YNP campground tool

h2ofishfloatski

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Not sure if this is a new site but just came across it tonight. It shows what time the campgrounds in Yellowstone filled each day so you can estimate your chances at getting a spot. We seems to be at the wrong campground at the wrong time! Since you need internet access to check, it is probably more useful in noting trends ahead of time, unless you had Wifi access in one of the gateway towns as you went through. Visitation is up this summer so far.
Campgrounds - Yellowstone National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
 

mcnerney

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B: Thanks for sharing! That is pretty interesting, for today it shows the sites that are full, all filling up before 7 am. I bookmarked that link.

I got lucky last year when I visited the park, went thru the south entrance and the sign said all campgrounds were full, stopped at Tower and it was full, stopped at Slough just before 9 am and it was full, finally stopped at Pebble and got one of two spots that were open, but there was a group right behind me that grabbed the last spot. I really enjoyed Pebble due to the proximity to such great fishing.
 

h2ofishfloatski

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We've parked at the entrance to Pebble and fished on several days the past two weeks, fishing Soda Butte through Round Prairie. It is easy to access some nice stretches of water from there, as you say. Today was a grayling and cutthroat day, Hit opening day of the upper Yellowstone in a fine drizzle with a few fish on soft hackles, but got over run with people later in the morning so went in to one of the lakes at Canyon and had that to ourselves...
 

dean_mt

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This is cool. I was in the park over last weekend, Friday and Saturday. We got there Thursday late afternoon and a ranger at Mammoth told us every campground was full. Stayed outside the park every night, which was fine. But I really wanted to stay at Pebble but didn't risk the drive. Friday my brother really wanted to fish even though the conditions were less than ideal. We went to the Lamar, just to the bridge and while it was pretty low it was muddy. I wanted to fish Soda Butte really bad, I've never tried it, but I figured it would be too dirty. The Gardner was chocolate milk with the daily rain showers. We fished the Yellowstone just above Lamar, there were a decent number of salmonflies but the fish weren't playing. My brother caught a cuttbow nymphing a stonefly.

Clearly I should have got in touch with you, h2o. The upper Hayden Valley stretch looked beautiful, alas we were a couple days too early.
 

k_e_v

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What an awesome tool!!
i just keep refreshing and refreshing and get kind of excited when a campground fills up:roll eyes:
This will be invaluable when searching for a spot and having the ability for my wife to watch and report in real time what sites are open from the Illinois headquarters:thumbsupu

I am assuming those are local times, correct?
 

Grizz900

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Even though I'm 'too old' to do that kind of drive anymore that was a cool read.

fae
your sounding a bit like me now. i'm 62 and just finished a 1,400 mile drive. my legs were swollen like tree trunks. can't believe i'm a long 8 hours from YNP all the way from the se part of wy. it's gonna suck. it's like driving half way back to WA state when you think about it.
 

Grizz900

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B: Thanks for sharing! That is pretty interesting, for today it shows the sites that are full, all filling up before 7 am. I bookmarked that link.

I got lucky last year when I visited the park, went thru the south entrance and the sign said all campgrounds were full, stopped at Tower and it was full, stopped at Slough just before 9 am and it was full, finally stopped at Pebble and got one of two spots that were open, but there was a group right behind me that grabbed the last spot. I really enjoyed Pebble due to the proximity to such great fishing.
pebble, thanks. were u fishing the yellowstone river? i have a feeling my dog would not be allowed off trail nor in the back country. of course I'm following all rules but i'll have to ask before i do plan my trip.
 

mcnerney

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pebble, thanks. were u fishing the yellowstone river? i have a feeling my dog would not be allowed off trail nor in the back country. of course I'm following all rules but i'll have to ask before i do plan my trip.
Grizz: No I like to fish the smaller streams (the Lamar, Soda Butte, Slough Creek). Your correct, your dog will not be allowed in the back country. A few years back I had my dog with me as I entered Teton NP from the south. The plan was to fish Pacific Creek. When I stopped at the park entrance, I asked about my dog and she said it has to be on a lease. Obviously, I didn't ask enough questions. A couple hundred yards north of the park entrance is a parking area, vault toiltes and boat ramp. I pulled in there and walk the shore line north to the mouth of Pacific Creek. The south side of the creek is lined with trees and bushes making casting miserable and keeping the dog on a lease was even worse. So I let him off the lease and proceeded to work my way up stream where I found a good spot to cross over. The other side of the creek is mostly a sandy beach so casting back to the other side where all the structure is located, made for some great fishing. As I worked my way back towards the mouth of the creek I got stopped by a park ranger. She wanted to see my fishing license and said I can't have a dog in the back country. I pointed out that the highway was only a hundred yards back over my shoulder. She said that if you are on the river (creek) that is considered back country and no dogs are allowed.
 

h2ofishfloatski

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Still using the tool myself occasionally. We have no dogs to deal with however (at this time, I must add). It helps us decide whether to take what we might consider a second choice camping location, because it is available, based on what we see happening as we approach the park and still within cell service. We do make reservations ahead of time at the locations that take them (Madison, etc) when we just know we will be on site for a few days of fishing, then take chances on finding non reservation sites either in or just outside the park for the majority of trips. There are times we miss out on all of the above and just have to 1) boondock or 2) make the drive back to the Gallatin Valley. We really miss the days when we could drive down after work and find a spot for a few days camping and fishing. The ability to be spontaneous was a part of the equation after all. Life here in the vacinity of the park is all about planning ahead now. Not quite the same, but I'm glad if this tool helps a few people, even if you beat me to a spot. PS - it is snowing as I write this, peak runoff is perhaps past, we may gain some time on the Firehole with this weather!
 

Grizz900

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yeah, it's a bummer but we need to respect the rules. i don't ever want to get in trouble by abusing my free senior pass anyway. i'm grateful for that. it's a bummer for sure. my dog loves being out there and it's really unfortionate that i would have to tie her up and just walk away. i can't do that so i guess i won't be visiting the park.

plus, my dog might step on baby fish near the rivers edges and such and if a bear comes along...i'd have problems. I fished Alaska, for 6 yrs with my lab, and Luckily never had an encounter
 
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