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Boondocking near West Yellowstone

When we decided to move from Grand Teton to the town of West Yellowstone it was because, as digital nomads, we typically need to be somewhat close to a populated area so we have data and phone service. We originally planned to dry camp at Baker Hole just 3 minutes north of West Yellowstone. We would have preferred to boondock in someplace FREE but we figured we needed to be near town for the internet so were willing to pay the affordable nightly rate of $16 to dry camp at this campground. And honestly, it was a very nice campground with huge pull-throughs and water nozzles everywhere making it easy to replenish. And we “assumed” (big mistake) being that close to town, of course we’d have data, right?

Nope. Zero. Nada. And to remind you, we literally pay for AT&T, TMobile, and Verizon, just so we always have a connection. And not one of these three worked out at that campground. We even drove around with all three devices hanging out the window of our car as we wandered around the entire campground thinking maybe, just maybe, we’d find a patch of it that had a data connection. After talking to the camp hosts, who confirmed the park did not have any decent data service. So we needed a plan B and fast.

We arrived on a Sunday and so on Monday we went into West Yellowstone (which actually has amazingly fast data speeds) and spent the morning at the Euro Cafe. The owner was super kind and let us set up our computers and work for a few hours while we nibbled on her delicious breakfast and worked. Val at his regular day job (which keeps us afloat) and me, hunting for a new camping spot.

Thanks to Campendium I was able to find an incredible FREE boondocking campsite that was still near the West Yellowstone entrance to the national park, which is of course why we were in the area. We scoped it out beforehand to check the internet, and were happy to discover it was as fast as in town, which was crazy to us!  It was able to accommodate Phoenix, our 38′ class A motorhome, which is always one of our challenges traveling with such a big girl.

Dry camping near West Yellowstone

It’s about 20 mins west, shortly after you cross the Idaho state line from Montana. Yeah, the road getting up to our spot is filled with potholes and Val said the drive was definitely bumpy, but as always, slow and steady wins the amazing camping spot. Albeit sharing it with lots of mosquitos in the evening, and huge horse flies (who we suspect are also biting us). But both seem to be common for this part of the country so we just live with it.

Also, this is bear country (grizzly to be exact), so we are extra conscious of how we dispose of our trash, cook our food, what we leave in the car, and of course, watching over our animals and constantly scanning the terrain.

Dry camping near West Yellowstone

Our first night there, I set up a camp fire and about an hour later, I heard rustling in the bushes. I called Val out to help me stomp out the fire, and then we both heard a very low growl. You’ve never seen two people hustle so fast into their RV. I even left my glass of wine on the table outside. I had visions of a bear enjoying our fire and drinking up my wine. Alas, the next morning the wine was still in the glass, and there were no passed out bears.

Dry camping near West Yellowstone

And so far, we’ve not heard any other signs of them. We are just peacefully enjoying the views and our fast internet. Enjoy the video to see just how awesome this campsite is and I hope you get to experience it too, if you’re ever passing through here.

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