While March is typically cool and wet, Spring began with unseasonably warm temperatures this year. Sunshine and warm temperatures have swept the valley’s southern slopes free of snow to make way for green grass and early spring flowers. Many species of birds have returned to the Hole, including geese, bluebirds, robins, cranes and many more. Each day feels vibrant — spring is in the air.
With the recent warm temps and snow melt, animals are migrating. Most are lean and hungry after the winter, so it’s crucial to allow the animals to move about with minimal disturbance and undue stress. Don’t forget that wildlife closures are in place until May 1 and remain careful on the roads, especially at night.
Please note that The Hole Hiking Experience spring closure is April 10 through May 8. Book all summer tours online now.
Local — Airport closure
The Jackson Hole airport will close on April 11. Renovations and needed runway maintenance will leave us without local flights for about two months. This $44 million dollar project comes with a $1M incentive to complete construction on time. The plan is to work 24 hours each day in order to meet the June 28 projected completion date. Idaho Falls, Salt Lake City and Bozeman are alternative options during our airport closure.
Learn more: Runway Construction
Regional — Birds return to Jackson with the longer days of spring
Many species of birds leave the area to migrate south during the non-breeding season and return to nest at this time of the year. Lots of different birds have already returned and our days begin with wonderful bird songs.
A sure sign of spring is hearing the song of the Western Meadowlark, the Wyoming State bird. The males sing a melodious, sweet song usually from their territories and on an elevated perch. They are a colorful member of the blackbird family and both males and females have a yellow breast. They are about the size of a robin but chunkier and shorter-tailed. They are ground nesters and their song can be heard near their preferred habitat which is grasslands or rangelands. I heard them near South Park which is fun place to walk the bike path.
Listen to the song of the Western Meadowlark and learn more at Audubon.com »
At some point in life,
the world’s beauty becomes enough.”
- The valley is “greening up” as grasses and plants grow with the increased sunlight, warmth and moisture
- Owls, ravens and eagles have chicks in the nest
April is a month of transition. Days could be sunny, rainy, snowy, hot or cold. Base your daily outdoor excursion on weather conditions. Don’t forget about the bike paths around town to walk or ride. The inner park road in Grand Teton Park is closed to vehicles until May 1 so this is a great month to walk or roll on bikes and rollerblades beneath the Teton Peaks without car traffic. You can park at Taggart Lake trailhead or north at Signal Mountain. Both Game Creek or Cache Creek are great trail options near the town of Jackson. Be prepared for spring conditions. Trails can be quite muddy this time of year.
Backcountry Safety & Etiquette
- Don’t forget, wildlife closures are in effect until May 1, 2022
- Bears are coming out of hibernation — be alert and carry bear spray
- Remember to give all wildlife lots so space to be wild