Curtis Canyon Campground is a great place to camp if you want to be close to town but still off the beaten path. This wooded campground is located above the National Elk Refuge and a quick walk from your campsite will reward you with amazing views of the Refuge and the Teton mountain range. Hiking and horseback riding are all easy to achieve just minutes from the campground. There is one dumpster and food storage box available.
If you're looking for something out of the way, but with a great view of the Tetons, this is your place.
Once you drive through the back of the Elk Refuge; possibly sighting some of the native wildlife; you will reach a wooded campground with vault toilets, picnic tables, bear proof food storage, and a site dumpster at $15 a night. There are some RV pull through sites, be sure to ask the camp host if an appropriate site is still available for your camping style.
But, if you drove up this far, have a high clearance vehicle (or good insurance on your rental car), the means to be self contained with adequate bear proof food storage, why not drive up a little further and see what else lies ahead? There are also 15 dispersed camping sites, each of them with their own special features. Some shaded, some meadow, and all of them with striking scenery. When the road forks after the campground, either direction includes designated sites, however road 30445 (left fork) is a little tamer of a drive than 30440 (right fork), but that also gets you closer to the Goodwin Lake trailhead.
On our visit in late May, the flowers were just popping. We saw a few big horn sheep on the way in and out, and a few pronghorn. There were mosquitos, but they were small and they went away once it got cold at night. The Tetons at sunset though - so breathtaking.
Take care to only use a designated camping site, store your food safely, and pack out what you brought in. These sites are all first come first serve; so have a back up plan if you come during the busy season and all the sites are full. I'm not kidding recommending a high clearance vehicle; we saw a sedan get pretty beat up traversing the ruts that had formed on the forest road. Also please drive safely - it is a steep, narrow, unpaved road. This same weekend another driver rolled her car down the canyon several times, luckily she was not seriously injured.
Loved this place. We have a Jeep x and Towed a tab 320 boondock up here. Lots of cars and vans are able to make it up. Very busy get there early. Local spot, they seem to reserve the sites ahead of time for their groups so when they “feel like it” they can show up. There are more sites 1-5 or so up the hill further. Road is pretty rough. Most gorgeous sunsets we have ever seen. We will definitely be back, even considering we’re making a long trip from MN. Clean vault toilets. Host was selling firewood. Close to town to grab dinner etc but still feels remote. Did have some elk poo in our site but didn’t see any animals. A few pull through sites.
Located in National Elk Refuge. Free / Dispersed camping. This place was phenomenal. We thoroughly enjoyed camping at Curtis Canyon. You will definitely need a 4x4 or SUV capable of making the trek up towards the top for the more remote locations. You should definitely go before sunset to become familiar with the drive up. The view of the Tetons is amazing from here. Jackson Hole… we will be back.
We visited late July 2018.
Free dispersed camping with an amazing view. We definitely enjoyed our stay. There were 16 sites total at this campground and the road gets tougher as you go. We had great AT&T and Sprint service at our campsite (1A). Mosquitos are abundant so come prepared. We also did see a bear at our campsite just down the valley but did not bother us. Pets are also welcome!
Dispersed/free camping in the National Elk Refuge. The drive up the gravel road is super fun and provides great views of the Tetons and wildlife. We stayed at campsite 1A. When we first pulled in we spotted a grizzly down by the stream about 400 yards down the hillside. It didn’t bother us at night. The road can be a little rough on up the mountain towards the higher number camp sites. There are 16 sites. The road might be impassible for a small car or mini van if it’s wet out so use good judgment. Pets are welcome but must be kept on leash. Also we had great AT&T and Sprint Cell signal at our site.
This site is a few miles east of the Mormon Flats Historical Site in Jackson WY. The road going up to the sites is very rough and will test even 4x4 vehicles. It’s free dispersed camping, so there are no facilities of any kind. We were able to get a set facing west about 1/2 up the mountain. The sites at the entrance are not the best. You will need to drive up the road a good ways to find site during the summer. The sites have visitors as well as summer workers camping for weeks at a time on the shaded or eastern side sites. Our site had a partial view of Tetons with plenty of space for 3 or 4 vehicles. Unfortunately, previous campers had left garbage and waste on the perimeter of the camp. In the summer, the sun is very hot for the west facing sites. The view is the highlight here. The first few elevated sites have incredible million dollar views of the Tetons. The Mormon Flats Historical Site at the bottom of the mountain is well worth the visit. We experienced people driving into the site all day and night to find the free sites. This was a huge downside. We tried this camp but came away disappointed by the overuse and traffic and would not recommend. It’s just a bit to primitive and unregulated. I think some volunteers and a perhaps more involvement from the Forest Service could help here.
This campground is somewhat of a drive to get up to, but the views are worth it! Incredible!
Mosquitoes were abundant, but the views are breathtaking! Every morning was like we were seeing the Tetons for the first time!
This was a great campground. Rough road through the elk reserve to the top of the canyon. Plenty of sites with spacious flat spots for tents, provided fire rings and grills, bear storage, picnic tables. Pit toilets were immaculate that the host cleans every morning! Available water and dump stations. Views are amazing at the top of the canyon. Plenty of dispersed camping if spots are taken. My favorite spot in the area by far.
The perks of this campground would be the stunning views of the Tetons and that is it just outside of town (about a 15 minutes drive on dirt roads). If all of the campsites are taken there is ample dispersed camping (although some of it seems to feel like you are in a dirt parking lot). Again, the views can't be beat and the location is perfect if everything else is booked up or you don't feel like dropping the cash for a hotel in town.