Finding a room in Grand Teton is not terribly hard, if you plan far enough ahead. And even if you wait until the last minute and find the park sold-out, the town of Jackson is closeby with its somewhat plentiful possibilities.
In Grand Teton there are four primary lodging complexes that offer everything from decidedly Spartan "tent cabins" to charming, well-appointed rooms running hundreds of dollars a night.
Colter Bay Village
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.
For lodging options you have several varieties of "cabins" to choose from: either a $52/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 $65-$219 per night for a cabin. Those rates reflect that some cabins have no bathrooms, some feature one bedroom and bath, and the high-end come with two bedrooms and a single bathroom.
While the tent cabins are OK if you're in transit to, for instance, a backpacking or paddling trip, they're not the best for a family looking for a multi-night stay unless you're on a very tight budget and don't mind smelling like smoke.
The log cabins are much nicer, offering both a roof overhead plus stout log walls that make you feel secure from the grizzly and black bears that roam this landscape. Inside the beds are covered with quilts, the walls are a charming log construction, overhead there is a plank ceiling supported by log beams that definitely reflect the park's setting. That said, these units can get quite hot during the summer months. While they have heaters to ward off autumn's chill, they don't have air-conditioners.
These are not upscale units, so don't expect the Hilton. Cabins with bathrooms offer a shower, sink, and toilet. But overall these cabins would nicely suit a family of four without breaking your bank account.
Jackson Lake Lodge
This is a sprawling complex that features rows of cottages rimming the main lodge, a large complex with hundreds of rooms, two restaurants, a gift shop, and beautiful views across its namesake lake.
The cottages come in a variety of offerings, from a "Classic Cottage" room with two beds and bathroom all the way up to "Mountain View Suites," which overlook Willow Flats, have a small sitting room in addition to the bedroom, king-sized bed, and coffeemaker and refrigerator.
The "Classic Cottages With Patio" feature one king-size bed, private bath, and small patios perfect for an evening picnic.
"Mountain View Cottages" come with either two double beds or a single king, a patio or balcony with views of the Tetons, small refrigerator, and private bath.
2011 rates range from $229-$319 a night, while suites range from $625-$775.
Inside the main lodge are three types of rooms -- Main Lodge Room, Mountain View Lodge Room, and the Moran Suite. None has a balcony. The Main Lodge Rooms don't offer mountain views, and are located on the third-floor. The rooms come with two queen beds and private bath. The Mountain View Lodge Rooms also are on the third floor, face Jackson Lake and the Tetons, and come with private bathes and mini-refrigerators. The Moran Suite -- there's only one -- offers two rooms. The bedroom has a king-bed and a private bath with jetted tub. The other room has a small kitchenette, dining area, and second bathroom.
2011 rates range from $229-$319 for the lodge rooms, $625-$775 for the suite.
In the lodge itself are two dining rooms -- the Mural Room is for fine dining and has stunning views of the Tetons and Jackson Lake, while the Pioneer Grill is a fast-food operation perfect for breakfasts and lunches.
Jenny Lake Lodge
Jenny Lake Lodge is a stand-alone, high-end property in a gorgeous setting close to the flanks of the Tetons. You're not likely to find many kids running around here, as the nightly rates, which include a 5-course dinner (gentlemen are asked to wear jackets), breakfasts, horseback riding, and bicycles at your disposal, start at $620 and climb to $885.
The accommodations are in beautifully maintained and decorated cabins with private baths. The suites also offer wood-burning stoves, a sitting parlor, and if you rent the Water Lilly Suite, a jetted tub.
Meals are taken in the main lodge building.
On the shores of Jackson Lake, this lodge is well-suited for families, with accommodations ranging from lodge rooms and one-room cabins to houses complete with kitchens for handling your own meals.
The cabins come in a variety of sizes to handle from 2-6 people, while the "Home Away from Home" unit is a three-room log cabin that can sleep six. It also has a kitchen and laundry area.
2011 rates run from $131.75 to $300.25.
Within this lake-side complex you'll find a formal dining restaurant, pizzaria, and short-order grill. There also are boat rentals.
Located near park headquarters, this complex meets an array of park visitor needs: There's a rental shop for paddling sports and mountain bikes, a grocery and deli, wine store, pizzeria, and a dozen log cabins.
Rates $125-$250 per night, depending on season and number of bedrooms.
This historic dude ranch has been taking guests since 1926, or long before Grand Teton was a national park. It is the only in-park lodging open year-round.
Summer rates cover a week's stay and include all meals and horseback riding, though the staff also can arrange float trips, pack trips, fishing or hunting.
2011 summer rates range from $1,600-$2,270, depending on whether you are in a one-, two- or three-bedroom cabin and by yourself.
Winter rates in 2010 were $125 per night. The ranch can accommodate 30 guests a night in winter, when you can spend your days cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, or snowmobiling, and return to the lodge to warm yourself in front of the main lodge's fireplace.