If you’ve just moved to Jackson Hole or want to visit the lively western town and the nearby Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Parks, autumn is one of the best times of year to do so.
The summer crowds have cleared out — hello, highways with fewer RVs and trailers! — and fall is definitely in the air, with the leaves starting to change colors and the temperatures taking a bracing dip. The snowflakes haven’t begun to fly yet, although they can in late October, so why not get out and explore this magical corner of Wyoming?
People are buying houses for sale in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, in part because the rustic mountain resort town of approximately 10,000 residents sits at the base of three ski resorts and is only a short drive to two of the nation’s most wondrous national parks. Even though the temperatures begin to drop in autumn, there are numerous other activities, such as hiking, mountain biking, fly-fishing, and whitewater rafting.
Here are some of the top outdoor activities in Jackson Hole this fall.
Ride the tram
Those who already own Jackson Hole real estate know that a great way to get oriented to the area is to ride the aerial tram at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort in Teton Village, just a short drive from downtown Jackson Hole. It takes a mere nine minutes to be whisked up 4,139 feet to an elevation of 10,450 feet, which literally can be breathtaking if you’ve never been at that altitude. The views of the Tetons and the surrounding area are exhilarating, providing visitors with a panoramic vista of this special area.
Once there, visitors can take a hike to continue soaking in the wonder of the area.
Courtesy of: Jackson Hole
Scenic Loop Drive
Unless you’re a hardcore hiker and prefer exploring on foot, the best way to get introduced to the soaring majesty of the Tetons, as well as the wildlife in the surrounding meadows, is to drive the 42-mile Scenic Loop in Grand Teton National Park. The closest entrance to Loop Drive is at Moose Junction, which is a few miles north of Jackson Hole. This incredible drive is actually on two roads, the outer road, which is made up of state U.S. Highways 191, 89, and 26, and Teton Park Road, which is also known as the inner road.
There are numerous overlooks, turnouts, and historical sites where you can stop to take photos, observe wildlife, and simply soak up the awesome views. Plan to spend several hours making the loop drive in order to take in as many sights as possible. Locals suggest starting early in the morning for the best wildlife viewing as well as seeing the Tetons in the sun’s golden light. Dusk is also another prime time for watching wildlife, which includes bison, elk, and the occasional bear.
Those who own Jackson Hole real estate know to stay clear of wildlife and to pull over only in designated turnouts. The inner road closes on November 1. The outer road is open year-round, but be cautious because autumn snowstorms aren’t uncommon.
One of the highlights of the drive is stopping at one of the numerous turnouts along Jackson Lake and seeing the reflection of the Tetons in the water. At various points along the way, you’ll encounter gorgeous displays of fall foliage.
Yellowstone National Park
Just north of Teton National Park is one of the crown jewels of the National Park System, Yellowstone. This majestic wilderness area sprawls over 3,500 square miles that are perched atop a volcanic hot spot, which provides the thermal power for the many hot springs and geysers, including everyone’s favorite, Old Faithful.
It’s recommended that visitors spend three or four days in Yellowstone in order to fully enjoy its varied geographical features. They include the Upper Geyser Basin where Old Faithful is located, the thundering Upper and Lower Yellowstone Falls in what is known as the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, the intriguing Mammoth Hot Springs on the northern edge, and the sprawling Lamar Valley on the eastern side. There’s also the deep-blue Yellowstone Lake, with its abundant recreational opportunities.
Not only have the summer crowds gone away, but the wildlife also comes out in force in the fall. You’ll see plenty of bison, elk, foxes, and bears. Drive carefully and slowly because you could encounter bison on the roads, and they always have the right of way! Keep well clear of animals whether you’re in a car or on foot.
Yellowstone is a little more than an hour’s drive from Jackson Hole real estate, making it an easy day trip. There are several hotels and inns in Yellowstone but plan accordingly because many of them close in early October when the park can be under several inches of snow.
Photo courtesy of papercitymag.com
Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival
Back in town, one of the signature civic events enjoyed by those who own Jackson Hole real estate is the Fall Arts Festival, which starts in early September and lasts nearly two weeks, including two full weekends. Artists from around the world, as well as Jackson Hole, display their works in galleries and booths set up downtown.
There are a plethora of activities to take in at the festival, including Palettes and Palates, Western Visions, the Western Design Conference, and the Quick Draw. Not to be missed is the one-day Jackson Hole Showcase of Homes, a self-guided fundraising tour of some of the more spectacular residences in town.
There are myriad other activities and attractions in this western-flavored town in the fall.
If you’re interested in viewing Jackson Hole homes for sale in 2021, contact Carol Linton for assistance and guidance on how to choose the right property for your needs.