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The experience of visiting Grand Teton in mid-October

seal beach, ca
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The experience of visiting Grand Teton in mid-October

Have a 2 week window of vacation time approved. We were planning on a trip to Grand Teton and Yellow stone on October 13th. A little research has revealed that most everything including even the visitor centers will be closed by that time.

Having never been to either park, we just want to do a few short hikes and drive around and enjoy the sights and fall foliage.

We will be driving all the way from Southern California and don't want to be bummed having driven so far.

From your experiences, iIs this too late in the season to enjoy the park?

Any help is greatly appreciated.

Driggs, Idaho
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for Grand Teton National Park
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1. Re: The experience of visiting Grand Teton in mid-October

Hello and welcome to the forum.

First and foremost, where do you intend to get your lodging? That time of year, it shouldn't be too hard to come by, but planning that will help develop an itinerary. Jackson is a good place to stay for a base to tour Grand Teton Park. I would then suggest West Yellowstone for a base to easily see Old Faithful and Norris, if you want to see some thermal activity. Keep in mind the most direct route from GTNP to YNP Old Faithful area will be closed for a bridge repair; therefore, it will require a long drive around (hence why I recommend getting to West Yellowstone, MT via Ashton, ID) as a base. If you want to see Lamar Valley - both Cooke City and Gardiner, MT would also be good gateway towns.

The biggest thing you'll need to be prepared for is winter weather which can include snow storms that can slow travel and even close highways. You do not want to be stuck in this. There may be some fall foliage, but most of that peaks by the 2nd or 3rd week of September, typically wrapping up by Mid-October. Of course, its all weather dependent but that is range. Higher elevations will go first.

Providing the weather doesn't go south on you, its never too late to enjoy the park. Fall animal viewing can be especially interesting that time of year. Elk and Moose are wrapping up their ruts. You may still here some bugling by Elk. However, due to the uncertainty of the weather, if you can do this earlier, that would be great. If you're up for anything and come prepared, give it a shot mid-October. It sounds like that might be your only window.

2. Re: The experience of visiting Grand Teton in mid-October

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