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Camping in the Grandeur of the Grand Tetons

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A view of the Teton range from the Jackson Lake Dam
A view of the Teton range from the Jackson Lake Dam

We camped at the Gros Ventre (pronounced “grow vaunt”) campground, which is about 30 minutes from the ski resort town of Jackson, Wyo. The campground has beautiful views of the Teton range, as well as plenty of wildlife to see.  During the day, it was sunny and about 80 degrees F, but at night it dropped to the 30s or 40s. Being a native Floridian, I walked around in my thickest jacket and wool socks and kept the heater cranked up at night.

It’s incredible to look up at the peaks and still see snow in the summer. Driving along the wide, open roads, I saw the beautiful mountain range and several animal crossing signs, so I wasn’t sure if I should enjoy the beauty of the mountains or pay close attention to any elk or bison darting across the road.

This is also supposed to be bear country, but I have yet to see any proof of that (and yes, I am eager to see a bear!).

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    But we have seen bison,

    Bison grazing alongside the road in the Grand Teton National Park

    a moose,

    A moose in the woods near Grand Teton National Park

    and more bison.

    Two bull bison fighting
    These two bison were fighting! So that was cool…

    At this point, I’m so unimpressed by bison that last time my dad announced, “There’s bison!” while driving, I told him, “We do NOT stop unless it’s a bear!”

    The Teton range is beautiful, but my discovery of the fact that early French voyageurs named its three highest peaks les Trois Tétons, meaning “the three breasts,” kind of took away some of its majesty for me.

    The highest peaks of the Teton mountain range
    “Le Trois Tetons.” 

    While out exploring, we found a neat little cafe that had coffee, made-to-order sandwiches, basic camping supplies, and free wi-fi in Kelly, Wyo., which is near the Gros Ventre campground. For about 8 bucks, you can get a delicious sandwich, and the owner is super animated and gives great tips on local spots you should visit. She told us about an off-the-beaten path campground outside of the Grand Teton National Park. Just drive down the main road, past the Gros Ventre campground, and (if the campground was on your right), you’ll see a side road on your right leading up to the mountains. Drive up there, and in a few miles, you’ll see a small campground by Slide Lake. This place is smaller and quieter than sites you’ll find in the National Park, and a lot of locals stay here. Slide Lake is named after the 1925 landslide that created it, but I hope that doesn’t stop you from camping there.