Grand TetonNational ParksWyoming

Best Places To Camp At Grand Teton National Park

Gros Ventre Campground in Grand Teton National Park
Gros Ventre Campground in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming
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Grand Teton National Park has over 1,000 campground sites in 7 campgrounds spread thoughout the park. The options can be confusing and challenging, so we will walk you through the issues you’ll face and help you make the best decision for your vacation.

Your strategy for camping at Grand Teton National Park will depend largely on how early you plan to get to the park, how long you are staying and the season. While there are many sites in the park, few are able to be reserved, and fewer yet have hookups if you need them. In peak season you’ll need to be in line at the park in the morning to secure a spot if you don’t have one reserved.

Reservable RV and Tent Campground Sites at Grand Teton National Park

If you are planning in advance and want the Luxury of getting to the park whenever you want, or you need hookups, go for one of these sites that can be reserved.

Headwaters Campground and RV Park

This campground has 97 RV sites with hookups that can be reserved in advance. It also has 14 tent sites that can be reserved. It is located 5 miles north of the Grand Teton entrance which makes it a 33 minute drive to Oxbow Bend and 58 minutes to Moose. It is not the cheapest or the most centrally located option. RV Sites are can be reserved for $78 per night here.

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Colter Bay RV Park

The Colter Bay RV Park has 112 RV sites that can all be reserved. The price is $91 for a pull through and $86 for a back in site. You can reserve a site at this link. This campground is centrally located and is very popular making spots difficult to reserve. It is only a 12 minute drive to Oxbow Bend from the campground. If available, this is probably the best choice.

As far as sites run by the park that can be reserved, that’s it. If you still need a site the next option will probably work for you though.

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Buffalo Valley RV Resort

Just outside the park to the east is Buffalo Valley RV Resort. It is not run by the park and the reviews are mixed, but the location is superb, and well, we stayed there last year. I have good things to say about this campground. It is what it advertised to be, a place to park your van, tent or RV while you visit the park, and not much more. It matches the Colter Bay RV Park on location being only 12 minutes from Oxbow Bend. We were planning on doing sunrise and sunset photography at Oxbow Bend and Schwabacher’s Landing, so a central location was really important to us. Our only problem was we were trying to get a campsite 2 days before arrival. They still had availability. The price ranges from $59-$79 a night depending on the season for a pull through with hookups. You can reserve a site here. We enjoyed our stay there.

Fireside Buffalo Valley RV Park located just outside of Grand Teton National Park
Buffalo Valley RV Resort Pull Through Site
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Snake River RV Park

This is included because it used to be a KOA and lots of people are looking for it. It isn’t recommended as a Grand Teton campground though. It is over an hour to get to Oxbow Bend from the campground, which took it out of consideration for us immediately. The only reason to consider this location would be if for some reason you wanted to spend some of your time in Jackson. If you want to look into it, you can click here.

To sum up the sites you can reserve: try to get into Colter Bay first, if that isn’t available or you want to save some money, reserve at Buffalo Valley. If you want to drive in and get one of the first come first served sites within the park, keep reading!

First Come First Served Campgrounds at Grand Teton National Park

First come first served campsites are exactly that, you cannot reserve them ahead of time and you just pick a campsite when you arrive. In high season they can fill up and if you arrive too late you could be left without a place to camp. We will go over which sites are most popular and the order you should check them.

Gros Ventre Campground

The largest campground in the park is located in the southeast section. There area 300 sites, but the only ones that can be reserved are the 5 group camp sites. 36 of the sites have electrical hookups and 35 are tent only. Sites with hookups are $64 per night and tent sites are $33.

We like the location of this campground, near Moose, and a 39 minute drive to Oxbow Bend. You can drive to the attractions in the southern part of the park easily.

If you arrive late, this is probably where you’ll end up, as the more centrally located campgrounds are smaller and fill quickly.

Gros Ventre Campground in Grand Teton National Park. This is one of the last campgrounds to fill.
Gros Ventre Campground in Grand Teton National Park
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Jenny Lake Campground

This small tent only campground is situated on the edge of Jenny Lake. There are 59 total sites with 10 being hike in. Sites are $32 per night. The location is ideal near Jenny Lake and is only a short drive to Oxbow Bend.

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Signal Mountain Campground

Signal Campground accepts both RV’s (up to 30 feet) and tents. There are 81 sites and 25 have hookups. Sites with hookups are $56 and standard sites are $34. This is a great option if it is available. The campground is 9 minutes from Oxbow Bend and centrally located near most of the other attractions.

Cell ReceptionShowersToiletsLaundry
YesCoinFlushYes

Lizard Creek Campground

Lizard Creek Campground is in the northern section of the park between Headwaters and Colter Bay. It is a more rustic setting and there are 60 sites available. None of the sites have electrical hookups.

Cell ReceptionShowersToiletsLaundry
YesNoneFlushNo

What Order To Check The Sites

The campsites usually fill in this order:

  • Jenny Lake
  • Signal Mountain
  • Colter Bay
  • Headwaters
  • Gros Ventre
  • Lizard Creek

The best thing you could do is check the park camping website at this link about a week before you arrive. It will tell you in what order and what time of day the sites are filling for your time of year.

If you are going to be arriving late to the park, you’ll likely end up in a campsite you don’t want, but you could always switch the next morning. If waking up early to switch campsites doesn’t seem like fun, you could just reserve at Buffalo Valley RV like we did.

You could also try to get a site with hookups, and if you are not successful, just drive out and do a walk in reservation there if it is low season.

Here are a few other Grand Teton posts you might find useful:

3 Comments

  1. The campgrounds listed as first come first served are all reservation only, as of the 2021 season. Must be reserved on recreation.gov.

  2. I have a Question. I live in Toronto Canada and am thinking about taking the Amtrak from Toronto to Los Angeles. I know I have to take the Maple Leaf from Toronto To Buffalo but could you recommen what would be the best scenic route or routes to take from Buffalo to LA?

    1. Sounds like a great trip! From Buffalo you’ll need to take the Lake Shore Limited to Chicago, that is really the only choice. From Chicago you have several options to get to LA. They are the Texas Eagle and The Southwest Chief. The Southwest Chief is shorter and generally considered more scenic. The most scenic thing you could do is to take the California Zephyr from Chicago to Emeryville, CA and then the Coast Starlight from Emerville, CA to Los Angeles. Those are two of the best routes in the country, but it would add an extra train and more time and expense.

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Robert Marmion
Rob is married to Allie and together they have been traveling the world for the past 2 years. Rob is one of the most published photographers in the world, having published over 750,000 images in the last 15 years. He enjoys doing landscape and astrophotography while on the road.