Oxbow Bend is one of the most popular places to visit in Grand Teton National Park. A looping meander, this tranquil body of water can also be classified as a "bend" or a quiet backwater. It was created when the Snake River cut out a new southern channel for itself. Part of the allure for visitors is the fact that the Teton Mountains serve as a backdrop. When the water is especially calm, the reflection of the lofty mountains is sublime.
Mt Moran, which tops out at an elevation of 12,605 feet above sea level, is the mountain that most people reference when discussing the Oxbow Bend backdrop. It rises higher than the mountains that immediately surround it and is the second-most recognizable peak in Grand Teton National Park after Grand Teton.
Taking in the beauty of the mountains and the water isn’t the only reason to visit Oxbow Bend. The area is also known for its excellent wildlife viewing. Among the animals that are commonly spotted at Oxbow Bend are elk, moose, otter, beaver, trumpeter swans, bald eagles, blue herons, Canada geese, sandhill cranes and white pelicans. Any and all visitors are encouraged to arm themselves with a pair of binoculars, as this can only enhance the overall experience. It should also be mentioned that some insect repellent can come in handy.
You can find Oxbow Bend to the near east of Jackson Lake Junction, which is about 40 miles north of the town of Jackson Wyoming. Prospective visitors might also make note of the fact that it is only some four miles west of the Moran Entrance Station, which is situated along Highway 89. The best time to spot wildlife at Oxbow Bend is in the early morning and late afternoon hours.