There are so many amazing places to photograph Grand Teton National Park to capture the jagged peaks of the mountains complimented by the surrounding landscape and wildlife.
When you plan your vacation, use our Grand Teton National Park guide and the list of photo spots below to create your itinerary.
Below we share the best sunrise and sunset spots, where to photograph wildlife, recommended camera gear and more!
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CAMERA GEAR FOR LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY
We use a Camera Gear Checklist to help us pack all the equipment we need – that way we don’t forget anything!
We recommend the following camera equipment for taking landscape photos:
1. Camera: You probably already have one, but if you’re looking for something new → check out the compact travel cameras we recommend!
2. Tripod: Using a tripod is something we’ll always recommend. Take a look at these compact and lightweight travel tripods!
3. Camera Bag: Protecting your camera from sand and water is essential. Using a camera backpack is so nice for hiking too. → We use Lowepro camera backpacks for outdoor photography.
4. Neutral density filter: There can be extreme differences in light when taking landscape pictures. To compensate for this variance of light you’ll need to use a neutral density filter. → Check out the Kase magnetic filters we use!
5. Camera cleaning kit: You’ll want a field cleaning kit to remove dust or water that WILL get on your lens. NOTE: this is not for cleaning the sensor. → This is the camera cleaning kit we use!
7. External hard drive: Don’t forget to copy the photos to a portable external hard drive ‘just in case’. → Check out these awesome portable external hard drives.
8. Headlamp: For the best sunrise shots, you want to arrive at your designated location well before the sun rises. Most of the time this means total darkness. Use a flashlight or headlamp to light your way from the parking lot to your spot. Wearing a headlamp allows you to set up your equipment without having to hold a flashlight. Remember to use the red light setting and keep the beam pointed on the ground in front of you to avoid disrupting other photographers in the area taking long exposure shots. → Check out these headlamps with the red light!
GRAND TETON PHOTO SPOTS MAP
Use the map to locate the best photo spot locations at Grand Teton National Park.
PHOTOGRAPH GRAND TETON SEASONS
The different seasons at the park provide an added element to your photos of the Tetons.
- Late Spring & Early Summer: the foliage is a vibrant green, the wildflowers are in bloom, the mountains are snow-capped and the wildlife is abundant: Grand Teton National Park in the Spring and Grand Teton National Park in Summer
- Grand Teton in the Fall: there’s an explosion of bright colors on the trees, and the wildlife is active getting ready for winter.
- Grand Teton National Park in the Winter: the snow covered landscape and mountains are breathtaking.
No matter what time of year you visit, there are endless opportunities to photograph nature at its best.
BEST PHOTO SPOTS AT GRAND TETON
Check out our list of best photo spots at Grand Teton and download the checklist to print and take with you!
At Oxbow Bend, you want to get the reflection of the Teton mountains in the bend of the Snake River.
We recommend you walk around the area to find different views and perspectives to photograph. We like to capture the view of Oxbow Bend just beyond the parking area. If the water isn’t too high, follow the trails to the water’s edge and take photos along the bank of the river.
At Oxbow Bend, everyone likes to face the Teton mountains hoping to get that perfect reflection in the water. BUT REMEMBER, always be aware of the scene in front of you AND behind you.
We wonder how many people missed this amazing show of color and reflection in the river behind them!?
There are numerous places along the river at Schwabacher Landing to photograph the reflection of the Tetons in the water.
If this is your first time here, we suggest going to the main parking lot at the end of the road first. There are a few areas along the trail that provide excellent reflections of the distant mountains, as long as the water is still.
If the weather doesn’t cooperate and the water is choppy, take advantage of photographing a stunning landscape scene with water, trees and majestic mountains.
To reach the other photo spot at Schwabacher Landing, drive back along the road and turn into the smaller parking area to the right. Walk down to the river and look for various spots where the Tetons reflect into the water.
Many people stay in the area near the parking lot, but we prefer to walk along the river a bit farther along the river to the other beaver dam that has created a section of calm water.
The morning light right after sunrise is ideal for photography. The soft light makes the mountains and the reflection stand out since the river and surrounding landscape are still in shadow.
We have photographed Schwabacher Landing during the day and at sunset, but feel sunrise is the best since it creates a ‘pop’ of color in the scene.
Snake River Overlook
The Snake River Overlook is the spot where Ansel Adams photographed the bend of the Snake River over 70 years ago, and brought attention to Grand Teton National Park.
The trees have since grown and obstructed the view so you can’t recreate the famous image.
Sunrise and early morning at the Snake River Overlook is the perfect time to take pictures because the soft light on the Teton mountains makes a terrific background element.
The Snake River Overlook is accessible year round so you can take photos here to showcase the different seasons at Grand Teton.
The landscape in the spring and summer is lush and green; in the fall the grasses and foliage change color; and in the winter the landscape is a beautiful snow-covered scene.
Mormon Row – Moulton Barns
Mormon Row is a popular place for photographers. Some of the most iconic images of Grand Teton National Park are taken here. The historic homesteads here have one of the most scenic backdrops found anywhere in the world!
Mormon Row was established by Mormon settlers in the 1890’s who moved into the Jackson Hole Area from Idaho. There were 27 homesteads established here, and now only 6 homesteads remain standing.
In the 1990’s the cultural value became more apparent and have since been maintained so visitors can appreciate the fascinating past of Jackson Hole.
The two iconic barns at Mormon Row are the T.A. Moulton barn and the John Moulton barn. The T.A. Moulton barn (pointed roof) is south of Antelope Flats road, while the John Moulton barn (rounded roof) is to the north.
WHERE TO PHOTOGRAPH WILDLIFE AT GRAND TETON
PLEASE FOLLOW the guidelines for viewing wildlife at the Grand Teton and listen to the rangers. Bears are emotional, with varied personalities and tolerance levels around their cubs and prey. Give them space.
- When stopping to view wildlife, pull over in a designated turnout – do not stop on the roadway.
- Maintain a distance of at least 100 yards.
- Help keep bears wild and humans safe – Never feed or approach bears!
It’s up to all of us to know how to enjoy nature and be a responsible visitor.
Many visitors to Grand Teton National Park hope to see and photograph a moose.
There are a few places we recommend to find and photograph moose at Grand Teton National Park:
- Gros Ventre Road
- Gros Ventre Campground
- Moose Wilson Road
- Willow Springs
The most important thing to keep in mind…. you CANNOT get a photo on your cell phone or tablet of a bear that fills the frame image at the designated 100 yard rule set by the National Park Service.
Images you see like the one above are taken with telephoto lenses, typically 400-600mm. When you encounter wildlife and don’t have a telephoto lens, simply enjoy the experience. We really like this affordable 500mm lens for photographing wildlife!
Bears can usually be found at these locations in Grand Teton:
- Pilgrim Creek
- Coulter Bay
- Willow Springs
- Signal Mountain
MORE IDEAS OF PICTURES TO TAKE AT GRAND TETON NATIONAL PARK
Photograph the Many Grand Teton Lakes
Grand Teton has many lakes that make great landscape subjects. If you can get a relfection of the Teton mountains in the water, that’s an added bonus!
Grand Teton Photos With Old West Elements
Capturing old-time scenes of western cowboy life adds to the story of Grand Teton National Park.
There are many locations with wooden fences, log cabins and old structures to photograph with the Tetons in the background.
Photographing the Red Hills Near Grand Teton
Take a picturesque drive along Gros Ventre Road for about 10 miles to reach Red Hills.
Enjoy the scenery as you travel along the road in the Bridger-Teton National Forest (no fees).
At the base of the hills is the Red Hill ranch that produces top quality horses. We would recommend you turn and go back once you reach the Red Hills. There was really nothing of interest past that point.
GRAND TETON PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS
Do your research to find the best photo spots at Grand Teton
It’s important to know the best photo spots and best time to photograph each spot at Grand Teton before you arrive. We also like to ‘see’ the general layout of each location so we’ll search the internet, social media and Google Earth to help us plan our photography time before we arrive.
→ Check out these photography guide books for Grand Teton.
Look up sunrise, sunset and weather for Grand Teton
The best light is morning and evening so it’s important to know the current sunrise and sunset times for the days you’ll be visiting Grand Teton. It’s also important to know the weather forecast. There is an awesome local weather site we use: Mountain Weather.
AMAZON Landscape Photography Books:
Plan a Grand Teton Vacation
- Grand Teton National Park Guide
- Visiting Grand Teton National Park
- Best Time to Visit Grand Teton National Park
- Photograph Grand Teton National Park
- Where to Stay Near Grand Teton National Park
Where to Stay in Jackson near Grand Teton:
- Elk Refuge Inn – this is right across from the refuge and the closes hotel to the park entrance – our favorite place to stay!
- Elk Country Inn – awesome property if you want to be in town.
- Vacation Rentals – we LOVE having a kitchen to prepare our meals!
- Hotels in Jackson Hole
- Rent an RV – have it dropped off at your vacation destination!