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Yellowstone Area Hikes and Attractions

Crazy Creek Campground on the Beartooth Highway

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Located on the Beartooth Highway 11 miles east of Cooke City, MT and 15 miles from Yellowstone Park, the Crazy Creek campground has 16 campsites near Crazy Creek. A special feature is the short trail to the scenic Crazy Creek Falls. Crazy Creek Campground is in the Clark’s Fork Ranger District of the Shoshone National Forest on the Wyoming section of the famous Beartooth Highway.

Crazy Creek Campground
SeasonLate May – Mid-September
Number of sites16 sites
ReservationsNo
AmenitiesVault Toilets, Picnic tables, Fire pits, Food storage boxes
AccessibleNo
FirewoodNo
AttractionsCrazy Creek Falls, Stream fishing, Yellowstone Park – 15 miles
Nearest CityCooke City – 11 miles

The 16 campsites at Crazy Creek Campground all feature picnic tables, fire rings and bear-proof food storage boxes. There are vault toilets in the campground but there is no water available. None of the sites are classified as accessible.

Typical campsite in Crazy Creek Campground
This is a typical campsite in the Crazy Creek campground. Each site has a table, a fire ring and a steel bear-proof food storage box. Most of the campsites are forested but a few are open with views of Pilot Peak in the distance. From here it is less than 1/4 mile to Crazy Creek Falls.

There is no reservation system for camping at Crazy Creek. This is a very popular campground that usually fills during the busy summer months. If possible plan to arrive early in the day to secure a campsite. There is a nightly camping fee that you must pay onsite. Cash and personal check only so be prepared. Visit the USFS site for information about current camping fees.

If the Crazy Creek Campground is full or if you want to learn about other camping options visit our guide to Beartooth Highway Camping & Campgrounds.

Crazy Creek Falls

The campground is situated on a bluff above Crazy Creek and is just downstream from the Crazy Creek Falls. A trail from the campground leads across the highway to the falls. It’s only about 1/10 of a mile to the falls making it a trip every camper should take.

There’s a dedicated parking area for Crazy Creek Falls on the north side of US 212 almost exactly across from the campground entrance. This parking area is not signed so most drive right by and there are rarely many visitors at the falls. The trail is easy to follow and in good condition. Most visitors travel to the base of the falls and return. However, the trail continues on to the top of the falls and then on for several miles into the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness.

Crazy Creek Falls at low water
At low water levels Crazy Creek Falls are not too impressive. However, at high water the roaring falls are much more dramatic. The falls are a very short walk from the campground or from the pull out on US 212.

The water flows in Crazy Creek vary dramatically depending on the time of year. During spring runoff it can be a real torrent. However, by late summer it’s little more than a trickle. The falls aren’t too impressive at low water but at higher water levels they are magnificent and the roaring sound they make can be heard in the campground.

Things to know about the Crazy Creek Campground

The campground sits at a bit under 7,000 ft elevation. At this altitude you can expect to have cold nights at any time. While it’s typically above freezing during the summer, it’s always possible to have temperatures that most people don’t expect. Also, storms can move in quickly, especially on summer afternoons. Always be prepared for changing weather conditions.

The night skies at Crazy Creek campground are spectacular. There are no man-made lights to interfere with the darkness and the air is unpolluted. If it is a clear night you can expect to have a view of the night sky that few are fortunate enough to enjoy.

Fishing Crazy Creek and the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone

Crazy Creek is a tributary of the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River and the two join together not far from the campground. There’s trout in Crazy Creek but the better fishing is found in the Clarks Fork which is a much larger stream. The streams have wild cutthroat, rainbow and brook trout and fishing these waters is a memorable experience.

The waters here are in Wyoming and you need to have a valid Wyoming fishing license if you plan to fish . Fly fishing is the rule and the fish are often easily caught. While most are fairly small. It’s possible to catch fish up to 15 inches.

The fishable water on Crazy Creek is pretty limited but the Clarks Fork runs along the Beartooth Highway for miles in this section and provides lots of opportunities. You can access the river from several roadside pullouts and from the Fox Creek campground and the Pilot Creek dispersed camping area.

About 1 1/2 miles east of Crazy Creek the Clarks Fork heads south away from US 212. However, long stretches of the river can be accessed from WY 296, the Chief Joseph Highway, which heads south from US 212 less than 3 miles east of Crazy Creek Campground.