Top Six Places to See Wildlife in the Tetons

Jan 16, 2024

Grand Teton National Park is renowned for its diverse wildlife, offering opportunities for visitors to witness animals in their natural habitats. You will have the opportunity to see moose, grizzly bears, wolves, and elk if you are in the right place at the right time! Here are my top six locations to see wildlife in the Tetons.

A moose wades in the water at Schwabacher Landing.

1. Moose-Wilson Corridor

This corridor, located between Teton Village and Moose, is a hotspot for moose sightings. Moose are often found near water sources, and the area is known for its wetlands and dense vegetation, making it an ideal habitat for these magnificent creatures. Look for them specifically in low and slow moving water.

2. Oxbow Bend

Situated along the Snake River, Oxbow Bend is a prime location for spotting a variety of wildlife, including moose, elk, bald eagles, and grizzly bears. The scenic backdrop of the Teton Range adds to the allure of this wildlife-rich area. In the fall, it is a great place to hear the elk bugle, and sometimes you can see the herd moving across the valley from this spot. I’d recommend sitting out here as the sun sets. Right after that is when a lot of the wildlife will start their walk into the open.

3. Antelope Flats and Mormon Row

The historic barns on Mormon Row against the backdrop of the Tetons are a must see! The wide-open spaces of Antelope Flats are perfect for spotting pronghorn antelope (the most common of the wildlife I’ve seen here), bison, and sometimes even coyotes. Besides the actual wildlife, horses are sometimes in the corals here as well, and they can be a fun to see in the vision of classic Wyoming.

4. Signal Mountain Summit

Drive or hike to the summit of Signal Mountain for panoramic views of the Teton Range and opportunities to spot wildlife such as black bears, bighorn sheep, elk, and mule deer. The elevated vantage point provides a unique perspective for wildlife observation, and the spring and fall especially will bring out all sorts of wildlife. If driving at night, be wary, because there will frequently be elk roaming on this dark windy road.

5. Willow Flats and Jackson Lake

Willow Flats, near Jackson Lake, is a prime habitat for a variety of bird species, including trumpeter swans, pelicans, and ospreys. The lake itself is home to otters, beavers, and a chance to see moose along its shores. If you come in the winter, on two occasions I have seen wolves running on the frozen surface of the Jackson Lake from the vantage point of the dam.

6. Schwabacher Landing

Moose love to hang out here and will wade in the marshy water at Schwabacher Landing, a sight I’ve seen many times. One morning I even got stopped by two bull moose fighting it out on the road, blocking the parking lot to Schwabacher. If you’re up for a sunrise, you might just see one, or a mama and her baby here. Stay quiet and do not disturb them, but they are quite a beautiful sight.

7. Jenny Lake

Red foxes are beautiful and elusive, but an animal I have run into several times around Jenny Lake. Though this is a lucky and rare find, do keep your eye out! And do NOT feed or lure them in for photographs.

I have just a few other tips for you!

Remember to maintain a safe distance from wildlife, use binoculars or a telephoto lens for closer views, and observe animals without disturbing their natural behavior. ALWAYS bring bear spray on hikes, because though I don’t have a specific location to send you to to see bears, I have consistently passed them by on trails and it is crucial to understand their behaviors. Do not feed anything, and beyond that, early morning and late evening are typically the best times for wildlife viewing!

And if you want a true expert to guide you around the Tetons in search of photographing wildlife, consider joining ranger-led programs or wildlife tours for expert guidance and information about the park’s fauna.

Enjoy being a part of nature and seeing wildlife in their homes during your visit!!

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