Categories
Beartooth Pass Camping & Campgrounds Red Lodge Area Yellowstone Area Hikes and Attractions

Soda Butte Campground Montana

The Soda Butte Campground is the closest campground to Yellowstone Park along the famous Beartooth Scenic Byway. It’s just outside of Cooke City, MT only 4.5 miles from the Northeast Entrance to Yellowstone. The campground is in prime bear country and is only open for hardsided campers – trailers, motor homes or truck campers. No tent camping is allowed.

Soda Butte Campground
SeasonJuly – September
Number of sites27 sites – Hard Sided Campers only
ReservationsNo
AmenitiesWater, Pit Toilets, Picnic tables, Fire pits, Food storage boxes
AccessibleYes
FirewoodNo
AttractionsClose to Yellowstone Park
Nearest CityCooke City – 1.5 miles

Soda Butte Campground is located in the Gardiner District of the Custer Gallatin National Forest. The campground is open from early July thru September. The exact season is weather dependent so check in advance if you are coming early or late.

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The 27 campsites in the Soda Butte Campground fill up almost every night in the summer. There is no reservation system and all sites are available first-come first-served. There is no way to check site availability in advance so plan to arrive as early in the day as possible to try to secure a site. If the campground is full try the Colter Campground which is just a mile away. There are many other choices in our guide to Beartooth Highway Camping & Campgrounds.

Typical campsite in Soda Butte Campground
This is a typical campsite in the Soda Butte Campground. There is a picnic table, a fire pit and bear-proof food storage at each site. The sites are mostly set in the trees and there are great views of the surrounding mountains.

Each campsite has a picnic table, a fire pit and bear proof food storage. Water and pit toilets are available in a central location. There are no hookups for campers. The Forest Service recommends a vehicle length limit of 48 ft. There is a nightly camping fee which you must pay on-site. Cash and check only.

The campground is located at about 7,500 ft elevation and temperatures can be colder than you expect, especially at night. Between the high elevation and the crystal clear atmosphere you can expect to have some of the best star gazing you have ever experienced.

For more information contact:
Custer Gallatin National Forest
Gardiner Office
P.O. Box 5; 805 Scott St.
Gardiner, MT 59030
(406) 848-7375


Categories
Livingston & Paradise Valley Yellowstone Area Hikes and Attractions

Blacktail Lake

Blacktail Lake is a small mountain lake nestled in the Absaroka Mountains near Livingston, MT. The lake is 4.2 acres and sits at 8,750 ft elevation. It’s used by day hikers, backpackers, and horse packers. While Blacktail Lake is the only lake in the West Boulder drainage that has a trail to it, it can be reached using three different trails that are in three different drainages.

Categories
Red Lodge Area Yellowstone Area Hikes and Attractions

The Lights of Anvil Lake

by Stan Clements          

It was probably the best I had ever seen the stars in my life.

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It was the night of the new moon. The air was cold and dry. We were at high altitude, in wilderness miles from the lights of the smallest of towns. It was dark out. It was really dark out, good old country dark, here in Montana’s Beartooth Wilderness. My friend Bob and I had maybe the most adventurous drive of our lives over the Goose Lake Jeep Trail, just to get to the spot where we donned our packs. We walked and climbed into this rugged country, bushwhacking off the official trails, to reach remote Anvil Lake.

Categories
Big Timber Area Yellowstone Area Hikes and Attractions

West Boulder River

The West Boulder River is a favorite place for camping, hiking, and fishing close to both Big Timber and Livingston, MT. Popular with day hikers and backpackers, the West Boulder Meadows are an ideal place for a first-ever backpack trip. The combination of excellent hiking, camping, fishing, and scenery make this a very special place.

Categories
Big Timber Area Central Montana Hikes & Attractions Yellowstone Area Hikes and Attractions

Twin Lakes in the Crazy Mountains

Twin Lakes are probably the most popular hiking destination in Montana’s Crazy Mountains. The Crazy Mountains are an island mountain range north of Interstate 90 in the Livingston/Big Timber area. The trailhead for hiking to Twin Lakes is located in Big Timber Canyon near the Halfmoon Campground. This popular access is the beginning point for the Big Timber Creek Falls, the Crazy Mountain Crossing backpacking trail, the trail to Blue Lake, and the trail to Twin Lakes. If you visit, expect to find other hikers and campers enjoying this spectacular area.