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The Best National Park Campsites: Cottonwood Creek

Yellowstone National Park, Montana

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yellowstone bison
Bison in Yellowstone (Photo by Aaron Logan

If you consider yourself a lord of the flies, there’s something you should know about Yellowstone. In addition to rainbow, brown, and brook trout, the park’s rivers and lakes teem with the largest inland population of cutthroats in the world. East Cottonwood Camp (campsite 1R2), deep inside the fir-fringed Black Canyon of the Yellowstone River, sits on a wide meadow alongside the Yellowstone River where lunker trout lurk in the deep pools just steps from your tent. Reach the Cottonwood Creek Campsite via a 16.5-mile point-to-point on the Grand Loop Road and arrive at camp (mile 6), after crossing the Yellowstone River (bridge) and Hellroaring Creek (ford). Trailhead Hellroaring Season Summer Permit $3/person per night