The day I finish teaching is the day we usually pack up and set out for our yearly summer adventures in the wilderness. We always start out in Yellowstone and pick a campsite as close as possible to where grizzly bears are still being seen. This usually ends up being Bridge Bay, located near the south end of Yellowstone, right beside the northwest corner of Yellowstone Lake.
The area around the lake, including Mary Bay and Sedge Bay, are often the last locations in the park where bears remain in the early summer before the heat drives the them into the backcountry. One bear, in particular, is the focus of our affection – a grizzly named Raspberry.
I mean, look at her face…precious! I have seen her every year that I’ve visited the park, but Simon has seen her every year since she was born.
So, alas, Bridge Bay ends up being our default campsite to begin our summer.
Out of all of the campgrounds that we’ve called our ‘home’, this spot is probably our least favourite.
It’s crowded, it’s not a well organized system, and we’ve had seemingly endless issues with excessive noise from neighbouring campers. One year, a group of campers found it too cold to be outside, so they all piled in their van, right beside us, and left their car running throughout the entire night. I still have nightmares about the engine revving every 2 minutes. Another year, the staff made an error with our spot and made us pick up our tent and move it 4 spots down two nights into our stay. Don’t ask me why. We’ve heard very bizarre and somewhat disturbing conversations from fellow campers late at night, all because the spots are crammed so close to one another.
We’ve tried requesting spots far away from the crowds, but they always seem to stick us in loops that contain huge campers and rowdy crowds. Not that we are against late night campfires and a few drinks, but when we are getting up at 4:30am, we do enjoy a bit of peace and quiet, and, truly, we’re not paying to go to a club – we’re paying to enjoy the beautiful sounds of the wilderness.
Really, we would love to ditch Bridge Bay and never return, but it keeps sucking us back in due to it’s prime location. We love the Sedge Bay area, and this spot is the only place that allows for tents and a short commute to the grizzly bears.
So, would I recommend Bride Bay for the quiet/early rising camper? Not a chance. Unless you only are a grizzly-crazed wildlife photographer with your sights set on being in Sedge Bay by 5am every morning.