©Wolfgang Kaehler

A Float in the Grand Tetons


Colter Bay Village

At Colter Bay on Jackson Lake, we rented tent cabins and delved into the art of campfire cooking with grilled corn, barbequed steak, ham with a fresh cherry sauce, sausages, grilled asparagus and a fresh broccoli salad, all thanks to our friend Sharon — our Julia Childs of the wilds. From our outdoor kitchen, we marveled at a view of the snow-splashed Tetons glowing peach in the sunset.

The “cabins” were spare with only bunks with thin vinyl mattresses, wood shelves and hooks, picnic tables and fire pits, and electric lights that came in handy. The location, a short walk from the lake, made the camp worthwhile.

Jackson Lake, vast and majestic, is best viewed from the water. We rented kayaks at Colter Bay Marina and enjoyed a peaceful paddle around islands and through sleepy bays. A scenic breakfast boat ride is another option to soak in the splendor of the lake and surrounding peaks.

Mad River

With record snowfall in the Tetons this winter, now melting and feeding the rivers, the Snake River was raging like a renegade bull with precocious seven-foot waves. The river had turned from the usual carnival ride to a thrill-seekers roller coaster — perfect for us. Gavin, our guide, gave a very serious safety talk, warning of the river’s capricious mood then we jumped in the raft with our paddles. We eagerly galloped down the river, rolling over the level 3 rapids and tackling the level 4s like green bronco riders. To our surprise, we stayed right-side-up and kept all our team-mates in the raft thanks to Gavin’s apt commands and coaching. This river run was a highlight of our trip.


View of Grand Teton Range, HDR photo

When You Go:

Colter Bay Village: Be sure to request a site with a good view of the mountains, otherwise you may be looking mostly at other tent cabins. Visit http://www.gtlc.com/lodging/colter-bay-village-overview.aspx.

Mad River Rafting: To reserve space on a rafting trip, see http://mad-river.com/.

Kayaking and Boat Trips: To learn about kayak rentals at the Colter Bay Marina go to http://www.gtlc.com/activities/marina-kayak-canoe.aspx.

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