Oxbow Bend is one of the most photographed spots in Grand Teton National Park, and for good reason. The reflection of Mt. Moran in the Snake River is one of the most stunning scenes park visitors will witness, especially at sunrise in the Fall. It is simply one of the most beautiful scenes on Earth, no matter what the conditions.
Getting there early is a must, not only for parking and a prime spot to set up, but you will want to capture the alpenglow that occurs just before first light. For me, that meant arriving around 5:30 am. There are several options for locations to set up your equipment. Many people will line the edge of the parking lot, and some will make the short hike down to the water's edge. There is also a hill you can climb, which is directly across from the parking lot.
There are so many weather factors that can influence your shot (clouds, fog, wind, snow, etc.) and that is what makes each image here a little different, despite the fact that it's been photographed millions of times. Conditions can change in minutes! A wide-angle lens will help you to capture more of the scene, but it's also nice to zoom in and get a close-up of Mt. Moran and it's beautiful reflection in the Snake River. Make sure you bring your tripod!
Wildlife sightings are common here including moose, elk, black bear, Osprey, and the playful otter. The morning I was there, this beautiful pink-purple light unfolded just before sunrise. It was breathtaking and truly "a time to reflect".
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