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.
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.
- Visiting Grand Teton and need a game plan? Check out our itinerary.
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.
- Check out our recommended gear page for all our travel must-haves.
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.
- Check out 10 Things to Know About River Rafting in Grand Teton and Jackson Hole for more fun on the water!
The Grand Teton Lodge Company offers horseback rides at Colter Bay and other areas in the park.
- Don’t miss Where Can You Find Wildlife in 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.
There are plenty of amenities in Colter Bay, such as a general store for groceries, a gas station, and a few restaurants.
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.
Visit Grand Teton’s Most Popular Spot with Confidence with Our Complete Guide to Jenny Lake
It includes boat rides, reservations, things to do, how to save miles hiking, and more!
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.
- Learn more about lodging 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 recreation.gov.
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.
- Find out all about camping in Grand Teton.
There are a few interesting things located near Colter Bay.
- Leeks Pizzeria 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!
Anything Else I Should Know?
Need a game plan so you don’t miss out on the best things to do in Grand Teton? Check out our itinerary.
Most travelers want to visit the most popular sites and still avoid the crowds. We have a detailed itinerary that gives you a step-by-step game plan so you can get to the best places at the right times!
But that’s not all! Our itinerary includes a free audio guide to listen to while driving with over 3-hours of stories about the park!
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO GRAND TETON
GRAND TETON TRIP PLANNER: To read or watch all of our content about Grand Teton National Park, check out our Grand Teton Homepage
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