Camping & Campgrounds Gardiner, Paradise Valley, Livingston

Tom Miner Campground Paradise Valley MT

Tom Miner Campground is in south-central Montana close to Yellowstone Park and the Yellowstone River. The campground is on the Custer Gallatin National Forest and has 16 campsites all available on a first-come, first-served basis. A trailhead from the campground leads to the Petrified Forest Trail as well as into the wild forests of the Gallatin Range.

Tom Miner Campground
SeasonEarly June – Late October
Number of sites16 campsites
AmenitiesVault Toilets, Picnic tables, Fire pits, Food storage
AccessibleSome sites and all latrines
AttractionsHiking, Petrified Forest, close to Yellowstone Park and the Yellowstone River
Nearest CityGardiner, MT – 28 miles (16 paved, 12 gravel)

Campground Details

Directions to Tom Miner Campground

The historic Yellowstone River flood of 2022 washed away the Carbella bridge which was the primary access road to this campground. However, there is another route that will be used until the new river bridge is open, hopefully in late 2024. Until then follow these directions.

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About 30 miles south of Livingston, or 22 miles north of Gardiner, turn onto Old Yellowstone Trail Rd. between mile markers 21 and 22. stay on this gravel road for 5 – 5 1/2 miles to where the road splits and take the fork to the right which is Tom Miner Creek Road. Follow Tom Miner Creek Road all the way to the campground at the end of the road. In total it’s about 15 miles total from the highway.

Campsite Information

There are 16 campsites in Tom Miner campground. All sites are available only on a first-come, first-served basis. It’s very common for the campground to fill during the summer months so be sure to arrive early to secure a site.

Campsite photo showing table and bear-proof food storage cabinet
The campsites at Tom Miner Campground are almost all heavily wooded. They provide plenty of shade and offer some privacy. The sites have bear-proof food storage cabinets which makes it easy to keep a clean camp.

Tom Miner Campground has vault toilets and water located throughout the campground. Individual sites all have a table, a fire ring, and a bear-proof food storage cabinet.

Fees and Payments

There is a nightly camping fee ($12.00 per night in 2023) which is paid on-site. Only cash and personal checks are accepted as payment. It is not possible to use any form of electronic payment so be prepared – bring cash.

Physical Setting

Tom Miner Campground sits at 7,100 ft in the wilds of the Gallatin Mountains on the edge of the Hyalite Porcupine Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area. The campground is mostly wooded and the campsites are shady and many have some privacy.

The campground is located in the Tom Miner Basin which sits on the northern edge of Yellowstone Park. The basin is lightly developed and is mostly open country. It’s few residents have a deep commitment to the environment and Tom Miner Basin supports important populations of many animal species.

Scenic view from the Tom Miner road
Tom Miner Campground is set high in the Gallatin Mountains near the border to Yellowstone Park. The drive to the campground may be slow and dusty but it is beautiful.

This is Prime Grizzly bear territory and it’s important to always be bear aware. Keep a clean camp and always carry bear spray. Yellowstone Park offers great advice for camping in bear country.


Many people come to Tom Miner to visit the Gallatin Petrified Forest which is located nearby. In fact, the trailhead at the campground leads directly to a mile-long interpretive trail that explores some of the petrified wood treasures that are in the area.

The trailhead that leads to the Petrified Forest Interpretive Trail is also a major access point for backcountry trips. Trail #120 leaves Tom Miner and climbs 2 1/4 miles to the Buffalo Horn Pass where it connects with trails running north, south, and west.

There is some fishing in the area. Unfortunately, most of Tom Miner creek flows through private property and there is no fishing allowed. The campground is actually on Trail Creek which is a tributary of Tom Miner. There are a few native cutthroat trout in trail creek. Much better fishing opportunities are found on the nearby Yellowstone River.

The Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness and the surrounding forests are special places that need our support. You can help advocate for these lands by supporting the Absaroka Beartooth Wilderness Association. They are a positive force in support of the wilderness and we all need to give them our support!