• Activities:

    Chillin, Photography

  • Skill Level:

    Beginner

  • Season:

    Spring, Summer, Autumn

Easy Parking
Scenic

Once-in-a-lifetime views. Flying in a small plane. No technical knowledge required. Short time requirement. Beautiful scenery.

Flying around the Grand Teton in Grand Teton National Park is a once-in-a-lifetime experience, especially at sunrise or sunset. Viewing the Tetons from ground level at Grand Teton National Park is a spectacular view, but seeing the Tetons from the air is unreal.

Finding a Plane and Pilot: There are many private pilots in the area that jump at any opportunity to fly as long as you cover the cost of flying the plane. Find a local hangar or small airport and go into the fixed-based operator (FBO), and there should be all kinds of pilots there. The hourly rate will fluctuate up or down depending on the pilot. It took about an hour and a half to fly around the Tetons from Idaho Falls.

Weather Conditions: Do not fly on a stormy or heavily clouded day. If there is a storm the day of your flight, reschedule it for another day. Most pilots will only fly when the weather conditions are optimal. It's not worth the even slightest chance of a problem because of the weather.

Time to Fly: If flying from Idaho Falls or Driggs, make sure to get going before the sunrise since the sun comes up above the Tetons and can be very colorful depending on the clouds. If flying from Jackson Hole, you will want to get up in the air before sunset.

How to Take Pictures through the Glass Windows: If your pilot doesn't want you to open the windows during the flight, you'll need to do the following to reduce the window glare and increase sharpness when taking photos:

  • Turn off the flash
  • Get as close to the window as possible without touching it
  • Attach a lens hood if you have one or cup your hand around the lens to shield it from reflections
  • Increase the shutter speed to reduce any camera vibrations
  • Don't rest the camera on any part of the plane, since the plane is vibrating
  • Use a large aperture since you don't need depth of field
  • Make sure to look at every area in the viewfinder to ensure no reflections are present
  • Preview your photos after taking them to see if there are any reflections
  • Use the manual focus if automatic isn't working

Pack List

  • Water
  • Camera
  • Sunglasses
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Please respect the places you find on The Outbound.

Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures. Be aware of local regulations and don't damage these amazing places for the sake of a photograph. Learn More

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Always wanted to do this for some unique aerial photography - great info to get going on!

over 2 years ago
over 2 years ago

Josh Packer Explorer

I love exploring Idaho and other nearby states. I live in Idaho with my wife and three boys. I'm a full-time accountant but obsessed photographer and adventurer.

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