Photographing Grand Teton National Park

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Grand Teton as seen from the park service road heading southwest from the northeast entrance

Grand Teton NP may be the most mesmerizing, most picturesque park in the US National Park System.

In this year, 2020, the park was absolutely flooded with tourists thanks to COVID-19/coronavirus. The nearby town of Jackson, WY was completely saturated with visitors leaving its residents flabbergasted with all the attention.

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schwabacher landing
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mormon row

Mormon Row did not disappoint with the one exception being that there was one photographer who was set up right in front of the barn which made it hard to back up to find a different perspective and use a longer focal length. This shot was taken about 6:00 am local time (mountain time) after waiting about an hour for the sun to be just right. The moral of this story is to get there before everyone else — at perhaps 4:00 am — to have the right spot.

When to Visit

The park is closed during the winter as this region gets very heavy snow. Othwerwise, it is all good. There are numerous aspen trees to enjoy in the Fall. Even in July, nights can reach into the 30's Fahrenheit in the campgrounds.

About the Park

Campgrounds are on a first-come-first-serve basis. There are showers at Signal Mountain and it appears that they implement water softening to make washing one's self easier. At Jenny Lake, there is a store with very reasonably priced merchandise. There is also a store at Signal Mountain with WiFi.

There is tent camping at Jenny Lake and this is a good area to start hikes into the back country. If not camping, park at String Lake for quick access to the back country.

Learn about park and amenities.

Gear to Bring

Bring a large range of focal lengths. Because there are many tight valleys within the park, a wide angle to a normal lens will be useful. There is a lot of wildlife in the park so a super telephoto lenses will also be useful. And as mentioned above a telephoto lens will be useful at Mormon Row as well as in various other spots in the park. A polarizer is recommended. If focus stacking or doing time-lapse photography then a tripod is a must.

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Grand Teton as seen from the Signal Mountain summit
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one of the many views of Jenny Lake

Cellphone Service

AT&T cell service is available in the Jenny Lake campground but only one to two bars of signal strength can be had. There is good 4G LTE reception just a few hundred feet away at the entrance to Jenny Lake visitor's center just off of the park road or here on the park road itself.

While the signal was not bad, the service was very poor due to the large number of people trying to access it from the park this time. The cell towers had become completely saturated with connections and data usage. This may be a circumstance of COVID-19.

Relates links:

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