Camping at "The Observatory"

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Added by Christina Adele Warburg-Hon

Scenic views of the Tetons and the Snake River Valley. Free camping. Secluded campsites.

Ah...the Observatory. This is not its actual name, but the nickname it has earned over many years of use by the seasonal employees. This is an amazing site to camp at, just on the edge of the Bridger-Teton forest right outside of the park. This area overlooks the entire valley and Teton range. There are also plenty of spots within the immediate vicinity to either hike, mountain bike, or run.

To get there you turn on the forest road directly across from Cunningham Cabin. When the road forks, choose the left one and from there, pick a site. Many offer amazing views. Since it is in the national forest, it's free to camp here, but you want to check to see if there are any current fire restrictions before you start a fire. Also, although there are no bear boxes, make sure to properly store your food as they are definitely still present.

The sunsets from here are spectacular, the stargazing unmatched, and sunrises like no other. Also, there is a wolf den near here, but you can often hear them howling into the night. It is a sound you aren't likely to hear elsewhere. With amazing views and unique wildlife experiences, you will not regret camping here.

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πŸ₯ˆ Contributor

over 4 years ago

Unbeatable Views

This is, without a doubt, the best place I have ever camped. You get incredible panoramic views of the Tetons, and it is free. It's a good place to watch sunrise and sunset. The dirt road up is easily doable; we made it up with no problem in a little Toyota Corolla despite the road being a little muddy.

Explorer

πŸ₯ˆ Contributor

over 4 years ago

One of the best places I've ever camped.

Not only was the view stunning, but the people I met here were amazing. They fed me hamburgers and hot dogs and even gave me a Keurig Machine. So kind. I made it up to this road in my Honda Insight, so if I can do it, you can do it. Word of warning: Read the fire warnings!!! They have planes that fly around in high fire season and spot fires. The forest service came up while we were there to make sure we weren't burning anything.

Explorer

πŸ₯‡Top Contributor

over 4 years ago

Best Campite Ever!

We used this campsite for about 5 days. We could get our minivan most of the way up to the site. The last bit of the road is insanely steep and insanely washboarded. There is a flat part where we parked and just carried our gear up to the site. AMAZING VIEW.

Explorer

πŸ₯ˆ Contributor

over 5 years ago

One of the best in WY

I have been going to this site for nearly 10 years, and it truly is one of the best in all of WY! It's frequently occupied, but if you can snag it, you won't be sorry. the views are unparalleled and it's free!

Explorer

πŸ₯ˆ Contributor

over 5 years ago

This place saved us. We got into The Grand Teton Park late and needed a place to set up camp. We found this little gem just outside of the park. When we woke up in the morning, we were amazed at the views that we weren't able to see on our night drive in. It gets the name "The Observatory" for a good reason. With views of the Tetons and several hiking trails this spot is a must.

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Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on.

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