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“Overrated”

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Jenny Lake Campground
Reviewed June 30, 2010

Since this seemed like THE campground to tent camp in in Grand Teton based on reviews and fill time, we spent two nights here, and I'm not sure I understand what the fuss is. It had all the basics to be an acceptable campground, and the South Jenny Lake location is convenient for a lot of day hikes, but I can think of many far more impressive campgrounds in other national parks in terms of views, location, and layout. Compared to Colter Bay, the staff was far less friendly and helpful at registration, despite both being run by the same concessionaire.

Also, there's only one restroom building, and it's skewed at one end of the campground, so it can be a far walk. Also, with no dishwashing sink, that means carrying the wastewater a good distance.

  • Stayed: June 2010, traveled as a couple
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7  Thank Lenin1991
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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57 - 63 of 66 reviews

Reviewed August 18, 2009

Great campground- definitely would stay here again..for more than just one night. first come first serve, unfortunately. there are only 51 sites here-- u can't find a site map on the internet, only when u get there. sites are relatively private, quiet and some with amazing views of grand teton peak. from what we saw the best sites are 25, 25A, 37, 45, 46, 47, 50. we had 37 which had a gorgeous view of grand teton and a trail to the bathroom which there is only ONE. #25 and 25A are the most spacious but no view. 45-50 had the best views of grand teton but less private. just walk around and decide for yourself. you have to be here no later than 8am to secure a site. we got there 0845 one morning and they were all full. NOTE: every morning, campground host drives around the campsite around 7:30am to take off the fee envelope stubs off the clip at each site if campers are leaving that day, so that future campers will know which sites are available. i recommend that u drive into the campground with an empty fee envelope. when u see a site that u like and has no stub OR one that has that day's departure date on it, fill out your info and place your stub to the clip at the site. talk to the campers first before doing so, they may decide to stay another night. most stay 1-3 nights. u can camp up to 14 days here. check-out time is 11am. most leave early.

bear box is at EACH site. bears do come to this campground although u don't see them. box is spacious enough to fit a cooler and other boxes. there are 10 water spigots throughout campground. there are 2 trash sites - by #49 and #3.

all sites are pull-through, tents only. one vehicle per site, 2 tents per site. there is additional parking near the jenny lake store.

we got there at 0730 and the camp host was still driving around pulling off appropriate fee stubs. it's $19/night-- cash only, self-registration. the one bathroom has one sink and flush toilets. there is a short trail from campground to visitor's center, store, ranger station, restroom, lake, store, boat shuttle. from the visitor's center, there is a trail to lake, hidden falls/inspiration point. there is 'beach' area where u can swim.

hidden falls is about 1-1.5hr from visitor's center. there is a boat dock where a boat shuttle takes u to the area near hidden falls (10-min ride, $10/person). we hiked instead ---it was an easy, relatively flat trail along the lake. most of the trail to inspiration point is very rocky so wear comfortable hiking shoes. bring a hat, sunscreen, plenty of water since it gets very sunny and hot during the hike (we were there mid-august). expect hundreds of tourists at this popular hike. come early (0800 to 1000) to find parking and escape the crowd. it took about 3hr to do hike to inspiration point roundtrip. i'd bring a sandwich and snack as well. the trail goes way past inspiration point so go explore it. backcountry camping/climbing is available thru that trail so ask the rangers. jenny lake is beautiful...u can access it also from north side of the lake. canoeing is very popular there. yes, u can rent canoes from the boat dock. there are moose ponds where u can see moose -- there is a trail that takes u to them off the main trail.

there is a bike trail from jenny lake to jackson. biking is popular here with the views and all. i think it takes several hours to hike around the entire jenny lake- we didn't do it.

jenny lake store has souvenirs, food, drinks, sandwiches, coffee, books, etc. don't expect to buy camping food however. it's open from 8am to 7pm. if u must buy camping food, drive 10 min south to town of jackson OR go to colter bay campground store-- they have packaged meat, sausages, veggies, etc. colter bay is 30 min from jenny lake campground. jackson has everything u need-- fast food, gas, wells fargo bank, restaurants, supermarket, etc.

if u weren't able to get a site at jenny lake, go to signal mountain campground 15 minutes away --it's the closest campground to jenny lake campground. signal fills up by 1030 though so get there before then (it's also first come first serve). we got there 1045 and they were full. it's a nice campground. some sites are right next to jackson lake.

NOTE: there is a another smaller parking lot there is closer to the lakeshore trail at jenny lake so u don't have to walk as much to your car when u come back from your hike. drive a bit further, past jenny lake visitor's center's parking lot.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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27  Thank maven5645
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2009

The camp manager and visitors center tell you to arrive early (7 or 8am) if you wait that late you your going to be out of luck. I arrived at 5:30am and got my site by 6:00am.The day I left ,my site was gone by 6:15am. Its best to drive through the campground and find out what sites are going to be available the day before if possible ask the campers on the site if they are going to stay or be leaving. If you know they are leaving get there EARLY.Once you have a camp site you have untill 11:00am to check out giving you plenty of time to let your tent dry and pick up.The bear box to store your food and cooler is plenty big I'm guessing 4 feet long 2 feet deep and 3 feet tall [I didn't measure] and secure, you must use them. I had bear paw marks on mine, USE THE BOX AND SECURE IT !!! I had site #47 I believe its the best ,good luck . E-Woog

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled solo
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9  Thank ewoog
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 12, 2009

Jenny Lake Campground is a jewel. This is however not unnoticed by other would be campers in Summer. Jenny has the perfect blend of the nature experience combined with resort-like conveniences that make it a credit to the National Park system. If you want to be surrounded by nature and witness deer does and fawns up close along with chipmunks, red squirrels, birds, and butterflies this is just such a place. All of this is tucked away in a breath-taking natural setting but within a few hundred yards of a General Store, Ranger Station, Visitor Center, lakeside beach, park trail and a boat dock that rents kayaks, canoes and provides timely boat shuttle service to Cascade Canyon. Jenny Lake Campground is in the center of it all but still manages to be a charmingly quiet and secluded campground. However it is not entirely secluded since there are 46 campsites. You will have the occassional car traveling down the one road through the campsite. You also may experience some campsites having neighbors closer to you than others. Things get a little crowed down by the bathroom in campsites 1 through 6 and 43 through 46, but on the positive side, it affords the opportunity for your neighbor to render a kind gesture like the departing campers who brought over their excess wood for us to use. And if it is seclusion or adventure you seek, you can obtain a backcountry permit from the nearby ranger station or take climbing lessons at the Exum Trail Guide post just the other side of the Visitor Center Parking Lot and climb the Tetons with your own private group led by an expert rock climber. Jenny Lake Campground is an excellent staging ground for an extended stay in the backcountry. If you are in a group there is only one vehicle allowed per campsite, but there is plenty of parking in the Visitor's Center parking lot and two tents allowed per site. Also at just $19 per night and up to 14 days stay it is very affordable way to cache your stuff with friends at the site while away in the backcountry or on a two or three day climb. However, with ONLY 46 campsites there is quite a demand for the limited space especially during rush hour. "Rush hour" is the time between 7am and 8am when prospective campers come to the site in droves to see if there is anything available. Not too bothersome in general as they drive by unless the camp host has pulled your permit as is customary on the last day of your stay between 7am and 7:30am. Then look out because you will be inundated with inquires as to whether you are coming or going. (since the camp host has removed your permit and they can't see the date of your arrival or departure). Be prepared to give the first inquirer the option to hang his tag and return later or they will just keep coming. Now if you are still shaking the sleep from your eyes and without a morning fire to brew your first cup of morning cowboy-style joe these overly friendly, grinning would-be-in-your-spot-in-a-heartbeat inquirers can be a bit overwhelming. Especially if you overdid the backcountry hiking and planned to get a little shut eye and get a little bit later start and then be out by the 11am deadline. So don't get fiesty with these folks like me, as I was a bit confused by the lack of communication from the camp host quietly passing by with a wave of his hand as I arose from my tent (my permit now in his hand and missing from it's post signaling the rush hour onslaught). Be friendly and pitch your kind offer in a friendly tone to the effect that you will allow them to get one of these fine, pristine sites locked in now only to be occupied AFTER the 11am deadline. Having their tag up on your post restores your peace and sanity (and if they are agreeable to having their tag on a site to be occupied later it restores theirs too). I loved my stay and other than the "rush hour" experience (or inexperience if you will) , I strongly recommend Jenny Lake Campground.

  • Stayed: August 2009, traveled as a couple
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14  Thank BakCountryPhotogrphr
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 5, 2009

Based on reviews we arrived at 8.30am. Yes we got one of 46 sites!!
The camp shop/grocery is okay but we wished we had bought some decent food in jackson before coming up. We did go to signal mountain lake lodge for breakfast (quite nice). No showers only cold water tap in bathrooms.
Rangers very friendly and helpful. Lots of families with young kids.
Nice big bear boxes to store your food in so you dont have to keep putting everything back in your car. Several sites for cyclists that were empty most of the time.
We did an awesome 7 mile hike around the lake.
It was cold at night bring a jacket and warm sleeping bag.

  • Stayed: June 2009, traveled as a couple
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3  Thank foodloverCambridgeMa
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 10, 2008

Jenny Lake Campground doesn't take reservations, so if there are many people there, you want to go early to get your campsite. When we went, it was $19 per night. There is a bathroom on-site with a few toilets and one sink, but no warm water or soap or anything. There are no showers - you have to drive to Colter Bay (about 30 min one way), where showers are $3.50 each. When we went at 6:15 pm, the showers were closed. Otherwise, it was a nice campground. A few sites have views of the Tetons, and I think they all have bear boxes for your food. Each site has a gravel pad for your tent, a picnic table, a parking place for one car, and a fire pit. There was a group of sites for campers without cars that cost $7/night. The campground is very convenient to the Visitor's Center, Ranger Station, Boat Dock, and General Store. There are also several trails nearby.

  • Stayed: June 2008, traveled as a couple
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4  Thank steidla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 19, 2006

We arrived after dark, set up the tent, a little nervous about the bear boxes (yes there are grizzlies). Nothing to worry about however. There are plenty of reminders everywhere that you are in bear country, not to leave food out etc, so we did take them very seriously!
The camping was wonderful, a short hike to the lake, great trails right from the campground. The sites were good sized. We were able to get a site just driving in, but they do take reservations, and we heard it is one of the busiest campgrounds in the park so we were very lucky, plus it was early in the season. The bathrooms were fine, simple like most campgrounds, but clean and adequate. There is a camp store right next door, with anything you could possibly need, and the prices were very reasonable. If you are too lazy to make coffee in the morning no problem!
There is a ferry boat to take you to the other side of the lake for hiking, or you can just take the trail around the lake which is very easy and worth the hike.The water is crystal clear and we did jump in after a 7 mile hike, even though it was frigid!! The scenery is incredible, we regret we only had one night as we were just passing through. Next time at least a week. This place is a gem.

  • Stayed: June 2006
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10  Thank JudyRGoffstownNH
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Additional Information about Jenny Lake Campground

Address: 8 Miles North of Moose, Grand Teton National Park, WY 83012
Location: United States > Wyoming > Grand Teton National Park
Amenities:
Free Parking Pets Allowed ( Dog / Pet Friendly )
Hotel Style:
Ranked #13 of 16 Specialty Lodging in Grand Teton National Park
Number of rooms: 49
Official Description (provided by the hotel):
The Jenny Lake Campground is situated within walking distance from Jenny Lake and is right along the Grand Teton National Park bike path. All campsites have a picnic table, a fire pit, and nearby flush toilets. There are no shower facilities on site, but several are within a short drive. Jenny Lake Campground accommodates tent camping only. Campground has 49 individual campsites and 10 sites designated for hikers and bicyclists. There are no group sites at Jenny Lake. Campsites are available on a first come, first served basis. June through September the campground typically fills by 9am or earlier daily. Please note: No trailers, campers, or generators are allowed and vehicles cannot be over 8-feet high or 14 feet long. Maximum allowed per site is two tents, one vehicle, and six guests. (For reference, 2 motorcycles = 1 vehicle) The maximum stay permitted is 7 nights. ... more   less 
Also Known As:
Jenny Lake Campground Hotel Grand Teton National Park
Jenny Lake Campground Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

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