Colter Bay in Grand Teton National Park

Colter Bay is an area at the northern end of Grand Teton National Park that is very popular for recreation, camping, lodging, and dining. It is part of Jackson Lake, the largest lake in the park.

Colter Bay in Grand Teton

Naming Colter Bay

Colter Bay is named after John Colter, who was probably the first European to see what is now Yellowstone and Grand Teton.

Recreating in Colter Bay


Anyone can access Jackson Lake to swim or hang out on the shore. The water is cold, so be prepared! The shores are rocky, so bring some water shoes.


Leek’s Marina Boat Ramp

You can also boat on the lake – it’s the only lake in Grand Teton National Park you can boat on. Colter Bay has a boat dock, as does Leek’s Marina, located just north of Colter Bay.


Hiking trail (notice the low water levels)

There are a few hiking trails that go along the shores of Jackson Lake, such as the shorter Lakeshore Trail or the longer Hermitage Point Trail.

Horseback riding

The Grand Teton Lodge Company offers horseback rides at Colter Bay and other areas in the park.

Visitor Center

colter bay grand teton

There is a visitor center available when you arrive. It has a gift shop and other exhibits to explore. From the visitor center, you’ll have great views of Jackson Lake and the Tetons.

colter bay grand teton
Visitor Center
colter bay grand teton
View from behind the visitor center


There are plenty of amenities in Colter Bay, such as a general store for groceries, a gas station, and a few restaurants.

colter bay grand teton
colter bay grand teton
colter bay grand teton
colter bay grand teton


There is one restaurant at Colter Bay: John Colter’s Ranch House. It specializes in BBQ and serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It’s run by the Grand Teton Lodge Company, an official concessionaire of the park.

john colter restaurant colter bay grand teton
john colter restaurant colter bay grand teton


There is one place to stay in Colter Bay: Colter Bay Village, administered by the Grand Teton Lodge Company. These cabins are one of the more rustic places to stay in Grand Teton.


Technically there are two places to camp in Colter Bay. Confusingly, these are owned by the National Park Service, administered by Grand Teton Lodge Company, and reserved on

The Colter Bay Campground is for tenters and smaller RVs. It does not have hookups.

The Colter Bay RV Park is for larger RVs and those who need hookups.

These campgrounds are forested – they don’t provide views of the Tetons, but they are within short walking distance of Jackson Lake, from which you can see the Tetons.


There are a few interesting things located nearby Colter Bay.

  • Leek’s Pizza is a popular place to eat
  • Jackson Lake Lodge is the most impressive lodge in the park.
  • Signal Mountain is a great place to visit for the best overlook of the entire park (well, other than being in the Tetons themselves).
  • Signal Mountain Lodge is a more affordable place to stay.
  • The Trapper Grill (inside Signal Mountain Lodge) offers a famous mound of nachos to eat!

Additional Resources


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