4 things to do in jackson hole during the fall offseason
As fall arrives, there seems to be a collective sign of relief by the locals in Teton County – it’s finally the offseason. Since Jackson borders Grand Teton National Park and is a gateway to Yellowstone, it’s extremely busy throughout the summer. And though winter isn’t as busy as the summer, the traffic ramps up with Christmas-vacationers and Spring-breakers. Once Labor Day passes, the chaos of summer slowly disappears along with the hours of sunlight. The only tourists left are the “newlyweds and the almost dead,” and they’re few and far between. While many locals travel during the offseason, there is still a plethora of activities that people can choose from before the snow starts to fall.
Hikes that are shoulder-to-shoulder in the summer become peaceful and serene with the changing leaves. Amphitheater Lake, Cascade Canyon and Taggart Lake are gorgeous hikes to do in the fall. Even though the wild flowers are gone, you pass through a number of large Aspen groves, which are quickly turning yellow with the season.
The mountain bike trails usually hold up through October, so you can continue to ride. I’ve been riding Putt Putt to the Hagens Trail junction and the Black Canyon often. Just be sure to get out early enough to be back by sunset. Road biking is also better in the fall because you no longer have to worry about the mega-motor homes swerving into you.
Fall is also hunting season in Jackson Hole. People hunt buffalo, black bear, moose and deer, but elk are what make the area famous. The greater Yellowstone eco-system is known as the best elk habitat in the world. People come from all over the globe to hunt here, but for them, it’s mostly about putting a trophy on the wall. For most locals, it’s about filling the freezer with meat for the winter. I’m not going to give away my secret hunting spots, but Crystal Creek, Cache Creek and the northern Teton wilderness are places to visit. Just be careful to avoid the grizzly bears.
4/ Eat, Drink, Watch
Snake River Brewery hosts an excellent Oktoberfest and Bin 22 has a number of wine tastings. There is a cooking class series at the Center For The Arts, teaching everything from cooking Mexican food to rolling Sushi. Plus, with the ski season stoke rising, there are a number of ski films (including the annual Teton Gravity Research premiere) touring through Jackson. One of the big highlights of this fall is the Sir Mix-A-Lot concert on October 26th. I’m stoked to hear Baby Got Back from the man himself.