Camping In Grand Teton National Park Is Now By Reservation Only

Jan 18, 2021

Waiting in lines to get a camping spot kept people from spending time exploring the park.
Credit Kevin Vandivier

For the first time, all campgrounds in Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) and the John D. Rockefeller, Jr. Memorial Parkway will be available for reservation starting January 26.

Reservations can be made as far as six months in advance and no spaces will be considered first-come-first-serve any more.

"Campground reservations allow for an enhanced visitor experience. It allows for some predictability, it gives visitors some choices," said Public Information Officer Denise Germann. "They're able to see the information online. It gives them some convenience, and what I consider some comfort, to know that they've got a secure campsite before they get here. And it also helps with decreased congestion."

According to Germann, lines form early in the morning and last for hours and sometimes people in those lines wouldn't get spaces.

"Part of the reason we're moving toward the reservation system is because we got the request from the public. We heard from many individuals that they were looking for a reservation system at park campgrounds," said Germann.

Using this system will slightly increase the price of camping, but Germann predicts it won't affect visitor numbers.

"We worked in partnership with the concessionaires to identify the price of a campground or the price of a campsite. And we do that through comparability methods that look at rates for campgrounds in the area that are similar operations in the competitive marketplace," said Germann.

Certain campgrounds were already reservation-only through park concessionaires. Those spaces will continue to be reservable through the previous system until the 2022 season. Germann recommends new users create a profile on recreation.gov before January 26. This system is the same one that GTNP uses for backcountry reservations.

Have a question about this story? Contact the reporter, Ivy Engel, at iengel@uwyo.edu.