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Grand Teton National Park: Colter Bay at Jackson Lake

Leave the big pack behind and take this easy 2-mile loop at Colter Bay for spectacular views of Jackson Lake and several surrounding peaks.

Trip Tools

Hikers can take this short 2.1-mile hike at a leisurely pace and still get rewarded with excellent views of Jackson Lake and the surrounding mountains. Starting at the Jackson Lake Visitor Center, this trail connects two loops and heads out to a small peninsula with forested areas, rocky beaches, and sweeping views across the lake – the perfect place to bring family and a picnic lunch.

From the visitor center, head down the paved path along the marina. Head west toward a narrow peninsula at the outlet of the marina. Here, stop at a small waterside bench to take in the views of Jackson Lake and Mt. Moran to the south.

Next, fork right onto the dirt trail, which leads up a small, forested rise and then descends back to the water’s edge. Cross a narrow spit of rocky ground that connects to the next loop on what would otherwise be a small island. Head left on the outer loop.

On the far side, hikers will find a pebbly beach with bunches of driftwood and panoramic views across Jackson Lake to the peaks on the other side, including Ranger, Doane, Eagle’s Rest, Reynold’s, and Mt. Moran. Pick a great spot to enjoy the sights and a picnic lunch. Keep an eye out for moose, as well, as they’re frequently spotted here.

To head back, continue counterclockwise, eventually getting back on the narrow crossing. Take a left to complete the initial loop and to return to your starting point.

INFO For information on permits, current trail and camp conditions, and wilderness guidelines, go to

PERMIT A wilderness permit is required for all overnight camping in the backcountry. Reservations accepted ($20 administrative fee for permits during peak season).

CONTACT Grand Teton National Park, (307) 739-3300;

-Mapped by Eli Boschetto, Bosco Mountain Photo

To Trailhead

From the John D. Rockefeller Jr. Parkway, turn west onto Colter Bay Village Rd. In 0.9 miles, turn right at Colter Bay Marina Rd. Follow park signs to Colter Bay Visitor Center. Trail begins behind visitor center near marina.

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