How to Camp at Grand Teton National Park

How to Camp at Grand Teton National Park
What better way to enjoy the awe-inspiring scenery of the Teton Range than by spending nights enjoying the great outdoors. There are six campgrounds within or near Grand Teton National Park. Sites are available for groups (such as Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts), tent campers and those with RVs or trailers. If you're looking to really commune with nature, get a wilderness permit and camp in the back country.


Difficulty: Moderately Easy

Campground Camping

Things You’ll Need:
  • Tent or RV Sleeping bags Stove Flashlight or lantern Pots and pans, dishes, utensils
  • Tent or RV
  • Sleeping bags
  • Stove
  • Flashlight or lantern
  • Pots and pans, dishes, utensils
Step 1
If you're camping with a group, try Colter Bay or Gros Ventre. Colter Bay has 11 group sites and Gros Ventre has five. Make a reservation by calling the Grand Teton Lodge Co. at (800) 628-9988. Rates are $19 for campers with vehicles and $7 for campers arriving on foot or bicycle. Holders of Golden Age or Golden Access passports get a discount.
Step 2
If you're not camping with a group but still want a reserved spot, make a reservation at Flagg Ranch, 5 miles north of the park. This is the only campground that accepts reservations for those not camping with large groups. Reservations can be made online (see resources listed below) or by calling (800) 443-2311. Rates are $50 for one or two adults using an RV site, or $25 for one or two adults camping at a tent site. The fee for additional adults at either site is $5.
Step 3
If you're using an RV or a trailer you can stay at any campground except Jenny Lake, where only tent camping is permitted.
Step 4
If you're not making a reservation, arrive early to find your ideal campsite. This is especially true at Jenny Lake or Signal Mountain. Other campgrounds, such as Lizard Creek and Gros Ventre, tend to not fill to capacity until late in the evening, if at all.

Back-country Camping

Step 1
Make a backpacking itinerary. Helpful resources may include a Grand Teton hiking guide or the Grand Teton National Park website (see references below).
Step 2
If you are sure of your itinerary, make a reservation. The back-country reservation system is open from Jan. 1 to May 15. There's a $25 fee for making a reservation. Have an alternate plan if your first choice is not available.
Step 3
Pick up your reserved permit by 10 a.m. the day of your trip. You can also pick it up 24 hours in advance. Permits may be picked up at the Craig Thomas and Colter Bay visitor centers or at Jenny Lake Ranger Station during the summer. In the winter, permits are available only at the Craig Thomas Visitor Center.
Step 4
Don't worry if you can't make a reservation. Two-thirds of the back-country campsites are available on a first-come, first-served basis up to 24 hours in advance.

Tips & Warnings

Mid-July to mid-August are popular times to visit Grant Teton. Getting a back-country permit during this period may be difficult, especially on a weekend. Try to come at midweek or later in the season.

Article Written By Susan Berg

Based in northern Wisconsin, Susan Berg has more than 10 years of experience as a writer and editor. Her work has been published in both print and online media, including the "Dayton Daily News" and BioZine. Berg earned a Master of Arts in journalism from Indiana University.

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