Where’s the Wildlife? – July

Teton Mountains Above Jackson Hole
The Teton Mountains rising up from the valley of Jackson Hole below storm clouds, seen from the summit of Signal Mountain. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Bald Eagles

Bald eagles will remain along the Snake and Gros Ventre Rivers for the duration of July. This also includes Oxbow Bend, which can sometimes yield a picturesque result.

Beavers and Otters

Beavers and otters will still be hard to find, and with the lengthy days, beavers will likely only be seen during the cooler and darker hours before and after sunrise and sunset, respectively. Only a lucky encounter will yield an otter sighting, so keep your eyes peeled on the water!

Black and Grizzly Bears

Grizzly Bear #399 grazing among thick berry bushes. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Both grizzly and black bear activity will begin to die down during the warm days of July. A few chance grizzly encounters can still be had in Willow Flats early in the month, but by the middle of the month the activity has died down tremendously. Grizzlies, as well as black bears, have all begun to avoid the heat of the day and become more active both during cooler times, as well as in shadier and more remote areas of the park.

Bighorn Sheep

Bighorn sheep are all still in very high elevations by now, and won’t be coming down any time soon.

Bison

Bison are easy to find at any time of day during July, but may or may not be doing a whole lot due to the heat of the day. Often during the day they’ll be seen lying down and conserving energy. Look for them in the usual spots – Antelope Flats and Elk Ranch.

A herd of bison both resting and grazing in a large grasslands field below Uhl Hill. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Coyotes and Foxes

Both coyotes and foxes will be taking advantage of the cooler times of day as well. You’ll need to have sharp eyes to spot either, as they hide well in the sagebrush and vegetation.

Elk

Elk become much harder to spot once July rolls around. You’ll need to be out early or late to have a chance at seeing them. The typical summer hotspots for elk will be your best bets, which includes Willow Flats, Moose-Wilson Road, and the Teton Park Road as it passes Jenny Lake.

Moose

July is one of the months that moose dislike the most. The warm temperatures and long days are the antithesis to a moose’s existence, so they’ll be hiding in damp/wet shady spots. This can frequently be along streams and rivers such as the Gros Ventre River, the Snake River, or the beaver ponds along the Moose-Wilson Road. Sunrise and sunset will also be the most reliable times.

Mule Deer

A mule deer buck pauses while eating from bushes, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Like many other animals, mule deer are also trying to stay cool during mid-summer. An increasingly reliable place to find them as the season goes on is the Signal Mountain Summit Road. Frequently shaded and thus a little cooler, it’s a great habitat for them, among other critters as well, such as elk.

Pronghorn

Pronghorn will continue to share the open expanses with bison. While you can’t expect too much activity, you can find them scattered around Antelope Flats, Elk Ranch, and the Teton Park Road.

Wolves

Unfortunately, July is a pretty terrible month for wolves in Grand Teton National Park. There’s always the chance of a lucky encounter, but with the bulk of their hunting occurring before sunrise or after sunset, and also in more discrete corners of the wilderness, sightings are at a minimal in July.

Hire a Personal Guide and Instructor

Want to maximize your chances of seeing these animals? Book a private Grand Teton National Park workshop with me and I’ll take you around Grand Teton National Park and show you all the secrets I know to help you come away with some fantastic photography of the area, as well as personally teaching you how and why the animals behave the way they do, so that you can learn how to take full advantage of your time in the here!

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