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BEST PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATIONS IN GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
(WITH MAPS AND PHOTOS)
Grand Teton National Park is a photographer’s dream!
The scenery is so dramatic with the craggy peaks rising above the flat plains and Snake River winding its way through the pine forests and lush meadows.
Here are my favorite photography locations in Grand Teton National Park.
Plus BONUS! Best locations to photograph wildlife in Grand Teton National Park.
BEST PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATIONS IN GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
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MORMON ROW –
ONE OF MY FAVORITE SUNRISE PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATIONS IN GRAND TETON
Image Credit: National Park Service
Mormon Row is a famous spot for sunrise photography in Grand Teton National Park. I have to honestly say that it is one of my favorite spots to photograph the Teton Mountain Range bathed in the morning sun light!
Thomas Alma Moulton Barn with the pointed roof and John Moulton Barn with the rounded roof in front of the towering Tetons are an iconic sight.
And, when the first rays of sun start peaking above the horizon, they bring out the most beautiful shades of gold of the historic barns.
The barns create a stunning image with the Tetons in the background!
HOW TO GET TO MORMON ROW IN GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
To get to Mormon Row in Grand Teton National Park, start driving north from Jackson on Hwy 191/89/26 past Moose Junction and turn right onto Antelope Flats Road.
Follow the road for about 1.5 miles until you see a north-south running dirt road marked by a distinctive pink stucco house on the left with a small dirt parking area.
A trail brochure and interpretive sign can be found at the parking lot.
HOW TO TAKE THE BEST PHOTOS AT SUNRISE IN GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
Sunrise is the best time to photograph Grand Teton National Park.
Actually, to be specific, the best light is about 15-30 minutes after the sunrise. It is the proverbial “golden hour” during which the daylight is softer and redder. Needless to say, it is the time during which the Tetons start to glow.
Moreover, it might seem counter-intuitive, however, if you are shooting at sunrise move your camera away from the rising sun. Notably, turn away from the sun about 90-degrees and check out the colors in front of you. Then, turn some more, probably about 180-degrees. I bet you, you will find the Tetons beautifully illuminated right in front of you.
Honestly, I love taking pictures at sunrise!
Another one of my favorite sunrise photo locations is Grand Canyon National Park.
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OXBOW BEND TURNOUT –
THE MOST ICONIC PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATION IN GRAND TETON
Image Source: NPS
Oxbow Bend is one of the most iconic photography locations in Grand Teton National Park.
You get to photograph the Grand Tetons and Mount Moran reflected in Snake River.
Oxbow Bend is a great location to capture both great sunrises and awesome sunsets.
My recommendation is to be at Oxbow Bend about 30 minutes before the sunrise. You will get to see how the light gradually changes the view. It is pretty spectacular!
Oxbow Bend is a great place to see bald eagles, trumpeter swans, and osprey. In addition, you might get a chance to see otters, beavers, muskrats swimming in the waters of Snake River. Fingers crossed, Oxbow Bend is a perfect location to see and photograph moose.
HOW TO GET TO OXBOW BEND TURNOUT IN GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
Oxbow Bend Turnout is located on highway 191/89/26 between Jackson Lake Junction and Moran Junction. Specifically, it is located about 3 miles from Moran Junction, and about 2 miles from Jackson Lake Junction.
SCHWABACHER’S LANDING –
THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATION FOR BOTH EARLY MORNING AND LATE EVENING IN GRAND TETON
Schwabacher’s Landing is another very popular spot to photograph the Grand Teton Mountains.
My recommendation is to take time and find your perfect spot. There is a trail that starts at the parking lot and goes along Snake River. So, plenty of great photo opportunities of Tetons reflected in the water.
At about two-tenths of a mile from the parking lot, you will get to a beaver dam. This spot is the best place to see some wildlife. Be on the lookout for moose, elk, and bison that like to graze in the grassy meadows along the river. It is a perfect place to see bald eagles, osprey and great blue herons.
HOW TO GET TO SCHWABACHER’S LANDING IN GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
Schwabacher’s Landing is located about 4 miles north of Moose Junction on HWY 191/89/26.
It is easy to miss the turn of HWY 191/89/26 that leads to the trailhead. So, make sure to slow down and be on the lookout for the sign pointing to Schwabacher Landing.
Once you make the turn, continue for about 1 mile. Unfortunately, it will be just a dirt road, so slow down and watch out for potholes.
The parking area is good size, so you should have not problems finding a spot to park your vehicle.
SNAKE RIVER OVERLOOK –
THE MOST FAMOUS PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATION IN GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
Snake River Overlook was the shooting location for Ansel Adams’ famous black-and-white photo which he took in 1942. It is one of the best known and most critically acclaimed photographs.
Now, the tree growth obstructs the view of Snake River. However, no matter that the view of the river has changed since 1942, it is still one of the most iconic views of the Tetons.
HOW TO GET TO SNAKE RIVER OVERLOOK IN GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
Snake River Overlook is located just off of Hwy 191/89/26 between Moran Junction and Moose Junction. Specifically, it is located about 11.3 miles south of Moran Junction, and about 9 miles north of Moose Junction.
HERMITAGE POINT –
THE MOST SPECTACULAR VIEWS OF THE GRAND TETONS
If you like to hike, then my recommendation is to check out Hermitage Point Trail. You will capture the most spectacular views of the Grand Teton Mountain Range.
To top it off, Hermitage Point Trail passes by Heron Pond and Half Moon Bay Overlook.
Heron Pond is quite a sight when it is covered with lilies. Moreover, it is an awesome area to spot some wildlife. And, Half Moon Bay Overlook offers some unsurpassed views of the mountains.
HOW TO GET TO HERMITAGE POINT
The hike to Hermitage Point begins from the Hermitage Point Trailhead.
The Hermitage Point Trailhead is located at the south end of the Colter Bay Visitor Center.
To get to the trailhead, drive about 5.4 miles from the Jackson Lake Junction to the Colter Bay Visitor Center.
SIGNAL MOUNTAIN –
THE BEST SUNSET PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATION IN GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
The observation area at Signal Mountain Summit offers some incredible views of the Tetons at sunset.
By the way, there are two parking lots. I always head straight to the second one and then, I make my way down.
HOW TO GET TO SIGNAL MOUNTAIN IN GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
First of all, turn left off Teton Park Road into Signal Mountain Road. Next, drive for about 5 miles to the summit where there is an observation area.
Signal Mountain Road is a narrow two way traffic road with no painted lines and lots of curves that create poor visibility of incoming traffic and even wildlife. However, it is in good condition and well maintained.
Please make a note that trailers and RVs are prohibited on this road.
HOW TO TAKE PHOTOS AT SUNSET IN GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
Sunset is a great time for the Grand Teton photography.
Specifically, it is about 30 minutes before the sunset, when the famous “magical hour” happens. It is a special time when the sunset light brings out an array of colors.
The key point to remember when shooting sunset at the Grand Teton is to make sure that you point your camera in the opposite direction to the setting sun. In any event, you do not want to point at the sun, but rather, you need to follow the rays of the setting sun. And, focus on the sky. Grand Teton National Park is famous for glorious sunset sky!
I need to add that, although, Grand Teton is awesome for catching incredible sunsets, make sure to plan a trip to Grand Canyon National Park for absolutely breathtaking sunsets! Hands down, in my opinion, Grand Canyon is the best sunset photography location in the United States!
BEST PLACES TO PHOTOGRAPH WILDLIFE IN GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
MOOSE-WILSON ROAD (HWY 390) –
MY FAVORITE PLACE TO PHOTOGRAPH WILDLIFE IN GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
Moose-Wilson Road (HWY 390) runs from the town of Wilson all the way to the Moose Entrance. It is about 14.6 miles long.
The part of Moose-Wilson Road that is the best for viewing wildlife, is a narrow, winding 8-mile scenic section.
The 8-mile scenic section is located between Granite Canyon Trailhead and Moose Entrance. And, hands down, is one of the best drives for observing wildlife in Grand Teton.
Your chances of spotting moose are pretty good! Be on the lookout for mule deer, elk, black and grizzly bears.
HOW TO GET TO MOOSE-WILSON ROAD
You can access Moose-Wilson Road from Hwy 22 (south) or from Moose Junction (north).
RVs and trailers are prohibited on the 8-mile scenic section of Moose-Wilson Road (from Granite Canyon Trailhead to Moose Entrance).
Moreover, about 1.5 miles of the 8-mile scenic section of Moose-Wilson Road is not paved. It is rather bumpy with some potholes. So, slow down. If you have 4-wheel drive vehicle, then you should be just fine. However, I have seen all kinds of vehicles on this road.
Antelope Flats is one of the most epic locations in the American West! It covers an area of 640 acres and offers the most spectacular mountain views.
Moreover, Antelope Flats lies in the path of a primary migration route for pronghorn, bison, and elk, just to name a few. It is a great place to spot coyotes, northern harriers, sage grouse and American kestrels.
Did you know that on December 12, 2016, the NPS purchased 640 acres within Grand Teton National Park from the State of Wyoming?
The Antelope Flats acquisition was made possible by 8-month fundraising campaign by GTNP Foundation which raised $23 million in private funds and was matched by $23 million from the Federal Land and Water Conservation Fund.
HOW TO GET TO ANTELOPE FLATS IN GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
Take Antelope Flats Road off Hwy 191/89/26. Go past the junction for Mormon Row. Continue straight until you reach a three-way intersection. At the intersection, turn right.
Right in front of you will be majestic Antelope Flats.
Continue driving past the town of Kelly and the Gros Ventre campground until you reach Gros Ventre Junction and rejoin Hwy 191/89/26.
WILLOW FLATS OVERLOOK
Willow Flats is used by elk during their calving season (mid-May to mid-June).
Moreover, during the summer months, you might be able to spot a bear in pursuit of elk calves. In addition, be on the lookout for coyotes.
HOW TO GET TO WILLOW FLATS IN GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
Willow Flats is located between Jackson Junction and Jackson Lake Lodge.
From Jackson Lake Junction take Hwy 287/191/89 north until you reach Willow Flats Overlook.
INTREPID SCOUT’S POINTERS FOR THE BEST PHOTOGRAPHY LOCATIONS IN GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
- The Teton Mountain Range faces east. With that being the case, sunrise provides the best light to illuminate the face of the mountains. My recommendation is to rise early and head to one of the best photography locations in Grand Teton National Park to catch some awesome sunrise views of the Tetons.
- Do not expect any solitude at these popular photography locations in Grand Teton. You will have plenty of company! So, make sure to get up early and head to one of your favorite photography location in Grand Teton to secure your spot.
- If you plan on taking pictures at sunrise or sunset, then you need to plan accordingly. First of all, check sunrise and sunset times. Next, check the weather conditions. Finally, allow enough time to get to the best sunrise and sunset photography locations in Grand Teton National Park. My recommendation is to arrive at least 30 minutes before sunrise or sunset, just in time for the Golden Hour.
- It can be very cold in the morning even during summer months. So, make sure to dress warmly and dress in layers. Check the weather forecast as well. The weather can change within a few hours, so be prepared.
- Be aware and be safe! Make sure to have bear spray handy (not in your backpack!). Keep your distance from wildlife.
Also, to give you more ideas for some other great spots for photography locations in Grand Teton National Park, check out my posts:
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