7 Best Mammoth Hot Springs Campgrounds (Yellowstone)

 7 Best Mammoth Hot Springs Campgrounds (Yellowstone)

When we first hit the Mammoth Hot Springs area, we encountered the most surreal landscape we had ever seen. It looked like snow and ice.

Mammoth Hot Springs
Mammoth Hot Springs

What we were seeing was the effects of hot springs that bubbled up from deep beneath the earth’s surface through buried limestone.

The hot water comes from Norris Geyser Basin traveling through an underground fault line that feeds Mammoth. The boiling water then deposits the mineral calcite above ground.

As it cools, the calcite hardens and becomes a beautiful white rock-like substance called travertine. Algae living in the warm pools have colored the travertine of brown, orange, red, and green.

The colors are amazing!

If you look close, you can see beautiful blues and aquamarine in the cooling calcite beneath the biggest hot spring, which cascades down as a superheated waterfall.

Before we get into the best campgrounds, we want you to know that we've been reporting on Yellowstone since 2012 on our blog. If you want a list of great articles to read about the area, just go here and enjoy.

7 Best Mammoth Hot Springs Campgrounds

While we made our home base in West Yellowstone at the Grizzly RV Park, there are several campgrounds closer to Mammoth Hot Springs if you want a change of scenery.

Here are the top 7 with helpful information. The first two are in the park. The last five are located outside of the northern entrance to Yellowstone if you don't mind driving in each day.

1. Mammoth Hot Springs Campground

Season: Open year-round

Booking: First-come, first-served

Address: Can’t miss it in Mammoth Hot Springs

This is the closest you can get is to stay right in the Mammoth Hot Springs Campground. There are 85 sites here, flush toilets, and generators are allowed from 8am-8pm.

Each campsite has a picnic table and fire pit with a grate, and there are shared food storage boxes.

This is the only campground in Yellowstone open year-round.

There is no dump station here, sites are rustic so you’re boondocking.

2. Indian Creek Campground

Season: June 11 – Sept 20

Booking: First-come, first-served

Address: Located 8 miles south of Mammoth Hot Springs

GPS: 44.886, -110.736

A few miles down the road from Mammoth Hot Springs is Indian Creek Campground, there are 70 sites here. There are
no flush toilets, no dump station, and generators are not allowed.

3. Rocky Mountain Campground

Season: May 1 – Sept 30

Address: 14 Jardine Rd Gardiner, MT 59030

Phone: (406) 848-7251

There are 70 sites, 33 pull thrus, and with 65 full hookups. Amenities include showers, laundry, Wi-Fi, cable TV, and it is
pet-friendly.

4. Yellowstone RV Park

Season: April 1 – Nov 1

Address: 121 Hwy 89 Gardiner, MT 59030

Phone: (406) 848- 7496

There are 46 sites here, all with full hookups and 10 pull thrus, 46 full hookups. Amenities include toilets, showers,
dump station, laundry, Wi-Fi, cable TV, and is pet friendly.

5. Yellowstone Destinations Campground

Season: April 1 – Nov 1

Address: 754 Hwy 89 S, Gardiner, MT 59030

Phone: (406) 848-9911

There are 26 sites here, but no hookups so you’re boondocking. Amenities include potable water, toilets, and showers.

6. Eagle Creek Campground

Season: Open year-round, accessibility may be limited in the winter

Booking: First come, first-served

Address: From Gardiner, go 2 mi NE on Jardine Rd.

GPS: 45.042826, -110.680714

Located in Gallatin National Forest this campground has 16 sites. All are rustic so you’re boondocking.

7. Canyon Campground

Season: Open year-round, accessibility may be limited in the winter

Booking: First come, first-served

Address: From Gardiner, go 18 mi north on US-89

GPS: 45.183307, -110.889473

Located in Gallatin National Forest this campground has 17 sites. All sites are rustic so you’re boondocking.

Do you enjoy your Small House and BIG Yard RV Lifestyle experience? Maybe you need a t-shirt or hoodie to tell the world. This saying is a favorite in our community. Don't need a hoodie? We have mugs. 🙂

Things to Do in Mammoth Springs, Yellowstone

There are two extremely popular hiking trails at Mammoth Hot Springs, the Lower Terraces and Upper Terraces.

Upper & Lower Terrace

The best way to enjoy the colorful Mammoth Hot Springs is to drive your car on the Upper Terrace Loop and then park and hike around through a series of boardwalks.

It’s about a 1.75 mile round-trip hike with nothing too steep, the entire trip is about an hour.

The 37 ft Liberty Cap is one of the best-known attractions at the Lower Terraces. This hot spring cone was named in 1871 for its resemblance to the peaked caps worn during the French Revolution.

Notable features in the Upper Terraces include Orange Spring Mound, White Elephant Back Terrace, and Angel Terrace.

Museums and Historical Places

The nearby Albright Visitor Center & Museum is worth a visit to learn more about the Yellowstone history covering Native Americans (pre-1800), the mountain men (1807-1840), early exploration (1869-1871), the Army days, and early National Park Service.

While you’re in the area you can also visit the historic Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, built in 1936. One of its signature features is the Map Room which contains a large wooden map of the United States constructed out of 15 different kinds of wood from nine countries.

Boiling River

If you’re feeling up for more of an adventure, about a 5-minute drive (2 miles) north of Mammoth Hot Springs is one
of only two designated swimming areas in Yellowstone, Boiling River.

At this scenic location, cold water from the Gardner River mixes with the Boiling River hot spring creating a small
pocket of warm “hot-tub-like” water. You can sit here and relax, soaking up the natural beauty of the surrounding hills.

It’s about a half-mile walk to get to from the parking area and spots are limited to overflowing in the summer so make sure to get there early!

Our Yellowstone National Park Travel Guide

At the top of every RVers bucket list, it is a place so majestic, so wild, and so big that it calls us to return, to explore, to get to know the diversity of its land and animals over and over again.

Everywhere you look are waterfalls, fast-moving rivers, geysers, sheer rock faces, towering lodgepole pines, all framed by mountains under the bright blue cloudless sky.

It’s spectacular for those who love the wilderness and getting up close and personal with it. Enjoy Yellowstone for RV travel.

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Mike Wendland

Mike Wendland is a veteran journalist who, with his wife, Jennifer, travels North America in a small motorhome, blogging about the people, places, joys and adventure of RV life on the road at RVLifestyle.com. He and Jennifer also host the weekly RV Podcast and do twice-weekly videos on the YouTube RV Lifestyle Channel. They have written 10 books on RV travel.

2 Comments

  • We are headed that way soon. Thanks foe the info!

  • Your description of Canyon Campground confuses a Forest Service CG with the Yellowstone NP Canyon Campground, which is shown on your map for the CG.

    In no way is Canyon CG in Yellowstone NP first come first served. Reservations are snapped up as much as a year in advance.

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