Finding Places To Camp On The Other Side Of The Tetons
The drive up and over Teton Pass was grueling. My Chevy 2500 HD was just barely towing the 28 foot toy hauler at a slothly 20 MPH in 1st gear, up a 10% grade, and the engine growling at 4,000 RPMs. That was all it could do, and there was 5.5 miles of this stuff uphill. I had a line of cars behind me, and there were only a few pull outs.
I figured the drive down the mountain on the other side would be better, but the curves were rated at 25MPH and the roads were wet. I was able to put the truck into 2nd gear, but still had to vary between 25 and 35 MPH. I had a still a line of cars behind me.
If I was going to find a place to set up camp, it would have to be on this side, because I wasnt going to go back over the Pass.
Targhee National Forest on the Idaho side of the Tetons is much less crowded than Bridger-Teton on the Wyoming side. Except, you dont get the awesome views of the Tetons. Thats OK, I figured. I already saw enough of the Tetons.
I checked out three dispersed camping areas I found on Google Satellite Maps, including Forest Road 239 , Hungry Creek Road, and Forest Road 253, . Many had spaces open, but none of them had any Verizon 4G data. One of them didnt even have Verizon voice signal. That just wasnt going to do. I needed Internet access while camping to work my website development projects.
To my surprise, every one of them was open!
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Camping Near Grand Teton National Park
Grand Teton National Park is surrounded by public lands and historic towns with Western charm. Weve broken down your camping options by town and region, listing a few options for each place. Be sure to check the campground amenities before you go to make sure they suit your needs some national forest sites are very basic.
Bridger-Teton National Forest
A large section of the Bridger-Teton National Forest lies directly east of the national park and offers a multitude of camping options for adventurous travelers. While some campgrounds require long drives on rough dirt roads, youll find some spectacular sites to rest your head for the night. Keep in mind while RVs can access many forest service areas, most primitive sites do not have hookups. All of the sites in this region are first-come-first-served, including:
Turpin Meadows Campground: open to RVs and tents
Pacific Creek Campground: open to tents with one small RV site
Hatchet Campground: open to tents with one small RV site
Located less than an hour outside of Grand Teton National Park, the small town of Alpine is a great basecamp to find last-minute camping. Youll have access to a few restaurants and bars, a grocery store, a handful of gas stations, and vast expanses of forest lands. Some of our favorites in the area are:
Murphy Creek Campground: first-come-first-served, open to RVs and tents
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What Do I Need To Know About Bears In The Bridger
Bears are prevalent in Wyoming. Because of the high chance of bear encounters campers must adhere to food storage rules while in Bridger-Teton National Forest. Food must be stored in bear proof containers inaccessible to bears. Bear resistant panniers and food tubes are available at the Blackrock, Jackson and Pinedale District Offices.
While these items are free to use a donation is requested. When encountering a bear, behaving in a calm manner is key. Never turn and run from a bear. Bear spray is an effective deterrent for bears but must be used appropriately.
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Map Shows The Location Where The Body Believed To Be Gabby Petito Was Found
A body believed to be Gabby Petito was found in a camping area in Wyoming Sunday.
This map shows where it was found, not far from what is believed to be her last known location.
An autopsy of the body is due Tuesday.
The location of the find in Spread Creek Dispersed Camping Area, in the Bridger-Teton National Forest can be seen on the map above. An autopsy is due Tuesday, CNN reported.
A massive missing-person search was launched on September 11, when Petito was reported missing following a road trip with her boyfriend Brian Laundrie.
Laundrie returned to their Florida home on September 1 without Petito. From the combined postings of their social media accounts, it appears the couple had traveled through reserves in Kansas, Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.
This map summarizes the various spots from which they appear to have posted, or were heard from:
Pending forensic confirmation of the identity of the body found Sunday, Petitos last known location was believed to be somewhere in the vast Grand Teton National Park.
This is on the western boundary of the Bridger-Teton National Forest, where the body was found.
The area around the Spread Creek campsite has been closed until further notice, according to Denvers FBI officers:
Petitos family said via their lawyer that news of the find is heartbreaking, and have asked not to be disturbed by media while they process this development.
Read the original article on Insider
Temporary Recreation Site Closures Extended For Bridger
JACKSON, Wyo. The Bridger-Teton National Forest has signed a temporary order closing developed campground and picnic sites on the Forest through May 31, 2020. Many of these sites are inaccessible due to snow and do not normally open until late May.
Campgrounds and picnic sites closed until May 31 within the Jackson and Blackrock Ranger District include the following:
- Atherton Creek Campground
- East Table Campground and Overflow
- Granite Hot Springs
- Station Creek Campground and Group Site
- Turpin Meadow Campground
- Wolf Creek Campground
Additionally, the Forest Service is asking recreationists to refrain from building campfires on the Forest. The temporary closure is necessary to address employee and public health and safety concerns as the Forest works to comply with local and State health orders and Center of Disease Control recommendations.
While we know that going outside provides forest visitors needed space, exercise and mental health, we are taking the risks presented by COVID-19 seriously, said Forest Supervisor Tricia OConnor. We are providing some recreation opportunities where we can while keeping employees, the public, and our communities safe from the virus, as well as protecting and keeping communities and resources safe from unwanted human-caused wildfires, she said.
The Forest remains open and Forest visitors can continue dispersed recreation activities while adhering to the following safety and responsibility guidelines, OConnor said.
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Bridger Wilderness Quick Facts
Miles of Trails: 600
Highlights: More than 2,300 lakes, large glaciers, and the highest peak in Wyoming
Titcomb Basin is one of the most popular destinations in the Wind River Range. Just beyond this backdrop is Gannett Peak, the tallest in Wyoming. Photo Credit: Getty Images, bmswanson
The Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway connects the towns of Pinedale, Jackson and Dubois and crosses badlands, ranch land and the high montane. Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole, Hoback Canyon and the upper Green River are seen along the way.
Teton Park Rd, Alta, Wyoming. Photo Credit: Unsplash, Laura Crowe
With more and more people camping, its even more important than ever to tread lightly and follow the rules for campground courtesy.
- Travel only where motorized vehicles are permitted.
- Respect the rights of others to enjoy their activities undisturbed.
- Educate yourself by getting maps and information ask owners permission to cross private property.
- Avoid stream, lakeshores, meadows, muddy roads, steep hillsides, wildlife and livestock.
- Drive responsibly to protect the environment and preserve opportunities to enjoy your vehicle on wild lands.
For backcountry and off-road travel, forest visitor and motor vehicle use maps are available at all Forest Service offices and can be downloaded here. If an area is crowded, please search for a less occupied location.
Camping on the Bridger-Teton National Forest Jackson/Moran area
Camping In Yellowstone National Park
Yellowstone National Park offers the opportunity to view wildlife and experience the unique natural beauty of a wilderness area that is known throughout the world for its scenic views and pristine environment. Camping is open in Yellowstone National Park year-round in some areas, but most choose to camp from late spring through early fall. Most campsites are limited to 14 days and daily camping fees range from $15 for basic sites to over $40 in campgrounds with improved facilities for RVs. These fees are in addition to Yellowstone National Parks entrance fees. Reservations are available for some sites in Yellowstone. To browse campsites that can be reserved, you can visit the Yellowstone Reservations website, or find more information about Yellowstone camping from the National Park Service.
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The Ultimate Guide To Bridger
Whats not to love about the national forests out west? One of the best things about Bridger-Teton National Forest is that it is near some of the most iconic national parksYellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park. Whether you are adding the national forest to your trip or choosing to visit instead of these more crowded attractions. If you truly want to connect with nature and experience some amazing hiking trails, this is the place to do it!
Foresters Try To Keep Up With Bridger
Linda Merigliano and Lesley Williams Gomez of the Bridger-Teton National Forest take apart a newly-built campfire ring last Wednesday in the Toppings Lake dispersed camping area just east of Grand Teton National Park. With national park campsites filling every day, campers are spilling into “dispersed” forest areas, often finding themselves more densely-packed than they would be in the valley’s developed campgrounds.
JACKSON It was mid-morning when Lesley Williams Gomezs Bridger-Teton National Forest pickup truck inched up onto the sagebrush to make room along the seldom-traveled, graveled northern stretch of Antelope Flats Road.
Not one, but four vehicles were headed her way, and the roadbed wasnt big enough for the both of them. The caravan of campers was pointed north toward Lost Creek Ranch and the quickly filling dispersed camping area along the ridges above Triangle X Ranch. Theyd already been to Shadow Mountain, only to find that its 50 spots were all taken.
None of these people are together, Williams Gomez said, and theyre all looking for campsites.
It was 10 a.m. on a weekday.
The bustling scene in a once-quiet corner of the forest wasnt a shock to Bridger-Teton staffer Linda Merigliano, who shared a ride with Williams Gomez.
Its the eclipse every day, the veteran wilderness and recreation program manager told the News& Guide. Its lasting all summer.
We have open sites every day, but only for an hour or two, Pipes said.
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Second Day Into The Area
I had managed to find a couple more forest roads that I thought for certain would have open campsites. These roads were a little further away from the Tetons, though still offered some view.
Forest Road 30160 starts at a place called Hatchet Campground, a Forest Service campground along US-26, just a few miles from Moran. It goes past the campground, ascending elevation towards a handful of remote campsites, according to imagery on Google Satellite Maps. I chose to check it out.
Hatchet Campground has an overflow lot where I unhitched the trailer so that I could explore freely without the burden of length and weight on my truck. The first four campsites I had tucked away in my mind were all taken! Moreover, the road was closed up ahead due to muddy conditions.
That was it!
I was done. I gave up on camping by the Tetons.
Why did I even think that such a storied and amazing place like the Grand Tetons actually had plenty of open camping available? Why did I let myself be convinced by Campendium reviewers that this was such an effortless area to find free camping?
Its kind of like that feeling you get when you spend three hours with a time-share salesman, only to end up with a couple of gift certificates for Dennys. I felt tricked. I burned a lot of gasoline to get here, only to come up empty-handed.
Looking Back On It All
I still love Campendium. I use it all the time to at least give me some reference through the photos, cell phone strengths, road conditions. But, Ive come to accept that its still trying to sell me through overly-glamorized photography, much in the way any other travel publications would do. Moving forward, Im not going to let myself be sold on the hype.
Albeit, the recent COVID pandemic has shut down all of the campgrounds in Grand Teton National Park, while the wet weather kept many forest roads closed. That could be a reason why all of the boondocking is full. But no. Ive come to learn that people who camp in developed campgrounds and RV parks dont boondock. So, I tend to doubt its the COVID.
I suppose if I didnt need Internet access, I would have more choices. In fact, if I had higher clearance and 4WD, I would have more choices. But, theres always going to be excuses on how things could have been better. On the other hand, I can get a lot from my truck and trailer, along with what skills Ive gained over the past 2 1/2 years boondocking. If I cant find anywhere to boondock, then I cant find it.
I guess I dont need to boondock at glamor sites like the Grand Tetons, or the Grand Canyon, or other glamping sites. I dont want to feel like a Johnny-come-lately at an Oklahoma land rush. I like boondocking where there is solitude and quiet. Im only in this for the camping.
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Managers Must Adapt To More Campers And New Types Including Novices One
Lesley Williams Gomez and Linda Merigliano while patrolling dispersed campsites Wednesday, July 29, 2020, in the Toppings Lake area on the Bridger-Teton National Forest.
RYAN DORGAN / NEWS& GUIDE
We get it. People had their summer plans upended, and they came to Jackson Hole looking for fun and the chance to release some pent-up energy after months of being cooped up. This summer will be one for the record books in Jackson, as road trips were the activity of choice. Was 2020 just a blip driven by the COVID-19 pandemic or is it a glimpse into a new normal on the Bridger-Teton National Forest? The Shadow Mountain, Toppings Lake and Spread Creek areas were valued for timber in the 1980s now they are recreation meccas valued by people drawn to free camping near Grand Teton National Park. As we look into the future another few decades, how might the value of these areas evolve again?
Most visitors do not intend to do harm and, by all indications, most had a grand time. However, the cumulative effect of so many people resulted in many problems: hundreds of abandoned campfires, exposed piles of toilet paper and human waste, and food left out in violation of bear regulations. Rangers also dealt with campers moving in on top of each other and creating new sites, vehicles driving around barriers, trailheads full of camping vehicles and noise complaints from late-night parties.
Contact Mike Koshmrl at 732-7067 or .
Cascade Canyon Camping Zones
Split between a North and South Fork Camping Zone, Cascade Canyon provides the epitome of Teton Range backcountry. Permits are required to backpack into and stay the night in Cascade Canyon, and all overnight users must pack in all equipment and gear they will need. This includes food, water purification, shelter, and waste disposal.
Big views of the Teton Range and surrounding alpine environment can be found wherever you pitch a tent within the camping zone. Its not uncommon to see a bear, moose, or marmot sharing the area. Ideally, part of a larger itinerary on the Teton Crest Trail, both Cascade Canyon Camp Zones provide the perfect backdrop for a backcountry adventure.
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Finding Free Camping At The Grand Tetons
I arrived in Grand Teton National National Park on June 3, 2020, a Wednesday. I figured starting my search mid-week would be ideal in securing a boondocking site before the weekend rush hit. It didnt seem to make any difference.
To be clear, you cannot actually boondock inside Grand Teton National Park. You have to instead find it in Bridger-Teton National Forest. The Forest shares a border with the Park, so all you have to do is stay just inside the forest boundaries, and youre good. You still get amazing views, nonetheless.
I explored eight different boondocking areas in the Forest. All of these areas were documented on Campendium. All came with dozens of great reviews, beautiful photography, and camping memories to die for. I also explored a few forest roads not documented on Campendium, just to try my luck at finding something new.
Everywhere I went to was completely filled with campers.
I mean filled.
Some areas had motorhomes and trailers packed in tight like sardines. Their owners had all maneuvered them carefully and closely together to maximize their view of the Tetons. They all must have been friends in order to get their rigs fitted together like Tetris blocks. And what about those other forest roads not documented on Campendium? Yup, completely filled too. Even campsites with no view of the Tetons were taken.
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