If you’ve seen a photo of Grand Teton National Park, you’ve likely seen Oxbow Bend. Without a doubt, this curved section of the Snake River is the park’s most photographed site, with the river meandering in the foreground reflecting the rugged peaks of Mount Moran. It’s a beautiful setting, and a great place to spot wildlife.
The Oxbow Bend Turnout is one of the most popular spots in Grand Teton National Park, for its scenic beauty and abundant wildlife. Pull over here at the right time, and you might spot moose, beaver, osprey, river otters, black bears, or American white pelicans. Visit on a self-guided driving tour of the park or with a guided wildlife-viewing tour that also stops at Mormon Row, Jenny Lake, and Jackson Lake.
Things to Know Before You Go
- The Oxbow Bend Turnout is a must-see for photographers and first-time park visitors.
- Don’t forget your camera; this is one of the park’s best photo ops.
- Bring binoculars for a better wildlife viewing experience.
- Many of Grand Teton National Park’s facilities and parking areas are wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Oxbow Bend Turnout is easily reached from lodges near Jackson Lake. It is 1 mile east of Jackson Lake Junction on Highway 191. The area can be crowded—even at sunrise—so arrive early to ensure you find parking.
When to Get There
For the best chance of spotting wildlife, arrive at sunrise when the morning fog is just lifting off the river. If sunrise is simply too early to wake up, dusk is another popular time to visit, and there’s often a ranger on-site to provide guidance and information. In autumn, the entire landscape is bathed in red, orange, yellow, and gold.
Cattleman’s Bridge Road
If you’re looking for a slightly different perspective of the Snake River (and a quieter spot for wildlife viewing), make a turn onto the gravel road just before Oxbow Bend when you’re driving east from Jackson Lake Junction. This relatively short dead-end road takes you right to the river’s edge, where moose sightings are common.