So you want to visit Grand Teton National Park but are wondering where to stay.
Well, if money is no issue, either the Jackson Lake Lodge or Jenny Lake Lodge would be the park's best options. But, if, like most of us, you are on a budget, you might think about one of the cabins at Colter Bay.
Colter Bay actually is a pretty nice basecamp for a Grand Teton visit. It's in a gorgeous, forested setting on the shore of Jackson Lake, there's a marina for boat excursions, a grocery store, and middle-of-the-road restaurants. Plus, the Jackson Lake Lodge complex is just five miles down the road.
As for the lodging options, well, you have two cabins to choose from: either a $39/night tent cabin, which is a bare-bones contraption of canvas, concrete and logs with bunk beds outfitted with thin, vinyl-covered mattresses, or a log cabin, which is a considerable step up, yet still affordable at $124 per night for a cabin with two double beds and one twin.
I stayed in both versions during a recent trip through the park, and while the tent cabin was OK for a night before me and a buddy headed into the backcountry, I wouldn't recommend it for a family looking for a multi-night stay.
The log cabin, which we took shelter in after returning to the front country, was much nicer...but with some glitches.
Actually, I found the log cabin quite charming and acceptable. The quilt-covered beds weren't too bad, the log walls, plank ceiling, and log beams definitely made it feel as if you were in the woods, and the linoleum floor, while aged, was OK.
That said, these units are downright hot during the summer months. While they have heaters to ward off autumn's chill, they don't have air-conditioners. Frankly, a ceiling fan or two would go a long way toward cooling these cabins down, or at least providing some air movement when you're lying in bed trying to fall asleep.
Some towel hooks next to the shower would be nice, as well, not to mention a towel bar next to the sink.
We also shared our cabin with some mice, who left "evidence" of their being in the shower. But hey, this is practically the wilderness, so you have to expect some wildlife in your vicinity.
Overall, these cabins would nicely suit a family of four without breaking your bank account.