Camping in Yellowstone - Part 1


Jul 22, 2016
My girlfriend and I just finished up spending a month camping in Yellowstone and wow, it was amazing. I dont' know how many parts this report is going to be but we will start with part one.

We left San Diego on June 5th and planned to make the 1,000 mile drive over two days. But as we got into Utah we decided to push through to Idaho. We ended up sleeping at a rest stop for a few hours before we carried on, reaching Norris campground at about 6:30am on June 6th. It was pretty cold but we were very happy to be in the park for the first time.
After the nerve-wrecking process of obtaining a campsite we made a good breakfast before heading to canyon for ice and other supplies (bear spray and fishing permits included). We decided to hang out at camp most of the day and do some fishing of the Gibbon River before turning in early.

For our first hike we decided to hike to Grebe lake from the Grebe Lake TH, a short and flat 3.3ish miles. The trail was pretty sloppy but had plenty of beautiful wildflowers. We saw a few bear tracks once we neared the lake and plenty of moose sign, which surprised me since the ranger told us "there are no moose in Yellowstone".



The lake was absolutely beautiful and we got to see some sort of weasel, (trumpeter?) swans, osprey and caught plenty of fish. Actually Grebe was the productive body of water we fished in the park.

Pair of Swans on Grebe Lake

Clouds building over Grebe Lake

After a few hours the clouds started to become threatening so we decided to head back to the trailhead as we donned our rain jackets. We only received a few raindrops though.
Once we arrived back to the car we decided to head to Artists Paint pots to explore some of the amazing thermal features.


IMG_4458.jpg IMG_4462.jpg
I also have some videos of the bubbling mud pits but I can't seem to get them uploaded.

Heard of bison in Virginia Meadows.

Day 3 - Hayden Valley and Ribbon Lake
We got up early to try and see some wildlife in Hayden Valley but once we got there the mist was so thick we couldn't see more than 30 feet in front of us. So we ended up sitting around for 30 minutes waiting for it to burn off. Once the sky cleared the views were spectacular.
Pretty flowers in the morning.

The mist clearing


We didn't see much in the way of wildlife, just some bison, elk with a calf crossing the Yellowstone River which was pretty awesome. After breakfast we headed to Artists point to view the grand canyon of the yellowstone and hike to Ribbon Lake.


Some pretty incredible colors.

A pond on the way to Ribbon Lake

The mosquitos were pretty insane at Ribbon Lake and we had to layer up to fish. We caught some small Brook and Rainbow trout but didn't keep anything.
We decided to make a loop back to the trailhead via the Wapiti Lake trailhead and the extra miles were worth it!
Clear Lake
The rolling hills near the Wapiti Lake TH


Many more hikes to come including hikes near Mammoth, The Lamar Valley, Lower Geyser Basin as well as hikes in Grand Teton NP, and Sawtooth National Forest. We are staying in Gardiner tonight and then driving to SLC tomorrow so hopefully I can upload some more reports as soon as I get some better internet. I have a pretty big back-log of trip reports from this summer but I also start medical school in two weeks so hopefully I can get them out before then! Yellowstone is a pretty amazing place and I hope I can get back into the park to do some longer backpacking trips someday!

More to come....


  • IMG_4535.jpg
    181.1 KB · Views: 29
  • IMG_4552.JPG
    131.2 KB · Views: 30
  • IMG_4588.jpg
    84.7 KB · Views: 28
Thanks so much for the photography. My family and I just got back from Yellowstone. Yes there are Moose’s in Yellowstone. We saw a beautiful black moose and when I went to take the photo he starts off running. Picture isn’t that good but it’s beautiful and thx for sharing!!
Good stuff! One month camping there? And without reservations by the sounds of it? Wow! I'm looking forward to the other parts to come.
Nice TR! No moose in Yellowstone?! I feel like I have seen them in the Yellowstone river just about every time I have driven between Fishing Bridge and Hayden Valley. The Gibbon river right by the Norris campground is beautiful. Love Grebe lake too and you are right about it being one of the better fishing lakes in the park. Caught my first Grayling there. Thanks for sharing!
Grebe Lake is one of my favorite hikes in the park. The grayling up in there are pretty dang aggressive towards a dry fly and it can be an absolute blast. I used to stay 10 days in Yellowstone every summer and did that for over 10 straight years. It never got old and I still love going back. I'm looking forward to the rest of what you have to share!
Wow gorgeous views! Just increasing my desire to go there one day. Thanks for sharing!
Nice report. Looking forward to more. One month! That’s awesome I’ve only spent one day there and have been craving a return to spend more time there so I look forward to hearing about the rest of your time there. Thanks!
Wolves have deimated the moose population all around Yellowstone....