With the snow beginning to melt and weather starting to warm up, spring in Jackson Hole is here. Both spring and fall here in this mountainous region seem to be awkward transitional periods with the weather, activities to do, and the influx of visitors giving a middling ground to winter and summer. However although the ski resorts will soon be closed, there are plenty of other things to enjoy. Below we go over some of our favorite things to do during Spring in Jackson Hole.
The beauty of this muddy snow melted season in Jackson Hole is that it is a much slower time for tourism than the heat of the summer and peak of the winter. Meaning you get to avoid the mayhem and crowds that normally gather throughout the parks during the summer months. Many of the hiking trails are covered in snow or mud still at this time of year but with some good boots you can still make the most of them.
Also it is a fantastic time for wildlife viewing as the animals begin to start being more active as the snow clears out and warmer weather ensues. Bears especially are much more active coming out of hibernation, and moving down from the mountains into the warmth of the valley to get some of their first meals of the year. The elk also begin their migration out of the Elk Refuge and into the hills, as well as bison in Yellowstone that tend to become much more active. Wildlife is not limited to the national parks, but Yellowstone and Grand Teton are some of the more popular areas for them to roam.
Another awesome thing about Grand Teton during the spring during April is that the Teton Park Road is open to non-motorized traffic only until May 1st when vehicles are permitted to travel along the road. This means that the road is fair game to bikers, roller bladers, skateboarders, walkers and runners only, without the annoyance of having to dodge cars while enjoying the views and the ride/stroll.
Before the snow melt is in full effect and the rivers start to roar with high water levels, the fly fishing is prime in the Greater Yellowstone region. While you will have to dress a bit warmer than usual, it is still a blast to get out and be on the water of the Snake River, or other nearby rivers. This period of calm water is typically throughout March and April, and it is recommended to get in touch with local fishing guides or shops to hear about the conditions. Once May and June roll around, usually this is when the water levels begin to rise depending on the harshness of the winter and how warm the spring has been, causing the rivers to become aggressively fast, murky and non-ideal for fishing. Fun fishing expeditions to the various lakes around Jackson can still be had.
Spring Skiing & Snowboarding
If you are still itching to slide down some slopes on your ski or snowboard, there is typically plenty of snow to still be had for much of spring in Jackson Hole thanks to the high elevation of the area. The Tetons are the place to be for spring skiing as the snow hangs around and Heli-skiing and backcountry touring guide services are usually still operating through May. For those looking for something a bit lighter, Snow King Mountain tends to retain snow for quite a while after closing and is fair game for skinning and hiking up, just exercise caution with rocks beginning to show themselves progressively as summer approaches. Jackson Hole Mountain Resort is also an option once the Aerial Tram opens for summer in late May. Skiing or snowboarding without heavy winter gear can feel quite liberating.