Although this was not my first time at this campground I have not had a chance to stay over night here previously so I was excited about being able to wake up and climb right at our campground. It is privately run and targeted primarily towards climbers so this made for an amazing setup. The fee is around $10 per car/night (we got the car fee and not the RV fee) which is around what most places cost these days and when you arrive you drive around and can set up your site anywhere there is a firepit. We chose to sleep back in the bouldering area where you are in the shade and surrounded by rocks but you can also camp out near the ledge giving you a view from your tent. Even if all of those sites are taken up there is still some dispersed camping in the center of the road loop where you are free to set up a hammock or tent and sleep.
Since we had the chance to camp in the incredible Escape Campervan we opted for more privacy and easy climbing access. It was not too hard to find an open level spot and we got right to putting up the hammocks and building a fire. Camping in the van made the whole process a lot easier so we were able to get right to cooking dinner (tempeh tacos) and hanging out/relaxing. Although it was one of the busy times of year for camping in this area and most of the nicest campgrounds were taken the atmosphere at the campground was very relaxed and we didn’t have an issue with other groups being too loud or feeling cramped. The rocks really make it feel super secluded. After dinner my wife and I scrambled our way up the rock that bordered our campground and had an open view of the sky to look at the stars. I am not sure if we were just lucky or if there was a meteor shower but I swear I saw at least 5 shooting stars. (I don’t know if we paid extra for this or if it was included)
Our first day we spent the morning climbing around our site both top rope and bouldering while enjoying our fresh coffee and shakshuka for breakfast. Most of the walls around the park are either bolted for sport climbing or at least have bolts and biners for top rope. You still need to make sure and have someone experience do any set up since you are climbing at your own risk. After tiring out we hopped in the van and headed to a nearby river, the Little River Canyon Mouth Park, where we made lunch with leftovers from dinner since our kitchen came with us. We then put our kayaks in and paddled up river. This was a great area to hang out and cool off in the water and it was cool to see such a diverse group of Alabamians enjoying the space. The only downside is that it doesn’t have any camping but luckily the drive from the campground was pretty quick.
We finished off the day with Ethiopian food for dinner including injera, lentils, and a cabbage and potato dish. After sleeping in our final morning and enjoying our breezy shaded rooftop sleeper we explored more of the park and did some climbing at a different area. Since the camping fee includes day use and since there is no site reservation you can hang out as long as you want the day you leave.
Overall, if you have any interest in climbing or just want a laid back campground where you can get an amazing view and do some hiking I highly suggest checking out this little known gem. You can also turn it into a weekend adventure and head up to little river canyon while you are in the area.
As a Ranger for The Dyrt, I get to test products from unique brands from time to time. At this campground, I got to take an Escape Maverick Campervan our on a test drive. My wife and I do a lot of camping but generally sleep in a tent or hammock and cook our meals on a small camping stove so we were very excited to get an upgrade for the weekend. Make sure to read above about how the Maverick really enhanced our weekend and made so much of the adventure possible. Some of the things that I really loved about the Escape campervans are:
Overall, there were a few minor things that could be improved such as the sink pump mechanism and the addition of plugs for charging but they are such small things in relation to how much fun it is to drive and camp in this van. I can guarantee that it would make any camping trip feel infinitely easier and open up new possibilities of where you can go.
Of the eight National Parks I visited on my month long roadtrip, Grand Teton was my favorite. Gros Ventre is a great location to explore the park, particularly the southern half (Moose and Jackson, WY).
There is next to no privacy - the campground is in the middle of a few cottonwood trees and lots of scrub brush. Bathrooms were clean, staff was incredibly friendly.
Mormon Row is less than five minutes away by car if you want a great place to watch the sunrise! Craft beer could be found in Moose where there's a roof top bar.
This is one of those campsites that has some great proximity to wonderful views but is far enough into the park that it doesn't fill up immediately. I showed up late on a holiday evening and was still able to snag a spot before it filled up. There are plenty of available resources at this park to include fire pits, tables, electrical hook ups, water hook ups, fire wood, and even showers. The proximity to Jackson Lake is also a wonderful feature of the campground. If you are into night photography this is a great place to get away and find some pretty nice shots.
There are 2 Bally Creek sites…this is the NORTH one. Just off the Superior Hiking Trail and about 1/4 mile from a parking area.
When you get to the site, you ascend up a little hill to an area that has plenty of trees for hammocks. Not to mention, a great big pine that's perfect for hanging your food, because it's a decent bit away from the tent pad area and fire ring. Up another little path, you get to the tent pads (1 bigger and potentially 2 smaller) and more trees for hammocks. The fire ring has a nice little bench around it, and there seems to be a resident chipmunk that thoroughly enjoys sharing your meals. The privy is just down the hill and is very clean and private.
The only complaint I have (and it's not really a big deal) is that the trail is so close to the site, that if it's a busy weekend, you can see them coming down the hill behind the fire ring, and they all want to stop and see if it's available. But beyond that (and I'm just glad people love to hike and camp!), it's not really a bother so much as a minor thing.
Oh…and it's super easy to get to! About a 1/4 mile from a parking area, so just far enough off the road, but close enough if you need something. Great for a family with little ones! Water is just down the path in a little stream.