By the summer solstice, energy soars in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem with long, sunny days, young animals frolicking about, young birds calling from their nests, blooming flowers, and lots of curious visitors. The snow continues to melt at higher elevations fueling wildflower jubilees in alpine meadows. With over 1,000 species of flowering plants in Jackson Hole, the summer meadows are a spectacular mosaic of color. Consider hiking up into the mountains to catch the show.
This summer was foreshadowed by a dry spring season and very hot and dry conditions continue to prevail in Jackson Hole. By the middle of June, fire danger increased to high due to dry vegetation and lack of rain. 52 abandoned campfires have been reported by Teton Interagency personnel! A fire ban is now in place as dry conditions have further increased fire danger to “very high.” Please respect all fire bans.
Learn more: Campfire restrictions coming to Jackson Hole
Local — Grizzly Bears
The Grizzly Bear is an iconic and important species in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Its survival is critical to a healthy and balanced ecosystem. Habitat and territory size changes along with human interaction are creating challenges. Bear 863, fondly known as Felicia, and her two cubs of the year have just gone through a two-week hazing operation to keep them from U.S. Highway 26 and all the people who want their picture. Learn more about how you can help to ensure their survival. Remember to give all wildlife space. Maintain a distance of at least 100 yards from bears or wolves and 25 yards from all other wildlife.
Read more articles about the Girizzly Bear challenges here in Jackson Hole:
Regional — Record-breaking heat hits the West
Granted summers are typically hot in Jackson Hole, but this year the heat wave has arrived earlier and is staying longer. Over a six-day period during the middle of June, a dome of hot air languished over the Western United States, causing temperatures to skyrocket. From June 15-20, all-time maximum temperature records fell at locations in seven different states (CA, AZ, NM, UT, CO, WY, MT). Currently, a high pressure system envelops the West trapping hot, dry air.
We are in the mountains,
and the mountains are in us…
Wonderful how completely
everything in wild nature fits into us…
The Sun shines not on us, but in us.
The rivers flow not past,
but through us…
What’s in the Woods (field notes)
6/3 mid-eighties in town, hot and dry
6/5 (Hoback) larkspur, arrowleaf balsamroot, sugarbowl, leopard lily, penstemon, clematis, Indian paintbrush, dwarf waterleaf, cow elk with new calf, western tanager
6/7 (Snow King) geranium, phlox, young ravens begging from parents, serviceberry
6/8 (Cache Creek) geranium, false salomon seal, valerian, scarlet gilia, penstemon, arrowleaf balsamroot, serviceberry, chokecherry, death camus, phlox
6/12 (Dayton, Ohio) cicadas, lightning bugs, great blue heron, bats
6/16 (Game Creek) geranium, scarlet gilia, penstemon, flax, waxwings
6/16 fire danger level raises to high on public lands
6/23 (Ski Lake) geranium, balsamroot, lupine, flax, larkspur, Indian paintbrush, hot and dry
6/23 (Snake River) Bull Moose near the river looking for a break from the heat
6/26 (Atherton Creek) evening primrose, penstomen, sunflower, pronghorn, mule deer, Moose along Gros Ventre River
Join us for an interpretive hike to learn more about the flora and fauna of Jackson Hole. If you head out yourselves, look for mid-elevation hikes around 8,000 to 9,000 feet to enjoy beautiful wildflower displays in mountain meadows. In the Southern Tetons, Ski Lake is a local favorite. You can find lots of hiking options from this trailhead. Paintbrush Canyon is a great trail in Grand Teton Park and not as heavily traveled as some of the other canyons. You can’t beat an afternoon on the water during the heat of the day so join one of the many rafting companies to get wet. It’s quite busy on the roads and trails right now, so take a breath and enjoy the view if you get delayed.
- make sure to give all wildlife space
- headache is one of the first signs of dehydration — enjoy lots of Jackson’s fresh water
- tread lightly