US Highway 89

US Highway 89 runs through Grand Teton National Park. There are several turnouts along the road and a few points of interest to stop at. We stopped at a few of these spots during our trip down the road from Colter Bay Campground to Jackson. Each turnout gives a unique angle of the mountains but I had bad luck with the weather and could barely see them.

 

Willow Flats Overlook

Coming from the north, our first stop was the Willow Flats Overlook. From there, you can get views of the Teton Range, Jackson Lake, and Willow Flats. It’s usually a good place to spot wildlife.

Willow Flats Overlook on Highway 89 in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Willow Flats Overlook

Willow Flats Overlook on Highway 89 in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Willow Flats Overlook

 

Oxbow Bend Turnout

Continuing south, at Jackson Lake Junction we continued to the left. Turning right would have taken us down Teton Park Road, the other major road through the park. Shortly after the junction is the Oxbow Bend Turnout, where you can see a bend in the Snake River. This is one of the most photogenic spots in the park where you can capture Mount Moran and its reflection in the water. With an overcast day, there wasn’t much luck for me shooting in any direction.

Oxbow Bend Turnout on Highway 89 in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Oxbow Bend Turnout

 

Elk Ranch Flats Turnout

At Moran Junction and the Moran Entrance Station, US 89 veers to the right. The first stop is Elk Ranch Flats Turnout. Other than spectacular views on a nice day, you can see the remnants of one of the largest cattle ranches in the area. Elk Ranch was owned by Josiah David Ferrin. He was a rancher from nearby Jackson who staked his claim on the lands in 1908 when Theodore Roosevelt opened it to homesteaders. By 1920, after purchasing adjacent properties, he had the largest ranching business in Jackson Hole.

Elk Ranch Flats Turnout on Highway 89 in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Elk Ranch Flats Turnout

 

Cunningham Cabin Historic Site

A bit further up is a gravel road leading up to the Cunningham Cabin Historic Site. A short trail takes you around the homestead of J. Pierce Cunningham. He lived in the cabin on the site from 1888 to 1895. A larger house was built on the site and the cabin was then used as a barn.

Cunningham Cabin Historic Site on Highway 89 in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Cunningham Cabin Historic Site

Cunningham Cabin Historic Site on Highway 89 in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Cunningham Cabin Historic Site

By 1924, Cunningham had 560 acres of land and was one of the biggest opponents to the expansion of Grand Teton National Park. He later changed his tone and supported the conservation of the area, selling his property to the Snake River Land Company in 1928. The company was owned by John D. Rockefeller, Jr., with the purpose of donating the lands to the park. This occurred in 1949.

Cunningham Cabin Historic Site on Highway 89 in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Cunningham Cabin Historic Site

Cunningham Cabin Historic Site on Highway 89 in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Cunningham Cabin Historic Site

 

Moose!

Just after leaving Cunningham Cabin, we noticed a long line of cars parked on the side of the road. About 20 people dashed out of their cars and were running with their cameras. We stopped and asked what all the commotion was about and a woman said there was a moose walking through the area. I joined the rest of the crowd and got my first look at a moose in the wild.

Moose! on Highway 89 in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Moose!

 

Teton Point Turnout

The final stop we made on our way to Jackson was Teton Point Turnout. This is where I was able to get the best look at the Tetons. There is also an interpretive panel explaining how the terraces of the Snake River directly in front of me were created.

Teton Point Turnout on Highway 89 in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Teton Point Turnout

Teton Point Turnout on Highway 89 in Grand Teton National Park, Wyoming

Teton Point Turnout

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