While Spring has officially begun, it arrived with more snow and cold temperatures, which is not uncommon in the Teton region. It was a record-breaking snow year. The Jackson Hole Mountain Resort has reported over 580 inches at the resort’s summit and the Town of Jackson has reported over 100 inches.
Even though cold temps and snow dominate the weather, signs of spring can be found. Ravens and eagles are nesting in the valley and the songbirds are returning to look for nesting spots, tidy new habitats, and sing for mates. It’s bird migration season – keep your eyes and ears open to enjoy the visitors. It’s been a long winter for the herbivores. Deer, moose, and elk, all herbivores, await green grass. Longer days and warmer temperatures will tip the scale to spring eventually.
Learn more: Birds Return to Yellowstone »
Yellowstone earthquake activity at elevated levels
Yellowstone National Park, which marks the northern boundary of Jackson Hole, is a seismically active area that is part of the Rocky Mountain chain. The massive Yellowstone caldera was formed by three cataclysmic eruptions, the last of which was 640,000 years ago. The super volcano below the caldera houses a hot bed of magma, approximately 4-6 miles under the earth’s crust.
Scientists continually monitor the caldera and two swarms of activity have recently occurred:
1. A swarm of 147 earthquakes, centered about 3 miles east-southeast of West Yellowstone, Montana, occurred during March 13–18.
2. A swarm of 106 earthquakes, beneath the northern portion of Yellowstone Lake approximately 3 miles south southeast of Lake, Yellowstone National Park, began on March 29 and continued through the end of the month.
Learn more: Yellowstone Volcano Updates »
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong dance.”
- The first bears are out of hibernation. They look for winter kill, or carrion, as an immediate food source.
- Red-winged blackbirds, mountain bluebirds, and meadowlarks have made it back to the valley. What wonderful signs of spring. Enjoy all the bird songs.
- It’s almost flower time. Look for spring buttercups on the melting edges of the snow. They begin to photosynthesize and grow with the longer days.
- It’s time to carry bear spray as bears leave hibernation.
- Watch the temperatures to choose best recreational activity. Look for the corn snow cycle when it warms in the day and freezes at night — super fun to ski.
- Wildlife is stressed at this time of year, especially with all of the deep snow — be extra careful to minimize disturbance and expect them on the roadways.
The inner road is plowed in Grand Teton National Park so you can bike, roller blade or walk based on conditions. You can park on the north end by Signal Mountain or the south end by Taggart Lake trailhead. Lots of ski options will be available for a while. Bike paths will dry quickly with upcoming warmer days. Make sure to check out the weather and be prepared for varying conditions.
Enjoy this change of season and quiet time of the year in Jackson. The Hole Hiking Experience closes for a Spring break so our team of naturalists can take a break, the snow melts, and the trails dry out. Our hiking season begins May 8. All this snow will moisten the meadows and fill the lakes. We are looking forward to a great hiking season ahead.