This site uses affiliate links, meaning that if you make a purchase through our links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

Grand Teton National Park is full of surprises for wildlife enthusiasts. Of all the national parks that I have visited, I have to say that Grand Teton offers the best opportunities to observe animals in their natural habitat. Here are the 5 best places to see wildlife in Grand Teton National Park.

If you planning a trip to Grand Teton National Park then you should not miss the 42-Mile Scenic Loop Drive in Grand Teton (24 Stops You Can’t Miss). It is a scenic drive (loop) through the park that will take you to some of the best viewpoints.

Do you like to hike? Grand Teton National Park is a hikers’ paradise. The scenery is breathtaking and the views are off the charts. Check out the 17 Most Scenic Hikes in Grand Teton National Park and decide which ones are the best for your fitness level (there are hikes for everyone: short and easy, as well as strenuous and challenging).

Grand Teton National Park At-A-Glance

Before diving in, here are a few highlights to help you plan your trip:

  • Best Time to Visit Grand Teton National Park

Hands down, summer is the best (and most popular) time to visit Grand Teton National Park. The weather is warm and all park facilities are open. However, my favorite time to visit is early to mid-September. The weather can be awesome in the fall and it is a great time to avoid the crowds and find some solitude on the trails.

  • Where to Stay in or near Grand Teton

Nothing beats staying inside the park! There are several great lodges inside the park. However, you need to make reservations well in advance. If all the lodges are booked, then there are a few places that I stayed at, and I highly recommend them. In addition, there are great campsites inside the park as well. To sum up, before you make any reservations, make sure to check out my post Where to Stay in Grand Teton: 7 Amazing Places to Stay.

  • How to Get to Grand Teton National Park

Grand Teton National Park is located in northwestern Wyoming and the closest airports to Grand Teton National Park are Jackson Hole Airport (JAC) – 8 min, Idaho Falls Regional Airport (IDA) – 2 hours, and 11 min, Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) – 5 hours. Now, Salt Lake City International Airport is a major airport and all major airlines fly into this area from large cities all over the U.S. and internationally. Use Skyscanner to browse flights and find the best price.

  • How to Get Around in Grand Teton National Park

There is no shuttle service in the park and the best way to get around is by having your own car. I use dicovercars.com to browse deals on rental cars or rent an RV or campervan with Outdoorsy!

  • Intrepid Scout’s Tip:

It costs $30 to enter the park. The entrance pass is good for 7 consecutive days. If you are visiting several national parks then make sure to get America the Beautiful National Park Pass. This $80 pass is valid for 12 months and gets you into all 400+ national park sites!

5 Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton National Park

NUMBER 1

Moose-Wilson Road

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

Map of Moose-Wilson Road in Grand Teton National Park. Image Credit: National Park Service

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

Moose-Wilson Road (HWY 390) runs from the town of Wilson to the Moose Entrance. It is about 14.6 miles long. However, the part of Moose-Wilson Road that is the best for viewing wildlife, is a narrow, winding 8-mile scenic section that is located between Granite Canyon Trailhead and Moose Entrance.

You can access Moose-Wilson Road from Hwy 22 (south) or Moose Junction (north).

What you need to know is that 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 a 4-wheel drive vehicle, then you should be just fine. However, I have seen all kinds of vehicles on this road.

Also, do not plan on stopping along the way. Unfortunately, over the past few years, the National Park Service has blocked off the majority of pull-outs so there aren’t many spots to stop and view the wildlife. So be on the lookout for wildlife while you are driving.

Your chances of spotting moose on Moose-Wilson road are pretty good! Be patient and vigilant. Eventually, you will see them, either crossing the road or standing at the edge of the forest.

When I saw a moose for the first time, I was just blown away by their size. They are huge! The average female weighs 771 lbs and the average male weighs 881 lbs and some of them can get up to 1,800 lbs!

Their average length is just shy of 8’ to just under 10’.A bull moose’s antlers can spread up to six feet from end to end.

Moose in Grand Teton

Moose are huge! The average female weighs 771 lbs and the average male weighs 881 lbs and some of them can get up to 1,800 lbs!

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

Moose are incredibly near-sighted. Their eyes are great for spotting nutrient-rich vegetation on the bottom of ponds and shallow lakes while they graze, but they can’t see across long distances worth anything.

They can store 100 lbs of food in their stomachs!

They can close their nostrils, which gives them the ability to graze under the water. Also, moose have no upper front teeth. This space allows them to suck small marine plants into their mouth while grazing underwater.

Moose in Grand Teton.

Moose are incredibly near-sighted. Their eyes are great for spotting nutrient-rich vegetation on the bottom of ponds and shallow lakes while they graze, but they can’t see across long distances worth anything.

Moose in Grand Teton

Moose have no upper front teeth. This space allows them to suck small marine plants into their mouth while grazing underwater.

Females (cows) often give birth to twins, and even sometimes triplets. They are very attentive and protective mothers. Calves are able to browse alongside their mothers after around 3 weeks and are weaned at about 5 months. They however stay with their mothers for at least a year.

Moose in Grand Teton

Females (cows) are very attentive and protective mothers. Calves are able to browse alongside their mothers after around 3 weeks and are weaned at about 5 months. They however stay with their mothers for at least a year.

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

Be on the lookout for grizzly bears. Especially look for the famous Grizzly 399 (born 1996) inhabiting Grand Teton National Park and Bridger-Teton National Forest.

Grizzly 399 is the most famous brown bear mother in the world, with her own Facebook and Twitter accounts. She is followed by as many as 40 wildlife photographers, and millions of tourists come to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem to see her and her cubs.

Bears in Grand Teton

Grizzly 399 is the most famous brown bear mother in the world, with her own Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

Grizzly 399 is known for having become habituated to people when near roads and mildly developed areas. A researcher determined that she seeks these roadside areas over the backcountry because it is safer for her cubs, where male bears often try to kill them. The fact that she spends much time near roads has also contributed to her popularity.

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

A researcher determined that she seeks these roadside areas over the backcountry because it is safer for her cubs, where male bears often try to kill them.

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

She has reared much successful progeny, including 16 cubs and grand cubs. In mid-May 2020 she was observed with four new cubs born the previous winter.

One of her offspring grew to also be a prolific mother and was tagged for research as Grizzly 610. In 2011, Grizzly 610 had twins while Grizzly 399 had another set of triplets. The scientists observing the bears were concerned due to 399’s advanced age, but to their surprise, Grizzly 610 amicably adopted one of her mother’s triplets.

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

She has reared much successful progeny, including 16 cubs and grand cubs. In mid-May 2020 she was observed with four new cubs born the previous winter.

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

Don't Have Time To Read it Now?

Why Not Save the Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton National Park!

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton
Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

NUMBER 2

Antelope Flats

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

Map of Antelope Flats in Grand Teton National Park. Image Credit: National Park Service

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

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.

To get to Antelope Flats, 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.

Hands down, Antelope Flats is one of the best places to see wildlife in Grand Teton! So be on the lookout for wildlife!

A Quick Read:

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 an 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.

I think your chances of seeing a bison are very good on Antelope Flats Road.

Did you know that bison is the largest North American land mammal? Adult males can weigh up to 2,000 pounds!  They look docile but be very cautious and do not approach them. They can jump a 6-foot fence from a standstill and gallop at speeds up to 35 mph.

Bison in Grand Teton

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.

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

Before their near extermination, an estimated 30 million to 60 million bison ranged from Canada to northern Mexico and from the Plains to Eastern forests. By about 1890, roughly 1,000 remained, including two dozen in Yellowstone National Park. Conservation efforts have restored numbers from some 1,000 animals to about 500,000.

Bison in Grand Teton

An estimated 30 million to 60 million bison ranged from Canada to northern Mexico and from the Plains to Eastern forests. By about 1890, roughly 1,000 remained.

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

I hope you get to see the great pronghorn migration! it happens each spring and fall when hundreds of pronghorn travel 170 miles to and from their summer range in Grand Teton National Park. This great pronghorn migration, named by U.S. biologists as the Path of the Pronghorn, is remarkable and one of the last, long-distance land animal migrations in the world.

Pronghorns are the fastest land mammal in North America. Their average running speed is 40 MPH, but they can run at speeds of up to 60 MPH for long distances. Pronghorns have 13 distinct gaits – one reaches up to 20 feet per stride.

Pronghorns in Grand Teton

The Path of the Pronghorn is remarkable and one of the last, long-distance land animal migrations in the world.

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

Pronghorns got their name from the horns that point backward toward their rump and then prong. Both sexes have horns, but the buck’s horns are longer and measure 12 to 16 inches.

Pronghorn in Grand Teton

Pronghorns got their name from the horns that point backward toward their rump and then prong.

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

NUMBER 3

Willow Flats Overlook

Best Photography Locations in Grand Teton National Park

Map of Willow Flats Overlook in Grand Teton National Park. Image Credit: National Park Service

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

Willow Flats is located between Jackson Junction and Jackson Lake Lodge. To get there, take Hwy 287/191/89 north until you reach 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.

The best time to see animals here is in the early morning while they are feeding.  Once they bed down for the day, they become very difficult to see in the tall grass and willows.  The evening is also a great time to view wildlife here because once again, as it begins to cool down, the animals start feeding and moving around again.

Elk in Grand Teton

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.

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

NUMBER 4

Oxbow Bend

Best Photography Locations in Grand Teton National Park

Map of Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park. Image Credit: National Park Service

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

Oxbow Bend is one of the best places to see wildlife in Grand Teton. It is a great spot 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. Also, be on the lookout for river otters!

River Otters in Grand Teton

River Otters are capable of staying submerged for up to 4 minutes.

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

River Otters are capable of staying submerged for up to 4 minutes and of swimming a quarter of a mile underwater.

River Otters are very sociable. You will usually them in family groups. It is fun to watch otters play. They like to chase each other and toss and dive for rocks.

River Otters in Grand Teton

River otters are very sociable. You will usually them in family groups.

River Otters in Grand Teton

It is fun to watch them play!

Fingers crossed, Oxbow Bend is a perfect location to see and photograph moose.

Moose in Grand Teton

Oxbow Bend is a great place to spot a moose. 

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

NUMBER 5

Schwabacher Landing

Best Photography Locations in Grand Teton National Park

Map of Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton National Park. Image Credit: National Park Service

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

Schwabacher’s Landing is another very popular spot to see wildlife in Grand Teton.

There is a trail that starts at the parking lot and goes along Snake River. So, plenty of great places to see wildlife. At about two-tenths of a mile from the parking lot, you will get to a beaver dam and hopefully, you will be able to spot some beavers.

Beaver Dam in Grand Teton

Map of Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton National Park. Image Credit: National Park Service

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

A Quick Read:

April 7 is International Beaver Day! So, here are some cool facts about beavers:

  • Beavers have long incisors that get their orange color from an iron-rich protective coating of enamel. Their teeth grow continuously throughout their life, but daily use helps trim them down.
  • Beavers build watertight dams made of woven sticks, reeds, branches, and saplings caulked together with mud and rocks.
  • Beavers build dome-like lodges that are often constructed away from the shore, forming islands that can only be entered from the water. A lodge can have multiple underwater entrances, with living quarters located at the top above the waterline.
  • Beavers communicate using scents, vocalizations, and posturing, but one of their most important signals is the tail slap. Typically performed by an adult, this loud alarm signal alerts others to seek refuge in deep water and may even frighten a potential predator away.

Source: Smithsonian’s National Zoo and Conservation Institute

Beaver in Grand Teton

Beavers have long incisors that get their orange color from an iron-rich protective coating of enamel. Their teeth grow continuously throughout their life, but daily use helps trim them down.

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

Schwabacher’s Landing is another very popular spot to see wildlife in Grand Teton.

There is a trail that starts at the parking lot and goes along Snake River. So, plenty of great places to see wildlife. 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.

Intrepid Scout's Tips for the Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

Here are some important tips on wildlife viewing etiquette that will help keep you and the animals say safe:

  • Keep a safe distance

This is critical for your well-being and for the animals you encounter. It is never safe to approach a wild animal. Use a pair of binoculars! A zoom or telephoto lens will help capture the moment on film.

  • Avoid making too much noise

While making your presence known on hiking trails is a standard safety precaution to prevent surprise encounters, it’s equally important to avoid making loud noises when observing wildlife in its natural habitat.

  • Be aware of breeding seasons

Tensions run high during rutting season and males naturally become more aggressive. Also, maintain a respectful distance to help alleviate stress for mothers and their offspring.

  • Never feed wildlife

Animals in the wild should never depend on humans for food. Throw all waste into a bear-resistant garbage disposal. or pack it out with you. And remember, no matter how cute, feeding a wild animal takes away the healthy fear of humans that makes it wild.

  • Leave no trace

Always try to minimize your impact on flora and fauna when visiting a national park or protected wildness area. Walk gently, observe respectfully and leave without a trace.

Source: Pursuit

Now, It Is Your Turn, I Would Like to Hear Back from You!

Are you planning your trip to Grand Teton National Park?

Please let me know! Drop me a quick comment right below!

Click on any of the images below to get inspired and to help you with the planning process with your trip to Grand Teton National Park!

Did You Find This Useful?

Why Not Save the Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton National Park

Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton
Best Places to See Wildlife in Grand Teton

Leave an answer

Your email address will not be published.

The company processes your data to facilitate the publication and management of comments. You can exercise your rights of access, rectification, deletion and objection, among others, according to our Privacy policy.