Fall Color and Wildlife in Grand Teton National Park
No matter what time of year you visit, you’re sure to be blown away by the beauty and purity of Grand Teton National Park. If you have to choose a single season during which to visit, though, fall has to be one of the best options. Fall at Grand Teton generally occurs between the beginning of September and the middle of October. During those few weeks, 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. Learn more about the joys of visiting Grand Teton National Park in the fall below.
A Symphony of Striking Fall 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 table in the Tetons.
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.
The first thing that most people ask when it comes to visiting Grand Teton National Park for the fall colors is, “When’s peak season?” After all, if you arrive too early you will miss out on the boldest hues; if you arrive too late, most of the leaves will have been shed. As brief as the fall season is in the park, most people agree that the third week in September is the optimal time to visit. Remember, though, that many different factors can have an impact on just how vibrant and bold those fall colors get.
While you’ll probably see plenty of critters during the hot 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; many sleep the hot days away. In the fall, though, all of that changes. Suddenly, bears are out foraging for berries in order to fatten up for their upcoming hibernations; other animals scurry about, in preparation for the winter months. If seeing animals on the move is your goal, fall is a great time to be in Grand Teton National Park.
Fall is 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 animals.
An Unforgettable Time in the Tetons
Most people pencil in their visits to the Tetons for the spring and summer. If you’d like to break away from the crowd, though, and want to see some truly spectacular colors, fall is a prime time to visit. In addition to seeing wildlife at its most active, you’ll also be able to explore to park in a much quieter way. The crowds of the summer will have long since left, leaving you to enjoy unparalleled peace and serenity. With the reds, golds, yellows and oranges of fall as your backdrop, your visit will be truly unbeatable.