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“BISON STAMPEDE!”

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Bridge Bay Campground
Las Vegas, Nevada
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 8 helpful votes
“BISON STAMPEDE!”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 3, 2010

O.k. so we camped out for two nights at bridge bay from August 26-28, 2010

Number 1- it’s a great location especially if you plan on doing lots of lake activities such as boating and Fishing. The marina is right next to the campground. Lake Hotel and Fishing Bridge Village are nearby so even though there are not many ammenities at Bridge Bay you are a easy drive away from shopping grocieries and WARM CLEAN SHOWERS!

Number 2- we stayed in spot 280 in loop F, I would say its probably the spot with the best view of the lake in the entire campground. The view of the lake from this spot is unhindered (which is why we requested this spot and luckily got it).

(This applies to all spots in loops E and F)
BUT THE PROBLEM WITH THIS UNHINDERED VIEW OF THE LAKE IS THAT YOU ARE LOCATED AT THE EDGE OF A FIELD (THAT LEADS DOWN TO THE ROAD AND LAKE) WHERE ANY ANIMAL CAN EASILY WANDER INTO. WHICH LEADS ME TO THE WILDLIFE SITUATION.

Number 4- When we booked this camping trip we were not aware that the Bison in Yellowstone mated in late August. Well they do and apparently they also like to hang out at the Bridge Bay campground whether this happens every year I don’t know but it sure happened this year.
So when we pulled into our spot around 9 in the morning there were at least 20 maybe more Bison (I really didn’t stop to count) behind our campsite in the open field.

I had watched all those animal safety videos on the Yellowstone website so I knew not to get near them.

At first they weren’t to close so we started to set up the tents and camping gear. But then they started to get closer so we all went back to the car and watched them from behind our open car doors. Eventually a ranger came by and told us what I had already knew about safety and that they don’t shoo the bison away since really this is their home. Which I fully understand. So anyways eventually the bison cleared away from our area and headed farther into the campground and actually stayed there in the lower loops of the campground entertaining other people all day long.

And then later that night as were sitting around our campfire we suddenly hear someone scream Stampede and a bunch of car doors slamming closed and people yelling . So of course we automatically jump up and run to our cars and as we get into our cars we hear the bisons hooves hitting the floor and their grunting (Its pitch black out there so we couldnt see anything) seconds later a small scared baby bison comes out of the trees and almost nocks over a plastic table we were preparing smores on. He scatters away and we see nothing for several minutes so we get out of the car thinking its over. Though still cautios we stand next to the car. well several minutes later we hear grunting behind us so we jump back into the car then several adult bison literally walk through our campsite in between our chairs, tents , tables, and fire pit and settle down for the night in the field behind us. Nothing else happens the rest of the night and the few bison left clear out the next day. (we observe the herd of bison at another campground the next afternoon) ( no rangers ever came around after this happened which was a little upsetting)

So basically it’s a beautiful location and we had lots of fun the staff were friendly and helpful. but if you are going to be their in late august I recommend you don’t stay in loops A-F. Forget the great views of the lake and get one of the more wooded areas in the upper loops where the bison stayed away from.(it seems they like open areas and stay away from the dense treed areas).(not an expert just what I observed)

SO YOU’VE BEEN WARNED.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
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8 Thank Lesive
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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180 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
  • Location
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Sleep Quality
    3.5 of 5 bubbles
  • Rooms
    3 of 5 bubbles
  • Service
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Value
    4 of 5 bubbles
  • Cleanliness
    4 of 5 bubbles
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Idaho2010
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 26, 2010

I was just in Yellowstone at the Bridge Bay campground on 08/2010. My daughter who is 23 years old was gathering firewood only a few feet away from our campsite. As she went into the clearing a black bear came into the clearing across the way. The bear looked at her and then in just a brief second the bear ran at her. She determined her best chance was to run because she was close to the bathrooms and would be able to hide out. We reported it to the campground host who said they would report it to the park rangers and also warn other campers but they didn't do anything. So we let people around us know but they didn't warn or do anything as far as we know. When we had told them about the bear it seemed like they were already aware of the bear being there because they knew the type of bear and where it was at.

  • Stayed August 2010, traveled with family
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1 Thank Idaho80
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Hatboro, Pennsylvania
Level Contributor
69 reviews
33 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 42 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 9, 2010

We stayed at Bridge Bay one night during a week-long stay in yellowstone. The campground is HUGE -- more than 400 sites. It's a fine, central location, but many of the sites, especially on loops A, B C and D, have no view and no shade, are very small and afford no privacy. We were fortunate to get placed in H loop, farthest from the entrance. Nicest is F and G loops, many of those sites have views of Lake Yellowstone.

We saw deer and marmot right by our campsite. No bears, although signs abounded saying bears had been seen in the campground every day, and rangers and Xanterra personnel were strict about obeying the food storage requirements. We used both the bear box at our site and our car to lock everything up.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
3 Thank RidingwithJim
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Texas
Level Contributor
88 reviews
74 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 116 helpful votes
1 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 5, 2010

We have camped a lot, in TX, CA, and CO as well as this trip, in NP as well as state parks, and we're in no doubt that this is the worst campground we have ever stayed in.
Pros - location - we loved being on the east side of the park and were so glad that's where we ended up. Very very good access to what for us was by far the most interesting side of the park. Bison and elk wandering around were cool.
Cons - where to start? When we arrived and checked in, I asked for the loops above D as suggested on this board. Very grumpy park person told me all the spots were preassigned and I should have chosen one when I reserved (although when I reserved they said I couldn't chose a spot and I notice great differences in experience with that in the comments - lack of consistency a problem). Gave us a spot on loop D that I could tell even from the map was terrible - with the campground road behind and the loop road in front. Said it could not be changed. We drove over there - indescribably bad. Our children who have camped in some gorgeous spots were almost in tears over how bad it was - no trees, sites squashed together, cars driving behind and in front. These a-d loops are so bad in fact I think they should be closed. Absolutely unsatisfactory.
Dispatched husband back to office where a different, much nicer, person reassigned us to a spot in the tent only loop.
Definitely better but only in comparison - some trees, sites still seemed cramped by the measure of any other site and strangely arranged as my husband noted to minimize views.
Bear boxes only to be shared and very inconveniently located so we ended up putting everything away every time - we noticed this was so inconvenient that ,any people left before breakfast and came back only after supper without every hanging out at the campground which may have contributed to the strange atmosphere there. (Although everyone we saw was very diligent about keeping everything put away.)
Constant road noise as the main park road runs between the campground and the lake, dingy, poorly stocked store only etc.
We had a great time at Yellowstone despite the dismaying experience, but would not stay here again (and fortunately enjoyed a great time camping in GTNP right after this). I chose BB from comments here saying it was the best for tents that can be reserved (and I wouldn't want to go without reservation given that the campgrounds were packed) and perhaps the other campgrounds are even worse for all I know. But this is a terrible campground.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled with family
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Helpful?
6 Thank Texastrips
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Victoria, BC
Level Contributor
270 reviews
99 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 376 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 2, 2010

This is a very large campground, so I'm sure there are some desirable tent sites, but we weren't lucky enough to get one. The first site we were assigned, #255 in the F loop, looked attractive -- a grassy space with a large shade tree -- but as soon as we stepped out to pitch the tent, we realized we were on a squelchy bog. We looked around to see what other sites were available in the same loop and rushed back to the camp office to request a reassignment. The Xanterra lady was very helpful and rebooked us into one of the requested spots, #270. It was dry and spacious, on a bluff overlooking Yellowstone Lake. Unfortunately, as soon as the sun went down, the mosquitos came out -- in force. And the traffic on the road below our campsite continued until late at night and began again early in the morning. Didn't make for a good sleep. Also, the facilities at this site are no better than those at Mammoth, run by the National Park Service, so it's not clear how Xanterra gets to charge twice as much ($19.50 camping fee + $8 reservation fee versus NPS's $14 camping fee).

On the plus side, the location offers easy access to Yellowstone Lake and various hiking options. Because this seems to be one of the more bear-prone areas of the park, we decided against hiking on our own and instead joined a ranger-led walk on the Indian Pond Storm Point Nature Trail. As we've come to expect from ranger walks, this was interesting and informative -- well worth seeking out.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Tripsterchick
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Alberta
Level Contributor
38 reviews
19 hotel reviews
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 25, 2010

Arrived at the campsite after a long long drive, so pleased that the registration process was prompt. Was a really busy time and we didn't book until the last minute so had a spot right in the middle of the main loops. It was blowing a gale and being so exposed was a bit of a worry, trying to put the tent up was comedy though. On a positive, the wind kept the mosquitos away. Was only a short walk to the toilets, but thankfully not right next to them, they were functional and clean. Saw a bison wander right through the middle of the campground which was interesting.
Good central location for exploring the rest of the park, close to Fishing Bridge where there are some showers.
Would definitely consider staying here again, but will get myself better organised and book a site earlier so could hopefully be on one of the outer loops with more tree cover.

  • Stayed July 2010, traveled as a couple
    • Value
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Helpful?
2 Thank Team_Poppy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Billings, Montana
Level Contributor
1 review
common_n_hotel_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 6, 2010

We have been tent-camping at Bridge Bay Campground every summer for 30 years. We absolutely love it. There is nothing better than waking up early in the morning and seeing Yellowstone Lake.

The previous poster spent quite a long time on the food storage issue and recommended everyone to read the "fine print". There is no reason to read the "fine print" in regard to proper food storage while camping in Bridge Bay or any other campground in Yellowstone. The warnings and regulations are CLEARLY PRINTED in the newsletter you receive when you enter the park and also on the back of the campground map you receive when you register at the campground. Apparently they didn't take the time to read the literature they received.

The regulations are as follows: "These items- new, clean, dirty empty, or full--may not be left outside, on picnic tables in tents or tent trailers, in the back of pickups, or unattended in any location, at any time, day or night, unless in immedicate use: *water & beverage containers * cooking,eating, drinking utensils * stoves & grills * coolers & ice chests * trash * cosmetics & toiletries * pet food & bowls * pails, buckets, & wash basins."

The regulations sound pretty clear to me and pretty easy to follow. In all the 30 years of going to Bridge Bay I have never had a problem with rangers and campground personnal. They have always been pleasant to interact with. They have a hard job which is some times underappreciated. I was there this year from June 28- July 1st which was probably when the previous poster was there. There was a problem bear during that time that they worked on trying to keep away from the campground. They finally had to trap it and the decision was made to euthanize it that Wednesday. This was in part due to behaviors learned by the bear because campers leave items on the list out (which the previous poster clearly admits to doing).

If you're tent-camping I highly recommend Loop E or F. Those loops have trees but pockets of open areas to let some sunlight in. The lower loops A, B, C, and D are in an open area with very little trees. Getting a premium campsite is based on order of reservations so I highly recommend making reservations as early as possible.

  • Stayed June 2010, traveled with family
    • Value
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Helpful?
3 Thank Deb1741
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Bridge Bay Campground

Property: Bridge Bay Campground
Address: West Thumb-Fishing Bridge Rd., Yellowstone National Park, WY 82190
Location: United States > Wyoming > Yellowstone National Park
Hotel Style:
Ranked #9 of 17 Specialty Lodging in Yellowstone National Park
Number of rooms: 432
Also Known As:
Bridge Bay Campground Hotel Yellowstone National Park

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