Colter Bay in Grand Teton National Park

Colter Bay with mountains in background

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

Plaque at 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.

Rocky beach at Colter Bay


People walking on boat ramp at Colter Bay
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.


Plaque on rock at hiking trailhead
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

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 visitor center grand teton
inside the visitor center gift shop at colter bay grand teton
Visitor Center
people reading informational plaque on back of visitor center at 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.

General store at colter bay grand teton
inside store at 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

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.


SUV pulling camper

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 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!


GRAND TETON TRIP PLANNER: To read or watch all of our content about Grand Teton National Park, check out our Grand Teton Homepage

THINGS TO DO: Don’t miss all that Grand Teton has to offer including Jenny Lake, Colter BayMormon Row, Teton Village, river rafting, and abundant wildlife

WHERE TO EAT: Check out the best places to eat and where to get groceries and eat picnics in Grand Teton National Park

GREAT CITIES TO STAY OR CHECK OUT: Learn all about where to stay and where to camp when visiting Grand Teton and all there is to do in Jackson, Wyoming

WATCH: Enjoy videos of gorgeous Grand Teton National Park while learning our best tips for visiting by watching our Grand Teton YouTube Playlist


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