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Camping & Campgrounds Gardiner, Paradise Valley, Livingston

Eagle Creek Campground Gardiner, MT

Eagle Creek Campground is a national forest campground located 2 miles northeast of Gardiner on Jardine Road. The campground has 16 sites available for reservation. Eagle Creek Campground is just 2 miles from the North Entrance to Yellowstone Park.

Eagle Creek
Campground
SeasonOpen year-round
Number of sites16 campsites
ReservationsYes
AmenitiesVault Toilets, Picnic tables, Firepits
AccessibleSome sites and latrines
FirewoodNo
AttractionsClose to Yellowstone Park
Nearest CityGardiner, MT – 2 miles

Eagle Creek Campground Details

Eagle Creek Campground near Gardiner, MT and Yellowstone Park
Eagle Creek Campground sits in a beautiful area. This view is from the parking area for the Yellowstone River Trail trailhead.

Directions to Eagle Creek Campground

The road to the campground leaves Gardiner right where the main road makes a sharp turn near the Yellowstone River bridge. This is the Jardine road and it immediately heads uphill from the junction. The road is paved but becomes gravel after a half-mile. Continue on to the well-signed campground.

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Campsite information

Each of the 16 sites has a table and a fire ring and there are shared bear-proof food storage cabinets. The campground has vault toilets but there is no water.

The sites are mostly spread around the perimeter of a large open area. the sites sit right next to each other and, in most places, there is nothing between campsites. There is no privacy here!

Map of Eagle Creek Campground
This map of the Eagle Creek Campground shows the 16 campsites. Hikers will find the Yellowstone River Trail at the end of the upper loop.

There are a few sites that sit away from the main grouping. 2 sites are near the corrals at the end of the road that climbs to the trailhead for the Yellowstone River Trail. There are also a few sites along the short spur road in the campground.

Fees and Payments

There is a nightly camping fee ($15.00 in 2023) that must be paid on-site if you have not paid with your reservation. Cash and personal check are accepted but no credit cards so plan to pay by physical payment.

You must have a campsite reservation through the summer months (May – Oct.). During the winter season (Nov – April) sites are first-come, first-served. All reservations are made through recreation.gov. If you want to camp here you need to plan and make reservations many months in advance.

Campsites 16 & 17 are exclusively for campers with horses and horse trailers and are adjacent to the corrall. They are both considered to be “double sites” and have a fee of $30.00 per night. These sites are not reservable by any method and are first-come, first-served. If these sites are not reserved

If there are no sites available at Eagle Creek you might try the Canyon Campground which is about 15 highway miles away and has no reservations – all sites are first-come, first-served. There are also two small campgrounds further up the Jardine Road. It’s 7 1/2 graveled miles to Timber Camp Campground and another mile to Bear Creek Campground. Both are first-come, first-served and both have some developed sites with room for dispersed camping.

Photo of Eagle Creek Campground showing several campsites
While the scenic views are excellent at Eagle Creek Campground, the campsites are packed close together with no trees or shrubs to provide any privacy.

Physical Environment

The Eagle Creek Campground sits above the Yellowstone River valley overlooking Gardiner, MT. There are great views looking toward the mountains to the west. The campground has three areas:

  • The main meadow is a large flat open area that is ringed by campsites. There is brush and small trees but no large trees or forest.
  • The road that heads to the right climbs a small hill to a large level open area that holds a couple of sets of horse corrals and the large parking area for the Yellowstone River Trail. The campsites up here are for equestrian use only.
  • The road that heads straight through the campground travels a few hundred yards to a turn-around. This road area is wooded to some extent and there are a few campsites along this road.

Recreation

Most campers don’t come here to recreate at the campground. Instead, they camp here as a launching pad to recreation in other places. The Yellowstone River runs right through Gardiner and offers world-class fly fishing as well as great whitewater and scenic floats. Learn more in our Complete Guide to the Yellowstone River. Of course, most visitors head to Yellowstone Park which is 5 minutes away.

There are a number of good hiking trails in the area and one of the best begins right in the campground. The Yellowstone River Trail travels 21 miles from here to the Hellroaring Creek trailhead in Yellowstone Park. There’s no need to hike that far though as the trail offers great one-way hiking. There is an interpretive sign at the trailhead which describes some of the points of interest along the trail.

Photo of trailhead sign for Yellowstone River Trail
The trailhead for the Yellowstone River Trail is in the campground.

Nearby adventure opportunities