4 Oct 2021
When September & October roll around, our valley comes alive with vibrant autumn hues that contrast against the soaring mountains and bright blue skies - it’s a sight to behold! Here are some of our favorite spots to leaf peep and take in the beauty of Jackson Hole in the fall.
This iconic photo op spot lights up with the colors of fall against the backdrop of Mount Moran. Located in Grand Teton National Park, Oxbow Bend holds one of the most scenic views in the Teton Range. For the best viewing, get there in the early morning when Mount Moran is reflected in the tranquil Snake River, and don’t forget to bring your camera! Take a stroll along the beautiful shoreline while the spectacular fall colors reflect off the water. Keep an eye out for moose or elk!
Fall Creek Road
Fancy a drive? One of the most beautiful autumn drives in the valley is on Fall Creek Road. This 17 mile long rural byway can be enjoyed a few ways; as a 20 mile out & back drive that starts and finishes in Wilson, or as a 40 mile loop from the town of Jackson. You’ll find the most intense colors near the cottonwoods by the Snake River (about 8 miles south of Wilson) as well as around Munger Mountain, where you’ll enjoy the vivid yellow hues of thousands of aspen trees.
From The Snake River On A Scenic Float
There may be no other more serene, breathtaking way to enjoy the fall colors than from a scenic float down the Snake River in fall. Your guide will give you all sorts of great facts and history as you meander along, and you’ll want to keep your eyes out for wildlife both in and out of the water!
This is another iconic spot to photograph the Tetons, and it’s possibly even more stunning in the fall. Schwabacher’s Landing provides a panoramic view of hues of changing leaves against the towering Teton Range. This spot is great in the early morning light as the sunrise dances on the Tetons, or at sunset as the sun lays down behind the range.
Moose-Wilson is a must-do drive during your visit, and especially in the fall. This 8-mile road starts at the entrance to Grand Teton National Park and ends at the Craig Thomas Discovery & Visitor Center. In the fall, you’ll be mesmerized with the beautiful autumn colors, rolling landscape and hidden marshes. Take your time and drive slow - this is an active wildlife area! You’ll have the opportunity to spot moose, bears, owls, beavers & more lurking in the bushes, or even crossing the road in front of you. Be sure to visit in September & October, as Moose-Wilson Road closes to all vehicles on November 1st.
From The Gondola/Tram/Chairlift (at JHMR or Snow King)
One of the best ways to sit back, relax and enjoy the views is via gondola ride up either of our home peaks: The Bridger Gondola or Aerial Tram (currently closed for summer 2020) at Jackson Hole Mountain Resort, or the scenic chairlift at Snow King Mountain. You’ll enjoy sweeping vistas of the valley, which is blanketed in autumn colors of every shade. Both mountains offer hiking and other outdoor exploration once you get to the top, and if you take the Bridger Gondola at JHMR, stop for a drink or bite to eat at Piste Mountain Bistro or The Deck before you make your way back down.
On A Tandem Paragliding Flight
Calling all adrenaline junkies! Soar through the air on a tandem paragliding ride and take in the changing colors of the valley and the forested Tetons below. This adrenaline-laced yet peaceful & serene experience is one you won’t soon forget!
On A GTNP Hike
Grand Teton National Park is chock full of incredible String and Leigh Lakes. The aspens had all turned yellow, and I remember it feeling as though we were walking through a tunnel of golden leaves. Since that is one of my first memories “out west,” I make sure to return to that area around this time every year. Another noteworthy, less popular hike that is perfect for fall is Goodwin Lake. Plus, once you’ve made the 3 mile trek up there, you always have the option to venture a little further to the summit of Jackson Peak. (10 miles round trip)
From A Bike Ride On The Jackson Hole Pathways
Over 56 miles of paved pathways zigzag around our valley, connecting the town of Jackson to Teton Village and Grand Teton National Park. These flat, smooth, paved pathways boast incredible views of the valley landscape and towering Tetons, making them the perfect vantage point to enjoy the fall colors. Check out the Friends of Pathways organization, which advocates for access to safe and sustainable transportation and healthy recreational options in Jackson Hole.
On A Wildlife Tour
Looking to maximize your chances to view some of the wildlife that makes our valley a bucket list destination? Make the most of your time here in greater Jackson Hole, Grand Teton National Park and Yellowstone with a wildlife tour. During the fall, the gorgeous backdrop of autumn colors is something to behold in itself, but even better when you spot a coveted moose, bear, bison, elk, bald eagle and more! Friendly and professional guides will escort you on a full or half day trip to explore wildlife hotspots where you can observe and photograph these cherished animals.
We hope you enjoyed our favorite spots, and we look forward to welcoming you to beautiful Jackson Hole soon!