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March 26, 2010

Yellowstone: America’s Most Famous Park

Filed under: Campground Destinations — Tags: , , , , — Simos @ 3:30 am
Beaver Pond

Beaver Pond
Photo by: Pamela Anne (Stock Exchange)

Welcome one and all to AllCampgrounds, the best site on the web for info on camp grounds, nature travel, parks and more!

To kick off our journey through some of the greatest parks and camp grounds in the U.S., I thought we would visit the world famous Yellowstone Park.

Everybody has heard of it – it even inspired “Jellystone Park” of Yogi Bear fame – but do you know what makes it so special? You will after our virtual visit!

The Start of Something Great: The World’s First National Park

Sprawling across over two million acres of untouched land in northern Wyoming and two other states, Yellowstone has the distinction of being the first national park in the world. It was signed into being in 1872 by President Ulysses S. Grant and has been a national institution ever since, becoming known around the globe as one of the last true wildernesses. It includes sites like Yellowstone Lake and the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone forged by the Yellowstone River. It’s also revered for its geysers and hot springs; especially “Old Faithful”, known for spraying water over a hundred feet in the air every hour or two since it was first discovered. Old Faithful is so punctual that when the park was “young”, it was often used to launder clothes! Nowadays, it’s part of a protected Historic District along with the Old Faithful Inn.

It’s no surprise so many campers flock to this natural wonderland each year.

Tent Camping and RV Camping Grounds in Yellowstone

As the world’s premier destination for campers, Yellowstone offers something for everyone. There are literally hundreds of camp grounds and lodging sites to choose from, especially in the confluence of Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Park nearby. Camping is always “in season” here, though options change with the weather.

There are twelve camp sites within the park itself, seven operated by the National Park Service. But since these are “first come, first serve” they can tend to fill up quickly when the weather is nice during the peak Memorial Day to Labor Day season. Luckily, you just can’t run out of options when it comes to Yellowstone.

Grand Teton RV Resort is fairly representative of the kind of place RV campers will find in great abundance around the Yellowstone area. In addition to 50 amp RV hookups and tent camping sites, it has a variety of cabins to suit your taste, and amenities like showers, laundromat, supplied firewood, a grocery store and a video arcade. Snowmobile rentals are available in the winter.

Yellowstone Holiday Lodges has cabins, RV sites, and even its own marina on the shores of Hebegen Lake. Hebegen offers opportunities for fishing rainbow and brown trout, and the full-service marina supports all the waterskiing and sailing you could desire. Its environs are also great for bird-watching, and only a cool fifteen minutes from the outer edges of the Park – making this one of the most convenient options.

Yellowstone Park KOA is the local offering from the famous “kamping” franchise. In addition to the usual complement of cabins, cottages, RV hookups and tenting grounds, it includes an indoor pool, hot tub, and amazingly, “homemade fudge.” Who knew?

Xanterra Parks and Resorts operates camp grounds at four different sites within the park. Of their sites, only Fishing Bridge, an RV area, offers water and sewer. Bear in mind that within the Park itself, overnight camping outside of designated areas is not allowed.

Not that I’d suggest you shouldn’t take full advantage of Yellowstone camping, but don’t forget you can also spend some time at Old Faithful Inn. The Inn dates back to 1903 and has over 300 guest rooms. In the winter, guests shift to the Old Faithful Winter Lodge. Check out this review from Frommer’s Travel Guides to learn a little more.

Well, folks, that’s Yellowstone, and we can put a pin in Wyoming, though we haven’t seen everything it has to offer just yet. We’ll hit the road and continue our journey to more great sites (and great sights!) in the next AllCampgrounds blog.

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