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Old 09-02-2020, 11:11 AM
alcladrv alcladrv is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Southeast
Posts: 606
Default West Yellowstone

Last week, I flew my RV-7A into West Yellowstone and camped for 4 days. Initially, I was the only camper, but another group showed up the following day. Most anywhere within the pine trees makes for an acceptable campsite as there are none that are specifically designated. The amenities are few, but adequate, a vault toilet and pavilion. No showers, electricity or night time lights were available. The nearby water spigot was turned off for the season as morning temperature lows were in the mid-30s. The daily highs reached into the mid-70s. The camping area was a short and easy walk from the airplane parking.

A rental car was necessary to explore Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. Having the car helped to more easily access the campsite area from the ramp entrance, about 600 to 700 yards away. But, vehicle access to the ramp was restricted to the FBO operating hours, 7am to 6pm.

Fortunately, the adjacent EMT helicopter operation didn't have any callouts during the nights I was there with all of the noise a nearby turbine helicopter generates. There was occasionally some very faint highway noise but, in general, was fairly quiet at night. The perimeter fencing of the entire airport helped to ease any concern about bear intrusions. Something that is not true within Yellowstone park itself.

All in all, the camping area provided adequate accommodations and proved to be a good base camp to explore the park. Mountain flying awareness is critical as well as good VFR conditions for safe operations. Now that I'm cleaned up and warmed up, I'd make the trip again. Those 35 degree F nights in the tent were a little chilly.

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Last edited by alcladrv : 09-02-2020 at 10:12 PM.
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Old 09-02-2020, 11:23 AM
bhester's Avatar
bhester bhester is offline
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Hopkinsville, KY
Posts: 991
Default Tent

Which tent is that? I like it!
Bobby Hester - Builder/Pilot/A&P
Surfing the web from Hopkinsville, KY
N857BH RV7A XP-O360 - Garmin G3X ADS-B IN/OUT 2020 Compliant
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Old 09-02-2020, 12:22 PM
alcladrv alcladrv is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Southeast
Posts: 606

It's an L.L. Bean Backcountry Dome 3. After I bought my Helinox Cot Max, I found the tent was barely big enough to fit the cot inside. It was maybe a few degrees warmer in the tent at night than outside.
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Old 09-02-2020, 03:32 PM
DavidHarris DavidHarris is offline
Join Date: May 2018
Location: Upland, CA
Posts: 107

WYS is my favorite airport camping in the US.

Last time I was there with my kids in a Bonanza, some taildraggers landed, including a dad with a boy the same age as my son. The kids played for hours! Then we had a magnificent day at Yellowstone and another evening of play.

Very nice to have fire wood and great campsites and free bikes to get around.
David Harris
Vans RV-7A N47HM
First Flight March 2020
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Old 09-02-2020, 07:28 PM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 7,174

Originally Posted by alcladrv View Post
Those 35 degree F nights in the tent were a little chilly.
Did you have some closed cell foam between the bag and the cot? Cots are notoriously cold - cold air circulates underneath it, and your body weight compresses the sleeping bag's insulation. You need insulating foam under you.
We went to West Yellowstone quite a few years ago. After Labor Day, the crowds really disappeared. Not sure this year, with Covid-19.
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Old 09-02-2020, 10:03 PM
alcladrv alcladrv is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Southeast
Posts: 606

In order from bottom to top I used: cot, space blanket, Thermarest pad, sleeping bag and wool blanket on top of everything.

Picture showing how close plane parking is to the camping area. The tan building houses the EMT helicopter unit.

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Last edited by alcladrv : 09-02-2020 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 09-17-2020, 06:04 PM
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Steve Melton Steve Melton is offline
Join Date: Apr 2011
Location: Cincinnati, OH
Posts: 3,036

I am envious. looks like a perfect campsite.
Steve Melton
Cincinnati, OH
RV-9A, Tip-up, Superior O-320, roller lifters, 160HP, WW 200RV, dual impulse slick mags, oil pressure = 65 psi, EGT = 1300F, flight hours = 800+ for all

Simplicity is the art in design.
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Old 09-17-2020, 07:36 PM
danny danny is offline
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: puyallup, wa
Posts: 102
Default Really jealous!!

I camped at the KOA last year and we had a great time. Next time maybe I'll fly in. Just one question...did you bring your own wagon or was it available to use. I have a cool canvas sided one that folds up pretty small.
What a cool place.
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Old 09-17-2020, 09:57 PM
alcladrv alcladrv is offline
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Southeast
Posts: 606

They had 2 green wagons staged near the entrance to the campground. You can see them off the left wing in the distance. They are far too heavy and bulky to carry in the plane.
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Old 09-17-2020, 10:47 PM
TimO TimO is offline
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 633

Was there OSH week. They had the water off then too.

Great place to do a camp stop if you're flying x/c. We watched the comet from the ramp there. Nice people, easy access to rental cars, and plenty to do.
Tim Olson - CFI
RV-10 N104CD - Flying 2/2006 - 1400+ hours
RV-14 N14YT - Flying 6/2016 - 350+ hours
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