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Old 03-19-2014, 06:21 PM   #1
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Need for reservations at mt Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park?

My wife and I will be traveling to Mt Rushmore and Yellowstone National Park the end of June and in July. We have a 39' 5th wheel and I was wondering if reservations are needed or is there enough RV parks around to find accommodations as we go? Retired now and have the time to go slow and enjoy the trip. My wife thinks reservations and a time schedule would be best. My track record on traveling decisions isn't always stellar so any advice would be appreciated. Thanks, Fran LaPointe.
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Old 03-19-2014, 07:10 PM   #2
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We were at Mt Rushmore last June... and also yellowstone. We made reservations for both I believe in March. When we got to Rushmore, the campground was pretty much packed. We stayed at Rafter J.

For Yellowstone, we stayed in the Colter Bay campground next to the Grand Tetons just south of Yellowstone. It was completely packed.

I'm glad we made reservations, or we would not have gotten in to colter bay... I think we probably would have been able to find a place around Mt Rushmore though.

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Old 03-19-2014, 09:01 PM   #3
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We never make reservations until an hour or so ahead of needing them. We stayed in Custer State Park last June and never had reservations. Now my wife goes along with this program.

Now for you--if the DW says good to make reservations. Yep that be great idea for you. Ha.

Now as to Yellowstone in July. Probably to late to get site inside the park. West Yellowstone has parks that be easy to fine spots.

Russell
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:23 AM   #4
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We started planning our trip out west in January. From the reports we got about Yellowstone, you want to reserve a spot ASAP. July is peak season. This will be our first trip out there so I didn't want to get stuck w/o a place to stay.
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Old 03-20-2014, 07:42 AM   #5
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If you want Rafter J Bar, call as least a couple of days ahead, sometimes have rallies and can be full. If it is full, there is a KOA nearby that looked good. Also several campgrounds between Hill City and Rushmore.
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:42 AM   #6
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We've always gotten into Yellowstone without reservations. There are 7 campgrounds in the park that don't even take reservations. We stay just outside the previous night and pull into the campground early morning when folks are leaving. We've also done this with the reservation campgrounds in the park. There are always cancellations. We've stayed at Mammoth, Madison, Bridge Bay. There's also Baker's Hole national forest campground a couple miles north of W. Yellowstone that is very pleasant on the Madison River. Again - no reservations accepted at that campground. If you're coming from the east through Cody, there are many forest campgrounds at the edge of Yellowstone's entrance; also, north from the north entrance.

Don't go to Yellowstone without staying at least 3 nights in Grand Teton Nat'l Park. They are both completely different. In Grand Teton there are two non-reservable campgrounds - Colter Bay and Gros Ventre. Each will accommodate big rigs and each has 300 well-spaced sites. We like Gros Ventre. There's also Colter Bay RV park with full hookups which is right next door to the dry campground. Of course, you're paying for those hookups - about $50+! If you have a national park senior pass you can stay in the parks 1/2 price but I don't think it applies to the RV park with hookups. There are dump stations throughout Yellowstone and Grand Teton and generator hours if you need them. Have a great trip!

Campgrounds - Yellowstone National Park (U.S. National Park Service)
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:47 AM   #7
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twogypsies - we reserved a full hookup site at Colter Bay RV Park. It's $70/night, no discounts.
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Old 03-20-2014, 11:54 AM   #8
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Colter Bay Village does take reservations... this is a great campground with an amazing view of the Grand Tetons across Jackson Lake.

-cheers
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:14 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MoeBelly View Post
twogypsies - we reserved a full hookup site at Colter Bay RV Park. It's $70/night, no discounts.
We were there last year with reservations and got a discount, 30 to 50%, can't remember using the Senior National Park Pass.
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Old 03-20-2014, 12:47 PM   #10
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We were there last year with reservations and got a discount, 30 to 50%, can't remember using the Senior National Park Pass.
I think it may depend on the time of year your there. We will be there in July.
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Old 03-20-2014, 01:39 PM   #11
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A 39' 5th wheel is going to be tough to get in most YNP campgrounds. I suggest you look at the CG in the entrance cities, West Yellowstone, Gardiner, Cody, Dubois, etc. Moran, WY has a couple of campgrounds between YNP and GTNP.

At Mt. Rushmore, there are a number of campgrounds in towns around the area, but July 4 is the busy time, it would probably be a good idea to pin down a campsite ahead of time, again, especially for a 39' unit.
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Old 03-20-2014, 02:06 PM   #12
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You have a big unit, your choice of campgrounds, and even sites within some of the campgrounds will be limited, especially if you need/want hookups. I would reserve sites ahead of time.

A few years ago I took a 40' class A to both your destinations and others. We were on a tight schedule so we made sure we had reservations to get us in (or near) all our destinations. Staying in Yellowstone is very nice and saves travel time. You can spend the time in the park instead of 'commuting' from an outside campground.

I second the suggestion to also take in the Grand Tetons, you are right there and the scenery is different.
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Old 03-20-2014, 04:26 PM   #13
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Here's Grand Teton Nat'l Park's Campground/RV park site:

Yellowstone RV Park | Jackson Hole & Colter Bay Village RV Parks | GTLC - Grand Teton Lodge Company

As you can see, the dry camping area has 335 total sites with 175 sites for 45' motorhomes/trailers. It is all first-come - no reservations except for the group sites. The price is $22 or $11 with Golden Age/Access Passport cards.

The RV park next door has 112 sites for $65/night or $54/night with Golden Age Passport card.
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Old 03-20-2014, 10:33 PM   #14
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We saw fireworks on the 4th of July in 2003 at Mt Rushmore! It was great. I would say reservations for holidays.
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