Sunrise Photography Spots in Grand Teton National Park

You will find many sunrise photography spots in Grand Teton National Park to capture the jagged peaks of the mountains complemented by the surrounding landscape and wildlife.

Use this guide to Grand Teton National Park to help you plan sunrise photos in the park.

We share our tips to help you photograph Grand Teton National Park at sunrise. This guide includes a list of sunrise locations, where to photograph wildlife, and recommended camera gear for taking photos at Grand Teton National Park!

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CAMERA FOR LANDSCAPE PHOTOGRAPHY

DOWNLOAD: Photo Equipment Checklist

  • Camera: Discover the compact travel cameras we recommend!
  • Tripod: check out these compact and lightweight travel tripods!
  • Camera bag: protect your camera from sand and water → We use Lowepro camera backpacks for outdoor photography.
  • Neutral Density Filter: To compensate for the variance in light, you will need to use a Neutral Density Filter. → Discover the Kase magnetic filters we use!
  • Camera Cleaning Kit: Remove any dust or water that will settle on your lens. NOTE: This is not to clean the sensor.
  • Memory Cards: Buy brand name memory cards since you are trusting your images to the card! → We use Lexar and Sandisk!
  • External Hard Drive: Copy photos to a portable external hard drive “just in case”.
  • Headlamp: use it to take pictures of sunrise and sunset!

Camera on Amazon | Photo equipment at B&H Photo

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A photo tour of Grand Teton National Park

Take a visual tour of Grand Teton National Park to see the stunning scenery and wildlife you will find in the park!

Grand Teton Seasonal Photography

Keep in mind that the different weather and seasonal elements of Grand Teton National Park can enhance photos.

The time of year is important when deciding the best time to visit Grand Teton National Park for landscape photography.

Make sure you’ve researched the right time for sunrise and the weather forecast for Grand Teton each morning.

Map of Grand Teton photo spots

Here is a map of Grand Teton photo spots to help you navigate the park.

Photographic map of Grand Teton

Sunrise Photography Spots in Grand Teton National Park

When looking for the best photo spots in Grand Teton for sunrise, it helps to “see” the general layout of each location. You can search the internet, social media and Google Earth to help you plan your photography time before you arrive.

As the sun rises at Grand Teton National Park, the first light illuminates the peaks of the Teton Mountains. Anywhere in the park you can see the Teton Range, you’ll be able to capture that golden light on them.

Here are some helpful tips for taking sunrise photos in Grand Teton National Park:

Reflection of Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton

Oxbow Bend at sunrise

The goal of Oxbow Bend is to photograph the reflection of the Grand Teton Mountains in the bend of the Snake River when the water is calm to get that perfect calm water reflection.

Looking at Oxbow Bend from the parking lot, the best light you’ll find near sunrise illuminates the mountain peaks.

There are many vantage points to capture different viewpoints and perspectives. If the water is not too high, follow the trails to the water’s edge and take photos along the river bank.

Oxbow Bend is also a great place to take pictures of the Grand Teton sunset! The image below was taken at Oxbow Bend, but looking in the opposite direction of the mountains.

Oxbow Bend Snake River reflection at sunset in Grand Teton

PHOTO TIP: When you’re photographing the sunrise or sunset, look at the views all around you so you don’t miss anything spectacular!

morning light reflection at Schwabacher Landing in Grand Teton by Photo Jeepers

Landing Schwabacher at sunrise

We really love capturing sunrise footage at Schwabacher Landing. It’s a popular spot to photograph the Tetons’ reflection in the water, especially at sunrise.

There are plenty of areas at Schwabacher Landing to get some great photos! Here’s where we like to go.

From the main parking lot at the end of the road, walk along the trail to look for the reflections of distant mountains in the water.

If light and weather don’t cooperate and the water is choppy, you can still capture great landscape photos!

Grand Teton Photo Point at Schwabacher Landing

We found a perfect spot at Schwabacher’s Landing for sunrise. Return to the road and turn into the small car park on the right.

A lot of people stay in the area near the parking lot, but we suggest you walk a bit further up the river to the other beaver dam which has created a section of calm water.

This is now one of our favorite places to photograph the Grand Teton sunrise. The mountains and the reflection stand out since the river and surrounding landscape are still in shadow.

A lot of people stay in the area near the parking lot, but we suggest you walk a bit further up the river to the other beaver dam which has created a section of calm water.

The soft light at sunrise makes this a fantastic Grand Teton photo spot! The mountains and the reflection stand out since the river and surrounding landscape are still in shadow.

We photographed Schwabacher Landing during the day and at sunset, but the sunrise is best as it creates a “pop” of color in the scene.

Photograph of Grand Teton at Snake River Overlook

View of the Snake River at sunrise

The Snake River Overlook was made popular by Ansel Adams, but the trees have since grown 70 years ago when Ansel took his photo, so you can’t get the exact photo he took.

At sunrise and early in the morning, you will enjoy the soft light on the peaks of the Teton Mountains.

It’s fun to photograph the different seasons at this location because it’s accessible all year round.

Overlook the Snake River in winter in Grand Teton

In spring and summer, the landscape is lush and verdant. In the fall, the grasses and foliage in the scene show fall colors. In winter, the snowy scene offers a unique and so beautiful landscape!

Moulton Barn at Mormon Row in Grand Teton

Mormon Row – Moulton Barns at sunrise

Mormon Row was established by Mormon settlers in the 1890s who moved to the Jackson Hole area from Idaho. At the time, there were 27 farms here, but only 6 remain today.

This area is one of the most popular places in Grand Teton National Park, as the iconic Moulton barn and homes have the most stunning backdrop you can find in the world!

To avoid the crowds, we recommend sunrise and early morning to take photos here.

The TA Moulton barn has a pointed roof, as seen above, and is located south of Antelope Flats Road.

John Moulton's Barn at Mormon Row in Grand Teton

The John Moulton Barn has a more rounded roof and is north of the road with the other farm buildings.

Grand Teton Photo Guide Option Box

Grand Teton Sunrise Wildlife Photography

Before heading out to take wildlife photos, be aware of the wildlife viewing guidelines in Grand Teton and always listen to the rangers.

  • When stopping to view wildlife, stop at a designated turnout – do not stop on the roadway.
  • Be aware of the recommended distance from wildlife and stick to it.
  • Help keep wild bears and humans safe – never feed or approach bears!
  • Pack bear spray! You can easily buy a can in Jackson Hole.

We’ve put together some tips and resources for Grand Teton wildlife photography:

Two bull moose locking antlers at Grand Teton National Park.

Photographing moose at sunrise

Remember to respect their space and keep a distance of 25 meters when photographing moose. It is also important to understand moose size. A bull moose can measure up to 7 feet and weigh up to 1800 pounds! You don’t want a moose charging at you at 30 miles an hour!

You will need to be extra careful around moose if there is a calf in the area (spring) and during rutting season (fall).

Be aware of these warning signs that a moose is stressed and may attack:

  • Stops normal behavior and makes eye contact with you
  • The ears are laid back and the hair on the back of the neck, back or hips is up
  • Head is down
  • Hit lips or teeth
  • urination
  • Head whipping back and forth or stomping the ground

Sunrise is the perfect time of day to photograph moose, as they can be down for the day as early as 9am. There are a few places we recommend for wildlife viewing to photograph moose at Grand Teton National Park:

  • Big Belly Road
  • Big Belly Campground
  • Moose Wilson Road
  • willow springs
grizzly bear and two cubs in Grand Teton

Photographing bears at sunrise

Grand Teton’s grizzly bears and black bears are active in the morning, so we usually take our landscape photos at sunrise and then go out looking for wildlife right after.

When photographing wildlife, you CANNOT get a photo on your cellphone or tablet of a bear filling the frame if you are within the designated distance of 100 yards set by the National Park Service.

Images like this are taken with telephoto lenses, usually 400-600mm.
We really like this affordable 500mm lens for shooting wildlife! You can also rent a large lens for wildlife outings – we rented an 800mm lens for our trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton and loved it!

Bears can usually be found at these locations in Grand Teton:

  • Pilgrim Creek
  • Coulter’s Bay
  • willow springs
  • signal mountain

You can also book Grand Teton wildlife and photography tours. We recommend a private tour so you can control where you stop and how long you stay at each photo point.

Grand Teton Maps and Guides

AMAZONE: Guides and Maps of Yellowstone and Grand Teton

Planning a Grand Teton Vacation

Where to stay in Jackson near Grand Teton:

Here is a list of our favorite places to stay:

Packing List Grand Teton Optin Box

Grand Teton National Park Packing List

DOWNLOAD: Grand Teton Packing Checklist

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