RV Gateway: West Yellowstone

Photo from Dreamstime.com
West Yellowstone, Montana, is an RV-friendly town and national park entrance combination. The drive from town, a few short minutes from the West Entrance of Yellowstone National Park, is a relatively flat route to some of the Park’s main attractions, such as the Old Faithful geyser, and has a few RV parks of its own.
 
If you want your home base to remain outside the park, the Yellowstone Grizzly RV Park & Cabins (grizzlyrv.com) and the Buffalo Crossing RV Park (buffalocrossingrvpark.com) are both privately owned, full-service RV parks in West Yellowstone, just a couple blocks away from the Park’s entrance. The latter includes discounted tickets to the Yellowstone Giant Screen Theatre, which shows a film on Yellowstone several times a day as well as some current Hollywood blockbusters.
 
RVs are welcome at any camping area in Yellowstone National Park, each with its own advantages. The only full-service RV Park in the Park is the RV-only Fishing Bridge Campground, by the shore of Yellowstone Lake about two hours east of West Yellowstone. It includes full hookups and a dumping station. Also on the lakeshore are Bridge Bay and Grant Campgrounds. Neither of which have hookups, but both are stunning locations.
 
Canyon Campground at Canyon Junction is a perfect spot to park the RV and go for a few nearby hikes. It has a general store and plenty of short and longer trails, scenic spots and viewpoints easily accessible on foot that weave through the forest and follow the Yellowstone River from the cliffs above. Madison Campground is set alongside the Madison River and just 25 minutes east of the West Yellowstone Entrance. For any of these campgrounds, be sure to reserve your spot ahead of time.
 
Whether you park in town or in the Park, spend some time in getting to know the town itself. The not-for-profit Grizzly & Wolf Discovery Center (grizzlydiscoveryctr.org) offers an immersive and educational experience for visitors, allowing them to see bears, wolves and even Nakiska, the Karelian Bear Dog, up close and in their natural habitat. For detailed information and updates, stop by the Visitor and Information Center. To learn about the history of travel to and through Yellowstone National Park, spend some time in the Yellowstone Historic Center (yellowstonehistoriccenter.org).
 
West Yellowstone is about three hours south of Helena, Montana. For more information on West Yellowstone, visit destinationyellowstone.com. To plan your trip to Yellowstone National Park, go to nps.gov/yell.