The Wapiti Campground is just 28 miles from Cody. This campground is popular with folks with toys - large RVs, ATVs, kid bikes, etc. The sites are quite spacious, so you won’t feel like you’re camping in your neighbor’s backyard, and they’re level. This campground opens earlier in the spring than some of the other campgrounds further up the North Fork Highway and stays open through most of October for hunting season. Because of the easy access, it makes a good spot for that first shakedown excursion of the year. This is a high traffic campground, but there’s enough vegetation it’s not totally visible from the road and there’s a sense of separation between sites.
What Makes It Great
Being so close to Cody, this campground sees a lot of use. But that’s also one thing that folks enjoy - locals can set up their RV for a week or two and still get to town to work. Out of area campers appreciate being close to town in case they need supplies. This is one of the few campgrounds on the forest that will take reservations. After a long day’s drive across Wyoming it’s nice to know you won’t have to hunt down a campsite in the dark.
There’s lots to keep everyone occupied at Wapiti Campground. The access to the North Fork of the Shoshone river is excellent and the water is much warmer here than further west. There are some great beach areas for toddlers and younger children to explore the water. The bridge over the river provides access to hiking and ATV trails. Those trails also make nice routes for kids on bicycles.
Who is Going to Love It
If you don’t mind a larger campground with lots of activity, then Wapiti is your spot. This is a wonderful campground for families with small children. It’s far enough from the highway you won’t worry about them, but there are all sorts of activities to keep them occupied and introduce them to the wonders of camping. The kids will also enjoy visiting the Wapiti Wayside which is staffed by volunteers during the summer. Here’s where the whole family can learn about grizzly and black bears and how to stay safe in bear country. Inside the compound of the nearby Wapiti Ranger Station is a long, low building that’s actually the very first United States Forest Service Ranger Station. This campground is like a small community within the wilderness.
Directions, Parking, & Regulations
From Cody take US HWY 14/16/20 west for 28 miles. You’ll first see the Wapiti Wayside the the campground on the right before the Elk Fork bridge. Fees are $20 per night for a site with electricity or $15/night without hookups. Vault toilets and water are available. Special regulations regarding food storage are in effect due to bear activity. You can spend 16 days at your site, then you’ll be asked to move on. The sites are large with the maximum spur at 50’.
Leave your cell phone turned off as there’s no service in the campground or pretty much anywhere on the Shoshone Forest.