Recreation area with activity Dispersed Camping
Shadow Mountain is the most popular place to camp for anyone in Jackson, or people visiting Grand Teton National Park, so finding an available spot tends to be difficult in the summer, but I lucked out and got the best spot on the mountain and spent a week up there. The road into, and out of the forest is HORRIBLE, and LONG, but if you plan on staying for a few days, it's worth the trip. If you only plan on staying one night, the long road might not be worth the effort.
Shadow Mountain dispersed camping is just a few miles across the way from the Moose, Wyoming, entrance to Grand Teton National Park. I've stayed here several times at different sites and always had a memorable experience. There are great views and relative seclusion wherever you find a place to camp. Bring your own water and plan to dispose of your waste. All the spots I've been to had cell reception, as well. The road is doable (depending on weather) with smaller cars with careful driving. Higher clearance may be more ideal. The best part is that it is free.
Does waking up to Teton views, colorful wildflowers, and the chorus of all types of birds sound up your alley? Well, this is the place!
Just outside Grand Teton National Park in Bridger-Teton National Forest, these sites are a little quieter and a little more spacious than the hustle and bustle below. They are first come, first serve and no amenities, but the experience makes up for it. Numerous hiking options are nearby: Blacktail Butte, the Shadow Mountain trail, or head to the park. On the way to the site from Jackson or Grand Teton, it is very likely you will see pronghorn, bison, elk, or even a moose.
This area is popular for a reason. Get there early - these sites fill up. Getting there on a weekday will help secure the choice spots. One downside is the air traffic; this overlooks the Tetons as well as the Jackson Hole airport.
As a review Ranger for TheDyrt, I am honored occasionally to test and evaluate products. On this trip, I tested the ICEMULE Pro XL cooler.
What makes this cooler unique is not only its backpack style; but the ability to add insulation (and buoyancy, as we found out) by inflating the sidewalls through a valve. It's a bit similar to how a sleeping pad works. Without ice, I threw a few cold ones and some sandwiches into its cavernous interior for a day hike in Bridger-Teton. After a few hours of hiking when we were ready for lunch, they were as cool as the moment they went in. The pack itself is fairly comfortable for a short hike, with padded straps and holes to allow some air circulation.
On the way home, we decided to paddle our favorite river and decided to test the Pro XL's floatation abilities. Why my husband chose the deepest spot to throw it into the drink I will never know, but lucky for me it stayed on top of the water. Because its sealed like a dry bag, no river water got in either. Our sandwiches and gummy bears were safe!
This is an awesome dispersed camping area near Grand Teton National Park. The perfect place to camp for solitude in a busy national park area, with awesome access to the town of Jackson, Shadow Mountain mountain bike trail, and free, dispersed camping.
Finding the campground was a bit weird a sketchy. The roads leading into the site go from paved, to dirt, to sand/dirt with 1ft+ deep ruts on each side. There were times where we could hear cars coming not because of the engine but the body of the car scraping along the ground! Once found, it's one of the best campsites around. The sites are all spread generously apart so it doesn't feel crowded if it's filled, there are bear boxes spread throughout the campsites, and the views are absolutely breath taking.
10/10 would recommend this site but make sure you have a vehicle with 4WD and decent clearance.
Camped here 2 nights this past June. Because of the time of year, there were more people back there than I thought would be. It was surprising what some of those people are willing to take up that mountain road. We were in my Honda CR-V and it did fine, but if you're not careful, you could easily do some damage. The risk was worth the reward though as we found a great spot at the top of the hill. We had just enough wind break, and mountain views. There is a wide variety of site types scattered throughout the area. About 30min from the closest civilization. Highly recommend this one!
A bit of a drive and a rough road, but totally worth it! Off of antelope flat Rd, take a left at the dead end toward the national Forest land. Then you will veer left on the dirt road. There is a camping area at the base of the mountain but if you continue on up the mountain there are many, many dispersed camping pullouts. Beautiful views of the Tetons and excellent wildflowers. There are sites that have some shade and trees but several are pretty exposed. This is a very popular place on the weekends so make sure you get there early to set up camp (or avoid it if you like quite on a Saturday night). No water, no toilets, just a free place to camp with established fire rings! Dogs are welcome.
There were many options for camping in Grand Teton, but our choice was by far the most beautiful and remote.
We camped in Bridger-Teton National Forest when we were on our way out of the park, but it would be possible to stay here even while you are hiking and driving your way through the park itself (although you’d add a bit of driving into your day).
Dispersed camping is allowed in the National Forest, so as long as you drive out of the National Park and into the National Forest far enough, you can find a place to set up camp. We found a pull-off (on the right side of the road) that led down to a flat, gorgeous site with established fire rings and a perfect place for a tent. There was a road leading down to this spot, but we opted to park up top and hike down because of our limited 2-wheel drive vehicle. It was only a few hundred feet down.
Camping in dispersed areas are the perfect way to feel alone, even in popular areas like Grand Teton and Jackson Hole.
During our time in the park in May, we still found plenty to do: our highlights included the view from Signal Mountain, early mornings at Schwabacher’s Landing, photos along Mormon Row, hiking to Toggart Lake, and kayaking along Snake River.
You can read much more about our five days in the park on our blog: Switchback Kids (Grand Teton)
At the top of Shadow Mountain you can enjoy panoramic views of the Tetons for free, presuming you have the 4WD vehicle to access.
Situated on Forest Park Land and therefore not subjugated to National Park fees, this is a dispersed camping location, meaning there are no traditional amenities to be expected. No bathrooms, water, showers, etc. The fire "pits" are really the leftover fire pits of others, with a few places having metal barrels.
You want to camp here if you're looking for some amazing views without a price tag. I drove in late, did the 1,500 or so feet in elevation gain, and awoke to some epic views of the Tetons. I decided to bike around the area, and one could easily hike as well. Either way, you're subjugated to some impressive views of the Rocky Mountain range.