Closest Town, Dubois Wyoming
This is a primitive campsite, with no running water, fire rings or fancy tent platforms, but there is a vault toilet about 200 yards away in the parking area for the New Glacier Trailhead, aka Glacier Trail 801. There is room for several tents spread out among the trees and scrub, and a few spots right next to Torrey Creek, as we chose. They are not numbered and there is to my knowledge, no way to reserve a spot. That said, we were the only ones there in July!
Glacier Trail 801 is located at the end of Forrest Road #411, and branches off along the way to Whiskey Mtn Trail 804 and Lake Louise Trail 806. This campsite made a great jumping off point for day hiking. The hike to Lake Louise is worth every step! (even if you haven't acclimated to the altitude yet and less than 4 mile loop feels more like 15, just saying ;) Don't forget to log your name in the register before setting off on the trails.
Technically speaking, this campsite is right on Torrey Creek, at Glacier Trailhead 801.1.
Adjacent to this area, is a turn around that can accommodate RVs, with maybe 6 spots give or take. No hook ups, but there are bear boxes on these sites.
What to know: Bear Country, you know the shpeel. Mosquitos, affirmative. Remember Torrey Creek is glacial melt and is likely to be heavier later in the day than in the morning, and sounds incredible to sleep by at night.
How to get there: Heading South out of Dubois, WY, take US-26 for about 3.5 miles and turn right on Trail Lake Road (look for the Fish Hatchery sign, which is small and easy to miss). Stay on Trail Lake Road/#411 at the fork. Continue on #411 all the way to the end and you will find yourself in the parking lot for Glacier Trail 801. See the vault toilet and look a couple hundred yards past that and beyond the horse corral to Torrey Creek for the campsites. You can drive all the way too it, past the horses, but beware it is really rutted.
True Story: I am relatively certain I am the only person that actually wears bear bells when I hike. But hey, I sound pretty dang cheerful everywhere I go!
If you drive the Cherohala Skyway from Tellico plains, make a left onto Joyce Kilmer Road. You'll come to an intersection; Left gets you Joyce Kilmer Memorial Forest, Straight ahead will garner you a fabulous view from Maple Springs Overlook, and Right, will take you by Hose Cove Campground. Go Right first and secure a spot at this first-come first-served campground, nestled among the trees of the Nantahala Forest, beside the rushing waters of the Little Santeetlah Creek …and then go back for hiking and views:)
This campground has 13 sites on the opposite side of the road from the lake, and several spots flanking Santeetlah. If you are a tent camper, my suggestion is go for the opposite side of the lake. I don't think you can even fit a camper into one of these spaces. The campground is a dead end with #13 at the very end, and no turn around past #10.
We arrived at the perfect hour of the day and had our pick of any site. We chose #12, for its privacy and the beautiful rushing water to sleep by and watch while sitting beside the fire and enjoying morning coffee. If you like camping with friends in adjoining campsites, it looked like #8 and #9 would be good to grab as they are closer together and have a little path that runs between them.
There are flushing toilets and sinks with cold running water, but no hot water and no showers. Just don't even think about using the bathroom facilities until you've selected your spot and paid for it. Elizabeth and John are the camp hosts and NOTHING gets by Elizabeth. Dogs are welcome, but should be leashed. There is a boat ramp with plenty of parking, maybe a mile past the campground, perfect for putting in kayaks and canoes. Bear proof trashcans are on site at Horse Cove, and usual Bear Precautions apply.
This is a great little tucked away haven and totally worth the $10 a night!
We happened upon the Pinnacles Campground by fluke, coming out of Dubois we saw the sign for Brooks Lake and just decided to take a peek. So glad we did!
It's a gravel road and we made it in a Kia Sorento just fine.
The first night we scored a spot (#4) across from the lake on the interior of the campground. In Grizzly Country, we fondly refer the interior campsites as surrounded by the 'Bear Buffer Zone' (aka exterior campsites ;) When we woke in the morning, the RV that was in the lakeside spot (#5) across from us left, so we scooted our stuff over for the lakeside spot. Got to be THE best view for morning coffee we've ever had!
The camp hosts, Joe and Deb make it a priority to make everyone feel welcome and at home (please see photo of vault toilet; Not your average outhouse!)
Things to know: It is windy! The wind dies down overnight and the morning is calm, but the wind picks up midmorning and keeps up till sunset. Mosquitos…PLENTIFUL and aggressive! The wind and temperatures don't seem to affect their determination to swarm your face constantly. But, effective bug repellant will keep them from biting you.
Also good to know (and we didn't): We are strictly tent campers. No one said anything to us, but I've since read that in that area it is supposed to be hard-sided camping only. (Yay Bear Buffer!)
Last but not least: If you are looking for a shower and a chance to wash your clothes, Dubois is about 23 miles South with a retro shower/laundry facility. Best $3.25 worth of hot water I've ever had :)