Yellowstone National Park covers 3,472 square miles of lush, woodland terrain; it spans parts of Wyoming, Montana and Idaho. The National Park Service offers reserved and first-come, first-serve campsites in Yellowstone, but it is wise to lock in your site early; more than 3 million visitors tour Yellowstone each year. This influx of annual visitors frequently results in a short supply of Yellowstone camping spots. Gardiner, Montana — a small town with under 1,000 residents — is located just minutes from Yellowstone’s north entrance. It provides a convenient alternative to traditional Yellowstone campgrounds.
Gardiner, Montana is minutes from Yellowstone National Park.
Items you will need
- Nonperishable food items
- Hiking boots
- Cargo shorts
Step 1Book one of Gardiner’s four campsites based on your needs. The four campsites listed by the Gardiner Chamber of Commerce feature running water and flush toilets. Crevice Mountain and Montana Guide Service offer rustic lodges for rent, while Xanterra and the Yellowstone RV Park are better suited for motorhome and tent camping.
Step 2Pack nonperishable food items for your campsite. Gardiner contains grocery stores and markets — just like any small town — but prices spike during the summer tourist season. Save money and frustration — the grocer’s shelves are sometimes a bit sparse, especially on holiday weekends — by bringing your own supplies from home.
Step 3Pack sandals and comfortable clothing for the campsite. Hiking boots, cargo shorts and a backpack are ideal for venturing into Yellowstone. Gardiner campsites are not as rustic as those found within the boundaries of the park proper. Lounge around your Gardiner campsite in whatever clothing is most relaxing for you.
Step 4Explore the town’s tourist activities. Yellowstone is probably your main reason for visiting Gardiner, but the town has its own charm. Whitewater rafting, horseback riding and numerous area restaurants are among the attractions.
Step 5Leave nothing behind when you leave Montana. Gardiner and the Yellowstone area are home to a plethora of plants and animals. Even biodegradable items — like food — might disrupt the ecosystem.
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