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Anabelle Alamangos | 11.05.2021

Wondering where you can enjoy the best leaf-peeping and wildlife-watching on an autumn road trip? Look no further than Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks in northwest Wyoming. See below for some of the best places, both well- and lesser-known, to photograph fall sunrises and sunsets with stunning flora and fauna. Time your trip around the end of September through the beginning of October to enjoy peak color.


Grand Teton National Park

Schwabacher's Landing


Turn left off of Highway 191 onto Schwabacher's Landing Rd for multiple photography locations of the prominent peaks in the Teton range. Whether you wish to have the sage-filled plains or the Snake River reflecting the Tetons in your foreground, you have several options to capture that classic silhouette.


Mormon Row Historic District

You've probably seen many photos of the historic barn framed by the Teton range throughout the seasons, but in the fall, the colors are bright and the air is crisp lending itself to a perfect autumnal scene. There is ample room to spread out and shoot the barn from different angles.


Oxbow Bend

This locale is just after the junction between Highways 191 and 26 near the Moran entrance station. A very popular spot for sunrise photography, it is recommended you arrive at least 1/2 hour prior to sunrise to secure a spot along the Snake River bank to maximize your view of Mt. Moran, aspens, and cottonwoods reflected in the water below. 


Yellowstone National Park


Grand Prismatic Spring

Enjoying the gem-colored hot springs with the surrounding fields and hills alive in shades of gold and amber while feeling the warm steam on your face on a brisk autumn day is truly a sensory-rich experience. This area has two parking lots with trails leading to a lookout above the prismatic spring or meandering on boardwalks around it - both are worth your time.


Lamar Valley

The Lamar River valley along the NE Entrance Rd boasts jaw-dropping views around every turn of sweeping valleys textured with grasses and trees dressed in fall's finest hues playing host to a variety of roaming wildlife. There are many turnouts along this road from which to park and photography bison, fox, bear, pronghorn antelope, bear, elk, and moose. Just remember, you must stay a minimum distance of 25 yards from most wildlife and 100 yards from predators like bears and wolves.


Swan Lake Flat

Along Highway 89, there are a plethora of opportunities from which to observe and photograph the brilliant fall foliage and wildlife that call Yellowstone home, but Swan Lake Flat between Norris and Mammoth is a special spot. Swan Lake reflects the Gallatin Range around it including Quadrant Mountain, Antler Peak, and Electric Peak while the plains and foothills below the range are awash with brilliant maroons, golds, ambers, and siennas.


Mammoth Hot Springs

Close to the border between Wyoming and Montana lies a terraced hot spring system mostly cream and golden yellow in hue and features foothills and buttes around it, which in fall, frame the hot springs with vibrant warm shades and textures. It is best to visit around sunrise to capture the soft morning light filtering through the steam and filling the valley.





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