Autumn is a dynamic time of year here in Jackson Hole with sunshine, rain, snow and sleet. Each day brings a new surprise. The high peaks are enshrouded in snow, most of our local birds have migrated to southern climates and animals are on the move seeking lower elevations and winter territories.
The Hole Hiking Experience is closed for fall break. We re-open November 22. Book your snowshoeing, cross-country skiing and wildlife tours online now and share the natural world with your family and friends this winter.
Local — Teton Park Visitation Reaches New Heights
Jackson Hole gets busier each year and management of our valley is changing. The increased interest in nature, national parks, and the call to be outdoors have impacted all public lands. Our local community and Grand Teton Park have adjusted management to better understand this change in visitation. Steps are being taken to inform the public to reduce impact, respect wildlife and protect resources. Sadly, impact has the potential to spiral out of control.
Regional — Avian Migration: The Ultimate Red-Eye Flight
Fall is the season of avian migration. Of the 700 or more bird species nesting in North America, more than 400 species migrate. And what a feat of nature that is! In late summer, migrating birds produce new feathers and gorge themselves in preparation for their journey to southern winter territories. Migration takes several weeks during the months of October and November. We are used to seeing the formations of geese traveling during the day, but many songbirds travel by night. Amazing to think as we sleep, thousands of birds fly overhead.
“Birds of Passage” by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Black shadows fall
From the lindens tall,
That lift aloft their massive wall
Against the southern sky;
And from the realms
Of the shadowy elms
A tide-like darkness overwhelms
The fields that round us lie.
But the night is fair,
A warm, soft vapor fills the air,
And distant sounds seem near,
And above, in the light
Of the star-lit night,
Swift birds of passage wing their flight
Through the dewy atmosphere.
I hear the beat
Of their pinions fleet,
As from the land of snow and sleet
They seek a southern lea.
I hear the cry
Of their voices high
Falling dreamily through the sky,
But their forms I cannot see.
O, say not so!
Those sounds that flow
In murmurs of delight and woe
Come not from wings of birds.
They are the throngs
Of the poet’s songs,
Murmurs of pleasures, and pains, and wrongs,
The sound of winged words.
This is the cry
Of souls, that high
On toiling, beating pinions, fly,
Seeking a warmer clime,
From their distant flight
Through realms of light
It falls into our world of night,
With the murmuring sound of rhyme.
What’s in the Woods
10/9 (Jackson) mule deer in backyard, chickadees, robins, Grizzly 399 and cubs near Spring Gulch Road
10/10 (Bryon Flats) flock of mountain bluebirds
10/11 fresh snow in the mountains
10/13 (String Lake, Grand Teton Park) elk bugling
10/17 bluebird day, high of 60
10/20 (Grand Teton Park) beavers building lodge at sawmill ponds, bugling elk, bull moose,
Daily weather will determine the best tour options. The high peaks are covered in snow so recreating in lower elevations is best. As trails get muddy, bike paths are always a great option. One fall favorite is to walk along the river. The dike has a gravel surface. Game Creek, south of Jackson, is also a favorite of mine since it is an old roadway so lots of room to maneuver. In Grand Teton Park, both the Teton Park Road and the Moose-Wilson Road close November 1. Animals are on the move to winter territories so stay alert on the roadways. Bears are still active. Have fun and enjoy this change of season!
- Be prepared for cold temperatures and sudden changes in weather
- Watch for wildlife on road
Journey into the heart of winter on a Jackson Hole snowshoe or Nordic ski tour with an educated naturalist guide. Follow animal tracks in the snow, examine different aspects of winter ecology and enjoy the outstanding beauty of Jackson Hole as it is blanketed in white. Winter tours are offered in Grand Teton National Park and the surrounding National Forest.