When I first looked at campgrounds in Yellowstone National Park, I completely dismissed Madison Campground. The location had no public showers, and with kids and teenagers, I knew I didn’t want to smell like a campfire all week. Thankfully, I called an attendant at Yellowstone National Park Lodges and learned more about this amazing campsite, including where and how to shower. I was so glad I did! From the moment I entered Madison Campground, I instantly fell in love with it! Here are 5 reasons why I loved Madison Campground!
#1 Madison Campground felt relatively private and was surrounded by beautiful Lodgepole Pine Trees
The first thing I loved about Madison Campground was the ambiance. Each campsite was surrounded by these beautiful Lodgepole Pine Trees. While the campground was located close to the main road, once you turned off, it felt secluded and private.
We had a large tent campsite and felt like we had plenty of space for our family. Although the website said there was a max of 6 people at each site, we got permission to bring 7 as I didn’t want to sleep in a different site from my kids. The park ranger told me that as long as they were all mine and we were in one tent, it was okay:) We set up our Browning Bighorn Two Room Tent, and then got ready to make our Hawaiian Haystacks dinner. (This is a great tent, by the way!!! It has a fantastic warranty and a zipper in the middle to create two rooms. Great for family camping.)
#2 Madison Campground provided everything we needed for a quality campout
In spite of the lack of showers, Madison Campground provided everything else we needed for a quality campout. We had a picnic table, potable water, a bear box to store food and supplies in, and a nice bathroom close by with flushing toilets. The bathroom also had a separate room with a wash tub for washing dishes. There were also large bear-safe dumpsters within walking distance to discard our trash.
In addition to those amenities, we also had a fire pit and plenty of trees to hang hammocks on. We had three hammocks with us. They took seconds to set up, and with adjustable straps, were a breeze to take down.
With a quiet time at 10 pm, we slept like babies (though admittedly we were the loud ones one night as we played games in our tent until 10:30 – oops! Thankfully our neighbors were forgiving:)).
#3 Madison Campground felt safe, and yet was close to amazing wildlife
The first night we arrived at Madison Campground, we stared, awestruck, as a Bison walked right through the campground. Apparently, there had been a bear sighting just a few days prior. While I am no fan of being attacked by animals, I was amazed at how close we were to them. The park rangers posted signs all around about how to be safe with the wildlife and I felt completely calm and protected while there. Though, honestly, I did sleep with a can of bear spray right next to me, just in case.
In addition to the bison in our campground, we saw two elk grazing in the field and bathing in the river. I didn’t dare get any closer, but it was still neat to see. This spot was located within walking distance of the campground. It was a great location where people went fishing and watched the sun set.
#4 Madison Campground provided a nice place to go during the peak hours at Yellowstone
The next thing I loved about this campground was how close it was to everything. Located near the west entrance to Yellowstone National Park, we were minutes away from Gibbons Falls, Old Faithful, The Great Fountain Geyser Basin, and the Grand Prismatic Spring. This allowed me to leave the campsite after having s’mores for some quick sunset photographs as well as leave early enough to get parking at the Grand Prismatic Spring.
Following the advice of the ranger, we came back to our campsite in the early afternoon when the crowds were at their peak and just relaxed, sleeping in hammocks, crocheting, and playing games as a family. Since we were there three nights, we were able to fully enjoy the parts of Yellowstone that we visited without rushing.
As far as the showers went, they were easy to find. One morning, we left early to see the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone. We went there first to avoid the crowds and to get early morning light for photography. Afterwards, we went to the showers at the Canyon Campground. They cost us around $5 a person, but the time was unlimited. We arrived around 10 am and had the showers to ourselves! It was the best $5 ever spent. There were also showers located at the Old Faithful Lodge, but the Canyon Campground showers felt far less congested when we went in July 2018.
#5 Madison Campground had AMAZING sunsets
The last reason why I fell in love with Madison Campground was because of the amazing sunsets. The campground was located just beyond those trees to the right of the above photograph. We could have walked to this location, however, we drove around the corner and parked at the Madison Amphitheater.
This close proximity to amazing sunsets allowed me to be present with my children and then go chase the sun. I waited in the meadow until the sun completely finished setting and then went back to my tent for another night.
Overall it was an amazing experience and made leaving Yellowstone National Park via the southern route a breeze. On our last day, we packed up and headed through Grand Teton National Park on our way home. It was a memory that we are likely never to forget!
I hope you get the opportunity to camp here for yourself. If not, at least you can live it through my photos! Thanks for reading and sharing my adventures with me!
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