About Oxbow Bend – Grand Teton National Park
Oxbow Bend is an aptly named bend in the Snake River that is a popular photo spot in Grand Teton National Park. Due to it’s shape and position, the Oxbow Bend creates frequent opportunities to capture the Teton Range reflected in the calm waters of the Snake River.
Oxbow Bend is located along the John D Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway in Grand Teton National Park. Visitors looking west back up the river should find terrific photo opportunities of the Teton Mountain Range.
Table of Contents: Oxbow Bend
- About Oxbow Bend – Grand Teton National Park
- Oxbow Bend Information
- Parking at Oxbow Bend
- Photographing Oxbow Bend
- When to Visit Oxbow Bend
- About Grand Teton National Park
- Things to Know Before Visiting Grand Teton National Park
- Grand Teton National Park Map
- Where is Grand Teton National Park?
- Oxbow Bend Summary
Oxbow Bend Information
Trail Length: This is a viewpoint accessed directly from the road
Location: Approximately 3 miles north of Moran, WY in Grand Teton National Park
Access: Accessed via southbound pullout on John D Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway
Parking Difficulty: Moderate – Difficult (depending on time of day)
Parking at Oxbow Bend
Parking at Oxbow Bend can be very difficult depending on the time of day and season you’re visiting. Oxbow Bend is extremely popular with photographers at sunrise and sunset. If you intend on being there at either of these times prepare to arrive well in advance or hike in.
Parking at Oxbow Bend is limited to a paved pullout on the southbound side of John D Rockefeller Jr. Memorial Parkway. The pullout has enough space for approximately 15 vehicles and is routinely full.
Photographing Oxbow Bend
Unassuming at first, Oxbow Bend is one of the most popular locations to photograph in all of Grand Teton National Park. The deep bend in the river allows for mirror reflections of the Teton Mountain Range on calm days – which are frequent.
It’s not uncommon to see cars parked for a mile in either direction here at sunrise or sunset as photographers jockey for position to catch perhaps the park’s most famous photo opportunity.
The best place to photograph Oxbow Bend is the area around the park interpretive sign which offers unobstructed views of the Tetons and the bend in the river in front of you.
When to Visit Oxbow Bend
Best Time of Year
The best time of year to visit Oxbow Bend and Grand Teton National Park is the late summer or fall. The weather in late summer is mild and pleasant and crowds, while still somewhat high, have usually started to wind down from their peak. September affords perhaps the best photo opportunities at Oxbow Bend as the aspens across the river turn brilliant shades of yellow and orange.
Best Time of Day
Sunrise is the best time of day to visit Oxbow Bend to get the spectacular colors on the Teton Mountain Range. Sunsets can tend to be a bit muted in terms of colors on the mountains themselves in this particular location.
About Grand Teton National Park
Located in the spectacular Jackson Hole Valley and encompassing nearly 500 square miles, Grand Teton National Park boasts an awe-inspiring array of pristine wilderness, glacial lakes, winding rivers, diverse wildlife, and the magnificent Teton Range.
The park derives it’s name from the mighty Teton Range popularly known as simply the Tetons, or the Grand Tetons. The park’s creation and eventual scale (in terms of acreage) was largely made possible by the wealthy philanthropist John D. Rockefeller Jr.
Things to Know Before Visiting Grand Teton National Park
$30 per vehicle OR if you plan to visit more National Parks within the next 12 months we suggest you go ahead and purchase the America the Beautiful Pass (which can be purchased at any national park) and gets you into all National Parks, Forests, Monuments, and more including 2,000 sites for free after a one time $79 fee.
Grand Teton Map
The best map for the park: We like this map the best.
Best Guide Book
The best guide book for Grand Teton: This is our favorite guide for Grand Teton.
During the months of June and July expect to find mosquitoes at varying levels. I recommend this bug spray which has worked for me in the park and is environmentally friendly.
Best Time to Visit Grand Teton National Park
The Best Time to Visit Grand Teton National Park is in Spring and Fall to take advantage of lesser crowds and beautiful scenery. Summer is a great time to visit as well but it will be crowded.
Leave No Trace
We’re big fans of Leave No Trace, here at MTJP. Want to learn more? Read about the seven principals of Leave No Trace here.
Bear Spray: It’s a good thing to have on lots of the trails here. We like this one.
Dogs are not allowed on trails in most national parks due to their potentially disruptive presence with the natural ecosystem. The basic rule is they are allowed where cars can go so be sure to check the rules before bringing along your furry friend.
Grand Teton National Park Map
RELATED: Best Grand Teton National Park Maps
Where is Grand Teton National Park?
Grand Teton National Park is located on the Western side of Wyoming in Jackson Hole. The park shares a border with the more popular Yellowstone National Park to the north, the less-visited Bridger-Teton National Forest to the east, and the even lesser-visited Caribou-Targhee National Forest to the west.
Oxbow Bend Summary
Well that’s a wrap! I hope you’ve found this article helpful! Oxbow Bend is a must visit on any trip to Grand Teton, even if you can’t make it for sunrise.
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