Important: As of June 23, 2011, Colter Campground is only
open to those who plan to camp with hard-sided vehicles. It is
closed to tents.
Colter Campground is a decent-sized patch of land in-between the
breathtaking Bearooth and Absaroka Ranges. The campground is a
nice mix of open land and pine, with views of the mountains. However,
the campground is quite close to Highway 212, so exepct road noise.
Colter Campground is located 2 miles east of Cooke City on Highway
212. The Forest Service recommends vehicles no longer than 48'
due to the narrow access road. The largest parking spur is 22'
So why camp at Colter when you can keep cruising down into the
park? Well, there are a few answers to that. First, there may
not be any campgrounds open in Yellowstone. The two northeast
Creek and Slough
) fill quickly. You can forget about Slough if it's after 1 p.m.
Aim for Pebble Creek if you plan to head right into the park.
If you miss Pebble and Slough, your next campground is Tower,
and that also fills quickly during the summer (and it's not that
great to be honest, and perhaps this tag fits most of the Yellowstone
campgrounds). So if it's late afternoon, and you have a hard-sided
camper, you'll want to stay at Colter, Soda Butte, or Chief Joseph.
This way you can get an early start and have much higher odds
in securing a campground in Yellowstone
The second part of that answer is that the Beartooths and Absaroka's
are beautiful, and you're "in the mountains" in this
location, with numerous trails leading to waterfalls and mountain
lakes. If you enjoy the mountains, you'll probably be more impressed
with the awesome mountain rangers that surround Yellowstone such
as the Beartooths, Absarokas, Tetons, and Wind Rivers.
If for some reason Colter Campground is full, there are other
options in the immediate area, such as Soda
Butte Campground, Chief
Joseph Campground and Crazy
Colter campground facts:
Video Tour available: No.
Open: July 15 to September 30
Dump Station: No
Store: No (2 miles west to Cooke City)
Fee: $8, $3 per extra vehicle
Parking apron: 22x66 is largest
Ranger District: Gardiner
Handicapped Accessible: Yes (grates, tables, toilet)
Toilets: Yes(vault) | Tables: Yes | Fire rings: Yes
Elevation: 7,600 feet
Fishing: Yes (Clarks Fork Yellowstone, Kersey Lake)
Gas: No(2 miles west to Cooke City)
Repairs: No(54 miles west to Gardiner)
P.O. Box 5; 805 Scott St.
Gardiner, MT 59030