RV and Camping Options Abound in Cody Yellowstone
CODY, Wyo., Feb. 28, 2023 – With close to 7,000 square miles, a population of just 30,000 people and natural beauty everywhere you turn, it’s no surprise that Cody Yellowstone is a camper’s dream.
“For many people, summer is not complete without a camping trip, but not all sites are created equal,” said Ryan Hauck, the marketing arm for the region that includes the towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse, Shoshone National Forest and a large swath of Yellowstone National Park. “Fortunately, we have plenty of options ranging from back-to-nature tent sites to full-hookups-for-maximum-comfort.”
Here are examples of the region’s campgrounds:
About halfway between the Irma Hotel and the rodeo grounds, Ponderosa Campground features 98 RV sites with full hookups as well as cabins for those who do not have their own rig. Amenities include live entertainment, gift shop, camp store, video arcade, playground and billiard table. And a bonus for those looking for something unusual? Tipis.
Named After an Extinct Species? Not So Fast
Constructed in 2021, Black-Footed Ferret Campground in Meeteetse refers to a species that biologists thought was gone until, that is, a dog named Shep from a nearby ranch showed up with one in his mouth. Further investigation revealed more of the ferrets, and a program to breed the animals resulted in a successful reintroduction of the species in the West. The campground features 109 sites with full hookups as well as showers and laundry facilities. The owner of the campground takes great pride in operating a property that has a minimal impact on the environment.
For History Buffs
Fishing Bridge RV Park near Yellowstone National Park’s Lake Village reopened last year after renovations. In addition to the nearby Bridge Bay Marina and a fishing-themed visitor center, historic structures include the Lake Yellowstone Hotel which was built before there was even a second national park, the Lake General Store built in 1919 and Fishing Bridge itself where fishing is actually not allowed anymore. The campground is available to hard-sided rigs only because of the bears found in the area. Amenities include electric and sewer, showers and laundry facilities.
On the Water
Covering approximately 8,000 acres, Buffalo Bill Reservoir features its own boat ramp and plenty of room for boaters. The two campgrounds in Buffalo Bill State Park feature 125 RV/tent sites and 11 tent-only sites. Sites are spacious and all feature tables and grills and are convenient to water and restrooms.
Surrounded by Nature
Many people know that Yellowstone is the world’s first national park, but not so many realize the Shoshone National Forest is the first national forest as well. The United States Forest Service operates several campgrounds and campsites throughout the region. Add in close to 300 backcountry sites in Yellowstone operated by the National Park Service, and there are myriad options for those who want to enjoy a night in the woods. These campsites are never far from great hiking trails.
Disclaimer: It’s important when camping in Cody Yellowstone to be “bear aware.” Campers should know when a campground requires hard-sided rigs. Hikers should carry bear spray, know how to react if they encounter a bear and travel in groups.
THE COMPLETE LIST
Options for campers in Cody Yellowstone include:
Absaroka Bay Campground. 98 RV sites, full hookups, showers and laundry.
Buffalo Bluff Campground. Pull-through RV sites 60 feet long, laundry, showers, full hookups.
Buffalo Bill State Park. North Shore Bay Campground has 32 RV and five tent sites. Some hookups available. North Fork Campground has 93 RV and six tent sites. Some hookups available.
Cody KOA. RV and tent sites. Fool hookups, showers and laundry.
Cody Trout Ranch Camp-RV Park. 39 RV sites, eight tipis, full hookups, lounge, laundry, showers.
Oasis Motel and RV Park. 11 RV sites with fool hookups, area for self-contained RVs, laundry and showers.
Parkway RV Campground and Trailer Village. 25 RV sites, full hookups, laundry, showers.
Ponderosa Campground. 137 RV sites, full hookups, showers, laundry.
River’s View RV Park. 13 RV sites, full hookups, laundry.
Outside of Town
Chief Joseph RV Park. 16 RV sites, eight full hookups, bar, laundry, showers.
Shoshone National Forest Campgrounds. 32 campgrounds on public lands.
Black-Footed Ferret Campground. 109 RV sites, full hookups, showers and laundry.
Park County Fairgrounds. 72 RV sites, 60 with full hookups, showers and laundry.
Yellowstone Valley Inn & RV. 64 RV sites, full hookups, restaurant/bar, showers.
Yellowstone National Park
Options inside the park include campgrounds operated by Yellowstone National Park Lodges (YNPL) as well as those run by the National Park Service (NPS).
YNPL campgrounds include:
Bridge Bay Campground. 400+ RV and tent sites. Restrooms, no hookups.
Canyon Campground. 270+ RV and tent sites. Dump station, showers, restrooms. No hookups.
Fishing Bridge RV Park. 310 sites, showers, laundry, full hookups.
Grant Village Campground. 400+ RV and tent sites, showers, restrooms, laundry. No hookups.
Madison Campground. 270+ RV and tent sites, restrooms. No hookups.
NPS-operated campgrounds include:
Indian Creek Campground. 73 sites. Vault toilets, water spigot.
Lewis Lake Campground. 84 sites. Vault toilets, water spigot.
Mammoth Campground. Vault toilets, water spigot.
Pebble Creek Campground. Vault toilets, hand-pumped water.
Slough Creek Campground. Vault toilets, hand-pumped water.
Yellowstone also maintains 293 designated backcountry campsites.
Shoshone National Forest
The National Forest Service operates several campgrounds near Cody, Meeteetse and the Beartooth Plateau. These campgrounds do not feature electric, sewer and water hook-ups. Most have potable water and either flush or vault toilets. For more information and reservations go online.
Those looking for brick and mortar – and log – structures have choices at area dude ranches, luxury hotels, historic hotels, budget hotels, bed-and-breakfasts, cabins and other accommodations in Cody as well as in the park.
Home of the Great American Adventure, Cody Yellowstone is comprised of the northwestern Wyoming towns of Cody, Powell and Meeteetse as well as areas inside of Yellowstone National Park and the valley east of the entrance. The region is known for rodeos, authentic guest and dude ranches, world-class museums and recreational adventures that reflect the adventurous spirit of the visionaries and explorers who brought the remote region to the world’s attention.
Mesereau Travel Public Relations