Thursday, July 31, 2008

Grand Tetons - Colter Bay Village

In my pre-teen and teenage years my family took many trips to Grand Teton National Park. Every time we went, we stayed in tent cabins in Colter Bay Village, along the shores of Jackson Lake at the base of the Grand Tetons. Tent cabins are a hybrid between log wall cabins and canvas tents. Constructed of two log walls, two canvas walls and a canvas roof, the tent cabins have 2 double-decker bunks, with room for 2-3 cots on the floor. The interior of the cabins also sport a wood-burning stove. The canvas roof extends past the door to the cabin to form an awning, where you will find an area for food prep and a picnic table.

There are communal bathrooms with toilets and sinks with running water. In Colter Bay Village, there is a convenience/small grocery store. They also have a laundromat and showers (which cost a few dollars). There is also a gift shop and a restaurant.

The close proximity to Jackson Lake and the Tetons allows for numerous activities: boat cruises on Jackson Lake, horseback rides, boat rentals (canoes or small motorboats - you could even bring your own boat), fishing, hiking in the Tetons, nature walks, cultural events (Colter Bay Village has an Indian museum, with activities such as bead making, etc). Yellowstone National Park is not too far away, so those wanting to take a bit of a drive (2-3 hours) can easily be within the borders of Yellowstone, and visit waterfalls, hot springs, thermal pots, etc. We could even do a rafting trip down the Snake River.

I made a call a few weeks ago to the tent cabin office to check on rates and availability for next summer. The rates quoted are for this year, and the guy I spoke said the rates will go up for next year, but that it wouldn't be too drastic of an increase. Each tent cabin is $43.00 per night for 2 adults. Each additional adult is $6.00/each. With how many people are in the Hahn Family, we would need at least 5 cabins. Each cabin will sleep a maximum of 6 adults, so we could probably get away with 4, but with all the new babies, this may not work. So, with 5 cabins, and through my calculations, this works out to about $68.29/person for 4 nights for lodging (not including kids - who stay for free). Keep in mind that this will go up, but probably not too drastically.

The main thing I foresee as being an issue for some is travel time/distance, and the accompanying fuel expense. From downtown Salt Lake, it's approximately 343 miles to the tent cabin village, or roughly 6 hours. For those of us in Denver, it's over 500 miles, or roughly 8 hours. So, travel time is quite considerable. Something to keep in mind. But my experience has been that the long drive is well worth it. The area is so beautiful, and there really is a lot to do.

1 comment:

The Nurse said...

i vote for here. i know the drive is a little bit longer but it is so worth it! it was probably one of my favorite vacation places! :) say yes to colter bay! (please?)