Yellowstone National Park/ Shutterstock Image

Yellowstone National Park/ Shutterstock Image

A Guide to Yellowstone's Fishing Bridge


Yellowstone National Park map showing trails, geysers, and attractions. Navigate the park's diverse landscapes with this detailed guide.

What is Yellowstone’s Fishing Bridge?

A picturesque bridge spanning calm waters, connecting two sides.

Linking the southeastern expanse of Yellowstone National Park to its southern circuit, Fishing Bridge serves as a kind of gateway to the broader wonders of the park.

Erected in the early 20th century, anglers once gathered to pursue the bountiful cutthroat trout residing beneath its shadow.

Over time, overfishing began to threaten Yellowstone Lake’s delicate ecosystem. 

In 1973, authorities banned fishing from the bridge to protect the vulnerable cutthroat trout population.

This decision marked a crucial moment in the park's history, emphasizing the need to conserve our natural environment.

Today, the Fishing Bridge stands as a symbol of our responsibility to protect fragile ecosystems.

Visitors still enjoy walking the bridge and taking in the beautiful clear, still water of Yellowstone Lake.

Near the bridge, visitors can enjoy attractions such as the West Thumb Geyser Basin, and the Fishing Bridge Village, as well as an array of wildlife and trails.

Fishing Bridge RV Park

A line of parked RVs in a parking lot, ready for adventure and exploration.Image from Flickr by 

The Fishing Bridge RV Park offers travelers a unique and immersive experience in one of America's most iconic natural wonders.

Situated on the shores of Yellowstone Lake, this RV park provides a convenient and comfortable base camp for those looking to explore the park's diverse landscapes, geothermal wonders, and abundant wildlife.

This well-maintained RV park offers a range of amenities including full hook-ups with water, sewer, and electrical.

Modern restroom facilities, a general store, and a nearby visitor center provide essential services and information for park exploration. 

Due to its popularity, we highly recommend that you secure a reservation at Fishing Bridge RV Park. You can make reservations up to 13 months in advance.

Where is Fishing Bridge?

Fishing Bridge is located on the East Entrance Road, less than 5 minutes from the Southern Loop. From there, visitors have easy access to numerous attractions including:

  • the West Thumb Geyser Basin
  • Hayden Valley, and
  • the world-famous Old Faithful geyser

The nearby Fishing Bridge RV Park is the only RV park within the boundaries of Yellowstone National Park. 

If you are following the Shaka Guide audio tour, Fishing Bridge is included among the tour’s 100+ stops. 

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RV Sites

When planning your stay at Fishing Bridge RV Park, it's essential to know about the available types of RV sites to ensure they meet your needs:

  • Permitted RV types: Hard-sided RVs only.

  • Size: The RV sites at Fishing Bridge RV Park can accommodate a variety of RV sizes, including smaller campers and larger motorhomes. The maximum combined length may be up to 95 feet, depending on the site.

  • Hookups: All RV sites at Fishing Bridge RV Park offer full hookups, including water, sewer, and electrical connections. This makes it convenient for guests to enjoy a comfortable camping experience.

  • Additional Features: While the focus of Fishing Bridge RV Park is on providing essential amenities for RV campers, the park's central location within Yellowstone National Park means that you'll have easy access to the park's natural wonders, hiking trails, and wildlife viewing areas. The RV sites themselves offer a base camp from which to explore the park's attractions. 

Check for availability and current need-to-know- information by visiting the park’s website.

Amenities and Facilities

Fishing Bridge RV Park offers several amenities and facilities to enhance your camping experience:

  • Restrooms and Showers: The RV park provides modern restroom facilities with showers for guests to freshen up after a day of exploring the park's trails and geothermal features. Two showers are included per day, per site fee.

  • General Store: A nearby general store offers essential supplies, gas, groceries, and camping gear, making it convenient for campers to stock up on necessities.

  • Visitor Center: A visitor center in the area can provide information about the park's attractions, hiking trails, and ranger-led programs.

  • Laundry Facilities: Laundry facilities are available for guests, allowing you to take care of your laundry needs during your stay.

Nearby Attractions and Activities

Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, USA: A breathtaking landscape of geysers, hot springs, and wildlife in the heart of America's wilderness.West Thumb Geyser Basin/ Shutterstock Image

The central location of Fishing Bridge RV Park within Yellowstone National Park means that you're surrounded by a wealth of nearby attractions and activities:

West Thumb Geyser Basin

This geothermal area is just a short drive away and features hot springs, geysers, and the stunning backdrop of Yellowstone Lake.

Natural Bridge

Take a hike to see the impressive natural rock bridge located near Bridge Bay Marina.

Storm Point Trail

Enjoy a hike along the shores of Yellowstone Lake on the Storm Point Trail, which offers beautiful lake views and opportunities for birdwatching.

Gull Point Drive

This scenic drive offers numerous pullouts and short walks to take in picturesque views of Yellowstone Lake and its surroundings.

Yellowstone Lake

Yellowstone Lake offers a tranquil and picturesque setting for various activities such as boating, kayaking, and shoreline picnics.

LeHardy Rapids

LeHardy Rapids is a picturesque and turbulent stretch of the Yellowstone River, known for its cascading waters and vibrant wildflower displays during the summer months.

Mud Volcano

Mud Volcano is a geothermal wonder in Yellowstone, featuring bubbling mud pots accompanied by the pungent scent of sulfur and the occasional explosive burst of mud.

Nearest Hotels

Lake Yellowstone Hotel and Cabins

The lodge at dusk, featuring a spacious building surrounded by nature's tranquility.

Located about 5 miles west of Fishing Bridge, this historic hotel offers comfortable rooms and cabins with beautiful views of Yellowstone Lake. It's an excellent choice for those looking for a more traditional hotel experience.

Fishing Opportunities

Regulations and Permits

Fishing within Yellowstone National Park is a popular activity, but it's crucial to be aware of the park's fishing regulations and permit requirements to help preserve the ecosystem. Yellowstone's fishing regulations include:

Fishing Season

Typically, authorities allow fishing from late May to early November, depending on specific water bodies and elevation.

Catch Limits

There are daily catch limits for different fish species to ensure sustainable practices. Be sure to review the regulations to know the limits for the area you plan to fish.

Fishing Permit

All anglers aged 16 and older need to obtain a valid Yellowstone National Park fishing permit. You can purchase these permits at park entrances, visitor centers, and online. Please be aware that a state-issued fishing license is not a replacement for a park license.

Barbless Hooks

The use of barbless hooks or hooks with flattened barbs is mandatory to minimize harm to fish and facilitate catch and release.

Non-Native Species

Park authorities actively manage invasive fish species, such as lake trout and non-native brook trout. These species have catch-and-kill requirements.

This list may not be exhaustive and may change over time. Visit the NPS website for the most up-to-date rules and regulations.

Fishing Spots/ Where to Fish in Yellowstone

A serene lake nestled amidst majestic mountains.Image from Flickr by 

While restrictions apply to fishing from the Fishing Bridge itself, Yellowstone offers ample opportunities for anglers. 

Yellowstone Lake

Although fishing may not be permitted from the bridge, the lake itself is a popular fishing destination. Yellowstone Lake, the largest high-altitude lake in North America, is known for its cutthroat trout, lake trout, and other species.

Yellowstone River

The Yellowstone River flows through the park, and various sections of the river are open to fishing. Among other species, this river is known for its cutthroat and rainbow trout.

Gardner River

The Gardner River runs through the park's northern section and offers fishing for rainbow, brown, and cutthroat trout.

Madison River

The Madison River flows through the western part of the park and is known for its blue-ribbon trout fishing. It's a popular spot for fly fishing.

Firehole River

Located in the park's western region, the Firehole River is famous for its geothermal features and provides opportunities to catch brown, rainbow, and cutthroat trout.

Lamar River

This river is in the park's northeastern section and is known for its cutthroat trout. It's a beautiful area for backcountry fishing.

Slough Creek

In the northeastern part of the park, Slough Creek is renowned for its challenging yet rewarding cutthroat trout fishing, particularly in the upper reaches.

Lewis River and Lewis Lake

The Lewis River and Lewis Lake, in the southern part of the park, offer fishing opportunities for a variety of trout species.

Bechler River

Located in the park's southwestern corner, the Bechler River offers excellent fishing opportunities, especially for brook and rainbow trout.

Please ensure you review specific regulations and restrictions for each fishing location within Yellowstone National Park, as there may be catch limits, gear restrictions, and seasonal closures to protect fish populations and the park's natural resources. Complying with all regulations is crucial to enjoying your fishing experience while preserving the park's beauty.

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Get Your Gear/Equipment

Didn’t bring your own fishing gear? No worries! There are plenty of places in and near the park to rent it.

Within Yellowstone National Park:

  • Many visitor centers and general stores within the park offer various services to visitors, including gear rentals. These stores often have fishing equipment available for rent. 
  • If you are already near Fishing Bridge, just pop into the local general store to get yourself set up. You can also pick up your Yellowstone fishing license while you’re there.

Near Yellowstone National Park:

No matter which of Yellowstone’s 5 entrances you drive through, you’ll pass through a town with fishing gear shops. The nearby towns are:

  • West Entrance: West Yellowstone, Montana
  • North Entrance: Gardiner, Montana
  • East Entrance: Cody, Wyoming
  • Northeast Entrance: Cooke City, Montana
  • South Entrance: Jackson, Wyoming

Acceptable/Banned Gear

Bait Fishing Restrictions

Yellowstone generally prohibits the use of live baitfish to prevent the introduction of non-native species and the spread of diseases among fish populations. However, there may be exceptions in some waters.

Lead Tackle Ban

In Yellowstone National Park, authorities ban the use of lead fishing tackle, such as lead sinkers and jigs, to protect waterfowl and other wildlife. This regulation aims to prevent lead poisoning in wildlife that may ingest lost or discarded lead tackle.

Use of Treble Hooks

In many areas of the park, the use of treble hooks (hooks with three points) is restricted. This helps reduce hooking mortality in fish and makes catch-and-release fishing more effective.

Use of Felt-Soled Waders

Yellowstone prohibits the use of felt-soled waders to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive species. Rubber-soled or cleated waders are typically allowed and recommended.

Be sure to check the NPS website for more information on fishing regulaitons.

Wildlife and Nature

A group of bison walking on a snowy road.Shutterstock Image


The RV park's proximity to Yellowstone Lake means that you're never far from stunning views and opportunities to observe wildlife. Bison, elk, pelicans, eagles, and even grizzly bears may make appearances near the RV sites, providing a unique connection with the park's untamed inhabitants. Just remember, keep your RV locked up, and dispose of any food or trash according to park regulations. Safety first!


Within 20 miles of Fishing Bridge in Yellowstone National Park, you'll find several hiking trails that offer diverse experiences and opportunities to explore the park's natural beauty. Here are some notable trails within this range:

Storm Point Trail (2 miles round trip)

This relatively short and easy trail begins near Indian Pond and takes you along the shores of Yellowstone Lake to Storm Point. It offers beautiful lake views and is an excellent spot for birdwatching.

Natural Bridge Trail (2 miles round trip)

Located near Bridge Bay Marina, this trail leads to a stunning natural rock bridge. It's a short but rewarding hike culminating with a natural bridge.

Elephant Back Mountain Trail (3 miles round trip)

This moderately strenuous hike starts near Lake Village and takes you to the summit of Elephant Back Mountain. From the top, panoramic views of Yellowstone Lake and the surrounding area will reward you.

Gull Point Drive

While not a traditional hiking trail, the Gull Point Drive is a scenic road that offers numerous pullouts and short walks to enjoy the picturesque views of Yellowstone Lake. It's a relaxing way to experience the area's beauty.

Pelican Valley Trail

For a longer and more adventurous hike, consider the Pelican Valley Trail. It's about 8 miles round trip and offers a chance to see the park's wildlife, including bison and grizzly bears. Be sure to check current trail conditions and bear safety recommendations before embarking on this hike.

West Thumb Geyser Basin Boardwalk

This is a series of short, interconnected boardwalk trails that allow you to explore the fascinating geothermal features of the West Thumb Geyser Basin. It's a unique experience to witness geysers and hot springs near Yellowstone Lake.

Fishing Bridge Dining and Restaurants 

The cozy dining room at the Inn at the Lake, featuring elegant decor and a stunning view of the lake.Image from Flickr by 

As with the rest of Yellowstone National Park, you'll find limited dining options at Fishing Bridge due to the park's remote and protected nature. While there are some dining facilities and general stores within the park, it's essential to note that dining choices are relatively limited compared to more urban areas. 

Here are some of the dining options near Fishing Bridge:

  • Yellowstone General Store (Fishing Bridge): For a convenient sit-down meal, pop by the general store. They serve quick bites such as burgers and sandwiches.

  • Yellowstone Lake Hotel Dining Room (Fishing Bridge): Located within the Yellowstone Lake Hotel, this dining room offers a more upscale dining experience with views of Yellowstone Lake. Reservations are recommended.

  • Lake Lodge Cafeteria (Lake Village): This cafeteria-style restaurant in Lake Village serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner options. It's a more casual dining option with a variety of choices.

  • Lake Lodge Deli (Lake Village): Adjacent to the Lake Lodge Cafeteria, the deli offers sandwiches, salads, and other quick grab-and-go items.

  • Grant Village Dining Room (Grant Village): This dining room serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner in a relaxed setting. Reservations are recommended.

  • Grant Village Lake House Grill (Grant Village): A more casual dining option near Grant Village, offering burgers, sandwiches, and salads.

  • Canyon Village Dining Room (Canyon Village): Located at Canyon Village, this dining room serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Reservations are recommended.

  • Canyon Village Eatery (Canyon Village): A casual dining option offering quick meals and snacks.

Please note that these dining facilities are open seasonally, typically from late spring through early fall. Additionally, they may have limited hours and can be quite busy during peak tourist season, so reservations are advisable for the dining rooms.

Outside of the park, the closest towns with more dining options are Cody, Wyoming, West Yellowstone, Montana, Cooke City, Montana, Jackson, Wyoming, and Gardiner, Montana. These towns offer a wider range of restaurants, cafes, fast-food options, grocery stores, and gas stations.

Reservations and Booking Information

When planning your stay at Fishing Bridge RV Park in Yellowstone National Park, it's best to check the most recent guidelines.

RV Site Availability

Peak Season

Fishing Bridge RV Park is open during the peak summer season, typically from mid-May to mid-September. It's the most popular time to visit, and RV sites can fill up quickly. It's highly recommended to make reservations well in advance if you plan to visit during this period.

Off-Peak Season

The RV park may have limited availability during the shoulder seasons (late spring and early fall). While you might find open sites without reservations during these times, it's still a good idea to check availability and make reservations if possible.


Rates for RV sites at Fishing Bridge RV Park can vary, but generally, expect the cost to be somewhere around 90-100 USD a night. It's advisable to visit the official Yellowstone National Park concessionaire website for the most up-to-date information on rates and any additional fees.

Making a Reservation:

  • Online Booking: The easiest way to make a reservation is through the official reservation system. You can check availability, select your preferred dates, and choose your RV site based on your needs.
  • Phone Reservations: If you prefer to speak with a park representative, you can call the park's reservation hotline at 307-344-7311 for assistance in making your reservation.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I fish from Fishing Bridge?

No, fishing from Fishing Bridge itself has been prohibited for many years in order to protect the Yellowstone cutthroat trout population. However, you can fish in nearby areas of Yellowstone Lake as well as many other areas throughout the park.

Can I swim in Yellowstone Lake near the Fishing Bridge? 

Swimming in Yellowstone Lake is possible, but the water is cold year-round due to its high elevation. Swimmers should exercise caution and be aware of the lake's conditions.

Is there Wi-Fi or cell phone reception at Fishing Bridge?

Wi-Fi and cell phone reception can be limited or nonexistent within the park, including at Fishing Bridge. However, there is wifi available for purchase at the nearby Lake Hotel.

How do I get to Fishing Bridge?

The closest entrances to Fishing Bridge are the south and east entrances.  From the south, visitors should drive east and join with the East Entrance Road. From the east, just keep driving west. It’s less than 5 minutes ahead of the southern loop and the first major junction.

Contact Information and Support

National Park Service - Yellowstone National Park

For specific inquiries related to reservations, including Fishing Bridge RV Park reservations, you may also want to contact the park's reservation service:

Xanterra’s National Park Lodges

Please note that contact information and reservation systems can change.

Final Tips 

Fishing Bridge is a hub of activity for day-trippers, RV campers, and fishermen alike! Not to mention, its convenient location means you're just a hop away from incredible sights, like geysers and wildlife. It’s the ideal base camp for your unforgettable Yellowstone adventures!

To make your visit perfect, you’ll need just one more thing: Shaka Guide's Yellowstone National Park Tour!

It’s the ultimate companion for exploring not only the Fishing Bridge but the rest of the park as well.

And, of course, Shaka Guide will tell you all about Fishing Bridge, its history, and tips for enjoying the surrounding area. 

With Shaka Guide, you can go at your own pace, stop whenever, and venture off the beaten path.

Not only that, you’re free to go in any direction at any time! We want you to explore on your own time, on your terms! Give us a look, and see for yourself.

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Ready to take the tour? Check out Shaka Guide's Mount Yellowstone National Park Tour!

We hope that we’ve given you all the information you need to make the most of your day. Your vacation is extremely important to us so if you have any questions feel free to reach out at aloha@shakaguide.com.

For more detailed information to help you plan, check out our Yellowstone National Park Itinerary and Know Before You Go article.


3-Day Yellowstone National Park Itinerary

The Best Hikes at Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone vs Grand Teton—Which Park is Right for You?

Yellowstone and Grand Teton Two Days Itinerary

Top Things to Do At Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Hot Springs and Where to Find Them

Best Waterfalls in Yellowstone National Park

Unlocking Yellowstone's Hidden Gems: Nature's Hidden Delights

The Best Geysers You'll See in Yellowstone

What state is Yellowstone National Park in?

Yosemite vs Yellowstone: Which National Park to Visit?


Witnessing Nature's Fury: Visiting Old Faithful

Visiting Artist Point in Yellowstone National Park

Mammoth Hot Springs - Everything You Need To Know


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