Landscape Hotspot: Grand Teton’s Elk Flats
Once a month, we’ll feature a landscape photography hotspot. We want to aid you with getting ‘the shot’ in order to help rekindle your love for nature, to enable you to become inspired by nature and to equip you to become an advocate for a wilder world at home.
This month’s focus:
Grand Teton National Park’s Elk Flats
As I’ve written before, Grand Teton National Park must be one of the best landscapes on the planet with amongst the fewest locations to capture the iconic mountain range in a new and unique fashion. For years, professional photographers and amateurs alike have been seeking out new locations that they can make their own.
While Grand Teton’s Elk Flats are hardly a new landscape hotspot within the park, it is a location that is not beloved in the way Schwabacher’s or the Oxbow have become. And it should be beloved.
With its split rail, wood fence and expansive view of the entire Teton Range, Elk Flats is a must-visit landscape location for us each and every year.
Admittedly, we’ve never visited the Flats in the morning and can’t speak to its beauty at sunrise, but it’s hard to beat at sunset.
In the summer months, the sun drifts behind the northern most peak in the range, often shining a side light onto The Grand and Mount Moran, while giving you the option to include or exclude the sun from the image.
Using the fence in the foreground has been a favourite for us both, especially Jill…
…but I’m also a fan of the lush grass that rests behind it.
And given the propensity for evening thundershowers in Grand Teton, Elk Flats offers one of the best locations for cloud and stormscapes.
Frequently, the storms will pass before sunset and create endless opportunities for using the last light with the lingering clouds in the foreground.
This hotspot isn’t just about photographing the Tetons either. Turn to the east and you’re in for a treat as well.
As a common hangout for antelope and, especially, bison, photographing passing storms, rainbows and animals-in-the-landscape all at once is ideal when facing toward the equally famous, though less jaw-droppingly beautiful Wind Range.
And to the north? Two-Ocean Plateau is also a decent view.
Though Grand Teton offers limitless locations for photographing its namesake range, take a moment to explore this lesser appreciated hotspot and find a way to make the images you capture from Elk Flats uniquely yours.
Location: Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming
Accessibility: Hwy 26, just south of Moran Junction
Best Time: Sunset
Season: Year round
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Tags: elk flats, ghost bear photography, grand teton national park, landscape hotspots, landscape photography, national parks, nature, simon jackson, wilderness, wyoming