The Campfire Lodge Resort is located near West Yellowstone, Montana, about 22 miles from the entrance to Yellowstone National Park. There are a total of 18 cabins and 19 RV sites that guests can reserve. Some of the cabins are over 100 years old, as they were built around the time that the park was first established. Every cabin is equipped with a private bathroom, the ability to house anywhere between two and six guests, and, aside from Cabins 1 and 2, a fully equipped kitchen. The RV sites are all back-in only and provide water, sewer, and 30-amp electric services. Also located on the premises are a cafe, a fly fishing shop, and a bathhouse with laundry machines. Guests who visit the region to fish can do so in the Madison River, which runs through the property, or at a number of lakes in the area.
Surrounded by trees within the Gallatin National Forest is the Campfire Lodge Resort. The campground is located about 22 miles from the entrance to Yellowstone National Park. In the immediate vicinity of the resort is the Madison River, which runs through the property, as well as the Hebgen Ridge mountains. Wendie, one of the owners of the property, describes the valley in which the campground is located as a “special place” that some people will visit to take a break from everyday life.
On the 13-acre property, 18 cabins and 19 RV sites are available for reservation. The cabins vary in age, with some having been built as far back as when the campground was first established in the 1920s and as recently as 2008 when Wendie and her husband Jim bought the property. Every cabin has a private bathroom, and, aside from Cabins 1 and 2, all have a fully equipped kitchen. Two cabins are wheelchair accessible; outside each cabin and RV site are picnic tables and ADA-compliant campfire rings. The number of people that can stay in each house varies, with the smallest being able to lodge two people and the biggest hosting as many as six people. Every RV site comes with water, sewer, and 30-amp electric hookups. Wendie also notes that all of the RV spaces are back-in only.
Additional common areas guests can access at the Campfire Lodge Resort include the Campfire Lodge Resort Café, Jim’s Fly Co. Fly Shop, and the property’s gift shop, all of which are located in the same building. The café is open from 7:00 AM to 2:00 PM from Wednesday to Sunday and serves a variety of breakfast and lunch dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, such as large pancakes, homemade cinnamon rolls, and fresh hashbrowns. Guests interested in fly fishing can purchase additional gear at Jim’s Fly Co. Fly Shop, which is run by the other owner of the campground, Jim. Guests can fly fish on the property in the Madison River or at various rivers nearby. Fishing is one of the most famous parts of the region, whether it be fly fishing or lake fishing. A separate bathhouse with coin-operated laundry machines is also available to all guests of the campground.
Many guests who visit the Campfire Lodge Resort are there to visit Yellowstone National Park. Other guests will spend time at one of the many lakes in the region, from Hebgen Lake–which is close to the campground–to Yellowstone Lake, Lewis Lake, and Shoshone Lake in the national park. With regard to food in the area, Wendie recommends that people visit Driftwater Bar and Bistro, a restaurant located 10 miles west of the campground, or Grizzly Bar and Grill, which serves more upscale dishes such as steak, prime rib, and pasta.
One of the owners of Campfire Lodge Resort, Wendie, hopes that those who stay at their resort will be able to enjoy the nature around them. “If you want to get away from the world, this is the place to come,” Wendie says. She also notes that many families who stay at the park have enjoyed the time that they have been able to spend together due to reduced cellular coverage in the region. Other guests have stayed at the park each year for over 60 years. A number of reviews of the property make specific mention of the café and the quality of the food. Others talk about the views of the surrounding mountains from the grounds. One guest commented about their stay in one of the cabins that “the cabin was clean and had a well-stocked kitchen with dishes, cookware, utensils, and storage containers. We appreciated the two spacious bedrooms and close parking space to the cabin.”
Those staying at the campground are asked to follow a number of policies during their stay. One that Wendie makes special mention of is that the bathhouse and laundry facilities are not open to the public and are for guest use only. Additionally, no animals are allowed within the cabins, and smoking in the cabins or other buildings on the property is not permitted. The Campfire Lodge Resort is open between spring and fall, with June through August being the busiest time of year for the business. This is because a large number of families travel there to visit Yellowstone during the summer when children are on summer break. Wendie says that her favorite time of year is during the fall when the colors of the trees change.
Both Wendie and Jim, as well as their staff, strive to make themselves available for guests should they need anything throughout their stay. The owners mention that they often help those in RVs get parked in their spots or give advice about fly fishing in the region. This is part of what Wendie attributes to the success of the campground. She goes on to say that “hard work and dedication” have been some of the other notable factors in the success of the Campfire Lodge Resort.
Bertha Miller was the first owner of the Campfire Lodge Resort, opening the property to the public in 1921. It was at this time that the first cabins were built on the property, as well as some spaces for tent camping. Over the years, a number of owners took over the park at various points, adding cabins and RV spaces as well as building the bathhouse. The current owners of the park, Wendie and Jim Slattery, bought the park in 2008. Wendie is from the west coast and, growing up, wanted to live in the mountains, while Jim, who is from New Jersey, wanted to own his own fly fishing shop. While traveling, they learned that the resort was for sale and decided to buy it from the previous owners, Charles and Nancy Sperry.
Wendie and Jim have made a large number of updates and renovations to the property since taking over in 2008. Some of these changes include building more cabins to accommodate more guests, installing a new septic system, and renovating the bathhouse, among other renovations. They also started the café and the fly fishing shop in the main building. Regarding their future plans for the property, Wendie says they hope to build even more cabins for guests to stay in and keep up the older buildings.
Jim and Wendie Flattery
Charles and Nancy Sperry