It doesn’t matter where you spend your summer, Jackson Hole is the place to be in the autumn. The fall colors of orange, gold, and red come out in full force in the months of September and October. Fall in the mountains is an annual beauty not to be missed. Every season has its own charm, but there’s something special about autumn in Jackson Hole.
“The summer crowds are long gone, the aspens are turning colors, and there’s a familiar crispness in the air. Thin sprinklings of snow have already dusted the mountains, yet ski season is still a month or two away.” Jackson Hole Traveler
The pine trees and other evergreens don’t change colors, but there are plenty of deciduous trees in the Jackson Hole area. Look for the Quaking Aspen, a very tall tree (82 feet), to change its colors from green to yellow. The Dwarf Birch is a shrub (3-4 feet high) whose leaves change from green to red. Another shrub, the Red-Osier Dogwood, has fall leaves that are bright red to purple. Rocky Mountain Maple trees are not particularly tall (30-40 feet), but have beautiful muted red-colored leaves in the fall.
Photographers, both casual and professional, come to Jackson Hole every year to capture the incredible moments of fall. Tour guides can direct you to some of the best spots and best times to photograph the landscape and wildlife you are in search of. Companies like Jack Bayles Photography and AlpenGlow Tours know the Jackson Hole area, the seasons, and can give tips on photography in general. Or maybe you’re more independent and want to try it on your own. Grand Teton National Park and Snake River Canyon are some of the most popular spots.
But even if you’re not into photography, the season of transition shouldn’t be missed. While you’re appreciating the color change of leaves, you can join in the fun events and activities of Jackson Hole in the fall.
Jackson Hole Fall Arts
Every September Jackson Hole celebrates art in the Tetons by hosting the Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival. The first festival was held in 1985. This year is the 32nd annual festival, and will start on Wednesday, September 7, 2016, and end on Sunday, September 18, 2016. The various events take place all over town, including the The Inn at Jackson Hole Conference Center, the Snow King Center, and the town square.
Each festival has a featured artist, one whose art is a reflection of Jackson Hole. This year’s featured artist is Edward Aldrich, a painter of North American wildlife and landscapes. His featured painting is called Greeting the Dawn, an oil painting of an American bison with some mountains in the background.
Festival participants can expect to meet lots of artists and art-lovers. Several artists will paint out on the street in front of live audiences. Galleries will display works of art, giving onlookers a chance to browse and find their favorites. Near the end of the 11 days the Jackson Hole Art Auction will begin at noon on Saturday, September 17. If you’ve done your homework, then you’ll be ready to outbid your competing buyers for that prize piece of artwork.
Throughout the festival there’s an atmosphere of celebration of art, food, wine, and life in Jackson Hole. Visitors appreciate the warm hospitality and charm of the community. The festival brings together people from all walks of life with different perspectives and artistic talents. When you come, not only will you feel welcome, but you’ll have the chance to learn something and see the Old West through others’ eyes.
Other Fall Fun
If you miss the Fall Arts Festival, there are other events in the fall you might consider, like the LoToJa Bicycle Classic (Logan, Utah To Jackson Hole, Wyoming). This is a 210-mile bicycle race, all completed in one day (September 10). There is also the Jackson Hole Marathon and Old Bill’s Fun Run. Hunting and fishing are available throughout the fall for those with the proper licenses. A unique natural phenomenon you have to hear for yourself is the annual elk mating call. Also called “bugling,” this is one of nature’s songs you can find in Grand Teton National Park.
Where To Stay
Teton Club combines unparalleled luxury with rustic Western aesthetics to create an unforgettable vacation experience. The resort is located in Teton Village in the valley of Jackson Hole, Wyoming, widely considered one of the best skiing destinations in North America. Teton Club offers a wide range of amenities you can enjoy during your time in Jackson Hole, including ski-in/ski-out access, an underground parking garage with valet service, a private lounge, library, and a Great Room ideal for relaxing after a long day on the slopes.