The area immediately north of Jackson Hole is Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park is immediately North of that. There are just no public horse camps because of those parks. There are a few dude ranches in that area. But they are focused on making money from you riding their horses. There is a lot of National Forest land nearby and that is where most horse campers primative camp. Just pull off into the trees and camp for free. Those of us who are from the west, have a different mentality about horse camping than folks traveling in from eastern states. In the photo above, you can see another trailer that is not mine, but another camper who pulled in near my camp and highlined his horses. It's a very common practice.
Here is another highlined camp along the Ashton-Flag ranch road where we just pulled off and camped.
Celeste. It is a stunning area to ride
Grand Teton and Jackson Lake as seen from Grand View
Thanks for the reply! Wife and have traveled from Tallahassee out to Bob Marshal
Montana (primitive - w/high line) and RMNP Grand Lake Col., and Custer SD last 5 summers with our foxtrotters but are still curious about the Snake River - Teton Mts area. You have confirmed what I have have begun to discover. I am little
More concerned about bears and highline use In Teton area than was in Montana. I did find a LQ hook up Camp area 14 miles south of Jackon Wy and 1/2 mile from Hoback junction called Valar Horse Facility. Ever hear of it? Supposed to have several pens and stock trailer for day ride use. Farther from the Tetons than would like but maybe the only game in town.
No, I have not heard of it. But that is pretty close to everything. If it offers what you want, the location is close enough to not be a big deal. Everything up in that area requires a little trailering.
I guess I'm too cheap to pay for a horse camp when there are so many places to just pull off and primative camp. You have just as big of a risk of running into bears along the trails as you do of seeing them in your camp. In fact, I've never seen one in camp but have seen them while riding. And if Bob reads this, he has several stories of surprising grizzly bears while riding near the huckleberries.
While saddling up at Bechler Meadows Ranger station in August, The fellow parked next to me was packing his pack horse. I asked where he was headed. Said his friends bailed on him, but since he had a back country trip permit he was still going to go camping in the back country of Yellowstone alone. He rode off alone to spend a week camping and fishing in the remote areas of Yellowstone. So there are people who camp amongst the bears every summer.
I guess what I'm saying, is that while I am bear aware, I keep a clean camp and don't do things that would attract bears to me, I don't change my plans because bears might be found in the area. Now if I showed up at the camp site and the Ranger warned me that they had a problem bear in the area, I'd probably move down the road.
You will enjoy the area. Lots of touristy things to do after your rides, And some great trails to ride during the days.
We rode the center mountain of the Tetons in Mid August, when the huckleberries were ripe, NEVER again. If you want to ride the Tetons ride them at some other time. The trails on the center mountain go right thru a lot of huckleberry patches. Huckleberries are one of the bear's favorite meals. So if you interrupt their meal, guess who they get a bit teed off with, yep, you got it, YOU.
True Story, What to do with a close bear encounter.
No, you don't run. A bear can reach speed over 40 mph and quick. No, pepper mace doesn't work, but bear mace does, and we carry it. Put at ten feet if he wanted you, you would not have time to draw your gun or mace.
Now here comes the tough part. In anticipation of such an encounter, we asked the locals what you do with a close encounter of this type. Now this is a solo bear, and not one with cubs. Those with cubs you handle differently. And we have had the momma with cubs episodes also.
The locals said if this happens you have to be the aggressor. The hair is still up on the back of my neck, and I'm thinking be the aggressor, ok, nothing else I can think of right now. Remember I'm on a 16.3 hd horse and this bear is bigger than we are. So, I turn his head toward the bear and ask him to take a couple of steps toward the bear, and I can just hear him thinking "are you sure you want to do this?" He takes the steps toward the griz and the bear gets down and walks up the mountain. Now who trained who here.
And that is not the end of this story.
We go a short distance down the trail and come up a solo hiker. No gun, no maze, no nothing except he is white as a sheet, and I'm sure he needs his diaper changed. As it turns out there were two bears at that location, one on each side of the trail. He said he was sure he was done for. He got down on all fours crawled a short distance, took a picture and headed down the trail.
We had not gone very far and the wife said he is trying to catch us. Sure enough he is running full bore down the trail to catch us. And he says " I'm not going to let the cavalry out of my sight until we get off of this mountain"
The End, And this is a true story, almost sounds like a fair tale when you re-read it.
We encountered bear, lots of bear everyday that mid August in the Teton's. The Teton's are absolutely beautiful, but need to be ridden when the huckleberries are not ripe.
Close encounters with the sow and twin cubs. We are riding along a trail just up hill about 50 yards from a lake shore, when all of sudden we hear this blood curdling scream and now I have 2 bear cubs in the fir tree not 2 feet from me. They are up there screaming their heads off and the fur and fir are flying everywhere, and Momma bear is raising a similar ruckus down at the shore line. You give momma bear her way. We are in heavy down fall and getting thru it, off the trail, is a real task. But we exit rear and swing way out and around the bear cubs. Finally get to the trail head, not over 1/2 mile away. And find some oriental folks wanting to take pictures. We warn them of the sow and cubs, but as we are loading the horses, we see them trot off down the trail in search of pictures. You can not fix stupid.
What do to with a bear looking for a free meal.
One day we are riding up the mountain and all of a sudden this young couple comes running down the trail, screaming, "there's a bear after us". Sure enough here comes the bear. Fortunately, just a little guy, only stood about 3 ft tall, when on all four. The got behind us, and I just started walking up the trail directly at the bear. Got about 10 feet from it, and it turned and went up the mountain. Seems this bear had picked up the habit of aharrassing hikers, and the hikers threw him a sandwich to get rid of him. Signs, everywhere. "Do Not Feed the Bear". You can not fix stupid.
Can not fix real stupidity.
One day we were walking up the trail and my horse smells bear. Sure enough, I walk over to a large downed tree, and at the other end is a crotched down bear. Just below us in a little valley there's a family with some small children camped. I warn them of the bear. As we are riding off we see this 6 or 7 year old girl going up to the bear with a sandwich in her hand, and Dad standing back with the camera.
That's enough of the bear stories, we have many more but don't want to bore anyone.
Bear do not bother me so long as everyone in the party uses some common sense. Now, mountain lions, are a different story the scare the living daylights out of me. Fortunately, there has always been plenty for them to eat and they like the higher country.
Would a Mountain Lion be more inclined to attack a single rider rather than multiple riders on trail? Bears too? I have only ran into a black bear on trail once, good size male who turned and ran back down where he came from. Thrilling but, a tad heart racy. I can only imagine the wildlife out west.
I've never had trouble with cougars or black bears. I've seen others searching for their small dogs that got snatched around camp grounds. But usually I just see tracks where they checked me out and moved on. It's rare to actually see a cougar in the wild. I've had cougars sneek right up behind me while I've been hunting and hidden with camo clothing and scent free. Usually we can stand up and holler at them and watch them run.
But the Grizzly bears do put the fear into most folks. So much bigger and so much more likely to stand their ground. My experieces with the horses around them is pretty limited since we really don't see them very often. But fishing trips to Alaska have taught me a deep respect for them up there.