One of the highlights of a Jackson Hole float trip is the wildlife you’ll spot as you drift down the Snake River. In our humble opinion, it’s the best way to see animals in Grand Teton National Park! Be sure to bring a camera or binoculars and be on the lookout for the following animals on your float trip.
Look for elk in grassy meadows alongside the river. In the winter, people flock to the National Elk Refuge to see these regal creatures, but in the summer, a Snake River float trip offers the perfect opportunity to view elk in their natural habitat. Since elk eat grass, you’re likely to see them wherever they have a chance to graze.
Like elk, bison are often spotted in riverside meadows. Believe it or not, bison have a bit of a temper—they’re responsible for most of the animal attacks in the area, so you’ll be glad to have a view of them from the safety of a raft! Adult bison can weigh up to two tons, but summer is a great time to look for calves, as most are born in May.
During your float trip, your guide might be able to point out some eagles’ nests, although the best way to view them is with a set of binoculars. If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to see an eagle inside too!
The osprey was once classified as a hawk, but it’s now considered its own family of birds. Because ospreys eat fish, they like to fly above the river, hovering over the water to spot their prey. When they see a fish, they plunge down feet-first to grab it in their talons, then fly away, fish in tow.
Great Blue Herons
Herons are wading birds that can be found on shores and in wetlands. Sometimes mistaken for cranes, herons will build stick nests in low shrubs and trees, and they eat fish, frogs, insects, mice, snakes, and even other birds.
Beavers aren’t just great builders—they’re also skilled swimmers! They can stay underwater for up to 15 minutes when hiding from predators. If you’ve never seen a beaver before, you might be surprised to find that they’re bigger than you expected—as one of the largest members of the rodent family, they can weigh as much as 100 pounds.
Moose eat willows along the river, and because they’re solitary animals, you’re unlikely to spot them in groups. The average moose can eat up to 70 pounds of twigs, leaves, and aquatic vegetation in a single day, so odds are that when you see them, they’ll be grazing!
Other Animals in Grand Teton National Park
Above, we’ve shared the animals you’re most likely to see on a Snake River scenic float trip, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wildlife in Grand Teton National Park. If you’re especially lucky, you may also see one of these animals during your float trip:
- Bighorn sheep
- Grizzly bears
- Black bears
- Mule deer
- Trumpeter swans
- River otters
- Sandhill cranes
Learn More About Jackson Hole Float Trips
If you’d like to learn more about what to expect on a Jackson Hole float trip, contact us today at 307-733-2871 or book your trip now.