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Old 10-28-2008, 10:07 PM   #1
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National Park Campground Recommendations

Hey 'Streamers:

Already planning next summers trip. From NJ going to Rocky Mountain National Park, Grand Tetons NP, Yellowstone and Glacier. Traveling with wife and 11 year old daughter. As some of you might imagine my daughters likes swimming pools so actually staying in a NP is probably out. Any recommendations in Estes Park, CO close to RMNP entrance? Would like to stay near Jackson Hole, WY close to Tetons and a short drive into Yellowstone (staying one week here and would like not to have to move). And Glacier??

Thanks
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Old 10-29-2008, 12:46 AM   #2
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We have stayed at Spruce Lake and Mary's Lake campgrounds outside of Estes Park and they were nice at the other entrance National Park Retreats campground.

We stay at Moran Junction for camping at the Tetons and Edge of Yellowstone in Livingston for Yellowstone. Staying in the park cuts driving time considerably.

Nice trip you have planned. I think we stayed at KOA outside Glacier, the park is nicer still.
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Old 10-29-2008, 09:23 AM   #3
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Camping in Estes Park

I live across the street from Marys Lake Campground (970-586-4411) and it would personally be my last choice, as the RV/Trailer parking is basically in a treeless, gravel parking lot. It does, however, have a pool, and is across the street from a small lake for fishing. Spruce Lake RV Park (970-586-2889) is also basically a gravel parking lot, though with some sites right on the river if you are lucky, and very close to Park entrance. Elk Meadows RV Resort (970-586-5342) is right on the Park Border, is a big, somewhat sloping grassy field, with terrific views up into the Park. No river, or pool that I know of, some shade trees here and there. National Park Retreats (970-586-4563) sits right on the other Park entrance, and looks to be mostly in the trees, don't know about a pool but doubt it. I personally would try to book a site in the National Park, either in Moraine Park Campground (sites C-227, 228, 230, 232, 234, and 236 are nice for the trailer) or Glacier Basin Campground (sites C-112, C-108, D-146, and D-142 good for trailers). You can book these sites @ Recreation.gov or @ 888-448-1474, 6 months in advance of your desired dates. These campgrounds are real campgrounds, not just parking lots as so many RV resorts tend to be, and are full of other families enjoying the out-of-doors. That's just my 2-cents worth, don't know your "style"- but hope you enjoy your visit next summer! -tim
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Old 11-02-2008, 07:51 AM   #4
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Colter Bay in Teton NP

We stayed in Colter Bay this past summer for several days , on our way back from Bozeman. It has 2 areas , one with full hook-ups and one that has none. Water is available close to the sites. The dumpstation is located near the entrance/exit. The full hook-up section is way too expensive for my taste plus it has narrow spaces , it's crowded also. Most everyone that we saw that had stayed there , moved to the location we were at because it was roomer and way cheaper. All the spaces we saw were pull-thru.
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Old 11-02-2008, 11:44 PM   #5
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Tim you are a lucky fellow. Estes Park is one of our favorite places! You are so right about those campgrounds being basically parking lots, I had forgotten that and gotten over the shock after our first time out there. Not being a local we now know who to ask. Time of year makes a big difference too though. Traditionally we close the places and are allowed to stay longer so they are pretty well emptied out by then...they are supposed to be. But Brad and I try to luck out and choose an end site. We are gone much of the time exploring but we usually drive all the grounds in the area and check them out, then spend a little time at several of them. In the national park we didn't have electricity nor on the end at Mary's Lake, but it was pretty. So those stays were finite and then Spruce Lake was a place to land to get our bearings, recharge, do laundry, walk across to the store and restaurant before going to the next place. It was handy and facilities were fine.

We were on the end in front of the water (a pond?) at Mary's Lake.
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This was the view directly in front of our AS door.
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In the morning I would scramble up the hill to take pictures. Was this a reservoir on the road side?
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And this was taken at the top of the hill looking back down on the Airstream.
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Then the road we were on.
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I wanna go back!!!!
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Old 11-03-2008, 12:05 AM   #6
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Postage stamp sites at Spruce Lake, no kidding. But a pretty gazebo and pond, oh a lake, yeah, but not like Lake Michigan... Nice laundry, wi-fi, a little bridge to cross direct to the store, restaurant and tourist mall and a pretty stream winding around the grounds and super pet friendly. That little bit of silver through the bushes in the last picture is our AS taken on the other side of the footbridge to the restaurant.
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Old 11-03-2008, 12:28 AM   #7
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We would have loved to stay in the park much longer but the batteries in the cold weather just would not hold out. There are several campgrounds but availability and size will probably make that decision for you. With so many elk about it was difficult not to leave the trailer and be caught between the females and calves of the herd and the bull.
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Old 11-03-2008, 12:51 AM   #8
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National Park Retreats is basically terraced and tricky to negotiate yourself into but the view is breathtaking. We refused the site at the top we had reserved, that wasn't a good one, and chose to stay in a better spot even though that was only available a shorter length of time. If you decide to stay here you may want to check it out with the truck first. It is steep and windy and narrow and not all sites are view sites. It is located about a half mile from a less busy entrance to Rocky Mountain National Park and directly across from a lodge with gifts and restaurant. The campground has a coffe bar too. Our site was on a one way dead end road and backing along it in some places and on the curve was a bit disconcerting but it was all by itself half way up the turn to the office and well worth the effort. Foxes frequented the area and mountain goats visited the top of the rock formations.

Want to see more? http://www.pbase.com/baidinc/rocky_m...tional_park_06
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Old 11-03-2008, 01:16 AM   #9
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I didn't pull my pictures from the campgrounds at Glacier Park, Yellowstone or the Tetons, but whereever you go it's wonderful.
Taken from our site in Moran Junction at the old KOA very near Snake River and the entrance to Grand Tetons. It's open all year round and gets a lot of snowmobilers as well.
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One of the KOAs outside of Glacier and a shot from Edge of Yellowstone RV Park. The latter is a great park along a river with a terrific game room with a pool table and juke box, nice laundry and a second story deck.
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glacier_np Photo Gallery by Carol Baidinger at pbase.com
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Old 11-03-2008, 06:17 AM   #10
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I liked Canyon campground in Yellowstone. Although, my family an I were tent camping at the time. Canyon is right in the middle of the park. The time you save traveling is worth it.
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Old 11-04-2008, 06:43 PM   #11
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This is all GREAT stuff guys! Keep it comin'. Is it okay to stay at one campground between Tetons and Yellowstone and near Jackson Hole or this the drive into Yellowstone too ridiculous?

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Old 11-04-2008, 06:58 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrPlay View Post
This is all GREAT stuff guys! Keep it comin'. Is it okay to stay at one campground between Tetons and Yellowstone and near Jackson Hole or this the drive into Yellowstone too ridiculous?

BB
BB,

The north boundary of Teton NP is the south boundary of Yellowstone. Not sure what park you are referring to. We stayed at the NP campground at Coulter Bay on our way to Bozeman. Only $9 with a Golden Access pass compared to about $50 for the full hookup RV park at Coulter Bay. From what I heard we had the better site, pull through on the side of the loop. We stayed at Fishing Bridge RV Park in Yellowstone, old and sites very close together. We prefer to stay in the NPs rather than outside in a commercial RV park. Although there are usually no hookups you have to drive less.

Bill
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