YNP camping

Yellowstone campers enjoy some grub in this undated photo from the National Park Service. The national park has announced that it is converting some of its campgrounds to reservation-only for 2021, leaving only 166 park-wide sites that will remain first-come, first-served.

Yellowstone visitors have asked for more campsites to be available for advance reservations, national park officials say. So they are getting their wish with three campgrounds being added to the reservation system for 2021.

Mammoth, Slough Creek and a portion of Pebble Creek campgrounds will change from first-come, first-served, with spaces opening for advance reservations beginning March 24, National Park Service officials announced Tuesday in a press release.

The shift is in direct response to public requests for a reservation system at park campgrounds, the release stated.

"The ability to make reservations will enable visitors to plan their trips ahead of time and provide assurance that they will have a campsite upon arrival," Yellowstone officials wrote. "It will enrich the visitor experience by reducing traffic congestion at campgrounds, improving safety, and eliminate uncertainty and frustration."

Reservations will go live on Recreation.gov starting March 24 at 8 a.m. Visitors will be able to book campsites up to six months in advance. Campgrounds are expected to fill quickly once sites are made available.

About half (41%) of Yellowstone’s campsites managed by the park service will be placed on the reservation system, and the rest will remain first-come, first-served. For visitors who arrive without reservations, the park will have two and a half campgrounds operating on a first-come, first-served basis. However, reservations (where available) are highly encouraged since campgrounds fill each day, often before noon.

Advance reservations have previously been available at campgrounds managed by Yellowstone National Park Lodges, including Bridge Bay, Madison, Canyon and Grant Village campgrounds, plus Fishing Bridge RV Park. To reserve campsites at those campgrounds, visit Yellowstone National Park Lodges' website.

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