Gallatin National Forest
brow and white camp sign amidst flowers and pines
Chief Joseph Campground

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Important: As of June 23, 2011, Chief Joseph Campground is only open to those who plan to camp with hard-sided vehicles. It is closed to tents.

Chief Joseph campround is a small campground with a whopping total of six sites. The campground serves as an important overflow campground for Yellowstone National Park. Visitors driving up Highway 212 form the park to Cooke City may find they actually prefer the scenery of this beautiful Beartooth country. You're "in the mountains" with alpine scenery. There are numerous trails wandering off into the Beartooths, and the area is well known for its unique mountain lake fishing. This is a wild area, so a salways use proper bear coutry etiquette.

Chief Joseph Campground is located four miles east of Cooke City on Highway 212. You can't miss the sign amongst the thick trees.

Another benefit of the campground is its ideal lcoation for anyone interested in making a day of the famous Beartooth Pass. Many consider this the most scenic road in America. There's a good reason why. Those who choose to camp here get a head start on tackling the gorgeous route.

narrow, gravel road amidst pines

The Forest Service recommends vehicles shorter than 42 inches for Chief Joseph Campround as the road is quite narrow. The largest parking sur is 22' by 60'. Also of note is the lack of reservations. If you want a site, it's first-come, first-served. Since there are so few sites, I;d advise getting there as early as possible. If no, there are other options in the area, such as Colter Campground, Soda Butte Campground, and Crazy Creek Campground.

shady campsite with rock outcropping and pines


shaded campsite with thick pines and gravel


Chief Joseph campground facts:

Video Tour available: No.
Open: July 15 to September 30
Sites: 6
Laundry: No
Showers: No
Dump Station: No
Store: No(4 miles west to Cooke City)
Fee: $8, $3 per extra vehicle
Parking apron: 22x60 is largest
Ranger District: Gardiner
Handicapped Accessible: Yes (grates, tables, toilet)
Toilets: Yes(vault) | Tables: Yes | Fire rings: Yes
Water: Yes
Elevation: 7,504 feet
Fishing: Yes (Clarks Fork Yellowstone, Kersey Lake)
Generator: Yes
Gas: No(4 miles west to Cooke City)
Repairs: No(56 miles west to Gardiner)
Gardiner Office
P.O. Box 5; 805 Scott St.
Gardiner, MT 59030
(406) 848-7375


Mountain highway with trees, peaks, and blue sky



NEW! Gallatin National Forest campground tours are now available! Our universal files work on any iPod or computer. Those interested in less crowded campgrounds near Yellowstone will want to view this pack. Click the iPod to order.

Parkcamper: Northern Rocky
Mountains Edition features
the campgrounds of Glacier,
Yellowstone, Grand Teton,
Badlands and Theodore
Roosevelt National Parks.
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