Grand Teton National Park is ripe with geological wonders and an incredible variety of beautiful wildlife and their unique habitats. The familiar jagged peaks of the Teton Range form a beautiful backdrop from any vantage point, providing multiple photo opportunities for guests. This half day guided tour provides a great introduction to Grand Teton National Park and the surrounding area. As you journey through the park in search of wildlife, your guide will highlight the flora, fauna, history and geography that make Jackson Hole unique.
- Wildlife Watching & Photo Opportunities
- Grand Teton Highlights
- Morning & Afternoon Departures
Your exact route and itinerary will be determined by your interests, current wildlife sightings, and current weather and road conditions. Our guides are all highly experienced, with thousands of hours in the field, and will expertly tailor your safari to you and your group.
Currently, 310,000 acres of Jackson Hole are being preserved by the National Park Service. This includes not only a picturesque slice of Wyoming’s wild country, but a spectrum of flora and fauna species that are specially adapted to survive in the variety of habitats that comprise the region. The wildlife that can be found in Grand Teton National Park is an especially cosmic catalyst for visitation. Many travel from all around the world in hopes of observing incredible megafauna like bison, moose, elk, grizzly bears and gray wolves in their natural element. The experience of searching for wildlife is unlike any visit to a zoo. Here the animals are not in exhibits that emulate their native habitat for the viewer’s convenience. There is work and careful scrutiny required to sometimes spot even just a fleeting glimpse of an ear, antler or fur. There are no bars, no glass panes to separate the observer from the animal, instead common sense and close attention is required to avoid incentivizing a potential attack. This is what makes seeing wildlife in places like Grand Teton National Park such a once in a lifetime experience.
Different seasons and different habitats hold the potential for different wildlife sightings. During spring a greater variety of animals reside within the valley floor of Grand Teton National Park. Due to the surrounding mountains being snow capped until July, species like elk will browse throughout lower grasslands until those higher elevations thaw out and more foraging becomes accessible. Grizzly and black bears will emerge from their hibernation dens throughout late April and into May, they are typically lethargic and hungry those initial few weeks after being rousted. The bears will amble around the valley, looking for early season food sources such as biscuitroot, spring beauties, grasses and clover. The more predatory grizzly bear may also be hunting for easy prey, which could entail digging up still hibernating Uinta ground squirrels from their burrows, feeding on carrion of animals that passed during the brutal winter or perhaps hunting down elk or bison calves that are typically born throughout May and June. Elk calves and carrion are also prime meals for other carnivores such as the gray wolf, which will move with the migrations of their prey throughout the seasons.
As the heat of summer increases the snow lines recede and animals like the elk, wolf, bears and occasionally even bison begin to move into the hill country. Viewing them may require scouring mountainsides with high powered optics like spotting scopes. Moose, on the other hand, will settle in their summer homes near riverways and ponds, forging on aquatic vegetation along with the tender twigs of willow shrubs and cottonwood trees. Other wildlife to potentially spot around aquatic habitats would be bald eagles, river otters, beavers, trout and a broad variety of waterfowl that migrate from the southern region of the continent. Other migrators that show up in Jackson Hole for the summer season include sandhill cranes, osprey, western meadowlarks (the state bird of Wyoming!) and pronghorn- which is the fastest land mammal in North America. The pronghorn, which are often dubbed “antelope” or “speed goat” even though they are genetically a separate species from both, spend their winters 150 miles southeast of Grand Teton National Park. They are not as well adapted as moose, bison or elk to survive the extreme winter that seasonally consumes Jackson Hole.
Autumn eventually arrives, bringing a chill that relieves the parched landscape of dry heat. Wildlife that trekked into the mountains for cooler temperatures and better foraging begin to return to the valley floor. Many species enter the exciting phase known as the “rut”, the breeding season. Bison kick it off in late summer, while bull elk and moose start courting females throughout September and October. This is a period when wildlife is often most vocal and potentially most violent. Males will be warding off competitors with bugles and bellows, with physical altercations following if two strong, stubborn suitors meet. Black and grizzly bears on the other hand will be busy eagerly seeking out food sources in preparation for hibernation. A variety of berries ripen in fall, providing perfect foraging to satiate these hyper-hungry bears.
Regardless of the season and the wildlife, Grand Teton National Park has much to offer. There are geographically striking views from nearly every vantage point in the valley, ranging from jagged, high alpine peaks to meandering, rushing rivers to deep crystalline lakes. As well as a rich anthropological history that starts nearly 11,000 years ago with the seasonal presence of indigenous people, which eventually shifted to the expansion of human development from the east as homesteaders fought their way into the valley, and now exists as a unique natural space that tourists seek out to get a taste of a western world that still consists of more wild than civilization.
A Half Day Wildlife Safari will try to give you a taste of it all in just 4 hours. The route will vary depending on weather conditions and the season, as both influence the visibility of scenery and wildlife. But trust our experienced guides will know the most fortuitous locations to make the most of the tour.
Professional naturalist guide
Small group safari: 8 guests per vehicle, maximum
Locally sourced snacks
Use of spotting scopes
Use of binoculars
National Park entrance fees
All guests are picked up and returned to their place of lodging. We pick up at hotels and condos in Jackson and Teton Village. Your exact pick up time will be determined by your hotel location. Please make note of your pickup time, and save it for your reference.
Please give your guide an additional 5-10 minutes before and after the scheduled time to allow for other pickups or traffic conditions.
Seasonal changes to trip timing may be made to accommodate daylight and/or optimum wildlife viewing.
Private safari tours pick up from all locations at 6:30AM and 3:00PM (7:00AM and 2:00PM during the month of October).
Approximate pickup times for Jackson Hole include:
Sunrise Departures (May – September)
- 6:15 AM – Teton Village locations
- 6:30 AM – Aspens, Amangani, Spring Creek locations
- 6:45 AM – Town of Jackson locations
Sunset Departures (May – September)
- 3:00 PM – Teton Village locations
- 3:15 PM – Aspens, Amangani, Spring Creek locations
- 3:30 PM – Town of Jackson locations
Sunrise Departures (October)
- 7:00 AM – Teton Village locations
- 7:15 AM – Aspens, Amangani, Spring Creek locations
- 7:30 AM – Town of Jackson locations
Sunset Departures (October)
- 2:00 PM – Teton Village locations
- 2:15 PM – Aspens, Amangani, Spring Creek locations
- 2:30 PM – Town of Jackson locations
Our guide picked us up and we saw more wildlife with him in a few hours than we had seen in 2 days on our own. He was very polite and professional. He shared a plethora of information on the area and the wildlife. Would definitely go on one of his trips again... and again!
Safari Tour Gallery
Is a half-day summer tour enough time to see Jackson Hole?
A half day tour is not nearly enough time to explore all that Jackson Hole has to offer, however, if your time is limited, it’s a great way to get a brief intro to Grand Teton National Park and the area surrounding Jackson. For some people, a half day offers just enough time to see some of the highlights, while taking note of all the things they’d like to explore the next time they come.
Does the Jackson Hole half-day summer tour stop for photos?
Our guides will make multiple stops along the way for wildlife watching, historic sites, geologic formations or any other areas of interest, always making sure that we’re in an ideal location for our guests to get out and observe wildlife from a safe distance. If photography is your focus, we also offer photography-specific tours. If you wish to stop for certain photos, make sure to let your guide know and they will search out an ideal location to do so. Private tours offer greater flexibility for guests to customize the experience. If you’d like to have more time in a certain location, or more time for photos, you might also consider booking a private safari tour.
What do others say about this tour?
We had an incredible time on the evening half-day tour with our guide! He was super knowledgeable about the area and the wildlife, and didn’t hesitate to answer any questions we had. We were led to various beautiful outlooks and saw moose, a bear, bison, various birds, muskrats, and more. (Binoculars were provided to help us see.) He was extremely personable and had so many cool stories to tell. We felt very comfortable and had a great time! We are so glad we made the drive to Grand Teton and got to experience this tour! Would highly recommend!
Amazing! Best thing we did in Jackson! We spent a half day in Grand Teton with Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris. Our guide was an amazing guide, knowledgeable of locations to spot wildlife and informative on the animals we saw. Our children all really enjoyed the education she provided on geological formations, plants and animals in the Jackson Hole and Grand Teton area.
I would highly recommend the morning half day tour. They arrived on time, the vehicle was clean and the breakfast/snacks/drinks were generous. Our guide was FANTASTIC! He instantly wanted to know what we were interested in seeing and 15 minutes into our tour he delivered. To say he has a plethora of Wyoming and animal knowledge is an understatement. I would absolutely recommend him and Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris!
We took the afternoon wildlife safari with Jackson Hole Wildlife Safaris. Our guide was very knowledgeable, patient, and he knows every hangout for wildlife, including bald eagle, osprey, badger, coyote, pronghorn, bison, mule deer, elk, moose, and bear (although today the bears were evasive). He had snacks for us, and when the rain shower came, he didn’t let it interfere. We had such a delightful, perfectly paced afternoon. We hope to return.
Guide and Staff
Local, experienced, and passionate guides and photographers.
Jackson Hole Wildlife Safety and Etiquette
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Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone National Park are all full of exciting things to do, see and try. It is a unique place, therefore safety and etiquette are likely a bit different than back home and should be examined before venturing out.
Everything You Need to Know about Grand Teton Tours
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Grand Teton National Park preserves 310,000 acres of some of the most striking alpine landscape in Wyoming. Simply driving along Highway 191, views of open, undeveloped sagebrush steppe, winding rivers, and jagged mountain peaks are impossible to avoid.