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Old 02-18-2016, 10:02 PM   #1
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Colter Bay RV Park

We are planning a June trip out West and were thinking of staying at Colter Bay RV Park. We want to explore the Grand Tetons and Yellowstone while we are out there. I have a few questions:

I've been to Yellowstone years ago in June and it was pretty cold (Florida boy thinks anything below 70 is chilly), would July be any better than June?

It shows about 2hrs drive to Yellowstone from Colter Bay, does that seem realistic? I know bison can really affect that. Would that be a little ambitious for doing Day trips to Yellowstone?

Has anyone stayed here recently? and do you have a location that I can find an online map of the actual campground and sites?

Thank you,


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Old 02-18-2016, 10:23 PM   #2
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Going in July and I split up my stays between fishing bridge and colter bay.

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Old 02-19-2016, 05:07 AM   #3
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Day trip from Colter Bay is possible, especially if you get an early start. The real problem is not the bison, but the cars stopping in the middle of the road. That's minimized if you were to get an early start. That said, if you're trying to really see Yellowstone in multiple trips, then much better to just relocate.

The thing about Wyoming is that the temperature in summer is always perfect twice a day, other times its too hot or too cold. I've definitely seen it pretty hot during the day in Yellowstone during July, and the crowds are going to be at their worst. Personally, I'd take June if there's a choice.
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Old 02-19-2016, 08:25 AM   #4
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Harlee79, that is a good idea to split the time between the two. I have heard that just getting to Fishing Bridge can be challenging with the traffic. I looked at staying at the Old Faithful Inn...Wow! That is pricey. The other idea is staying just outside the West gate and driving in from there a few days, then moving to Colter Bay.

WYRon - Good point about less people in June, that would be good. Heat wouldn't be an issue for a Floridian. We are more concerned about that white stuff on the ground that isn't beach sand.

Thank you,

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Old 02-19-2016, 08:34 AM   #5
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We split ours up into a week in the Tetons at Gros Ventre. Followed by a week inside the West Entrance of Yellowstone at Madison. But we're 40', so that limits our in the park locations. While South Yellowstone is great, we enjoy the Lamar Valley and upper loops of Yellowstone more. So we do an early one day loop south and around. Then do smaller day trips into the Northern regions of the park.

Colter Bay is nice in itself, and if you have the time, a few days in that area with a picnic sunset alongside the lake, is nice. Unless you are very luck and get one of the few sites with a view, you're basically amongst the trees at the Colter Bay campground. Yes, they do have full hook up's available. Where as both Madison and Teton's Gros Ventre you usually end up using the campgrounds dump and water source on the way in and out. Though Gros Ventre has added some power to some campgrounds now. At Madison, another perk is quite often you can walk over and look down into the meadow below with he river flowing thru, and catch the large Elk. Usually you can hear them too. I took a cup of coffee, camera, chair and watched the sunrise, while looking at the big buck of an elk still sitting in the frost of the meadows below. As the sun started coming up, a frost covered hot steam breathing buffalo went walking by the trail within 100' of me. One great way to start a day...

We've been snowed on in June before, while staying at Grizzly RV Park in West Yellowstone.

Last year in May, we were snowed on both while coming in from Cody and also while staying in Gros Ventre. But it made it neat to see the Moose that have adopted the Gros Ventre campground! So weather wise, July would bring both warmer weather, and more crowds.

Crowds? No way around it in both areas, but Yellowstone can be very impacted with traffic problems in the peak months. And buffalo quite frequently do stop traffic for long periods of times. We were in one traffic jam last year, that was three hours long. They like to just cruise along the road for long distances!

I too would recommend earlier then later, for both the crowds, and the cool weather adds to the adventure. Just pack accordingly, top off LP if needed.

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Old 02-19-2016, 10:07 AM   #6
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As an alternative... I would suggest Flagg Ranch..

We stayed there while in the area and we were very happy with the proximity to the South Entrance and the Grand Tetons..

It wasn't anything particularly special.. but we were there to see the parks, not the campground.. it offered FHU sites and was very convenient
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Old 02-19-2016, 03:39 PM   #7
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In our opinion, staying at Colter and touring Yellowstone is way too time-consuming. Move between the two and you'll enjoy it better. Plus, you'd wouldn't see everything in Yellowstone in one day. It would be multiple trips.

Yes, July would be warmer but also much more crowded. September is very pleasant, also.

Here are the web sites for both parks:




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Old 02-19-2016, 03:48 PM   #8
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Just did Yellowstone and Tetons last fall. Yellowstone is huge and takes lots of driving to do it justice. I would NOT recommend trying to see it by day trips from Colter Bay.

Colter Bay is nice but I second the recommendation to consider Gros Ventre. We stayed there and loved it. More primitive than Colter so if you want more comforts go to Colter. Gros Ventre is only about 15 miles outside of Jackson which is a great visit stop.

Whatever you do, DO NOT miss Moose-Wilson road at dusk. Wildlife is amazing!
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Old 02-21-2016, 11:32 AM   #9
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We went in June and stayed for another two weeks in July. I think June was perfect. The weather started out as heavy snowed and melted towards the end of June making the waterfalls spectacular. In July the mosquitoes came into full bloom and made going outside unbearable. We loved everything about Colter Bay RV but stayed a week in at Fishing Bridge to make exploring Yellowstone more convenient. I think the bears are more active in June because they are just coming down from the Mountains and are looking for food. The buffalo didn't stop as much traffic as bear sightings did. If you have time don't miss the 4th of July Rodeo in Livingston MT or the Town of Cody in Wyoming anytime.
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Old 02-21-2016, 01:34 PM   #10
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I've used Colter Bay for both The Grand Tetons and South East corner of Yellowstone.
Moved to West Yellowstone for the balance of Yellowstone.
I'm at 45' so camping inside Yellowstone can't happen.
Driving from Grizzly to the SW of Yellowstone and back in a day is a lot of driving.

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Old 02-21-2016, 02:11 PM   #11
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We did Yellowstone last summer and stayed in Jackson hole. It worked for us, as we went through Teton Nat'l park on the way. It was a bit of a drive but we were there to see things.
The thing that slowed us down quite a bit was having the speed limits in the park at 45 mph. It seemed like everyone was driving 45, not even 46.
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Old 02-24-2016, 07:25 PM   #12
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So it looks like moving between the two camping locations would be best over staying in Colter Bay and driving to Yellowstone. We are 36' long, would we fit at Fishing Bridge? Our other choice would be staying in West Yellowstone and driving in early each day. June will likely be the time we go.
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Old 02-24-2016, 09:40 PM   #13
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Yes, your 36' RV would fit in Fishing Bridge. Your car/truck is parked next to you.

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Old 02-24-2016, 10:20 PM   #14
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We have been to that area many times. To me by a wide margin Colter Bay Village is the best place to stay in that area. I have stayed twice in the campground and twice in the cabins. To me the second best place is Fishing Village. West Yellowstone is OK but Colter Bay is SO much more scenic. The sites are large and situated in pine trees. They have full hook ups. A very short walk and you can see Lake Jackson and the Tetons on the other side of the lake. The sunset views are spectacular. And there are lots of activities you can do from that park or a short drive. White water rafting, or river float trips. Several good 4WD jeep-type tracks close by. Lake and stream fishing. Hikes right around the campground. Ranger station with talks and activities right in the campground every day. A small museum on site. A good restaurant on site.

You are about 45 minutes drive to Jackson. Yellowstone is not far north. Last time we drove to the entrance gate of Yellowstone in about half an hour. However, you are at the southern entrance to Yellowstone so you have to drive a ways to get to some of the places in the park.

There is also a bike path all the way to Jackson. Colter bay is a short drive to the Jackson Lake Lodge which has spectacular views towards the Tetons. The movie Shane was filmed mostly right in front of where the hotel now sits. It was not built yet when the movie was filmed. Watch the movie again to see the views. It is a free one on Amazon on line. Jackson Lake Lodge has very good food. It is where we got our bus to go rafting from last time.

If you want to really splurge go to the Jenny Lake Lodge for dinning.

To me Fishing Village campground is much more central for seeing Yellowstone, but the campground is much less scenic to stay in. By far.

I love Colter Bay Village. Might be my favorite RV Campground of all time. Book Now though. Fishing Village is even harder to book.

June much less crowded than July. Take a jacket. You might be too late already to book prime spots in July.

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