No matter what time of year you visit, you’re sure to be blown away by the beauty of Grand Teton National Park, but fall is exceptionally extraordinary. From the beginning of September until the middle of October, fall foliage is in abundance, wildlife is wonderfully active and crowds are reliably thin. In terms of peacefulness and scenery, you just can’t ask for more.
A Symphony of Colors
Mother Nature’s palette is never more remarkable than it is during the height of the fall. It’s no different in the Tetons, where yellows and oranges - along with a smattering of vivid reds - can be found throughout the park. Whether you plan to embark on an ambitious hike, or if you’re just going to enjoy the show from the comfort of your vehicle, you’re sure to revel in the breathtaking colors that fall brings to the Tetons. As brief as the season is, most people agree that the third week in September is the optimal time to visit.
Trees as Far as the Eye Can See
Like other national parks, Grand Teton National Park boasts a very eclectic variety of deciduous trees. That, of course, is why fall is such a splendid time to visit the park. Willow trees transform into explosions of gold and orange along canyons and lakes; cottonwoods wend their way along the Snake River and various creeks with leaves of yellow and red. All along the park’s many hillsides, aspens wave and undulate in the fall breeze, showing off their vibrant colors. You don’t have to be a tree expert to understand that the sheer number and variety that’s found in this park is remarkable.
While you’ll probably see plenty of critters during the summer months, they aren’t going to be as evident - and they aren’t going to be as active, either. During the hottest parts of the year, most animals become a little sluggish and many sleep away the day. During fall though, bears are out foraging for berries in order to fatten up for their upcoming hibernations, while other animals scurry about in preparation for the winter months. Fall is also mating or breeding season for many animals in the Grand Tetons. As the day wraps up, it’s not unusual to hear the unique call of the male deer who is looking for his perfect female match. As you explore the park, you could easily run across sparring male elk who are trying to sort out who the dominant male really is. Bull moose are known to spar, too, which increases your odds of seeing this amazing sight. Just remember to keep your distance, though - active animals can be testy.