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Monday, September 6, 2010


Yellowstone River at Rock Canyon Our Opinion: Recommended for a relaxing interlude with convenient access from I-94.

Date of Stay: September 3 through 6, 2010 (Labor Day weekend).

Weather During Stay:  Sunny one day, rainy and cold another… a mix of cool to cold, fall-like weather.  Lows in the low 40’s.  Snow fell on the high peaks.

Site Description:  This is a small, well-tended, family run campground on the bank of the Yellowstone River.  The owners live on-site.

The map shows 23 sites, but we counted fewer - at any rate, it is small.  Most of the sites are long, somewhat narrow back-ins, but 4 nice sized pull-throughs were used by overnighters during our stay.  If the sites were all full, it might feel somewhat crowded, but we had plenty of space during our stay.

All of the developed sites are FHU, probably 50 amps, as was ours (site 20) and cable TV is provided.  The sites are gravel and grass, very level.  Most sites have a tree or two, and all sites have a picnic table.  A couple grassy areas are available for tents and overflow dry camping.   Onsite laundry (1 washer and 1 dryer) and restrooms.

Site 20 at Rock Canyon Rate: Between sending a check for a deposit, then writing two additional checks when we arrived, I don’t remember EXACTLY what we paid, but it was around $35/night plus tax.

Phone/radio/TV:  Good Verizon signal for phones and aircard.  A tree blocked our roof-mounted satellite TV, so we used the included 30+ channels available on cable TV.  Local NPR on 91.1.

Elevation/landscape/terrain: Located at 4,600 ft., this park is in a rocky canyon at the north end of the Paradise Valley.  Views are of the green grass and trees of the park, a rugged, rocky canyon wall to the west, and a high rocky ridge to the east, on the other side of the wide Yellowstone River.  Our site faced down the valley towards the high peaks of the National Park.  Because of the high canyon wall to the west, the park is shaded well before the sun sets.  Quite appealing.

Lighting/noise:  Night lighting is subdued, and there is little noise once the traffic along Hwy 89 dies down for the night.  About the ONLY noise in this park is daytime traffic noise from Hwy 89, which leads to the north entrance of Yellowstone N.P.

Looking east at Rock Canyon Campground Favorite Sites:  We liked our site (20), a long back in with a nice view to the south.  All the sites in our row (16 through 23) are similar.

Hiking/Walking:  Across Hwy 89 (adjacent to the park), a walking/biking trail stretches 2 miles back to Livingston and another mile or so to the south.  Hiking trails are available in Paradise Valley and Yellowstone National Park (55 miles south).

Comments:  We made reservations here in advance of the Labor Day weekend, to be off the road.  This small park was quiet and peaceful, not full, which surprised us!  It is rather far to the National Park from here; maybe that is why sites were available all weekend.  Like to fish?  Stand on the bank of the Yellowstone River, a few steps from your site.  We would stop here again when passing through Livingston on I-90 - the park is just a couple miles off the interstate.


Freely Living Life said...

Thank you for the review! Looks like a fabulous spot to park and relax! =)


Nickie and Jim said...

Imagine our surprise this morning to read your review with photos... and see our Lazy Days RV and Smart car in one of the pictures! We're ending up an enjoyable month here at Rock Canyon before heading southwest. Our blog site is: http://intrepid-decrepit-travelers.blogspot.com/. Sorry we missed meeting you - maybe somewhere else down the road! Happy trails to all of us!