October Transforms Jackson Hole

October transforms Jackson Hole

Gone are the crowds and delays around the Town Square. Most of the people you’ll sit next to at restaurants are locals. And wildlife are most often spotted this time of year as they prepare for winter.  The shoulder-, or off-season, seems to grow shorter each year in Jackson as more festivals and events draw people to town year round.

October is one of those rare quiet months left before the snow starts to fly and powder hounds descend on the valley, but temperatures have cooled enough that vacationers know this is no longer the time to go for a summer vacation. Town is quieter, but for those seeking an authentic glimpse of Jackson Hole, this is the perfect time to go. Take a wildlife tour and listen to elk bugle. Cast a line on the Snake River and enjoy the solitude. Hike low-elevation trails shrouded with gold and orange leaves.

October shot of the Tetons
For many people who live in the area, this is their favorite time to visit Grand Teton and Yellowstone National Park. Services are limited, but so are the crowds.  But be beware. The weather in Jackson Hole is often unpredictable, especially this time of year. Roads, in particular in Yellowstone National Park, might close due to snow. Carry extra layers and be prepared for snow if you hike.

This is the best time of year to take Jackson Hole wildlife tours. Experienced guides will take you out looking for moose, elk and bears.
The elk mating season, known as “the rut,” runs through October. In the quiet you can hear the shrill bugle the animals make to attract mates.

Snake River Cutthroat
Bears are active this time of year, scouring for extra calories to pack on the pounds before heading to hibernate.
For those looking to more than watch Wyoming’s iconic wildlife, several hunting seasons begin in the fall, attracting sportsmen and women to the area searching for game. Check with Wyoming Game and Fish for season and license information. No matter your activity choice, if you seek quiet and solitude, October is the best time to find it in Jackson Hole.

Teton Pass

Jackson Hole Fall Arts Festival

Fall Arts Festival

For generations Jackson Hole has attracted artists and one look around the landscape, it’s easy to see why. Inspiration abounds.

But Jackson has become more than just a place for plein air painters to study. It’s one of the top art markets in the United States and each autumn collectors and artists come together to create, view, buy and celebrate art during the Fall Arts Festival.

In its 32nd year, the event runs Sept. 7-18 this year. Galleries feature new and emerging works, as well as pieces from their premier and most beloved artists. Many of the artists spend time in the gallery offering demonstrations or greeting patrons.

Events include a quick draw competition where artists create work with limited time and then sell it. The Western Design Conference brings in more than 130 artists to showcase original furniture, fashion and jewelry.

Historic ranch tours take you inside and behind the scenes of some of the valley’s working ranches. Architects and designers welcome visitors into some of the town’s most exquisite houses during the Showcase of Homes. Taste of the Tetons create culinary works of art to sample at a tasting fair.

The schedule is packed with artist receptions, a wine tasting and one of the premier art auctions in the country.

One of the festival’s highlights, the Palates & Palette Gallery Walk, held this year on Sept. 9, pairs local restaurants with galleries. It’s the perfect evening to get a taste of the art scene, moving from each festive mini-party to the next.

Fall is also a great time to appreciate nature’s works of art  with one of Barker-Ewing’s Grand Teton float trips. They run through Sept. 10. A relaxing Jackson Hole float trip allows you to take in the changing colors and wildlife preparing for winter. You might just find yourself inspired to create your own work of art.