Yellowstone National Park:Part One- Camping

Back in July, I took the kids to a place I’ve always wanted to go- Yellowstone National Park. Before we left, I attempted to do some research, but a lot of our trip was not planned. I could have used a little more personal experience. By writing this series, I’m hoping to let others know what to expect. This first entry will be about camping- specifically, at Mammoth.

Getting a Mammoth Campsite

Part of the reason we chose Mammoth to camp at is that the availability looked the best. It is a first-come, first-served campground, so you need to make sure and get there early, but it seems to be one of the last to fill up. When we entered the turn in for the campground, there was a line of cars. A gentleman gave us a little clipboard and had us fill out our information(name, license plate number, number in party, and how many nights) while we were waiting.

We waited a bit in our car as all others in front of us went through and paid and got their info one by one. I would say we were in line for about half an hour. The kids were still asleep, and fortunately it wasn’t hot yet. When it was finally our turn, I paid our $20. Note, they do accept credit and debit cards. They assigned us a campsite, told us about the rules, gave us a map, and sent us on our way.

Mammoth Campground Amenities

Our campsite was very close to the bathrooms. This was a blessing… and a curse. The bathrooms have electricity and flushing toilets. There is also soap and paper towels. No showers, but if you NEED a shower, you could go to Mammoth Hotel up the hill and use theirs for a fee. The only issue I had being close to the bathroom was that it was loud with people walking by at all hours. We were also close to a water pump. Tent platforms are made up of pea gravel. Definitely want a heavy duty tarp underneath, and take care not to damage the floor of the tent. Bear boxes are located in every site. The campground hosts told me that bears weren’t an issue, really, but elk were.

In reviews of Mammoth campground, people mentioned that they saw elk and other wildlife in the campground. We didn’t see much wildlife in the campground. Just up the hill in Mammoth Village, however, we saw lots of elk.

I was told that elk would try to break into tents to get at good smelling stuff, so bear boxes are really essential to storing food.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

There is the bear box in our campsite. There are firepits, and you can buy wood in the campsite. I think it’s pricey, though.

You might notice in the picture that there aren’t many trees around. Most of the sites do not have much as far as shade.

Other Nice Features of Mammoth Campground

We appreciated being able to get internet 4G service at our campground. There is an amphitheater in the campground with nightly ranger talks. There is also a Pok├ęStop at the amphitheater. Above the amphitheater is a short trail that leads up the hill to Mammoth Village. I’ll do a whole other post on Mammoth Hot Springs and the village next. But I really enjoyed being close, and I found some other trails that I could go on next time I’m in Yellowstone.

Have I mentioned the views?

 

 

 

Conclusion

I enjoyed our stay at Mammoth Campground. I would love to go back and try out other campgrounds. It’s a good spot in the northwest part of the park. It was a long time to get to other parts of the park- especially since we had to deal with road construction.

If you want a nice guide to all the campgrounds available in the park, here is a good link. Also, this site is what I used to find out what campgrounds filled up and when.

Luci Lux and Luci EMRG by MPOWERD

Luci LIteAs a mom of two Cub Scouts, one of whom is becoming a Boy Scout this month, I’m excited to have the opportunity to review these two solar lanterns from a CES 2015 Innovation Awards Honoree for the Luci EMRG.

These inflatable, solar powered lanterns are waterproof- a great solution for the outdoor life. They are compact when deflated. and lightweight, so they would be great to carry in a pack for an overnight camp-out. They’re also good to have in the car or around the house for emergency lighting during a power outage.

The Luci Lux is slightly bigger than the EMRG with 10 LED lights. It has 3 settings- bright, super bright, and flashing. It still only weighs 4 oz, and will run 12 hours max on the bright setting. 8 hours is the full charge time on the solar panels. You can purchase the Lux for $19.99.

Luci Lux - 2The EMRG is smaller and more compact with 4 LED lights that still are pretty powerful. This one has 4 settings- bright, super bright, flashing, and an SOS mode-which flashes red and white light. It weighs 2.5 oz. It can give up to seven hours of light if at full charge, and if not used, it will keep 95% of it’s charge each month, so you can use it straight out of the drawer or bag, even if you have not charged it that day. The EMRG is well-priced at $9.99. You can buy these and other Luci lanterns on their website

The most impressive thing about this company is their goal to provide their product to developing countries- those in need of “Solar Justice.” You can help put lights into the hands of those living in energy poverty by giving a donation of $14.99 for the first light, and $9.99 for each additional light. You can learn more about MPOWERD’s Give Luci program here.