U.S. National Forest Campground Guide

Teton National Forest


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Forest Information

The Teton National Forest (of the Bridger-Teton National Forest) is located in western Wyoming and is comprised of 1,666,290 acres. Eight campgrounds meet the selection criteria.

There are six National Forests in the Yellowstone Eco-system. This means each of these forests shares some of the flora, fauna, and geological features of Yellowstone National Park. The Teton National Forest, although actually bordering the Grand Teton National Park, is considered one of the six and share in its ecosystem. This means visitors to the Teton National Forest also enjoy a variety of recreation opportunities and camping locations with spectacular backdrops of the Teton Range in diverse plant communities and robust wildlife populations also found in Yellowstone.

While many people are attracted to the Teton National Forest because of its proximity to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, there is more here than those breathtaking vista. One of the more intriguing features of the Forest is the Gros Ventre (grow-vont) Geological Slide Area. Formed in 1925 when the ground, soggy and unstable from weeks of heavy rain and late snow melt, gave way in an earthquake. In 3 minutes, some 50 million cubic yards of rock surged down the mountain and formed a dam 2000 feet wide, a mile long, and 225 to 250 feet high across the Gros Ventre River. Then, a little over two years later, the dam failed as high water went over the top. The Gros Ventre Slide still appears as an open wound in the side of Sheep Mountain. And Slide Lake, as seen today, is only a remnant of the former lake. On the banks of Slide Lake, Atherton Creek campground offers both fishing and boating and some camping sites offer views of the Slide Area and the peaks of the Teton Range.

At the edge of the Teton Wilderness, which is adjacent to Yellowstone National Park, is Turpin Meadowcampground. This camping location attracts hikers and horseback riders interested in exploring this Wilderness via trail heads in or near the campground. Turpin Meadows has the additional feature of a number of guest ranches nearby. These ranches offer the public, as well as their guests, a variety of activities such as trail rides, chuck wagon suppers, and even live music. The nearby Buffalo River also offers an opportunity to catch Golden, Cutthroat and Brook trout.

At the southern edge of the Gros Ventre Wilderness is another uniquely Teton National Forest experience - the Granite Hot Springs Pool and campground. Turning north at Battle Mountain, leaving the dynamic Hoback River Canyon behind, onto Granite Creek Road, the massive Flying Buttress Mountain rises up on the horizon above sagebrush flats. Soon the mountain is hidden by lesser mountains that crowd the roadway. In a thick stand of conifers, sandwiched between the road and the Granite Creek is the Granite Creek campground. About a quarter-mile beyond the campground is the cascading Granite Falls. Another half-mile brings visitors to the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) constructed Granite Hot Springs Pool. While the hot springs have attracted visitors for thousands of years, it wasn't until the mid-1930s that the thermal heated water was captured in a cement container found there today. With the temperature varying from 93 degrees in the summer to 112 degrees in the winter, the Granite Hot Springs Pool is a year-round attraction. Between the river, pool, flush toilets, and several family focused activities, the Granite Creek campground is one of the more popular stops in the Teton National Forest.

For those who enjoy water sports of the whitewater type there is a variety to be found along the Snake River. Three campgrounds, from the "elbow" to the Palisades Reservoir with as many put-ins along this stretch of the River, combine camping, fishing, and water opportunities for visitors to the Teton National Forest. The recently renovated Station Creek campground offers a nice mix of RV and tent friendly sites, ample water spigots, and the newer vault known as an SST (Sweet Smelling Toilet) in a pleasantly forested area above the Snake River. More rustic in nature is East Table Creek campground. Right on the banks of the Snake River, this campground attract whitewater enthusiasts as well as anglers. It is also adjacent to a major highway and are subject to distracting traffic noise. (For more information about whitewater conditions and outfitters, contact the Jackson Ranger District Office.)

The Teton National Forest is not just a favorite with human visitors. A wide variety of animals call this Forest their home. Bear, both Black and Grizzly, enjoy the bounty of the forest lands, as do Pronghorn antelope, deer, and Elk, to name just a few. Bald eagles, Peregrine falcon, Common loon and Trumpeter swan, all considered "sensitive bird species," can, with patience, be found on the Forest. More often seen are Osprey, Golden eagle, Great Horned owl and Red-tailed hawks. The route to Curtis Canyon campground (popular with tent campers) through the National Elk Refuge outside of Jackson, is populated with Sage Grouse, American Kestrel, Prairie falcon and other sage-brush loving birds.

The Grand Teton National Park is well-worth a visit but the Teton National Forest deserve some time, too. While the mountains of the Teton National Forest are not as young nor as spectacular as those found in the Park, they do hold many interesting and dynamic secrets of their own. Soaking in Granite Creek's hot spring, photographing wildlife or wildflowers, spying the rare and beautiful Trumpeter Swan, hiking a new trail, challenging the Snake River, catching that "big one," or exploring the area's dynamic geology - all these and many more recreational opportunities await visitors to the Teton National Forest.

SUPERVISOR ADDRESS Forest Service Building 340 North Cache P.O.B. 1888 Jackson, Wyoming 83001 307-739-5500 RANGER DISTRICT ADDRESSES Buffalo (Blackrock Ranger Station) Hwy. 26-287 P.O.B. 278 Moran, Wyoming 83013 307-543-2386 Jackson 25 Rosencrans Lane P.O.B. 1689 Jackson, Wyoming 83001 307-739-5400

Fred and Suzi Dow