Rex Hale Campground

Rex Hale Campground

Rating: 4.0 out of 5.0 stars

Site #2

Rex Hale Campground is located about 18 miles from the east entrance of Yellowstone National Park, in Wapiti, WY at mile marker 32. The site hosts 30 open and spaces sites along the North Fork of the Shoshone River. There are 8 Electric and Water sites and 22 No Hookup sites. The site while close the road, you don’t really notice cause the site sits lower than the road itself and it is somewhat protected by a hill that then drops into the campground itself. We hardly even heard road noise, on a few occasions we heard some loud motorcycles headed toward Yellowstone.

The campground offers spectacular red cliffs, where you might spot some bighorn sheep early in the season. A wide variety of wildlife live in the surrounding area. While we were there, we didn’t spot any bighorn sheep, but I did spot a Bald Eagle flying close to the red cliffs in the upper tree line. The biggest feeling I had while there, we peaceful, it was really peaceful, the other campers were courteous and polite, think while we were there the max number of RV campers was about 10, we were the only tent campers at the site.

Site #2 looking back towards the hill, the road is up and over the hill about 40 yards. The hill also provides some protection from high winds.

Rex Hale campground is located 18 miles from the east entrance to Yellowstone National Park, it is also the closet National Forest Service maintained campground where you can still tent camp. There are closer campgrounds to Yellowstone along U.S. Highway 14/16/20, but those campgrounds require a hardshell camper due black bear and grizzly bear activity. Both black bear and grizzly bear do visit the Rex Hale Campground, Grizzly bear food storage regulations must be followed in designated grizzly bear use areas. Some areas of the Shoshone are closed and signed as such due to grizzly bear activity or resource protection management, be alert to the signage. And always check with the local ranger district office in the area you want to be for any seasonal restrictions that may apply. While we are at Rex Hale, there was a fire safety order in effect. We could still use our fire ring.

While hiking along the Shoshone River which is just a 75 yard from our camp site, we decided to hiking down stream a little (about 200 yards)  when we spotted these really fresh grizzly bear tracks, perhaps only a few hours old, following a game trail along the river bank.

Grizzly Bear tracks we spotted along the river bank, this one was about 200 yards from our tent.

The closest Town to Rex Hale is Cody Wyoming about 36 miles east. The Campground is open May 21, 2021 through September 20, 2021. There are no showers, but you have potable water, and vaulted toilets, and one of the thing we were impressed with were the daily visits by Forest Service personnel, they really took care of the place and the camp hosts were great, friendly and a valuable source of information. Our campsite was next to the camp hosts so we got to see them and talk to them daily and they passed on valuable information, especially with the fire situation out west.

Rex Hale is certainly a spot I will come back to. It was close enough to Yellowstone that we were able to get into the park without much hassle, we were there in late August so the crowds were down due to schools opening but Yellowstone still posted a record number of visitors in August.

To reserve at Rex Hale Campground go to www.recreation.gov. Currently the campground is closed for the season, Availability for the 2022 season will be posted on November 21, 2021 so mark those calendars. Peak season for 2022 will be May 21, 2022 – September 19, 2022.

Campgrounds Nearby (distances are from Rex Hale)

  • Clearwater Campground – Shoshone National Forest – 3 miles away $10-60 per night
  • Wapiti Campground – Shoshone National Forest – 5 miles away $15-40 per night
  • Big Game Campground – Shoshone National Forest – 6 miles away $10 per night
  • Threemile Campground (three miles from YNP) – 11 miles away $15-30 per night
  • Sunlight Rangers Cabin – Shoshone National Forest – 20 miles away $150 per night
  • Hunter Peak – Shoshone National Forest – 30 miles away $15 per night
  • Pebble Creek Campground – Yellowstone National Park – 37 miles away $20 per night
  • Greenough Lake – Custer Gallatin National Park – 44 miles away $18 per night

How would we rate Rex Hale Campground. We discussed this and we both agreed, that Rex Hale gets 4 stars out of 5 from us. We deducted a star because they don’t have showers, but we knew this before going so we brought our portable camp shower system (pictured above). Others reviewers might have deducted for other things like lack of a cell signal for any of the major carriers, but for us being un-reachable was awesome.

4.0 out of 5.0 stars
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