7 Locations to See Wildlife in Grand Teton Nationwide Park

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One of many nice joys of spending time in Grand Teton Nationwide Park is the superb alternative to see wild animals. From bison, elk and moose to black and grizzly bears, yellow-bellied marmots and numerous birds, the wildlife watching in Grand Teton Nationwide Park is among the many finest within the nationwide park system.

On this submit, I’ll inform you about my favourite locations to see wildlife in Grand Teton and which animals are generally seen there.

7 Nice Locations to See Wildlife in Grand Teton Nationwide Park

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Residence to a outstanding abundance of enormous animals, together with most of North America’s largest land mammals, Grand Teton can also be super-easy to get round in.

There are primarily two predominant roads by means of the park: Route 26/89/191 and the Teton Park Highway. You possibly can simply mixed each roads to create an outstanding loop drive, which is about 42 miles lengthy.

Driving the Grand Teton Scenic Loop Drive takes you previous the vast majority of the park’s prime points of interest, a few of which could require a brief stroll, detour or hike.

Moreover, a lot of scenic overlooks and turnouts supply epic views of the Jackson Gap valley and the majestic Teton Vary. Particularly within the morning, just a few of these viewpoints present a number of the finest Grand Teton wildlife viewing alternatives. You may also spot animals in Grand Teton alongside its lakeshores and surprisingly near some main and busy areas.

Listed below are my favourite locations to see wildlife in Grand Teton Nationwide Park!

1. Oxbow Bend Turnout

  • Search for: elk, moose, beavers, muskrats, river otters, American white pelicans, nice blue herons, bald eagles and ospreys
Birds at Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park
Muskrat at Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park

Arguably essentially the most picturesque location in all of Grand Teton, the Oxbow Bend Turnout is what you may name “postcard-perfect.” This spot will get its identify from a large curve within the Snake River, making a panoramic view of the river in each instructions, whereas the Teton Vary supplies a powerful background.

For all its scenic magnificence, that is additionally simply probably the greatest locations to see wildlife in Grand Teton Nationwide Park.

At daybreak, nonetheless water typically displays the Tetons, whereas the shrieks, tweets, chirps and songs of many waterfowl and different birds penetrate the silent morning air.

Moose could also be seen foraging amongst willow thickets on the riverbanks. Beavers, muskrats and river otters stay in and alongside the river. Generally, in the event you’re fortunate, you’ll be able to see a bald eagle or osprey (attempt to) pluck a fish proper out of the water.

Oxbow Bend is positioned between Jackson Lake Junction and Moran Junction, alongside the northern a part of the Teton Park Scenic Loop Drive. It’s not more than ten minutes from both Sign Mountain Lodge or Jackson Lake Lodge.

2. Jenny Lake

  • Search for: black bears and grizzly bears, moose
Jenny Lake Trail hiker in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Moose on Jenny Lake Trail, Grand Teton National Park

One of many busiest areas within the park, Jenny Lake is dwelling to a customer heart, historic buildings, a retailer, restrooms, a number of trails and a ship dock. It’s also dwelling to many bears and different Grand Teton wildlife.

When you most likely received’t see any massive animals in the event you simply persist with the paved pathways and customer amenities, venturing a bit additional away from the hustle and bustle places you nicely into the guts of wildlife nation.

The Jenny Lake Path, for instance, is among the park’s hottest trails, looping round Jenny Lake and providing spectacular views of the Tetons. This path will also be mixed with a shuttle boat trip. Different enjoyable hikes within the space are the String Lake and Leigh Lake Trails.

As busy as they’re, these trails do run by means of moose and bear habitat. Encounters are fairly frequent, so guarantee that every member of your group has their very own bear spray cannister and is aware of the way to use it.

We noticed a black bear casually foraging on the String Lake Trailhead—actually subsequent to the restroom—and noticed a moose standing in a patch of bushes lower than 20 yards off the Jenny Lake Path.

Keep in mind that park laws require you to remain at the least 100 yards from bears and wolves, and 25 yards from all different animals. In case you encounter wildlife nearer than that, slowly again away instantly. By no means strategy wildlife and NEVER run from a bear. See the top of this submit for extra details about the way to safely observe and recreate amongst wildlife in Grand Teton Nationwide Park.

3. Antelope Flats Highway

  • Search for: bison, pronghorn, elk, sage grouse, American kestrels and coyotes
Bison in Grand Teton National Park
T.A. Moulton Barn at sunrise, Grand Teton National Park

The Antelope Flats Highway is off Route 26/89/191 a few mile north of Moose Junction. This street runs throughout a big sagebrush plain and previous the well-known Mormon Row Historic District, which is dwelling to the long-lasting and much-photographed Moulton Barn.

Alongside this street, in addition to all through Mormon Row, you’ll be able to see quite a lot of sagebrush wildlife. The sagebrush flats plant neighborhood is considered one of Grand Teton Nationwide Park’s 5 life zones, dwelling to its personal specific set of native animals. The opposite 4 life zones are the alpine, forest, wetland and moist meadow, and lake, pond and river zones.

Animals that thrive in these barren-looking steppe-like flats embrace a few of America’s largest wildlife. This can be a excellent place to see bison, elk and pronghorn. Sage grouse are often noticed right here, too, whereas American kestrels and coyotes hunt small animals like floor squirrels, mice and grasshoppers.

4. Blacktail Ponds

  • Search for: moose, elk, beavers numerous geese and different birds
Blacktail Ponds Overlook, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Moose, places to see wildlife in Grand Teton National Park

Usually skipped by guests, I personally think about the Blacktail Ponds Overlooks to be one of the vital lovely viewpoints in Grand Teton Nationwide Park, particularly at dawn. It’s simply north of the Antelope Flats Highway turnoff, on the other aspect of the street.

Previous beaver ponds which can be nearly crammed with sediment, the Blacktail Ponds are surrounded by lush meadows and wetlands. This grassy and marshy surroundings attracts each elk and moose, whereas beavers proceed to construct dams, maintaining the realm moist and watery.

It’s an outstanding place to see moose in Grand Teton Nationwide Park, whilst you’ll additionally hear a cacophony of fowl sounds right here early within the morning.

I completely love the view from this overlook, particularly when early sunbeams start to mild up the highest of the Tetons in a vibrant pink. Stick round for some time and watch the shadows slowly creep again because the surroundings in entrance up you begins basking in lovely morning daylight.

For a distinct vantage level, you may also stroll right down to the ponds and creeks beneath from the overlook.

5. Cascade Canyon

  • Search for: mule deer, moose, grizzly bears, yellow-bellied marmots and pikas
Moose at Cascade Canyon, Grand Teton National Park
Yellow-bellied marmot in Grand Teton

Cascade Canyon is considered one of a number of glacially carved canyons in Grand Teton Nationwide Park. Positioned on the west aspect of Jenny Lake, this spectacular canyon is accessible both by way of the Jenny Lake shuttle boat or on foot by way of the Jenny Lake Path.

On the mouth of Cascade Canyon, you’ll discover fashionable vacationer points of interest like Hidden Falls and Inspiration Level. This space can also be dwelling to many golden-mantled floor squirrels, that are habituated to individuals and sometimes come proper as much as you, begging for scraps of meals. Do not feed them.

Elsewhere in Cascade Canyon, you may spot a pika or yellow-bellied marmot, whilst you can hear numerous songbirds singing their, nicely, songs all all through this rugged panorama.

Moose and mule deer browse on shrubs and shoots on the mouth of the canyon. Grizzlies roam the backcountry.

6. Teton Park Highway Between Jenny Lake and Sign Mountain

  • Search for: elk, pronghorn, purple foxes, black bears and grizzly bears, sage grouse and dusky grouse
Grizzly bear 399 with cubs in Grand Teton National Park
Dusky grouse on Signal Mountain, Grand Teton National Park

The part of the Teton Park Highway between Jenny Lake and Sign Mountain can also be one of many biggest locations to see wildlife in Grand Teton Nationwide Park.

Throughout our go to to the park, I drove this stretch shut to 10 occasions, each on the way in which to hikes or points of interest and particularly to see some Grant Teton wildlife within the morning. Let me say, although, that you simply don’t must drive the Teton Park Highway that many occasions to see animals! You’re nearly assured to see some animals on any drive on this street.

I noticed elk and pronghorn nearly every time, a moose as soon as and grizzly bears a number of occasions, together with well-known grizzly 399, who has her very personal Wikipedia web page, and her cubs.

Within the Sign Mountain space, I additionally noticed a purple fox and a few dusky grouse, which aren’t precisely high-profile animals, however nonetheless superb so as to add to the listing.

My level is that driving the Teton Park Highway is one thing you’ll do anyway—it’s a spotlight by itself, lined with a lot of turnouts and viewpoints. You may as nicely take your time and do it greater than as soon as.

Contemplate staying at Sign Mountain Lodge throughout your keep in Grand Teton Nationwide Park. There are a campground and quite a few cabins, in addition to a fuel station, restaurant and retailer. It’s an amazing base to discover the park and super-close to many points of interest, too.

7. Willow Flats Overlook

  • Search for: sandhill cranes, elk, moose and grizzly bears
Willow Flats sunrise panorama in Grand Teton National Park
Elk at Willow Flats in Grand Teton National Park

Positioned simply north of Jackson Lake Junction, the Willow Flats Overlook is considered one of Grand Teton Nationwide Park’s hottest overlooks.

From the roadside car parking zone or pullout, you’ll be able to take pleasure in a large panoramic view of the majestic Teton mountains, whereas the sprawling willow flats prolong earlier than and beneath you.

These patches of willows, sagebrush, different vegetation and open clearings are prime wildlife habitat. Round dawn, you’re just about assured to see herds of elk on this space.

Moose often wander by means of and browse the willows, whereas grizzly bears are lively right here as nicely. The truth is, the Willow Flats past the overlook boundary are closed to foot visitors resulting from bear exercise in spring.

When the realm is open to hikers, you’ll be able to hike between Willow Flats and close by Jackson Lake Lodge, a pleasant jaunt by means of considered one of Grand Teton’s most interesting landscapes. Bear in mind to convey that bear spray, although. Bear encounters are frequent right here.

Grizzly bear 399 with cub in Grand Teton National Park

Staying Protected Whereas Watching Wildlife in Grand Teton Nationwide Park

Similar to its northern neighbor Yellowstone Nationwide Park, Grand Teton is dwelling to many massive animals. From moose and elk to bison and bears, all of them are probably very harmful.

To maintain each your self and the animals secure when visiting Grand Teton Nationwide Park, it’s crucial that you simply comply with the park’s pointers and laws.

These actually aren’t obscure, but individuals ignore them yearly and get critically harm and even die from wildlife encounters. For instance, do you know that moose harm extra individuals than bears yearly? And there’s a lot of moose in Grand Teton Nationwide Park!

  • Keep at the least 100 yards away from bears and wolves, and minimal 25 yards from all different wildlife.
  • By no means strategy a wild animal.
  • Use binoculars, a recognizing scope or telephoto lens to watch and/or {photograph} animals.
  • All the time carry bear spray!
  • In case your presence causes an animal to maneuver or react, you’re too shut. Transfer away.
  • Park in roadside pullouts to look at wildlife. All the time be certain all wheels are utterly off the street.

Bear in mind these pointers if you’re at these locations for wildlife watching in Grand Teton Nationwide Park. As I stated above, even busy areas like Jenny Lake are dwelling to probably harmful wildlife.

Consult with the security guides beneath for extra details about observing and mountain climbing amongst wildlife in Grand Teton Nationwide Park.

Have You Spent Time Wildlife Watching in Grand Teton Nationwide Park? Share Your Nationwide Parks Expertise Under!


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