When you think about visiting Grand Teton National Park, one of America’s natural treasures, you probably think of a summer trip, floating the Snake River, hiking the hills and valleys of the park, and maybe even doing some white water rafting if you’re feeling brave. While summer might be the most popular time to visit the park, if you’re considering making a trip to the park, you might want to think about making your trip in the winter. For one thing, you’ll deal with much fewer tourists and crowds. You will also have the chance to experience the wildlife of the park in new and exciting ways. If you are planning a trip to the Grand Tetons during the winter season, here’s a bit of what you can expect to see the wildlife doing.

Mammals in the Winter at Grand Teton National Park

Teton Squirrel

Grand Teton National Park is famous for the opportunities it gives its visitors to observe many different forms of wildlife. You might think that spring and summer would be the best times to view animals. Winter, however, does have its benefits in terms of wildlife observation. During the colder weather, the upper ranges of the mountains become inhospitable for many of the mammals that wander the territory during warmer months. This, in effect, limits the scope of the animals’ territory. Animals, like elk, bighorn sheep, bison, and moose, will now spend most of their time in the valleys of the park, where it’s warmer and where there are more food sources. What does this mean for visitors to the park? Well, it means that you will actually have a much better opportunity to observe wildlife because they will be in better viewing position. So, grab your binoculars and be prepared to be surprised at the great opportunities for wildlife viewing that winter can bring.

Birds in the Winter at Grand Teton National Park

Sage Grouse

As you might expect, it’s quite another story when it comes to the bird population of the park. During warm months, the park boasts hundreds of different kinds of birds and is a veritable birdwatcher’s paradise. However, most of these birds are migratory, only spending 3-6 months in the park and then moving on to warmer climates when the seasons change. That’s not to say you won’t see any birds. However, if you are especially interested in observing birds through the lenses of your binoculars, it might be best to make your trip during the summer.

While many might be surprised to hear this, winter can be a wonderful time to visit Grand Teton National Park. With fewer crowds to contend with, you’ll often feel like you have the park to yourself. And since many animals are drawn to the valleys of the park during the colder months when the upper ranges of the mountains are no longer suitable as habitats, you will also have a unique chance to view great numbers of mammals against the stunning backdrop of snow.