A Pit Stop a Day (Day 12): Colter Bay Village, Grand Teton

Toby carts luggage into our double room cabin.

Day 12 found us crossing the national park border from Yellowstone to Grand Teton to check in at Colter Bay Village Resort.

Located within the park boundary and managed by Grand Teton Lodge Company (go through them when booking), Colter Bay Village Resort comprises of a campground, tent village, and cabin village clustered around the shore of Jackson Lake. The resort also includes a marina, visitor’s center, store, horseback riding stables, and two restaurants. There is lake access along the marina.

Kayaks for rent along the marina.

The moment we arrived and found our double cabin (one bedroom on each side of a shared bathroom (fits 6), we knew the kids were going to love this place. The winding paved roads joining the various cabins were similar to those of any standard campground, which made meeting other campers, riding bikes, etc easy and fun. Plus, it probably goes without saying, since we never saw a bad view in all of Grand Teton, but the location of Colter Bay is stunning. We had a perfect view of the Tetons and Jackson Lake from the marina (just yards from our cabin).

Jackson lake with view of the Tetons (from marina).

The cabins had an air of authenticity, which we soon learned was earned: each one was salvaged from area Teton ranches and brought to their current location when the village was constructed. In the restaurants, you can find framed photos of some cabins in their original locations.

The interiors are rustic, but comfortable. There is no air conditioning (you rarely need it this high in the mountains), but each cabin does have a heater unit. Our bathroom had it’s own hot water heater, but no bath tub (shower stall only). There are no TV units, microwaves, or fridges. Free wifi is available in the cabin check-in office and in the guest lounge located adjacent to cabin 451.

Cabin interior.

Depending on your cabin location, you may be in easy walking distance to the two restaurants, the marina, the visitor’s center, and the store. If you opt to stay in the campground or tent village instead (canvas tents with wooden porches, bunks, and communal bathrooms), you may have to drive to these amenities.

During our stay, we utilized the many hiking trails, rented a canoe at the marina to explore the lake, and took the kids horseback riding (review to come).

Note: There are two other accommodations within this side of the national park. Jenny Lake Lodge is located on Jenny Lake, and is what I’d describe as a ‘make sure your kids are on their best behavior’ type of place. Jackson Lake Lodge is more family friendly, but does not sit directly on the lake. You do have great lake views, however, and our waiters at Colter Bay told us that more wildlife can be spotted there.

Extra Tip: Nights get cold in Grand Teton! We visited in July, but still needed jackets and long pants several times. You also want to make sure to pack warm pajamas for all: the heaters work, but you are in a rustic cabin with little insulation!

Date last visited: July 3-5, 2010.

Distance off the interstate: Right off Hwy 89.

Room Rates: Rates vary from $60 a night for semi-private cabins (share a communal bathroom) to $209 a night for a two-room private cabin (what we had).

Food Services: We were very pleased with the food at the resort. The Ranch House offered two ‘tiers’ of a breakfast buffet (you could opt for pastries, fruit, and cereals for $7 or a full buffet for $12…kids’ prices $5 and $7, respectively) and was very good. Dinner entrees were more expensive ($12-18 range) but the soup and salad bar option was very reasonable (and very filling). Kids’ menu prices were low. We bought food from the store for lunches, and ate at the cafeteria-style Colter Cafe Court only once: they have sandwiches, Mexican fare, and burgers in addition to a lunch take-out option.

Website: Colter Bay Village

Up Next: We hike to Inspiration Point on Jenny Lake!

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