Teton only has one, Coltler Bay campground.

Not sure of good boon-docking places near Yellowstone but there are several just outside of GTNP. On the east side of the Park, out past Kelly, you can camp for free on forest service land with views of the mountains, or out past the Slide Lake area in the Gros Ventre.


I don't know how much time you have, but if it's limited, I would make the drive over Dunraven Pass, see the Lower Falls on the Yellowstone River near the Canyon area and make the drive along the Yellowstone River between Canyon and Fishing Bridge. These are some of my favorite places in Yellowstone but you can't go wrong no matter where you visit. In the Tetons, there has been several grizzly sows and their cubs hanging around the Colter Bay area and the Willow Flats area all spring and summer. The 'inside' road within the Park has access to most of the lakes that sit just below the mountain range and the 'outside' road has beautiful views of all the peaks.

You can rent kayaks or bicyles at Dornans in Moose in GTNP and both Parks have good hiking trails. Local maps are available as you enter the Parks that will give you information on the latest events that may be going on.


Both Parks have great wildlife viewing possibilities and it's hard to beat the view of the Tetons rising out of the sage flats.

Hope this helps a little. You can PM me if you want more details.

Mike
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Old 08-09-2011, 08:35 PM   #3
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Re: Camping in Yellowstone, Tetons and Rocky Mountain

(hey mike) Same for RMNP, there are a few campgrounds within the park, as well as a KOA in Estes park, a touristy little town near the park, good for a little walking around and souvenir shops and lunch. Also around Allens Park are a few spots. We're in boulder, on your way to denver, swing by if you've got time. There are some great low-key camping areas around Nederland, a small town up the canyon from boulder. Caribou is one near rainbow lakes outside Nederland. Some great 4x4 trails around there as well, ranging from easy to difficult, I will look in my book for the names, but worth heading back there and getting into the backcountry.

-Rick
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Old 08-12-2011, 04:05 PM   #4
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Re: Camping in Yellowstone, Tetons and Rocky Mountain

Here is the route I took. You can really travel further than youíd think.

Stayed in RMNP in a camp a buddy reserved. Iíve never done this but it worked and toured the park for a couple days. The old dirt road was closed unfortunately but I was there around late May. The drive over the range was nice.

The next day I dropped off my buddy in Fort Collins and drove up Cache La Poudre River and camped up there (he drove up and camped with me there until I left out). The camps toward the top of the pass are OK depending on what time of year you go. There are several side roads to boon dock on but I didnít have the time to explore.

Left the Poudre River and followed 287 to Laramie Wyoming to highway 130. This route is one of the more scenic drives in the state. It heads into Medicine Bow and I found several nice campgrounds just N/W of Centennial Wyoming (FR-351) if I remember correctly. Iíll try to find the CG names. From there the next day I drove over which was a real treat. It was about 10 hours to GTNP where I stayed at Lizard Creek CG which is another nice campground. Explored Yellowstone for a couple days.



I also stayed above lower Slide Lake at Red Hills and Crystal Creek campground outside GTNP. Itís a bit of a drive to Yellowstone but I basically had the place to myself and prefer that to crowds. Iím sure there are places to boon dock but time was short. The dirt trail along the Snake River in GTNP and the drive up Signal Mtn was nice.
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:13 PM   #5
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Re: Camping in Yellowstone, Tetons and Rocky Mountain

Thank you all for your great suggestions, if anyone else has favorite routes, campgrounds and restaurants I would love to hear from you.

Dick
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Old 08-17-2011, 09:23 AM   #6
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Re: Camping in Yellowstone, Tetons and Rocky Mountain

As you leave Yellowstone to the South (287/191/89/JD Rockefeller Pkwy) one of the first things in Grand Tetons is a visitor center/store (doesn't come up on Google maps as anything ?!).

Head South on the highway from there, cross the first bridge and the first left pretty quick is a gravel road. Follow back to a ford over a cement spillway and you'll enter a secluded free campground. When we were there there was another SMB we invited and a few locals in a minivan that partied quietly and left after midnight. Because of the ford there is little traffic and few campers. There is an abandoned self-pay pole at the front of the campsites, however the area was free when we were there.

Google maps will put this on the highway but another map program will locate this properly:
Decimal Degrees (WGS84)
Latitude Longitude
44.092889 -110.663044

Degrees, Minutes & Seconds
Latitude Longitude
N44 05 34 W110 39 46

GPS
Latitude Longitude
N 44 05.573 W 110 39.783


There is more free camping out the north end of the parking lot from the visitor center, down Ashton-Flagg Ranch, but there are only two multi-vehicle sites and they were both full (well one was being held fiercely for "several other people" who were coming...) they weren't nearly as nice, and didn't have the natural culling effect of the water crossing.
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Old 08-29-2011, 11:56 PM   #7
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Re: Camping in Yellowstone, Tetons and Rocky Mountain

A fairly good book for Wyoming is called The Wyoming Camping Guide by Marc Smith. Those camps close to the Snowy Mountain highway 130 route were Pine, Willow, and Aspen. All are small first come first serve with tables, fire rings, vaulted heads. I stayed at Willow if I remember correctly but there are a bunch of them up there.
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Old 09-15-2011, 03:13 PM   #8
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Re: Camping in Yellowstone, Tetons and Rocky Mountain

There are some other spots south of the park, off Grassy Lake Rd by Flagg Ranch. I was just there last week. Free sites, really nice.

Are you from Montreat? My shop is in Fletcher, bring the SMB by!
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Old 09-27-2011, 07:06 AM   #9
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Re: Camping in Yellowstone, Tetons and Rocky Mountain

I am indeed in Montreat, what is your shop in Fletcher?
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