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, and with good reason considering the amount of wildlife and wilderness landscapes. For the best chances of spotting wildlife, arrive at sunrise when the morning fog is just lifting off of the river. The air in the morning is crisp and cool, and is the likeliest time to see moose, otters, sandhill cranes, elk, eagles, or grizzlies. Behind the riverside willow thickets, and above the wide swath of water, an often-snowcapped Mount Moran provides the famous backdrop. In autumn, the entire landscape is bathed in reds, oranges, yellows, and gold, and the white traces of late summer snow still cling to the rocky peak. If sunrise is simply too early to wake up, dusk is another popular time to visit the Oxbow Bend turnout, which is only about a mile east of the busy Jackson Lake Junction.
Oxbow Bend Turnout is easily accessed from lodges near Jackson Lake, and is one 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.