Did you know that Wyoming recently celebrated its 130th birthday? Celebrate by visiting the Bridger-Teton National Forest, the third-largest national forest outside of Alaska. All National Forests have their unique place, and all are beautiful, but Bridger-Teton – located just east of Grand Teton National Park in western Wyoming – is home to vast landscapes that outdoor lovers can get lost in. It’s a place of wildlife and wilderness.
Encompassing over 3.4 million acres and three wilderness areas, the Bridger-Teton National Forest spans from the southern Yellowstone border, through Jackson, and into Star Valley and the Wind River Range.
Fun fact: It’s the farthest national forest from any road system.
With some of the most pristine areas within the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, the forest includes the headwaters of three nationally significant rivers with outstanding native trout fisheries – the Yellowstone, Snake and Green. The Bridger Division is home to a variety of wildlife; 219 species of birds, 80 varieties of mammals and 26 kinds of fish. Aspen, Englemann Spruce, Douglas Fir, Alpine Fir, Whitebark, Limber Pine and Lodgepole Pine provide for an awesome backdrop.
Bridger Wilderness Quick Facts
Miles of Trails: 600
Highlights: More than 2,300 lakes, large glaciers, and the highest peak in Wyoming (Gannett Peak at 13,804’)
The Wyoming Centennial Scenic Byway connects the towns of Pinedale, Jackson and Dubois and crosses badlands, ranch land and the high montane. Grand Teton National Park, Jackson Hole, Hoback Canyon and the upper Green River are seen along the way.
With more and more people camping, it’s even more important than ever to tread lightly and follow the rules for campground courtesy.
- Travel only where motorized vehicles are permitted.
- Respect the rights of others to enjoy their activities undisturbed.
- Educate yourself by getting maps and information; ask owners’ permission to cross private property.
- Avoid stream, lakeshores, meadows, muddy roads, steep hillsides, wildlife and livestock.
- Drive responsibly to protect the environment and preserve opportunities to enjoy your vehicle on wild lands.
For backcountry and off-road travel, forest visitor and motor vehicle use (travel) maps are available at all Forest Service offices and can be downloaded here. If an area is crowded, please search for a less occupied location.
Camping on the Bridger-Teton National Forest – Jackson/Moran area
Developed campgrounds in the National Forest provide picnic tables, campfire grills, restrooms, food storage boxes, and garbage service and many provide water and an on-site host. Each campsite can accommodate up to 8 people and 1 vehicle. An extra charge applies to a second vehicle. All sites are first come – first serve. Proper food storage is required; stay limit is 16 days.
|Campgrounds||Miles from Jackson||Access Road||Fee||Number
|Host Present||Water||Information for Campers|
|Atherton||21||Paved||$15||20||22’-30’||Y||Y||On scenic lake; boat ramp.
|Crystal Creek||26||Gravel||$12||6||20’-24’||N||Y||On Gros Ventre River, fishing|
|Curtis||8||Gravel||$15||11||16’-24’||Y||Y||Scenic views of the Tetons.
Narrow, rough switchback road
|Pacific Creek||45||Gravel||$10||8||34’-46’||N||N||On edge of wilderness.
Fishing, nearby trails.
|Sheffield||61||Gravel||$10||10||30’-40’||N||N||Just south of Yellowstone Natl. Park.
On edge of Wilderness. Nearby trails.
|Hatchet||40||Paved||$12||11||18’-24’||Y||Y||Along highway to Dubois,
Togwotee Pass. River nearby
|Turpin Meadows||49||Paved||$12||18||28’-66’||Y||Y||In scenic valley. River access.
Fishing. Wilderness trails.
These developed campgrounds are filling by mid-day:
- Crystal Creek
- Pacific Creek
- Turpin Meadows
- East Table
- Station Creek
The following designated dispersed camping areas are also filling by mid-day:
- Spread Creek/Toppings
- Shadow Mountain
- Curtis Canyon
The following campgrounds fill less quickly:
- Wolf Creek Campground
- Kozy Creek Campground
Campers may be more successful finding dispersed camping in the following locations:
- Fall Creek: North Fork Fall Creek, Coburn Meadows, Pritchard Pass
- Hatchet Road
- Flagstaff Road
- The State Lot on Togwotee Pass
- Upper Gros Ventre: Slate Creek and beyond
Campers may also want to consider locations south of Jackson, such as:
- Cliff Creek
- North and South Fisherman’s Creek
- Greys River Road
Campers can also choose between these great Good Sam parks:
Stay: The Longhorn Ranch Lodge and RV Resort, Dubois, Wyoming – No rig too big, with waterfront sites. Many sites are on the shore of the Wind River or along tranquil ponds.
Stay: The Virginian Lodge and RV Park, Jackson, Wyoming – 103 RV sites, swimming pool, hot tub and laundry facilities available.
Stay: Highline Trail RV Park, Boulder, Wyoming – Campers will find full hook ups and four buddy sites, great stop to & from Yellowstone.
Camping in undeveloped areas of the Forest is free but offers no services (such as potable water and trash removal) and no facilities (such as tables and restrooms). Some pre-planning is needed so that you are prepared to care for yourself and the land. Camp only at marked designated sites. Motor vehicles are allowed only on designated roads and campsite spurs.
Be prepared for rough roads in some places. All food, garbage, and attractants must be stored in a hard-sided vehicle. Use existing campfire rings, bring plenty of water both for yourself and to ensure campfires are completely extinguished at night and when you leave camp. Bring a trowel to bury human waste. Do not burn garbage in your fire; all cans, bottles, and trash must be packed out. The maximum stay limit at undeveloped campsites is 5 days between May 1 and Labor Day. Visitor kiosks at Forest boundaries provide maps and more information.
Below are some key practices for a successful camping experience.
Building a Campfire:
- Only use existing fire rings. If your campsite doesn’t have a fire ring, do not build one of your own or have a campfire at that site.
- Keep your campfire small. Only burn a few large pieces of wood at any one time.
- Only burn vegetation (twigs, branches, small diameter logs, purchased firewood, etc.) that fits in the fire ring. Don’t put trash, aluminum cans, glass, plastic, etc. into the fire ring.
- Always have someone watching the fire, looking for where stray embers travel and land.
- Consider not having a campfire during times of high fire danger or if you don’t have appropriate firewood sources, water, shovel, etc. Stay informed of fire restrictions and follow all guidelines.
Putting Out a Campfire:
- Ensure your fire is cold to the touch before leaving the area.
- Follow these steps to extinguish your campfire:
- Pour plenty of water on the ash and remaining debris.
- Stir the ash and debris with a stick or shovel, making sure to stir deep into the fire ring where hot embers may remain. Break up any remaining pieces of charred wood.
- Put your hand to within an inch or two of the ash and remaining debris to feel for any heat. Repeat the above steps if necessary.
- Finally, carefully place your hand in the ash and on any remaining wood for a final check that the fire is cold.
Food and Garbage:
- Keep all food items, food containers, and coolers in a secure location unless you are preparing a meal or
These locations are limited to:
- The inside of a hard-sided vehicle with the windows closed. Do not use a tent or pickup bed for food storage.
- An approved bear resistant container. Note that coolers are not bear resistant.
- Hanging at least 10 feet above ground and 4 feet away from tree trunks and away from sleeping areas.
- Return items to a secured location as soon as you have finished eating.
- Keep all full or empty bottles and cans, trash, or other items with food or beverage smells stored in one of the listed secure locations.
- Do not use the fire ring to discard or burn empty food or beverage containers.
- Store toiletries that have an odor such as toiletries and body products (soap, shampoo, deodorant, etc.) the same as food and garbage.
- Dig a hole to bury human waste, ensuring you are at least 100 feet from any water source like a river, stream, pond, or lake. Never bury any of the products listed below.
- Treat all toilet paper, diapers, and tampons as trash by collecting them and properly storing with other garbage.
- Motor vehicles must stay on signed, established routes. Rule of thumb: tires should never touch grass or other vegetation.
- Do not drive past barriers that indicate travel should not continue beyond a designated location.
- Use designated trails or footpaths to reach common areas such as streams, lakes, toilet facilities, etc.
With its pristine watersheds, abundant wildlife and immense wildlands, the Bridger-Teton National Forest offers more than 3.4 million acres of public land for your outdoor recreation enjoyment. Visit this beautiful landscape and experience this unique piece of American Heritage.