Seasonal Camping: Tips to Enjoy Jackson Hole’s Natural Splendor with Family

Jackson Hole, nestled in the majestic Teton Range of northwest Wyoming, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Its alpine lakes, evergreen forests, sweeping valleys, and abundance of wildlife provide a picturesque backdrop for camping adventures …

Seasonal Camping: Tips to Enjoy Jackson Hole’s Natural Splendor with Family
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Jackson Hole, nestled in the majestic Teton Range of northwest Wyoming, is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts. Its alpine lakes, evergreen forests, sweeping valleys, and abundance of wildlife provide a picturesque backdrop for camping adventures with the family.

From cozy tent sites to RV hookups with stunning mountain views, Jackson Hole offers campgrounds to accommodate every seasonal camping style. As you plan your family’s next outdoor getaway, use these tips to choose the perfect campground, gear up properly, partake in family-friendly activities, and practice safety in the wilderness.

Choosing the Right Seasonal Campsite

With over a dozen campgrounds dotting the valleys and forests of Jackson Hole, selecting the right seasonal campsite is essential.

Check the Seasonal Availability

Jackson Hole draws visitors in every season. Reserve your campsite 4-6 months out, especially for summer stays. Opt for early fall to enjoy mild weather and fewer crowds while still having access to year-round campgrounds.

Month Occupancy Rate (%)
January 21
February 24
March 32
April 49
May 67
June 84
July 96
August 93
September 76
October 51
November 31
December 23

Pro Tip: Consider camping during the off-season for discounted rates and a more peaceful experience.

Research Campground Amenities

Jackson Hole campgrounds range from primitive, backcountry sites to full-service grounds with convenience stores and recreation facilities. Assess your must-have amenities, like restrooms, trailer access, laundry, and showers.

Pro Tip: Many campgrounds offer junior ranger programs to educate kids through fun outdoor activities.

Consider Camping Style

Tent camping allows you to pitch anywhere, from backcountry sites to RV-friendly grounds. But if you want access to more home-style amenities but still wish to stay immersed in the natural beauty of Jackson Hole, consider renting one of the beautiful Jackson Hole homes for rent. Rental homes offer the comforts of a fully-equipped kitchen, private bathroom, and cozy living space, all while being close to nature. This is a great option for families or groups who want the best of both worlds.

Pro Tip: For those new to camping, trying out an RV or cabin rental before investing in equipment can be a good idea. However, if you prefer a more guaranteed experience, rental homes are the best option.

Gear Up for Adventure

Experienced campers know that proper gear makes all the difference, particularly when exploring Jackson Hole’s varied terrain and ever-changing mountain weather.

Outfit Your Tent

Choose a multi-room, weatherproof tent with space for each family member. Bring a blue tarp as a moisture barrier beneath your tent. If you are staying in a home rental, then you won’t have to worry about tents. But, if you are camping, then make sure to bring a high-quality tent that can withstand the elements.

Pro Tip: Seek out footprints specifically sized for your tent floor to provide insulation and add durability.

Pack Warm Bedding

With Jackson Hole’s cool alpine nights, warm bedding is a must. Pack closed-cell sleeping pads to provide insulation from the cold ground. Choose mummy or rectangular bags with down fill and temperature ratings of 15-30°F for summer and 0-15°F for spring and fall. Synthetic-fill bags also work well. Rental cabins may provide bedding, but always check before arrival.

Pro Tip: Store all sleeping bags in waterproof compression sacks to maximize space and keep them dry.

Prepare Camp Kitchen Essentials

Enjoy camping cuisine with a portable propane stove, cooking pots, eating utensils, camp mugs, and insulated food containers. Consider a solar-powered cooler to keep food fresh. Having organized camp kitchen supplies makes meal prep and cleanup breezy. If you are staying in a home rental that provides cooking essentials, be sure to check beforehand so you don’t pack unnecessary items.

Pro Tip: Plan easy one-pot meals like stews, pasta bakes, foil packet dinners, and campfire tacos. Bring ingredients that are small and cook quickly.

Discover Family-Friendly Activities

The adventures awaiting your crew in Jackson Hole are endless. From wildlife safaris to river rafting, choose activities spanning all ages and abilities.

Hike Scenic Trails

With over 120 hiking trails, Jackson Hole dazzles with new perspectives on every path. Select short, accessible trails like Jenny Lake Loop or Taggart Lake for young kids. Older kids can conquer the ascent to 200-foot Hidden Falls or Inspiration Point overlooking Jenny Lake.

Pro Tip: Use the National Park app to track trails, identify flora/fauna, get GPS guidance, and share fun AR features along your hike.

Spot Iconic Wildlife

Jackson Hole’s range of habitats makes it home to diverse wildlife like moose, bears, elk, bison, antelope, mountain goats, and over 300 bird species. Sign up for a guided wildlife safari or visit the National Elk Refuge to spot these magnificent animals.

Pro Tip: Be sure to bring binoculars and a camera for the best wildlife viewing experience.

Float Scenic Waterways

Drift along the Snake River winding through the valley or paddle Lake Yellowstone for up-close vistas of the Tetons. Whitewater and scenic floats through Jackson Hole cater to all thrill-seeker levels. Guided fishing charters and boat rentals provide family bonding on the water.

Pro Tip: Wear layers and bring sunscreen, as the sun can be intense while on the water.

Practice Outdoor Safety

While your Jackson Hole adventures stir the imagination, it’s vital to temper excitement with safety, especially when camping with children.

Monitor Weather Changes

Jackson Hole’s varied topography sees sharp weather shifts. Pack for both hot sunny days and cold, wet conditions. Check forecasts regularly and head to shelter if electrical storms approach. Know your route if flash flooding occurs.

Pro Tip: Look up weather averages for your specific campground to guide packing. Valley locations tend to be 5-10° warmer than mountain sites.

Store Food Securely

Proper food storage is crucial when camping in bear country. Keep food sealed in bear-proof containers secured far from your tent. Take care not to leave scraps lying around, and stash smelly toiletries with food each night.

Practice Fire Safety

Campfires should only be built in designated fire rings and fully extinguished before leaving. Keep a pot of water nearby to douse embers and prevent sparks from blowing away. Do not attempt to build a fire in high winds.

Pro Tip: When enjoying a campfire, avoid playing games that involve running around, as unwary kids risk falling into the flames. Instead, tell stories, sing songs or roast marshmallows.

Frequently Asked Questions

What months are best for camping in Jackson Hole?

While Jackson Hole offers year-round camping, the peak visitor season runs from June through September, when all recreation activities are available. Lower seasons like May and September bring fewer crowds, lower rates, mild weather, and excellent wildlife viewing.

Are there pet-friendly campgrounds?

Yes, many Jackson Hole campgrounds permit pets, though some restrict the types and sizes allowed. Always keep dogs leashed, and be sure to pack collapsible bowls, bedding, bags for waste disposal, and extra food. Groom pets before arrival to minimize shedding and insect risk.

What emergency items should I pack?

In addition to standard first-aid kits, pack essentials like flashlights, batteries, firestarters, maps, whistles, blankets and tire patch kits. Share your itinerary with a contact at home to alert rescuers if emergencies arise well beyond your cellular service area.

Start Your Seasonal Camping Adventure

The stage is set for your family to craft once-in-a-lifetime camping memories in the natural majesty of Jackson Hole. As you witness mist rising over the Tetons or spot a moose meandering by your tent, you’ll appreciate the restorative magic that only connecting with nature can deliver. Safely venture out and explore all the special moments waiting around the next bend in the trail or just across the valley.

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