Mormon Row

Mormon Row is located in the Antelope Flats area of Grand Teton National Park. Mormon Row is a rural historic landscape including the construction of the Moulton Farmsteads. These farmsteads and may others were constructed by a settlement of Mormons from 1908 to 1950 henceforth the name Mormon Row. To get to this Moulton barn you will head north past the Jackson Hole Airport, then turn east onto Antelope Flats Rd. Then turn back to the south on Mormon Row. It's a dirt road with a turn around at the end by the barn.

This location in the park is one of the most scenic. The peaks of the barn roof match the peaks of the Tetons. In the fall the fog and low clouds tend to hide the Tetons, but in this case it worked out. The best time to photograph Mormon Row is at sunrise. The sun will rise striking the face of the barn and in turn the Grand Tetons Mountain Range. Be careful of your shadow. The best spot to stand will be on the south corner of the property at an angle from the barn, otherwise your shadow will be in the image and many other photographers will give you evil glares.

I was one getting glared at but quickly realized what I was doing and moved. So when you arrive and wonder why all the photographers are standing in one spot its worth investigating and may save yourself from one of those embarrassing oops, sorry, moments.

This weeks post picture was taken on a cloudy morning with a tripod mounted 16-35mm at 27mm @ f8. I used a ND grand filter handheld to balance out the sky and foreground while triggering the camera with a remote release.

Mormon row is worth the trip to the park alone. It's a must see right behind Schwabacher Landing.


Schwabacher Landing

Schwabacher Landing is a scenic place on the snake river in Grand Teton National Park. The river winds through the fields and forests at a slow pace providing some mirror like images of the Grand Teton Mountains. It's been said that photographs taken from here are the most famous of mountain-scape images.

Schwabacher Landing is why Teton National Park is famous for its scenery. Click on this link for a map on how to get to the parking area. When you arrive at the parking area you will see a good view of the Grand Tetons, but in my opinion this is not the best spot. Head down to the snake river and you will see a trail heading north. Take this trail that follows the river for about a 1/4 mile to an opening and a calm area in the river. Most likely there will be a group of photogs already in place. The mountain range runs north and south, and Schwabacher is on the east side of the mountains, it's almost exclusively a sunrise spot. You could get some cool silhouettes in the evening with an orange sky, but mainly your best bet will be right when the sun strikes the peaks of The Grand Tetons.

When I was photographing at Schwabacher Landing I could hear an elk bugling. It's a beautiful scene for all your senses, but one must be aware that this is a wild area and it's wise to take caution, especially at dawn or dusk when the animals are out and about. Beware that this is also bear country, it's always wise to carry bear spray.

When in Grand Teton and the Yellowstone area Schwabacher Landing is a must see. This weeks post picture was taken at sunrise with a 16-35mm at f16. I used a 2 stop split grad ND filter to help balance the light in the scene.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park is located mainly in Wyoming but also invades parts of Montana and Idaho. Yellowstone was established in 1872 and is Americas first National Park. Known for it's geological features which include geysers, springs, and basins, the main reason photogs swarm the region is because of it's wildlife. It's the home of thousands of animals which include but not limited to, wolves, bear, bison, and elk. Although I didn't spot any, there are supposedly some moose in the area as well, but your best chance to spot a moose will come when visiting Grand Teton National Park which is just south in Wyoming.

There is an abundant amount of wildlife throughout the park. To spot a critter just look for the usual signs, a traffic jam, people running through the woods with a camera, bison acting as a toll gate, and park rangers yelling at people to stay with their vehicle. Kidding aside, the park rangers at Yellowstone are very busy keeping people safe. I know the excitement, and the adrenaline rush of seeing a grizzly, or a big bull elk for the first time, but we have to remember that we aren't at a zoo, these animals are wild. Stay with your vehicle or better yet inside your vehicle. I saw several people in the park not making the best decisions. Standing in the path of a moving grizzly trying to fill the frame with a point and shoot, in my book is considered a bad decision.

The park is big and it takes a couple hours to get from one end to the other with the park speed limit being 45 mph. I stayed at the lodge by Old Faithful. It was nice and somewhat rustic, but my next visit I will be staying in the northern part of the park for easier access to wildlife. I would recommend Mammoth Hot Springs area. Most of the wildlife is located in the north and north east areas of the park. I will cover my favorite spots in a later post.

Things aren't cheap, I'm sure you already knew that, but there are plenty accommodations. They even have a auto repair shop open during the summer months. Fall in Yellowstone is a great time to visit. The wildlife is in the rutting season and small crowds made this trip a joy. Yellowstone closes down in October early November so check the park website to see what's available  when you do your planning.

This weeks post picture was taken while driving from Grand Teton to Yellowstone. There where a group of about eight elk on the side of the road with the male elk bugling. If you haven't heard an elk bugle you should check it out. The photo was taken handheld with my 70-200 with a 1.4 extender attached at f8.

Yellowstone is a great park with lots of wildlife and many other things to see and do. Highly Recommended!