Monday, September 13, 2010


Red pushpin is Tetonia, Id, surrounded by mountain ranges.

Tetonia, Idaho – ever heard of it?  We hadn’t, until we dug into the Passport America directory, looking for an inexpensive full hook up site between Baker’s Hole – no water or sewer – and our planned boondocking site in Grand Teton National Park.   Since no such animal exists traveling through Yellowstone National Park to Grand Teton National Park, we decided to take a longer, western route, and picked Teton Mountain View RV Park (click here to read our review and see photos), in tiny Tetonia, ID, as our goal.

We had a fantastic site at Baker’s Hole – huge, with electricity, with a gap through the trees for the satellite TV dish to do it’s thing.  We had plenty of choices when we arrived on Tuesday, and by Thursday we were beginning to see how lucky we had been as the campground filled early.  Friday was the same and, on Saturday afternoon, campers in the non-electric sites were walking purposefully through the campground checking the dates slips on the electric sites to see which rigs would be vacating their site on Sunday. 

Jules on Horse Butte, near Baker's Hole, admiring Hebgen Lake. That’s a tricky business because, since Baker’s Hole is a first-come, first-served campground, campers can extend their stay from day to day, up to 16 days (we had already extended twice), as long as they do it before the 2 pm checkout time.   On Saturday evening, after a couple of hours of watching rigs circle the campground (which was completely full) and campers wander past, peering at our site and our slip – marked 9/12 in big numbers – we heard a knock on the door.  A fellow Escapee, currently parked in a non-electric site, wondered if we were really leaving on Sunday.  When we said “yes”, his face lit up. 

At Baker’s Hole, if you can find someone leaving, you can pay for the next day (or more), and put YOUR payment stub on the site pole under the current stub, thus guaranteeing yourself the coveted site.  That’s what he did (after discussing with us), and he went away happy.

On Sunday morning, the campground was jumping!  Campgrounds usually empty out by Sunday afternoon, but not this one – at least not this Sunday.  As we walked the loops to get our exercise before we hit the road, some rigs were departing, others were arriving, and still others were moving from one site to another. 

Beautiful landscape along Madison Arm Road near West Yellowstone.That in itself provided us with much entertainment – and then our social life kicked in.  Walking past a big 5th wheel, Odel thought he heard someone say his name.   He turned, and an unfamiliar face said “Odel?  Are you Odel?  I read your blog!”  This always kind of thrills me, and we stood talking with Mark and Lisa, blog readers from Texas, for a few minutes before they took off for their day’s explorations.  Fun!

Two more bends in the road and we ran into Jerry and his wife (with the pretty, unusual name that I can’t remember), new fulltimers from California we met 10 days ago when we visited Diana and Steve at Norris Campground in Yellowstone.  Small world!  We could have chatted with this enthusiastic couple for much longer, but we needed to get a move on.  It felt like we were leaving a comfortable old neighborhood.  :)

We were on the road by 11:30 for the short drive west and south to Tetonia.  The entire ride was beautiful, but especially so as the snowy Teton Range came into view to our east.  When we left Hwy 20, we came closer, closer, closer to these famous peaks, then turned south to run along their western flank.  Eye-popping!

Teton Range from the west, near Tetonia, Idaho Tiny Tetonia is surrounded by mountain ranges on three sides: the Teton Range to the east, the Big Hole Mountains to the west, and the Snake Range to the south.  We are very happily settled in at Teton Valley View RV Park, with a GREAT view of the Teton Range right out the window.  We’ve got full hookups, satellite TV, phone and internet service.  Hooray for off-season: the park is one quarter full (no close neighbors) and we’re paying Passport America rates, half price ($15) for as many nights as we want to stay. 

First on my agenda after check-in was a long, hot shower.  We did four washers full of laundry in their giant commercial front-loaders, after we had scouted out an 18 hole golf course for Odel ($22).  The weather report shows sunny skies, highs in the 70’s, lows in the 40’s for the remainder of the week.  We have a 40 mile designated scenic drive from here to Jackson, WY, on today’s schedule.  So far, we’re liken’ Tetonia!


  1. Laurie! Not only have we heard of Tetonia, but that is where Steven and I own property! The lovely "Lot 5" is 3.25 acres with a stunning 360 degree views of the Teton & Hole Mountains, as well as much of the Teton Valley! We LOVE that area, and have stayed at the TTV RV park several times. If it is still there, check out the North End Bar & Grill for burgers and fries. Our favorite place in the area (and about the only one, too!)

  2. Sounds like you two have a great spot...the view of the Tetons is like a postcard...We have been there, but, as usual, it was a gazillion years ago! Autumn is a great time to be there,too! Be safe and have fun...

  3. Hi again,

    Just wanted to share this blog entry with you from our trip to Tetonia last summer. Scroll to the bottom of the entry to find a link to a little movie Steven put together of the area. It's all of two minutes long, but fun (for us, anyway. :)


  4. As usual, Laurie, absolutely beautiful photos! Keep 'em coming.

  5. It's great when you happen to run into people you know, or those who read your blog! Glad you found that gem of a park east of the Tetons. I've been to Driggs, ID (in a former life) so I've seen a similar view of those gorgeous peaks. Enjoy your time there!

  6. You have to get to Coulter Bay Village. It is an awesome place and they have full hook-up but we prefer to stay in the national campground there. The grill has great chili and a wonderful breakfast plus they have gift shops and a lovely museum.

  7. I almost forgot they have a great hiking trail out on the island.

  8. I am really enjoying following along with your travels across the west. Those are places we have not been yet, so we are taking notes!

    Karen and Steve
    (Our Blog) RVing: Small House... BIG Backyard