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Campsites in Wyoming are among some of the most actively booked in the nation

The sign for Yellowstone National Park.
Campsites like those in Yellowstone attract campers from across the world.

Wyoming is home to the hardest campsites to reserve in the nation. That’s according to a 2024 report by the outdoor app, The Dyrt. Released annually, The Dyrt’s camping report is an in-depth, nationwide study of campsites and a survey of campers. This year, there was a focus on the West Coast campsites.

“We survey 1,000’s of campers nationally … We also survey private property landowners and RV park owners as well,” explained Kevin Long, CEO and founder of The Dyrt. “There's no study out there in the camping [world] that's more in-depth.”

Each year, the study focuses on a region of the county in addition to finding national statistics. Despite the focus being on West Coast states this year, Wyoming campsites top the list for difficult-to-book campgrounds.

According to research by the Dyrt, “73.3 percent of Wyoming campers said they had a hard time booking a campsite last year because campgrounds were full.” Nationwide, that number averages to 45.5 percent. Long attributes this disproportionate popularity to Wyoming's “epic and well-known” parks.

“You're looking at Yellowstone National Park and Grand Tetons National Park, right there. There is a lot of competition to try to get those bookable sites because there's not that many of them compared to how many people want to make a reservation,” said Long.

Additionally, the Dyrt reports on which individual campgrounds are booked the most. Their research found Slog Creek Campground and Mammoth Campground in Yellowstone National Park are “100% booked all the time.”

Long said The Dyrt’s campground reservation alert system, known as “The Dyrt Alert,” is already pretty frequented for bookings. But for parks as popular as the previously mentioned Yellowstone sites, it’s “every few minutes … people going back to the dyrt.com to set up Dyrt alerts and to try to get those sites when someone cancels.”

Wyoming has also landed on The Dyrt's “Best Places to Camp” list for the last three years in a row, with Jenny Lake reaching number one in 2021.

While Wyoming is a well-known and sought-after camping state, The Dyrt found that an overwhelming number of campers in the state are experienced campers. Long reasons that Wyoming’s frontier landscape, cold winters, and long roads tend to repel younger, first-time campers. Instead, the study found first-time campers to camp closer to urban areas.

“First-time campers, we are not seeing them go to Wyoming. I mean, it was crazy. It was almost zero percent. It's one of the few states that had this zero percent of first-time campers,” he said.

The Dyrt report also found campers in Wyoming, in comparison to the national averages, are more likely to have camped for free, alone, or with a dog, and are more likely to identify their primary camping as “RVing” or “Truck Campers.”

“It definitely helps if you have a vehicle that you can be more independent in and have that time to travel to those epic places in Wyoming,” said Long.

Jordan Uplinger was born in NJ but has traveled since 2013 for academic study and work in Oklahoma, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. He gained experience in a multitude of areas, including general aviation, video editing, and political science. In 2021, Jordan's travels brought him to find work with the Wyoming Conservation Corps as a member of Americorps. After a season with WCC, Jordan continued his Americorps service with the local non-profit, Feeding Laramie Valley. His deep interest in the national discourse on class, identity, American politics and the state of material conditions globally has led him to his current internship with Wyoming Public Radio and NPR.

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