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Old 10-19-2017, 05:10 PM   #1
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Yellowstone / Grand Tetons 2018

We are in the process of planning and making reservations for our summer trip. So far, we are planning on driving from Dallas to Yellowstone about the 2nd week in Sept. 2018. I'm planning on camping at Colter Bay for the first 3 days and then move Madison for 4 days. Colter Bay has full hookups but Madison is dry camping. (we have an inverter generator) My questions are,
Colter Bay looks like a standard tourist trap campground but how is Madison CG? Fishing Bridge is already full but I have yet to see a good review yet anyway. Staying outside in West Yellowstone looks ok on the paper but I've also read where people say the drive back into the park can be long due to the slow traffic. It would be nice if we didn't need to move around which is why I picked Madison. Does anyone have a better suggestion our can you give me an idea on how the Madison CG is?

Thanks,
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Old 10-19-2017, 05:27 PM   #2
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Madison is my favorite campground in Yellowstone. It is close to many things, but isolated enough to be peaceful and quiet. We spent 3 days there this summer and enjoyed being parked in the trees. It is a short walk to the Madison River where I fished everyday with limited success, but we were there late in the season. There is a dump station on the way out of the campground.
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Old 10-19-2017, 05:42 PM   #3
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We tried to get into Yellowstone this past September. The 19th to be precise, and found that the campground at Fishing Bridge was close for the season. The road in from the south to Old Faithful was closed due to snow. Be aware of the weather in mid September.
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Old 10-19-2017, 05:49 PM   #4
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We went to YNP and GTNP this past June. We stayed at Colter Bay RV Park for about 3 days before heading off to Grant Village. Colter Bay really isn't a tourist trap. The sites are closer together but further apart than your typical RV park. The marina and visitor center is walking distance and their is a laundry facility and store. You still feel like you are in a NP. The gas/diesel at the gas station at Colter Bay about 17 cents cheaper than Jackson Hole. Now that is a tourist trap. We drove through Madison campground while we were there the sites are very shaded for the most part so solar is restricted. A lot of the sites looked like a challeng to level so take extra blocks. Madison should be a better location to see Norris Basin, Old Faithful and Canyon. We had to drive to those areas from Grant and while the distance are not far the speed limit is 45mph. Make sure you get out early each day to avoid the crowds which will still be heavy in September. Take warm clothing as there could be snow. We had snow at Grant in June.

Look at Madison on this site.
https://www.campsitephotos.com/campground/wy/madison/
Since you can't reserve a particular site try this.
Print out the campground map. Mark the sites that look good for your size Airstream. When you check in ask the check in person which sires are available and see it any of them match the selections on your map.

Kelvin
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Old 10-19-2017, 07:04 PM   #5
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Thanks for letting me know what to expect. Iím glad to hear Colter is not as touristy as it appears on the Internet. I knew Jackson was geared towards tourist. We normally like national and state parks a lot more than commercial campgrounds. We go for quiet and space not swimming pools and play grounds.
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:06 PM   #6
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We were at Coulter Bay this August and we thought it was just fine for our needs. Great breakfast at the restaurant. Also like Flagg Ranch which is just two miles from the south entrance.

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Old 10-19-2017, 08:21 PM   #7
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Yellowstone / Grand Tetons 2018

There is going to be a major road project next summer between the Fishing Bridge junction and Storm Point that is going to make life in the neighborhood difficult at best.

If anyone needs full hookups, then West Yellowstone will be a better bet.
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:38 PM   #8
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We wouldn't call Coulter Bay a tourist trap, but please be aware that September is no longer the "off season" in the popular national parks. You'd hate to come all the way from Dallas, find the campgrounds full-up and not give your dream trip to this area your best shot. Reservations are highly recommended.

If you're only going to be a few days on your battery-only you should be fine with sparing use, otherwise a generator (or solar?) would be a good idea.

We've stayed at the Grizzly RV park in West Yellowstone. It's a nice place, with super-helpful staff.

The main way to minimize the crowds is to get up super early. We once found no parking, in September, in the parking lots at some of the main attractions. Definitely the case of the early bird getting the worm. Most of the thermal features are on the west side of the park.

Hope you have a super holiday.
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Old 10-19-2017, 08:48 PM   #9
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We have already made our reservations at both places. Iím just trying to make sure I made good choices without ever been there before. You keep reading how packed everything is and how hard it is to find a place to camp. I donít want to show up and not have a decent place to camp after a 1200 mile drive.
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Old 10-19-2017, 10:47 PM   #10
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We went to Yellowstone both last summer and this summer. Went over July 4th week both times.

We stayed in Madison 4 nights last year, and 6 nights this year. We feel it is the best all around campground in the park for us.

-Flat, not rocky, and good shade.
-The meadow with the river in it is right there. You can take your chair and your coffee and sit there if you want to. Very relaxing.
-Very pretty, with tall pine trees and treed hills in view.
-Good central location for day touring.

When we were there it was about 40% tent campers and 60% trailers and RVs.

Here is a link to the write-up I did on the 2016 trip when we had a sport 22:
http://www.airforums.com/forums/f295...-a-153482.html

This year with the 25 and only 2 adults we had a blueboy and dumped the gray tank once (after 3 nights). We topped off the fresh water using a 5 gallon jerry can.

KOA in Dubois is wonderful along the Wind River if you go that route. The drive between Rawlins and Dubois through the Wind River range is very beautiful.
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Old 10-20-2017, 06:09 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by czunc View Post
We have already made our reservations at both places. Iím just trying to make sure I made good choices without ever been there before. You keep reading how packed everything is and how hard it is to find a place to camp. I donít want to show up and not have a decent place to camp after a 1200 mile drive.
I think itís important to do the best you can to find a spot that suits you, but if you get there and find it doesnít donít let that ruin your trip.

Ultimately, itís a place to leave your rig while you tour the beautiful parks.

Maggie
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:33 AM   #12
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Thank you Piggy Bank!! The link you provided was very helpful. I feel like i made good choices on both parks. That website is very helpful and I had never found it before.
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Old 10-20-2017, 10:38 AM   #13
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Colter bay is a beautiful park we stayed last year. Grizzly rv park outside the west entrance is also very nice. Only a short drive to the park. Never had traffic problems and we were there in july
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Old 10-20-2017, 11:15 AM   #14
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I worked for the Forest Service back in the 70's in Island Park, Idaho, which is 27 miles from West Yellowstone. If you like the normal tourist attractions, then all the above recommendations are great. However, if you like the less traveled , then you might consider the SW part of the Park, Bechler Ranger Station. There are nice RV parks in the Ashton, Idaho area. It is a fisherman's paradise on the Bechler River, Henry's Fork, Mesa Falls, Warm River, and the Railroad Ranch. The Railroad Ranch was a working cattle ranch owned by the Harriman family and donated to the Idaho Parks Department. Wonderful camping and super fishing.
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