When campgrounds are full: Mammoth Edition

Don’t assume you can find a first-come, first-served campsite in the park just because it’s the off season.  Mammoth is the only year-round campground, and over half the sites may be closed on any given off-season night.

The USFS campgrounds around Gardiner are the nearest alternative, many high above the Roosevelt Arch, offering great views into Mammoth; there are three nearby sites off of Jardine Road and one off of US 89.

We weren’t the only ones shut out of Mammoth in search of nearby alternatives. A quick iPhone search (there is 3G service in Mammoth) led two young German adventurers to Eagle Creek, and we enjoyed a great evening around the fire with them.

A short hike around Eagle Creek turned up mule deer, mountain bluebirds, jackrabbits, and Western Meadowlarks. The next morning, I glassed the hills above Eagle Creek while cooking potatoes; many more mule deer, and a herd of 60-plus elk disappearing back into the high pines for the day. — Keith

What are your options?

Here’s what’s available from the north entrance of the park in the Custer Gallatin National Forest:

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