Best Campsites in Wyoming

by Emily Morgan
best-campsites-in-wyoming

As the daughter of a former Wyoming cattle rancher, the state’s grit and grandeur are not lost on me. With its open plains, cathedral-like mountain peaks, and an ink-black sky filled with twinkle stars, Wyoming is the purest reflection of the American West. But, if you ask us, there’s no better way to experience its elusiveness than pitching a tent in some of the state’s pristine campsites.

Commonly-visited areas include Yellowstone, and Grand Teton National Park, which provide a lifetime of adventure, including several great campgrounds in the western part of the state. However, the remainder of the state is a gold mine for other campsites.

Wyoming is also dotted with other spots like national forests, state parks, and massive reservoirs that offer more great places to pitch a tent.

However, before you head west, make sure you plan accordingly and decide which type of adventure you want, then choose your campground. From its geysers to its exalted towers, every Wyoming campsite acts as a haven for those who have an innate drive to wander.

Jenny Lake Campground

For those who want to camp inside Grand Teton National Park

Location: Nestled at the base of Teton Mountain Range, located a few hundred yards from the east shore of Jenny Lake in Moose, Wyoming
Campground Contact: (307) 543-2811
• Park hours: 24 hours a day, winter closure is from Sept. 26 – April 30
Campground Website

Inside Wyoming’s Grand Teton National Park, Jenny Lake Campground is in a top-tier location to enjoy the views of Teewinot Mountain, Mount St. John, Cascade Canyon and its namesake body of water.

As one of the best tent-only campgrounds in the park, the spots are available on a first-come, first-served basis, and it’s not uncommon for the campground to be at max capacity early in the day during summer’s peak season. If you plan to go during the summer months, proper planning and early arrival are necessary for getting your spot. But, it will undoubtedly pay off.

Enjoy camping out as the splendor of the Teton Mountain Range sits in the background. Underneath the towering peaks sits a grassy meadow and Jenny Lake, similar to something out of a fairytale. Then, make the short trek to the lake, keep your eyes peeled for foxes, deer, and moose. In addition, the campsite provides a ferry that will take you to unrivaled hiking and fishing in Cascade Canyon.

Campground Breakdown
• 51 tent-only campsites, 3 of which are ADA compliant: $41 per night
• 10 bike-in/hike-in campsites: $13 per night
• Maximum per site is two tents, one car, and six campers

Jenny Lake Amenities: Picnic tables, flush toilets, food storage lockers, staff on site, firewood, camp store, potable water, coin-operated showers, leashed dogs allowed

Reserve a Jenny Lake campsite here

 Belle Fourche River Campground

For those who want to camp beneath the Devil’s Tower

Location: Located at Devil’s Tower National Monument in northeast Wyoming, protruding from the prairies outside the Black Hills of South Dakota
Campground Contact: (307) 467-5283
Park Hours: 24 hours a day, winter closure is from Oct.15 – May 15
Campground Website

Belle Fourche River campground is perfect for those who want to explore Wyoming’s Devil’s Tower— the nation’s first national monument. This stunning geological feature is also sacred space for Indigenous peoples and attracts millions of visitors annually.

Today, visitors can visit the lofty, eye-catching rock feature and the 1,347 acres surrounding the tower. Within the monument, the Belle Fourche River Campground is the closest place to spend the night near the tower.

Bell Fourche Campground: First Come, First Serve

Here, designated RV and tent sites are perched beneath towering trees, giving you ample shade. In addition, use the large cottonwood trees if you prefer hammock camping. The campground is also ideal for groups as the campground has several spots available if you want to bring along your besties. The sites are also on a first-come-first-serve basis. Once you’re all set up, take it in as you bear witness to the country’s first national monument.

Campground Breakdown:
• 46 tent/RV sites: $20 per night, can accommodate up to 8 people and 2 cars
• 3 group camping sites: $30 per night, can accommodate up to 20 people and 4 cars
• 43 pull-through sites, with room for RVs up to 35′

Belle Fourche River Amenities: Picnic tables, potable water, flushable toilets, staff on site, fire rings

Learn more about the Belle Fourche River Campsite here

Sugar Loaf Campground

For those who want a fisherman’s paradise

Location: Located 44 miles west of Laramie, Wyoming this campground sits inside the Medicine Bow National Forest and the Thunder Basin National Grassland
Campground Contact: (877) 444-6777
Park Hours: winter closure is from Oct.1 – July 15
Campground Website

Located inside Medicine Bow National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland’s nearly 3 million acres, Sugarloaf campground looks as if it’s straight out of a postcard that overlooks picturesque peaks and iconic Libby Lake in the southeastern part of the state.

Libby Lake: Angler’s Utopia

Positioned on a mountain pass 12 miles northwest of Centennial, Wyoming, you’ll need a solid jacket as the campsite sits at an elevation of 10,700 feet. In addition, 19-acre Libby Lake is ideal for anglers who want to get out on those crystal-clear waters and fish brook, cutthroat, and brown trout. Beyond Libby Lake, 102 other recreational lakes, such as 26-acre Lewis Lake, also dot the area.

Stroll around to see the looming price and fir trees, and keep a lookout for black bears, bobcats, coyotes, elk, and mule deer, to name a few. Additionally, the campground provides easy access to various hiking trails with three popular trailheads in the area. According to the website, it’s also a first come-first serve campground, so no reservations are required. However, it’s best practice to arrive early to find a spot.

Campground Breakdown:
• 16 tent sites: $10 per night
• 22-foot max trailer length
• Drive-in/walk-in sites available

Sugarloaf Amenities: Vault toilets, potable water (at Site 1,) picnic tables, leashed pets allowed

Learn more about Sugarloaf Campsite here

Death Canyon Shelf Camping Zone

For those who want to get their blood pumping

Location: A backcountry campsite located within the southwest region of the Grand Teton National Park
Campground Contact: (307) 739-3399
Park Hours: 24 hours a day, winter closure is from Sept. 26 – April 30
Campground Website

Death Canyon camping shelf is located along the park’s Teton Crest Trail and is undoubtedly one of the best hiking trails in Grand Teton National Park. In addition, some might argue that it’s one of the best backcountry hikes in the entire American West. After getting your required permits, hike to your spot and witness breathtaking sights such as the stunning Teton peaks.

Death Canyon: Backcountry Camping at Its Finest

While other camping in the park will blow you away, Death Canyon is in a league all its own. As it sits atop steep canyon walls, the camping area isn’t for the faint of heart (you might have realized that already given its name.) However, if you like to get your heart rate up, this could be for you. After you complete the climb to the 10,000 ft. elevation, reward yourself with 360° panoramic views of the wonderous landscape beneath you. Peer into deep canyons or look in awe of the Grand Teton peaks cutting into the horizon. Either way, you can’t go wrong here.

Campground Breakdown:
• 11 backcountry spots available: $45 for advanced reservations, $35 for walk-in permits
• Several trails from the Death Canyon Trailhead can hold snow until mid-July so planning is an absolute must
• You can camp anywhere in the designated zones as long as you are 100 feet away from another campsite and 100 feet away from a water source
• Group sites available

Death Canyon Camping Shelf Amenities: No amenities are provided on the Death Canyon Shelf. With this in mind, backcountry hikers are expected to pack in and pack out, all the gear they need to comfortably spend the night. It’s also crucial to be bear aware: carry bear spray, use an approved bear canister (they are required in the Tetons), and travel in groups.

Reserve your Death Canyon Camping Shelf site here

Norris Campground

For those who want to camp with geysers

Location: Perched inside Yellowstone National Park
Campground Contact: (307) 344-7381
Park Hours: *Closed for the remainder of 2022*
Campground Website

Perched inside the heart of Yellowstone National Park, the first national park in the country, Norris Campground is a top contender if you’re looking for a camping experience inside Yellowstone. Sitting at an elevation of 7,500 feet, the campground is located near a large open meadow allowing wildlife viewing from your camp chair. 

In addition, the Norris Geyser Basin is easily located from the campground with a one-mile trail. The trail crosses paths, with the Museum of the National Park Ranger on the way, where history lovers will want to stop to learn something new.

The campground is also near many other top attractions of Yellowstone, including the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone and Norris Geyser Basin— the hottest and most changeable thermal area in the park. The campground is also nestled among the lodgepole pines and streams, which acts as a tranquil respite from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

In addition, be sure to check out Steamboat Geyser — while it’s not as well known as Old Faithful, it’s the world’s tallest active geyser, with eruptions blasting water up to 400 feet into the air. The geyser has been highly active since 2018: it’s erupted 100 times since March 15, 2018. 

Campground Breakdown:
• 111 tent/RV sites: $25 per night
• Hikers/bicyclists only pay $10 per night
• Accommodates six people per site

Norris Amenities: Flush toilets, fire pits, picnic tables, food storage lockers, staff on site, potable water

Learn more about Norris Campsite here

Rex Hale Campground

For those who enjoy history

Location: Located inside the beautiful Shoshone National Forest, 20 minutes from Yellowstone National Park in northwestern Wyoming
Campground Contact:  (307) 578-5194
Park Hours: Open seasonally from May 20, 2022 – September 19, 2022
Campground Website

Rex Hale campground is named after Rex Hale, one of 15 firefighters who died in the 1937 Blackwater Fire, which burned more than 1,700 acres of land within the Shoshone National Forest. Rex Hale campground is also located along the Buffalo Bill Scenic Byway, about 36 miles outside of Cody. It is also excellent for all your recreational needs, including fishing, hiking, and unparalleled wildlife viewing.

This site is ideal for anglers who can fish the North Fork of the Shoshone River for rainbow and Yellowstone cutthroat trout. In addition, be sure to check out Mummy Cave, located less than a mile from the campground.

Rex Hale Campsite: First Explored over 9,000 Years Ago

History buffs will also love exploring the campground. It also acts as a historical site discovered in 1957. Researchers also believe it was occupied for over 9,000 years.

After a day of fishing and caving, explore the spectacular red cliffs, where bighorn sheep may be seen early in the season. Get a glimpse of resident wildlife, such as grizzly bears, deer, elk, bison, moose, fox, coyotes, and bald eagles. Take a peek at nearby Pahaska Tepee, which was also Buffalo Bill’s original hunting lodge, built in 1904. Later, if you want to venture over to Yellowstone National Park, the east entrance is only 18 miles from the campground via the Buffalo Bill Cody Scenic Byway.

Campground Breakdown:
• 30 tent/RV sites: $20 per night
• Some campsites have electric hookups
• Not ADA compliant

Rex Hale Amenities: Vault toilets, potable water, picnic tables, fire pits, leashed pets allowed, big-rig friendly, food storage lockers

Reserve your Rex Hale Campsite here

Gros Venture Campground

For those who wish to be near two national parks

Location:  Inside the Grand Teton National Park, 9 miles from the town of Jackson, located in Kelly, Wyoming
Campground Contact: (307) 543-2811
Park Hours: Open seasonally from April 29 – Oct. 8
Campground Website

Lastly, we recommend the Gros Venture campground. Surrounded by cottonwood trees, it allows for stunning views of Blacktail Butte and Teton Mountain. It’s perfect for nature lovers who want a glimpse of nearby wildlife such as bison, moose, mule deer, and a wide variety of birds.

The Gros Ventre River also offers plentiful cutthroat trout, brook trout, and whitefish for avid anglers. Although none of Gros Ventre’s campsites are on the river, it’s within walking distance.

The campground is available on a first-come, first-served basis, but with over 300 individual sites, you should be able to find a spot easily. Take it all in as you can camp beneath the cottonwoods trees and explore the area. In addition, you can also drive into Jackson and take a trip back in time to learn about the town’s mining and cattle ranching history.

With Grand Teton National Park surrounding the campground, and Yellowstone National Park less than an hour away, Gros Ventre Campground is an excellent choice for anyone hoping to explore this area of the Rocky Mountains.

Campground Breakdown:
•  279 tent sites:  $46.62 per night, accommodates two tents and two cars
• 4 large group sites:  $16.65 per person, per night, 10 guest minimum
•  39 electric-only sites, 10 of which are ADA-accessible:  $78.81 per night

Gros Venture Amenities:  Flushing toilets, shower facilities, picnic tables, fire rings, food storage lockers, staff on site, ice, leashed pets allowed

Reserve your Gros Venture Campsite Here

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