Where’s the Wildlife? – June

Storms Arching over Jackson Lake
Storm clouds and stormy weather arching over the Teton Mountains and Jackson Lake. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Bald Eagles

Bald eagles will be pretty set for the summer starting in June. Their habits will keep them along larger rivers and streams, such as the Snake and Gros Ventre Rivers. Look for their white heads to stand out among the trees and vegetation.

Beavers and Otters

Both beavers and otters will become harder to find, thanks to both more water having opened up for the season, as well as longer days. Beavers themselves will only be out at best from sunset to sunrise, while otters will be very hard to find for the rest of the season. A lucky glance for otters may happen in places such as Oxbow Bend. Your best bet for beavers will be where there’s noticeable activity, such as the northern stretch of Moose-Wilson Road and Schwabacher Landing.

Beaver Eating on Aspen Branch
A beaver eats from an aspen branch in a pond in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming.

Black and Grizzly Bears

June is still a fantastic time for both black and grizzly bears, and some would even say a prime time. Pilgrim Creek by this time will have become a hotspot thanks to frequent grizzly sightings, often with cubs. Likewise, activity will also begin picking up in the Willow Flats area for grizzlies as they anticipate elk calving season. Black bears can also be seen along Pilgrim Creek Road on occasion, but also around the lakes at the base of the Teton Mountains, such as Taggart, Jenny, and String, among others. Signal Mountain is also a good place to potentially spot one as well.

Bighorn Sheep

By June, the bighorn sheep have all migrated out of the valley and up into the higher elevations of the Gros Ventre Mountains. You’ll likely only see them if you’re hiking below the snow line up there.

Bison

Bison will have reclaimed the east side of the valley by the time June rolls around. On an average day, they’re typically easy to spot somewhere on Antelope Flats, as well as Elk Ranch, just south of the Moran Junction.

Coyotes and Foxes

Coyotes and foxes will become harder to spot without the snow, but can still frequently be spotted around places like Antelope Flats. Foxes can also be seen virtually anywhere along the Teton Park Road, though timing is always the trick with them.

Elk

Elk will be spread out around the valley by June, occupying many treeline areas that border meadows. This can include places like Willow Flats, Jenny Lake, and along the Moose-Wilson Road. At the same time, they try to avoid the heat of the day, so if you’re hoping for elk, be out to any of these locations before sunrise and after sunset to maximize your potential.

Bull Moose in Cottonwoods
A bull moose standing in cottonwood trees along the Gros Ventre River. Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Moose

With the warm temperatures of June, moose have all but retreated to the cool shade and streams throughout the valley. Look for them in shady corners along the Gros Ventre and Snake Rivers, as well as the Moose-Wilson Road. In terms of timing, your best bet will also be during cooler times of the day such as sunrise, though there’s always exceptions so keep your eyes peeled regardless.

Mule Deer

Mule Deer in Wildflowers
Mule deer doe eating in lupine wildflowers, Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Mule deer are scattered throughout the valley, but best bets come from easy hiking trails around Jenny and String Lake, as well as southern Antelope Flats, sticking closer to the Gros Ventre River.

Pronghorn

Pronghorn have spread far and wide throughout the valley of Jackson Hole once June comes around. They can be found in most places where there’s a wide expanse of open land. This includes along the Teton Park Road, Antelope Flats, and Elk Ranch. You can also find them throughout the day, so don’t feel pressured to be out searching at a particular time of day.

Wolves

Already very hard to find, wolves simply come as a lucky encounter by June. The migrating elk leads them to all corners of the area that don’t necessarily have roads to them. Your likeliest opportunities (but don’t hold your breath), are on Elk Ranch, Antelope Flats, or Willow Flats.

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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