There’s no bad time to plan your Jackson Hole vacation, but in October the crowds thin and the colors change. Aspen trees and ground foliage in bright yellows and oranges are striking set against the granite of the Tetons. And while snow might dust across the top of the peaks, there are plenty of lower elevation fall hikes where you can have the trails and scenery to yourself.
Here are a few fall hikes you should consider.
Cascade Canyon is teeming with people in the summer. A boat shuttle shortens the hike, but visitors are also drawn to the canyon’s beauty. The canyon clears out in the fall. The Jenny Lake boat shuttle closes before October so you’ll have to hike around the lake. This mellow trail along the shoreline is a great outing in itself. But if you have the energy, at the other side of the lake continue the short climb to Inspiration Point and Hidden Falls, some of the most popular spots in the park during the summer. If you want something longer continue up the canyon. It won’t be hard to understand why this is one of the park’s most popular hiking areas in the summer.
Granite Canyon to Teton Village
This mild trek starts through stands of aspen trees and opens to view of Jackson Hole. Start at the Granite Canyon trailhead, walk to the Valley Trail Junction, about 1 mile from the start. Then head south for about 2.5 miles coming out at the Jackson Hole Mountain Resort.
To keep the hike short, leave a car at the village before you going to the trailhead.
Expect vibrant colors and even some wildlife.
Another hike that attracts the masses in the summer, it’s easy to see why when the crowds clear. You’ll get some short climbs, Teton views, fall foliage and two mountain lakes in just more than 5 miles. Often done as a lollipop loop, you also get new scenery most of the route.
Really there isn’t a bad hike in Grand Teton National Park, you’ll just want to watch the snow line when planning your outing.
Jackson Hole weather can change quickly this time of year. A warm day where you hike in a t-shirt might be followed by a day of snow and jacket-weather. Come prepared. Pack a variety of clothing options in your suitcase, but also your backpack. Don’t forget layers on the trail, food, water and a headlamp—just in case. It starts to get dark earlier this time of year. Don’t forget your bear spray and remember that even low-elevation hikes in Jackson start at more than 6,000-feet. It can make even an “easy” fall hike strenuous if you aren’t acclimated.