Plein Air Painting Sites Wyoming

The Devil's Tower, National Monument 
North-Eastern Wyoming

The Devil's Tower is a National Monument not a National Park.  The N.P. Pass works here if you have one. 

To Get There: In the North Eastern corner of Wyoming near the borders of North and South Dakota.  If you are on Interstate 90 take Route 14 west to Route 24 North to Devil's Tower Nat. Monument.  It is well signposted - you can't miss it.

This monolith dominates the landscape, but the surrounding area has an attraction of its own. This is an area in transition. Rolling grasslands, red rock outcroppings, and conifer covered mountain slopes all occur within a short distance.

A good location for painting the tower itself is from the park's campgrounds. The campground is shaded by a grove of cottonwoods that provides a contrast to the conifer's that line the slopes of the tower. The cottonwoods had just started to show their fall colors when we were there in mid-September.

A large meadow to the west of the campground provides a clear view of the monolith and the surrounding area. Accessible from the western campsites, is a small stand of cottonwoods that extend out into the meadow, where you can setup in the shade. Since the campground is to the south of the tower, this site works for both morning and afternoon light.

Bathrooms available at the campsite.

Site Description provided by: Eunice Van Der Linden - Artist from Scotts Valley, California

Yellowstone National Park and the Grand Tetons, Wyoming

Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park are both in the State of Wyoming.  They are a natural fit to visit on the same trip as they are relatively close together.  Purchasing your Park Entry Pass for one, gives you entry to the other so you might as well enjoy them both.  Your Pass is good for 7 days.

Special Note for Seniors (anyone over 62 years of age) - You can purchase a Lifetime Pass to all the National Parks in USA for $10! An amazing deal - and it covers anyone in the car with you - so take advantage of this.  The Lifetime Pass can be purchased at the entry to any National Park in America

Jackson Lake Lodge at Jackson Lake - Grand Teton National Park

Even if you're not a guest at the Lodge, you can access the amazing view from the deck of the Lodge - it is a public area and well suited to photographers and artists.  You won't be the first one to plein air paint in this incredible spot!  Bathrooms and food available inside the Lodge - and the view from the bar can't be beat!

The Lodge building itself is positioned on a bluff immediately in front of Jackson Lake. The Lake runs parallel to the Teton Range with Mount Moran peak directly in front of the Lodge. Mt. Moran is named after the famous landscape painter, Thomas Moran and is 13,784 ft. in altitude with year round snow.

Important Painting Notes:

As the Teton Range runs North to South, one has to paint this range in the morning with the sun shining directly behind the easel and full on the mountain range. 

Another tip: Be sure to paint the mountain shadows first, as they change very quickly – without the shadows you will be sunk almost immediately. To do an afternoon painting of the range you would need to be West of them to enjoy optimum lighting conditions. Or one could try a sunset painting with the Tetons all dark and backlit by the setting sun - better be a quick painter to pull this one off.

Jenny Lake - Grand Teton National Park

Jenny Lake is short drive from Jackson Lake Lodge with breathtaking views of Tetons as you approach Jenny Lake. The small lake is full of reflections and quite peaceful. The parking lot there is a good painting spot – Again, paint this in the morning because of the lighting situation described in the Jackson Lake Lodge section.

Snake River/Highway 191 S. outside of Jackson, Wyoming

I highly recommend highway 191S out of Jackson, WY, just before tuning onto highway 26 outside the Idaho border. The Snake River is huge and a milky turquoise green. I am in the Targhee National Forest.  There are many small pull outs along 191 with room for 1 or 2 cars and never a no parking sign, so there are many possible sites to paint. I hiked down a narrow trail for a couple of minutes which took me to the edge of the Snake, where I set up.  No bathrooms here.

Site Visited by Cynthia Riordan - plein air artist.

Thank you Cynthia!

Yellowstone Falls- Lower Falls, Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River are a bit difficult to get to, but absolutely worth the effort.  There are two main vantage points.  We recommend both depending on how much hiking you want to do to get there.  Artists Point is the furthest hike from the parking area at the Upper Falls being about 1.5 miles of hiking along the rim of the Yellowstone Gorge.  There is a shorter hike if Artists Point is too much of a reach with your plein air painting gear.  It is the spot with an overlook with a railing which is a short distance below the actual Lower Falls.  This area offers a fabulous view seen in the above photo. This spot is less than a mile from the parking area and therefore much more doable for most of us.

You may recognize this image as it is the view I painted for the Home Page image!  It was truly a peak experience to stand on the canyon rim and paint the Falls.

Be sure to take drinking water and a hat - the day I did this it was really hot and there are no water sources once you are on the trail and hauling your gear. 

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