Prior to planning my trip to Yellowstone, I had never heard of its neighboring national park, Grand Teton. After seeing a few Pinterest photos and guides, I was more than excited to visit both these incredible parks. However, out of the two, Grand Teton offered more hikes and viewpoints that are perfect for getting incredible nature and wildlife shots. The Tetons are the main view of the park and when you visit you can see exactly why. They set the scene for floating down rivers, throughout your hikes, and grandly stand while you enjoy your serene stay at the park.
Heron Pond & Swan Lake Loop
3.0 miles roundtrip, 2 hours, 200 ft total climbing.
This easy, mostly level trail leads to two beautiful ponds. When we went in late August, both ponds were covered in lily pads which made for interesting but great photos. If you are lucky enough, you might be able to catch sight of a porcupine or the other interesting wildlife of the park.
4.2 miles roundtrip, 3 hours, 1050 ft total climbing,
This more strenuous trail first climbs to an overlook of the lake, then continues on to Phelps Lake itself. If you are willing to put up with a steep walk back to the parking lot, you can get some really great shots of the park on this hike.
Christian Pond Loop
3.3 mi. roundtrip, 2 hours, 250 ft total climbing.
This easy stroll takes you past a pond then through a small climb to a forested ridge for great views of the Teton Range. If you take the path to Matilda Lake, you will be rewarded with some great shots of the trees and water.
Check out my camping essentials:
Glacier View Turnout
It is no surprise that the Grand Teton, standing at 13,770 feet, is the most popular view in the park. This turnout was my personal favorite out of the many turnouts in the park that offer a great shot of the Teton range.
Come here for golden hour! Andrew and I came here to get shots at sunrise but made the mistake of realizing that the sun was rising in the opposite direction of the Tetons…whoops! This area in the park is honestly a great spot for getting amazing photos. Our friend was also able to see creatures like an owl and heard sounds of other wildlife.
Snake River Overlook
This is another great picturesque spot, consider coming here for sunrise, late afternoon, or sunset to get some interesting light on the river. In addition, this spot is known to be abundant in moose, eagles, and beavers.
I think you are getting the pattern here that the main view to photograph in the park is the Teton range. They really do just look good in every light. Although the range may seem like a one-trick pony of the park, the different viewpoints you can get of the Tetons can be made into a great photography challenge! Jackson Lake is a great way to get a shot of the beautiful reflection of the Tetons in the water.
Jenny Lake & Inspiration Point
I stayed at the Jenny Lake campground, which was a short walk away from the lake itself and the shuttle that can take you across the lake to the start of the trail to Inspiration Point. I honestly thought Jenny Lake was nice, but quite underwhelming. Inspiration Point was also closed while I was there this summer but there are suppose to be incredible views from the top!
Overall, the Tetons and the plethora of lakes and trees throughout the park make for great photograph opportunities. I loved taking shots throughout the park during the different times of the day and looking out for wildlife that would surely make for a moment to capture. If you are looking for more photo opportunities, check out Grand Teton National Park’s neighbor, Yellowstone.
Have you taken some great shots in Grand Teton or have any tips that I missed? Let me know in the comments below!
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