Camping in Grand Teton N.P.

Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 08:03 PM
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Camping in Grand Teton N.P.

I've done a search but didn't find much info on areas to camp inside the park. We will be tent camping so showers are important but we don't mind having to drive to them.

What are your suggestions?
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Old Apr 22nd, 2003, 08:23 PM
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As far as I know, Colter Bay CG is the only campground run by the NPS that has showers. I suggest you get there by 9 am, look around for a party breaking camp, and be prepared to pounce on it. The place is usually full by noon.

Flag Ranch is more expensive, but it has showers. It is a private concession near the park, about half way between the Grand and Yellowstone's south entrance.

Jenny Lake is nearly impossible. You just about need to sleep in your car next to a site that you know will be vacated the next day because you cruised the campground and asked.
No kidding! It usually has expectant campers circling like vultures.

I would not want to stay there because climbers use it in organized occupancy groups on a tag team basis; while some go others come in from the hills to replace them. They have a bad habit of drinking beer all night and singing. Then they go hiking/climbing, or the returning ones sleep all day so they can sing and drink that night.

The Gros Vent ground is well away from the main attractions, and it fills late. I never saw the place, but it is the remotest of the camping areas.

There are couple of others. Once is called Lizard Creek, but I never looked at it but once and that was a while ago.

The park guide says campgrounds are first sit, first get.

Good Luck.
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Old Apr 23rd, 2003, 12:20 AM
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depending on where you're coming from, and how adventurous you are, I recommend camping in the National Forest about an hours drive from the Grand Tetons on the westside of Jackson Hole. Of course there are no showers but the campsite is free (wherever there is no sign prohibiting it) and last year we found a spot with a creek where we bathed with camp soap. Just an idea, if you're up for it.
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 03:12 PM
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I wondered about that as well with first come/first serve at most of the campgrounds.

2nd week of July - how early do we need to get to a campground to find a spot?
I assume we have to "zip" straight through the park directly to a campground, then backtrack to do our sightseeing once we have "staked our claim".

Also - for us who just use the car - i.e. no vehicle or tent left there to reserve our spot as we tour the park during the day...

how well can we count on the little brown tag you stick on the post being seen (or not taken/thrown out) and perhaps just a towel & jug of water left on the picnic table or driveway to hold our spot ??
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Old Apr 24th, 2003, 03:21 PM
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I remember a place that had a locker room type shower and laundry. I don't think this was affiliated with a particular campground. It may be in Yellostone though but you may run across something like that in your research or when you get there. Sorry I can't be more helpful.
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Old Apr 28th, 2003, 06:47 PM
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Thanks Bob and all for the help. I'm a little clearer now on facilities.
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Old Apr 28th, 2003, 06:56 PM
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In my experience, you need to find a place to put your camping gear first in the popular areas. Even in the more remote areas that fill up late, there are a few choice sites that go quickly and if you are late, you get the dregs.

The situation is not so critical with a trailer, but if you are tent camping, some sites are very poor because of their location or the shape/size/slope of the area. If you are pulling a trailer, I can see wanting to set it up, and then drive without it wagging behind.
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Old Apr 29th, 2003, 07:54 AM
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My husband and I snagged one of the last spots at the Jenny Lake Campground in early July a few years ago by getting there before 8AM. It's worth starting at Jenny Lake, then trying another campground if you can't get a place at JL. I can't remember what we did about showers. Now we just use baby wipes and wash our hair using a bucket or cooking pot. It may sound weird, but it works well and saves a lot of time.
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Old Apr 29th, 2003, 09:21 AM
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I can go a day or so without a shower; it's just nice if they are available.

A pot of warm,soapy water and a wash cloth do wonders!

We'll be driving all day the day we arrive so we will probably have to stay in Gros Ventre c.g. and then try for Jenny Lake the next morning.
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Old Apr 29th, 2003, 10:05 AM
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Colter Bay campground has pay showers. We stayed at Jenny Lake, then went over to Colter Bay for showers. I agree that Jenny Lake is by far the best choice if you are a tenter, but there are only 50 sites, and there are a lot of 'squatters'.

I really hate Gros Ventre, which is just a flat field cut up into campsites. 20 years ago, it was called the 'overflow' campground that was used after everything else filled up.

There is another nice little campground north of Colter Bay, called Lizard Creek. It is less popular because it is about 15-20 miles north of the center of the Park. Still, it is usually not as noisy, and it is a good choice if you are headed toward/coming back from Yellowstone.
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Old Apr 29th, 2003, 01:27 PM
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We'll be coming in from the south after 10-12 hours of driving so we'll be ready for the first campground we get to. Glad to hear it is possible to go to Colter Bay and pay for showers even when you aren't staying there.
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Old Apr 29th, 2003, 06:33 PM
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In 1999 the showers at Colter Bay were 3 bucks a person. Lord only knows what they're charging now. There was a whitewater rafting outfitter that offered free hot showers after your river trip (Snake River) but I can't rmember which one it was. Do a search for Snake River rafting and you might find it. Colter Bay was a nice campground. Flagg Ranch was a little closer to Yellowstone but we didn't really check it out.
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