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.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Tent
  • Sleeping Bag
  • Sleep Pad
  • Water
  • Food
  • Camp Cooking Supplies
  • Warm Clothing
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Activities Chillin, Camping, Photography, Mountain Biking, Running, Hiking
Skill Level Beginner
Season Spring, Summer, Autumn
Features
Forest
Groups
Romantic
Scenic
Wildflowers
Wildlife

Reviews

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Overall rating: 

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.

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.

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.


Please respect the places you find on The Outbound Collective.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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