TRIP REPORT: Grand Teton NP 2023 Women’s Only Workshop

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Oxbow Bend in Grand Teton National Park, WY by Jennifer Leigh Warner

We kicked off the Wildside Nature Tours first Women’s Only tour in Grand Teton National Park in Wyoming with tour leaders Jennifer Leigh Warner and Alyce Bender. With years of experience of photographing this between the two of us, we were able to share with our guest some truly special locations.

Grizzly 1063, also known as Bonita, walks through a rain storm. Photo by Alyce Bender

Late spring is truly a magical time to be in Grand Teton. With wildflowers popping up everywhere and baby animals emerging, you never know what you are going to get. Spring is the best time to see Grizzlies as well. Fresh out of the den, these bears are looking for balsamroot and they use their powerful shoulder mussels to dig up the roots. For many female grizzlies with cubs, they tend to stay near the roads that are lined with photographers, craning to get a picture. They have learned to do this so that their cubs are safe from male bears, which prefer to stay in the woods, who are eager to kill a young bear cub, sending the female back into heat.

Although Grizzly 1063 is still without a cub, she has learned from her mother, another well known grizzly known as Blondie, that she is safest near the photographers. We were lucky enough to get several good sightings of her and even caught her napping in a nearby field.

A porcupine walks through the sagebrush as it makes its way across the road. Photo by Jennifer Leigh Warner

This trip was all about biodiversity. Yes we wanted to see the megafauna, but we also wanted to find the more under-rated species, such as uinta ground squirrels, yellow-bellied marmots, porcupines and of course the many different bird species.

Schwabacher Landing Photo by Alyce Bender

A trip to Grand Teton would not be complete without an early morning sunrise at one of the many landscape locations. Our favorite is Schwabacher Landing and we visited the location several times during the week.

This location is not only a fan favorite for its reflection of the mountains but also for the abundance of wildlife that is found throughout the area. We returned several times to photograph a pair of goldeneye that were floating around one of the ponds.

Uinta ground squirrel at the Moulton Barn in Grand Teton National Park, WY

Another popular location for visitors of Grand Teton to visit are the Mormon barns. One of our goals with out clients was to look for a unique way to capture popular locations and subjects. The ground squirrels spend nine months per year underground, so when they have the opportunity to get some sunshine and fresh air they take it.

 

A mountain bluebird. Photo by Alyce Bender

The barns are also another great place to find mountain blue birds. The brightly colored birds nest in the nearby trees and make for spectacular subjects.

Grizzly 610 and her triplets. Photo by Jennifer Leigh Warner

Anytime you can find bear cubs it can be a very exciting encounter. Grizzly 610 made several appearances throughout our tour and gave us the best view of all on our final day as she walked across the road and eventually out of sight.

All in all it was a fantastic tour. We saw 16 different mammal species and 26 different bird species. To name just a few…

  • Grizzly Bear
  • Black Bear
  • Red Fox
  • Bison
  • Elk
  • Pronghorn
  • Beaver
  • Bald Eagle
  • Mountain Bluebird
  • Ruffed Grouse
  • Goldeneye’
  • Sandhill Crane

Want to join us for our next Grand Teton National Park Spring Women’s Only tour? Alyce and Jennifer will be back together for another spring tour in 2024. Click the link to join us.

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