Grand Teton National Park in the Spring is a quiet season.
Due to the elevation of the park, many areas are still closed due to snowpack in early spring. Roads, trails and services begin to open mid-April, and all are usually open by the end of May.
As you plan your spring trip to Grand Teton National Park, here are important things to know:
- What to pack
- Where to stay
- Weather in March, April and May
- Things to Do
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WHAT TO PACK FOR A NATIONAL PARK TRIP IN THE SPRING
Packing for a trip in the spring means being prepared for any type of weather!
1. US National Parks Pass
- You can order passes online or get them at any of these Federal Recreation Areas.
- → BUY THE PASS AT REI and they will donate 10% of sales to the National Park Foundation.
2. Hiking Gear
- Spring hiking at some national parks may mean wet trails, and even some patches of snow! You’ll want waterproof hiking boots or shoes: → Check out our favorite Merrell Moab hiking shoes!
- Hiking socks that breath… and if they prevent blisters, that’s even better: → Check out the BEST SOCKS by Darn Tough!
- Walking stick or trekking poles
3. Clothing – Layers
- Wicking and quick-drying base layers
- Fleece or insulated jacket: → Columbia fleece jackets are our favorite!
- Waterproof rain jacket
- WATER: → Use refillable water bottles or a hydration backpack
- FOOD: → Check out our list of healthy snacks
- Flashlight or headlamp
- National Park maps
- Lip protection with sunscreen
- Polarized sunglasses
- Hand lotion
- Toilet paper (carry out in a bag – do not bury)
- Hand sanitizer
- First aid kit
- Bags to pack out trash
- Cell phone
- Portable charger
- Guide books
- Camera Gear – DOWNLOAD the free camera gear checklist!
- Photography gear for hiking
Where to Stay in Jackson near Grand Teton:
- Elk Refuge Inn – this is right across from the refuge and the closes hotel to the park entrance – our favorite place to stay!
- Elk Country Inn – awesome property if you want to be in town.
- Vacation Rentals – we LOVE having a kitchen to prepare our meals!
What to Expect at Grand Teton National Park in the Spring
The spring months of March, April and May are pretty quiet at Grand Teton.
In the town of Jackson, you can feel hints of spring late March and early April, but each year is different.
Usually the first of May is when the Teton Park Road from Taggart Lake to Signal Mountain Lodge is open.
At any time in the late spring there may be snow and lakes still frozen, especially close to the base of the Teton range. And of course, the higher up you go in elevation, the more winter holds on!
Grand Teton Spring Weather
In the spring expect cool mild days and cold nights with rain and snow any time. Check the weather and be prepared with the right clothing (we always have our winter clothing with us in the Jeep because you never know!)
March temperatures: highs near 40 and lows around 12 degrees.
April temperatures: highs near 50 and lows around 22 degrees.
May temperatures: highs around 60 and lows near 30 degrees.
Road Closures in the Spring
When visiting the Tetons in the Spring, pay attention to winter closing dates and spring opening dates. Check the NPS website for updated road status.
The Teton Park Road is closed November 1 to April 30 from Taggart Lake Trailhead to Signal Mountain Lodge. During this time the road is used for skiing, snowshoeing, and hiking from mid-December to mid-March.
Once the snow melts in the spring, you can bike, hike, run, rollerblade or walk you dog on the road until April 30.
Moose-Wilson Road is usually closed to vehicles until mid-May. When it’s snow-packed it’s open to skiing, snowshoeing and hiking.
Grand Teton in March
The weather in Grand Teton National Park in March is…snowy! With an average of 78 inches of snowfall in March, it’s still winter here. And the temperatures feel like winter with highs near 40 and lows around 12 degrees.
If you enjoy a spring break destination with lots of snow, Grand Teton National Park is definitely the place to be!
You can still do winter activities like cross country skiing, snowshoeing and hiking. Near Jackson you’ll find ski resorts.
Grand Teton in April
April in Grand Teton is usually called the “mud season”. When it’s not snowing, it’s raining!
Since the weather is still pretty cold, the crowds typically have not arrived quite yet at the park. The weather in April typically warms up a bit more during the day but still stays pretty cold at night. Daytime highs are around 47 while the lows are around 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Be sure to dress for the weather and prepare for winter conditions as well just in case.
The best thing about visiting Grand Teton in April is you’ll get great travel deals to reward you for the wet weather!
In April a few things may open, but check the park website for exact dates as they vary year to year.
Grand Teton in May
In May things really start to open in Grand Teton.
- Visitor Centers
- Village Facilities and Services
- Teton Park Road
Although typically you don’t think of snow in May, there is a chance that you might still see snow on your trip so you will want to plan accordingly. The highs within the park are around 57 degrees while the lows are near 29 degrees.
The beginning of May is still pretty quiet in the park then starts to get busier toward the end of the month when all services and facilities are usually open.
May is a fantastic time take landscape photos of Grand Teton and see wildlife.
Things to Do at Grand Teton in the Spring
There is so much to do and explore while visiting Grand Teton in the spring.
There is still a lot of snow in Grand Teton National Park in early spring. You can enjoy winter sports like cross country skiing and snowshoeing. And there is the nearby Jackson Hole ski resort as well.
Grand Teton National Park is home to elk, bison, grizzly and black bears, coyotes, wolves, moose and more! Late spring and early summer is the best time to see baby animals in the park!
In the spring there will be area closures due to bear activity and other wildlife management so be sure to follow instructions on any posted signs.
Here’s a list of great wildlife viewing areas in the spring:
- Oxbow Bend
- Mormon Row
- Gros Ventre
- Willow Flat
- Coulter Bay
- Pilgrim Road
- Moose-Wilson Road
Please be a responsible wildlife observer by maintaining a safe distance of at least 100 yards from wolves and bear, and 25 yards from all other wildlife. The Grand Teton website has more detailed information about wildlife viewing in the park.
The Grand Teton camping sites begin to open in the spring.
NOTE: All campgrounds that were first come, first served are moving to an advance reservation system.
Hiking at Grand Teton in the spring usually means muddy or even snow-covered trails so be prepared. Stop by a visitor center to get recent trail conditions.
There are a few things to note about hiking at Grand Teton :
- Springtime means bears and cubs! Make bears aware of your presence and avoid surprising them by making loud noises such as talking loudly or clapping your hands. Always carry bear spray and know how to use it. Visit the Bear Safety page for more information.
- Carry drinking water. Dehydration is common and can be serious. Plan to drink considerably more at Grand Teton due to low humidity and high elevation.
- Be prepared for rapid weather changes! In the spring at Grand Teton you’ll need layers, spring outdoor gear and cold weather outdoor gear!
- Pace yourself. High elevation may cause breathing difficulties so listen to your body and don’t overdo it! The only cure for altitude sickness is to retreat to a lower elevation.
- Be careful crossing snowfields and streams. Do not hike in steep snow unless you have previous experience and the proper equipment.
- Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to return.
- Solo hiking and off-trail hiking is not recommended. Many rescues involve solo parties that were unable to self-rescue, sometimes with life-threatening injuries.
Spring photography at Grand Teton can be a bit tricky due to road and trail closures until late late spring and early summer. There will also be trails and areas closed in the spring for wildlife management.
Here’s our list of favorite places to photograph Grand Teton, that you should be able to access in the spring:
- Overlooks along Highway 191/89
- Moulton Barn / Mormon Row
- Schwabacher Landing (road and area may be closed early spring)
- Snake River Overlook
- Oxbow Bend
- Coulter Bay
- Jackson Lake Overlook
CHECK OUT the spring landscape photography gear you’ll need!
Plan a Grand Teton Vacation
- Grand Teton Travel Guide
- Photographing Grand Teton National Park
- Grand Teton in the Fall
- Grand Teton TOURS