Grand Teton Camping Regulations
The following list of regulations is from the parks official website. Make sure you follow these regulations carefully during your visit.
- Pets are permitted in developed areas of Grand Teton National Park, including campgrounds. Keep pets on a leash no more than 6 feet long. They cannot be left unattended. Clean up all pet waste.
- Quiet hours are 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. Campers are requested to turn down radios and the use of generators should be avoided. Generator hours are 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. with generator use limited to two hours in length.
- Campers may not leave camping areas littered with trash, food scraps, or other waste products that can attract wildlife into campsites, threaten human health and safety, or otherwise disturb other campers . Grand Teton is bear country please store your food properly and review my bear safety tips before traveling.
Paintbrush Canyon Trail And Paintbrush Divide
Starting with the String Lake Trailhead, this trail gives an entire palette of color and amazing mountain surroundings. This trail is about seven miles with much to view. This trail is tough, a steep hike to test your legs since by every step you make, you gain elevation.
Length: 20.6 miElevation gain: 5,643 ftRoute type: Loop
Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Walking, Bird watching, Running, Beach, Forest, Lake, River, Views, Wildflowers, Wildlife, Fee, No dogs
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 Park’s 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.
Recommended Reading: Camping Sites In Bakersfield Ca
Best Time To Visit The Grand Teton National Park National Park
The best time to visit the Grand Teton National Park is between mid-May and late September. During this time, all the hiking trails, visitor centers, and other park activities such as fishing and kayaking are open and easy to access. By the start of October, winter blows, shutting most of the facilities and roads.
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.
No more am I going to do this Teton shit again! I said to myself.
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!
Fuck it I said to myself. Im taking it.
Don’t Miss: Tent Camping In Southwest Florida
My First Day Into This Area
I actually spent the night before at a snowmobile parking lot along US-26 near the summit by Pinnacle Buttes. I had already made a plan to explore several boondocking areas close to the Grand Tetons. I picked out my favorite options, pinned them all on my Google Maps, and set out pulling my 28 foot ATC Toy Hauler.
Googles turn-by-turn driving directions, of course, led me down the worst possible route towards my first destination. It was a circular campground called, Antelope Flat. The directions took me down Antelope Flats Rd, a dirt road filled with rocks, ruts, and dips. I drove for 4 miles moving an average of 3 miles per hour. I was thoroughly frustrated. I kept telling myself, It had better be worth this shit!
So when I get there, every campsite was taken. On a Wednesday even! There were trailers there, some as long as mine. Did they all come down the same horrible road? No. It turns out there was another route, mostly paved, which Google decided not tell me about.
I was pissed.
I chose to instead try another dirt road leading up to more dispersed camping up along Shadow Mountain. It supposedly had killer views of the Tetons as well. About a 1/4 mile up the road, I saw a sign that read
Warning! 4WD High Clearance Vehicles Only
How To Reserve Campgrounds In Grand Teton
Although the campgrounds are run by a few different concessionaires, they are ALL available for booking on recreation.gov.
They open up six months in advance on a rolling basis. That means if youre booking exactly six months away, you may need to hop on the website multiple days in a row if your trip is a multi-day trip.
The nice thing is you can filter them according to your needs very easily on recreation.gov.
Don’t Miss: Tent Camping Near Sevierville Tn
Camping In Grand Teton & Jackson Hole: The Best Campgrounds Plus What You Need To Know
Youre thinking about visiting Grand Teton National Park and you need to know where to camp. Youve come to the right place!
Lodging in Grand Teton National Park & the Jackson Hole Valley is expensive! Thats why its such a popular place to camp. And I do mean POPULAR.
Its also CONFUSING.
So Ive prepared this guide to help you understand where to camp and what you need to know.
NOTE: Want to save time piecing things together on the National Park website? I put together a comprehensive chart of all the amenities each campground has so you can easily find the one that suits your needs. To receive this immediately,
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.
Also Check: Camping World In New Port Richey
The Dyrt: The Best Camping Near Grand Teton National Park
Skyblue Overland is affiliated with The Dyrt Pro may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article.
The Colter Bay Campground offers epic views of Jackson Lake in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming. Think of Colter Bay Village as summer camp for the entire family.
Campgrounds in Grand Teton National Park are Now Reservation-Only
Visitors Should Plan Ahead and Book Early as Sites will No Longer Be Available on a First-Come Basis.
For budget campers, there are also free primitive sites located just outside the park boundary. If you take the Outside Road , you can turn toward the Gros Ventre Campground and Kelly and proceed out of the park boundary to Shadow Mountain. This area is protected by the Forest Service, and camping at existing fire rings is allowed without a fee. Just be sure not to make new fire rings and follow the Leave No Trace code of ethics.
Here are the top choices for camping near Grand Teton National Park, according to The Dyrt campers. The Dyrt is the #1 camping app of 2020 in Apples App Store and Google Play Store. Authentic reviews are what makes The Dyrt the #1 camping app of 2020. The Dyrt PRO, a $35.99/year subscription giving campers offline access to The Dyrts entire set of 500,000+ locations, reviews and tipsmeaning you can now hit the road worry-free and find your next campground regardless of WiFi or cell service.
Grand Teton Camping Tips
If you’re looking to camp at Grand Teton National Park here’s a rundown on the campgrounds inside the park, along with some of the hiking trails and other activities you can enjoy.
Be Sure to Reserve a Campsite in Advance
Grand Teton National Park has seven designated campgrounds in the park, each with different amenities and restrictions. Advance reservations can be made online up to six months before your visit at Recreation.gov.
Recommended Reading: Helen Ga Camping Pet Friendly
Paintbrush Canyon Camping Zones
Not far from the shores of Jenny Lake, the Lower and Upper Paintbrush Canyon Camping Zones are in the Teton Range backcountry. These aptly named areas provide nothing short of an idyllic alpine environment, brimming with big scenery and a backdrop of luscious meadows. Permits are required to stay within either camping zone. No amenities are provided, and carrying a backpack to the designated camping areas is not exactly an easy walk in the park.
But the effort is well rewarded within the Paintbrush Canyon Camping Zones, with expanding views of mountain scenery. Camping in the backcountry in Grand Teton means being “bear aware” and having the tools to properly store your food at night.
For those with advanced planning or good timing on a walk-up permit, the Holly Lake Camping Zone, within the Upper Paintbrush Zone, accommodates only three small permitted campsites a night.
Does Grand Teton Have Ada Accessible Campsites
If you need an ADA-accessible campsite, your best bet is Headwaters. The park says most of its 171 sites are ADA accessible, although it doesnt say how many. Other campgrounds with ADA sites are:
- Gros Venture
- Colter Bay
- Colter Bay RV Park
If youre elderly or disabled, and youre visiting Yellowstone as well, watch my Yellowstone if youre disabled or impaired video.
Read Also: San Isabel National Forest Dispersed Camping
Rv Camping In Grand Teton National Park
There are a limited number of RV hook-ups in the campgrounds of Grand Teton. These electrical hook-ups are available at Colter Bay, Gros Ventre, and Signal Mountain. Colter Bay RV Park and Headwaters offer full hook-ups. Colter Bay RV Park and Headwaters offer reservations.
Here are the Grand Teton campgrounds that can accommodate RVs or truck/trailer combinations:
- Colter Bay Campground RVs are limited to 45 ft in length and trailers are limited to 30 ft.
- Colter Bay RV Park RVs are limited to 45 ft in length and trailers are limited to 35 ft.
- Gros Ventre Campground RVs are limited to 45 ft in length and trailers are limited to 30 ft.
- Headwaters Campground RVs are limited to 45 ft in length and trailers are limited to 35 ft.
- Lizard Creek Campground RVs are limited to 30 ft in length and trailers are limited to 20 ft.
- Signal Mountain Campground RVs are limited to 30 ft in length and trailers are limited to 20 ft.
Wildlife To Watch For In The Tetons
Yes, we’re going to talk about wildlife safety before getting into where you can kayak in Grand Teton National Park, as there is a lot of wildlife and you DON’T want to have a bad run-in with any of it. While the wildlife interactions will be more limited on the water than on a backcountry hiking trail in the Tetons, you’re still likely to see some creatures closer than you might expect.
Here are the major wildlife species you may encounter in Grand Teton NP. We’ve noted any specific common sighting information for wildlife at each place noted in the kayak launch section below:
- North American porcupine
There are way more species of wildlife in Grand Teton National Park, but these are the most common that you may encounter on a kayaking trip or hiking trail. Of the large mammals in the park, the elk, moose, bears, beavers and porcupines are the most common you’ll see.
Also Check: Free Car Camping San Diego
When To Visit Grand Teton National Park
The best time to kayak in Grand Teton NP is during the summer months when the weather is warm, and the snowmelt is starting to slow a bit. Always be prepared for crowds in active areas, like around Jenny Lake. If you’re looking for a more peaceful experience, try kayaking during the early morning or evening hours, which is also when bear and moose are more active along the shores.
Late spring and early fall are also good times to visit the Grand Tetons, as the crowds tend to be smaller. Remember that the weather can be cooler during these months, so dress appropriately. Also, as snow melt picks up in spring, that can cause murky water in places and RAGING water in others.
One Question You Never Thought Youd Have To Answer To Pitch Your Tent At Grand Teton National Park Do You Have A Reservation
Starting Jan. 26 at 8 a.m., camping in Grand Teton will be by reservation only. Park officials announced that the days of the spontaneous camping trips will end, to provide a better visitor experience for all the parks visitors.
This move was suggested by private concessionaires Grand Teton Lodge Company and Signal Mountain Lodge which manage the campgrounds within Grand Teton and approved by park administrators.
Moving forward, the first stop of any Grand Teton camping trip will be a visit to recreation.gov, either online or through their mobile app.
The reasons are simple and many:
- PredictabilityVisitors will have the ability to plan in advance with confidence.
- CertaintyVisitors know they will have a place to camp when they arrive.
- ChoicesVisitors will be able to see site-specific information and photos and can choose their preferred campsite.
- ConvenienceVisitors will no longer need to call or drive around trying to figure out if there is availability at the various campgrounds.
- Improved park experience-Visitors will no longer need to arrive before dawn during busier periods or wait in line for hours.
Visitors will be able to reserve a spot at any of Grand Tetons campsites Colter Bay, Gros Ventre, Jenny Lake, Signal Mountain, and Lizard Creek for any date between the campgrounds opening and July 26. Reservations will be made available on a six-month rolling basis from there until the campgrounds closures
You May Like: Outdoor Camping Games For Kids
Shadow Mountain Dispersed Camping
Shadow Mountain Dispersed Camping offers spectacular views of the Gros Ventre Mountains and the Teton Range in nearby Grand Teton National Park. Image by The Dyrt Camper Cyndee F.
The Shadow Mountain Dispersed Camping area in Bridger-Teton National Forest operated by USDA Forest Service offers over 11 miles open to Off-Highway Vehicles less than or equal to 50 inches width between June 1st through November 30th. This area is characterized by heavily timbered routes interspersed with small meadows and narrow gorges, as well as high ridgelines with spectacular views of the Gros Ventre Mountains and the Teton Range in nearby Grand Teton National Park. This trail system can be accessed by two trailheads along the north side of Shadow Mountain off of the Shadow Mountain Road- Rd #30340.
- Number of sites: Unknown
- RV sites: No hookups
- Operator: USDA Forest Service
Great quiet spot. This spot was awesome! Take antelope road past Mormon Row and turn left! We didnt go farther up the mountain because we had a low clearance vehicle but our campsite had a perfect view! Got there at about 2:00 PM Thursday and got the second to last spot. Great views, porta potties and free! The Dyrt Camper .