Free Camping at Granite Hot Springs

Free Camping at Granite Hot Springs
RV Boondocking, Wyoming.jpg

We left Longmont after the fourth of July holiday and continued our journey north towards Wyoming with a goal of reaching the Grand Tetons.  Leaving Colorado, we first stopped at Dugway Recreation near Rawlins, WY.  The drive to Dugway was flat, one of the most desolate landscapes we've driven through.  We drove through very few towns and as we rolled along I-80, we didn't even see many homes or farms.  But Dugway was a welcome change of scenery, it's located along the bank river and is surrounded by lovely canyon walls.  There was no cell or internet and we had no incentive to stay more than one night but it was a pleasant place to stop.

The next morning we continued north west for about 2 hours on our way to Granite Hot Springs, a site we located through Campendium.  The scenery began to change and Wyoming slowly became beautiful.  It transitioned from flat and desolate to hilly and green and then mountainous with wildflowers and rivers.  

Granite Hot Springs is about an hour south of Jackson, WY and is located in the Gros Ventre Mountains.  The 10 mile bumpy, gravel road runs along Granite Creek and ends at Granite Hot Springs.  Campers can either stay at the National Forest Campground for $15 per night or find a boondocking site anywhere along the forest road as you drive in.  

The first 5 miles of the gravel forest road have small pull-offs, mostly suitable for tent campers.  Then larger areas open up, some pull offs are right on the water's edge and others are high on the grassy field overlooking the river.  Most of the water side spots were taken so we didn't venture down the hill to see exactly how many spaces there were-at least 4, maybe more...In the open fields, we saw at least five large rigs, each spaced out far enough that they didn't feel close to one another.  We were beginning to lose hope that we'd find a boondocking spot and considered staying in the National Forest Campground. Luckily, we stumbled upon a pull off tucked behind some trees.  We were able to fit but just barely.  We struggled for over an hour to back into the space, over large boulders and around low hanging tree limbs.  Despite the frustration and cursing, our persistence paid off and we eventually got the RV in place and level.  And this spot had it all, a fire ring, a path down to the river, mountain views, and privacy.

We spent 5 days here and with no internet and no cell phone service, we used the time to read books, birdwatch, (we saw a Red Naped Sapsucker and a Bald Eagle!!) hike, and explore the nearby waterfall and hot spring.

The spring is a natural hot spring that feeds directly into a man made pool.  The pool was constructed in 1933 by the Civilian Conservation Corp.  There's an $8 fee to get in the pool and after a day of hiking around the nearby waterfall, it was well worth the cost.  

After 5 days, we decided to keep moving but this location ranks as one of our favorites.