Camping is an exceptionally popular pastime within Grand Teton National Park, so be prepared for your upcoming adventure is a must.
Here are some top tips to ensure that you know what to expect before you head into the park.
1. Arrive early
Most campgrounds in Grand Teton don’t take reservations, except for group campsites. Therefore, it’s essential that you arrive early to secure your campsite.
If possible, plan to arrive in the park during the middle of the week.
Wednesdays and Thursdays are 2 of the best days to arrive during the summer months to beat the crowds. Try to arrive before 10am whenever possible, especially if you’re planning to camp within the park.
2. Reserve backcountry permits
In Grand Teton, approximately 1/3 of all backcountry permits are reservable and the rest are available for last-minute reservations.
However, if you can, it’s best to reserve your permits ahead of time to avoid disappointment. This is particularly true if you want to camp at Death Canyon Shelf or Cascade Canyon.
In general, permits are reservable as early as the first week in January, so be prepared to apply as soon as possible.
3. Be prepared for mosquitoes
The mosquitoes are notoriously annoying during the summer months in the Tetons and the surrounding range, so don’t go camping unprepared.
Bring a headnet, at an absolute minimum, and consider using either a natural or DEET-based bug spray to keep the mosquitos at bay.
4. Have a back up plan
It can be very difficult to get a campsite in Grand Teton National Park during the summer, especially if you’re traveling during the weekend or around a holiday.
If you don’t have a reservation, be sure to have some back up plans if you can’t get a spot when you arrive. In addition to the 4 Forest Service campgrounds, other great camping options outside Grand Teton can be found in Yellowstone National Park.
Alternatively, Grassy Lake Road on the John D. Rockefeller Jr Memorial Parkway also has a couple of dozen dispersed camping sites available that are free to use.
5. Be bear aware
The Teton Range is prime bear territory as both black and grizzly bears can be found in the park. All designated camping areas have access to food storage lockers that you must use when in the park.
Everything from food to toiletries needs to be placed in these lockers to prevent bears from accessing your food.
If you’re camping in the backcountry, you may need to pack a bear-resistant canister instead of a locker. You should also consider packing bear spray while hiking in the park.
Gaby is a professional mountain guide with a master’s degree in outdoor education. She works primarily in the polar regions as an expedition guide, though she can be found hiking, climbing, skiing, sailing, or paddling in some of the world’s most amazing places when not at work.