Colter Bay hike

Grand Teton National Park
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Colter Bay hike

Distance: 2.8mi
Elevation: 459ft
Time: 1-2h

Difficulty Rating:

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9 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty

The Colter Bay Lakeshore Trail in Grand Teton National Park is a great family-friendly walk. This gentle hike along the lakeshore at Colter Bay gives exceptional views of the Tetons looking over Jackson Lake.

Colter Bay hike Map

Getting there

Drive to the northern end of Grand Teton National Park and park anywhere in Colter Bay village parking Lot. The trail begins directly behind the Visitor Center.

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When to do

All Year

Backcountry Campsites




Family friendly


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Colter Bay
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Route Description for Colter Bay hike

This is a great family friendly hike, and we have seen seniors and toddlers on it. Enjoy the nice day out – this hike is not a race!

From the trailhead behind the Visitor Center you will be able to look across the dock and the moored boats to the beautiful Teton Range behind them. Stunning! Continue around to the right and take your first left – this is the path going along the north shore of Colter Bay. There is a small outcropping you can go to the end of, which gives a fantastic view back towards the bay! Return from the outcropping and continue hiking along the Colter Bay Lakeshore Trail.

You will shortly reach the isthmus that connects the mainland of Colter Bay to a small island. As you cross over to the island there will be a rocky beach on either side of you – perfect for skipping rocks. There is a path that circumnavigates the small island, and you can go either direction you wish. Along the north side of the island there are several pullouts you can take to get betters views of the mountains. Take these and walk down to the beach to take fantastic photos of the great Teton Peaks.

Continue around the island and return over the isthmus. This time take the trail that leads to the left and hike through a beautiful forest. At the end of you will find yourself at the Park Rangers’ amphitheater, and shortly thereafter the Visitor Center once again.

Insider Hints

  • You can rent kayaks at the Colter Bay Marina, which give a new perspective to the views of the Teton Range.

  • Grab a coffee or a meal at the numerous cafes in Colter Bay. There is a restaurant and a low-key food court located diagonally across to the visitor center.

  • The salad bar at the Ranch House was the highlight for a member of our hiking group – enjoying fresh vegetables can be a luxury when camping.


RobS 3 months ago

Great views of Jackson lake here. Good campsites all around.

9.0 Overall Rating
Physical Difficulty
2h 00m Time Taken
StMilly 4 months ago

We were staying in a campsite nearby so visited this beach it was ok

9.0 Overall Rating
Technical Difficulty
Physical Difficulty
1h 30m Time Taken

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