Typical October weather is cooler and cloudier as Fall deepens in Jackson Hole. We had a few nice days in the middle of the month. The leaves changed, the light softened and then cold air descended from the north. At the end of the month, overnight temperatures plummeted below zero to break all records. The upcoming winter forecast is “cold and snowy” for this area and that has begun, with a bang. Most Jackson locals would agree that summer 2019 felt too short with a wet spring and the recent cold temperatures which shortened our Fall.
Changes are coming to the National Elk Refuge outside of the town of Jackson. The 24,700-acre refuge is managed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and is the largest feed ground in the valley. The feeding program began in 1912 and has a current target population goal of 5,000 elk. Their long-term goal is to scale back feeding and reduce the number of elk to a point where feeding won’t be necessary in an ordinary winter.
The plan for this winter is to start feeding later and end earlier. The herd’s behavior will be monitored and the feeding plan is “adaptive” so elk won’t have to leave the refuge in search of food, become too stressed, or risk die-off.
A 30-day public review period ended on October 30. Read more »
Wyoming students excel at state testing! Since the No Child Left Behind Act was passed in 2002, all states are required to test children’s math and reading skills. The testing is designed to measure academic achievement across multiple grade levels. While requirements vary a bit from state to state, the results show that Wyoming students in the 4th and 8th grades scored higher than average in math and reading. Way to go, Wyoming! Read more »
Our bodies naturally align with nature. Don’t forget the healing power of time outdoors to calm and rejuvenate you. To make the most of your time outside, be present to your breath and the feel of your feet on the trail. Take the time for you!
As Henry Thoreau wrote, “I feel a little alarmed when it happens that I have walked a mile into the woods bodily, without getting there in spirit. What business do I have in the woods, if I am thinking of something outside of the woods?”
Quoted in Writing Nature, Henry David Thoreau’s Journal
What’s in the woods
10/4 – herd of bighorn sheep on highway 191 near Pinedale
10/5—10/12 – Granite Creek: Bull moose, herd of mule deer, flocks of mountain bluebirds, short-eared owl, red tail hawks, numerous red squirrels and chipmunks
10/8- sunny and cold
10/9- nine degrees at first light
10/18- mule deer crossing Snow King Avenue near Karns Meadow
10/19- trumpeter swans on pond at Puzzleface Ranch
10/20- winter storm watch
10/21- 13 inches of snow falls in the Tetons
10/23- Highway 22: female elk migrating south of highway toward river and southern feed grounds
10/23- Fall Creek Road: small herd of mule deer
10/30- arctic cold front, -7 degrees Fahrenheit in Jackson
There’s still lots of great valley hiking to do. Temperatures will determine trail conditions. Cold nights will keep the mud frozen, so enjoy an early morning walk in treed areas. It’s always fun to hike into Taggert Lake in Grand Teton National Park. You will run into snow but good boots, gaiters and poles make a walk or a more adventurous hike a wonderful early season excursion. On Teton Pass, you can hike up to Crater Lake outside of the town of Wilson. Cache Creek and Josie’s Ridge make for fun town excursions. Do note that some road closures have begun, including the inner Grand Teton National Park road and the Moose-Wilson Road. Wildlife closures begin December 1 so enjoy the trails now before access is limited. Be bear aware. Have fun!