Wondering what it’s like to visit Grand Teton in October?
It’s one of our favorite times to plan a Grand Teton vacation.
Toward the middle of October services begin to close so you’ll enjoy smaller crowds, picturesque views of the foliage and the wildlife getting ready for winter.
Use this guide to learn all about a trip to Grand Teton in October: services available, what to pack, where to stay, things to do, and more!
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What to Pack
Here’s the list of gear we recommend for a National Park trip in the fall:
→ CHECK OUT our US National Park Packing List.
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. Fall Hiking Shoes: → Check out our FAVORITE hiking shoes/boots!
3. Fall Hiking Socks: → Check out the BEST SOCKS EVER!
4. Fall Clothing for Hiking (Layers)
8. Flashlight: → Check out the headlamps we like
11. Toilet paper (carry out in a bag – do not bury)
12. Hand sanitizer
13. First aid kit
14. Bags to pack out trash
Grand Teton in October
There are so many fun things to do when visiting Grand Teton National Park. You’ll find different activities and services available during each season and month of the year.
In October, some roads and services start to close which limits the activities you can do.
Use our guide to find information about the best time to visit Grand Teton National Park.
Services in October
Grand Teton is open 24 hours, every day of the year. BUT many park services begin to close in September.
Here’s a list of visitor centers and services that are open in October. Check the website for the exact dates.
- Craig Thomas Discovery and Visitor Center
- Colter Bay Visitor Center
- Colter Bay Convenience Store closes mid-October (gas pumps open 24/7, self service)
- Jackson Hole and Greater Yellowstone Visitor Center
- Jenny Lake Boat Launch
- String Lake Boat Launch
- Signal Mountain Facilities/Services close mid-October
- Deadmans Bar, Snake River Launch
- Headwater Convenience Store closes mid-October (gas pumps open 24/7, self service)
All roads in the park are open through October.
Campgrounds and lodges begin closing in September so you’ll need to find places to stay in Jackson. Here are a few places we recommend:
- 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!
When you visit Grand Teton in October you can expect cooler temperatures due to the higher elevation.
During the day the highs hover around 52 degrees Fahrenheit and the lows will drop all the way to the mid 20s!
It is really important that you dress in layers and bring your winter clothing essentials “just in case”.
It’s possible to have snow as early as September, and even more so in October. Always check the current weather and road conditions on the Grand Teton website.
Fall Colors in October
Fall at Grand Teton National Park runs from September through mid-October.
Planning a trip during this time means you’ll see incredible fall colors at the Tetons.
Although you can’t predict the peak dates to see the fall colors, it usually happens around the 3rd week in September and continues through mid-October.
During the fall you will see the deciduous trees showcase yellow and orange shades with a little bit of red popping through the Teton Range.
Must-see locations to see the autumn colors are along the Snake River where the cottonwood trees showcase their vibrant color. We recommend visiting Oxbow Bend, Schwabacher Landing and Jackson Lake to see these fall color scenes with the river and lake.
Wildlife in October
In October all the wildlife that is out and about getting ready for winter.
The elk rut peaks in September, but if you’re lucky it may continue into early October. It’s so fun to hear the elk bugling, and even more lucky to see a sparring match between two male elk!
The bears will be foraging for food to get ready for winter hibernation so be extra cautious on the roads and trails.
It’s exciting to see the moose at Grand Teton in the fall, especially the male moose with their large antlers.
Here’s a list of great wildlife viewing areas:
- Oxbow Bend
- Timbered Island
- Mormon Row
- Snake River
- Cascade Canyon
- Blacktail Pond
Hiking in October
When it comes to hiking in Grand Teton National Park you want to remember that you will be in higher elevations which may make for a more challenging experience.
The landscape is beautiful, but many trails may be steep and even extreme. If you have any questions about which trails are best for you, be sure to talk to a Park Ranger to find the best fall hikes at Grand Teton for you and your family.
Some of our favorite Grand Teton hikes include:
- Inspiration Point / Hidden Falls
- Lakeshore Trail
- Murie Ranch
Photography in October
The landscape scenes at Grand Teton are a photographer’s dream with the jagged peaks of the mountains, lakes, rivers and abundant wildlife!
When you add the autumn colors you’ll see in October, then it’s like icing on the cake
Here’s a list of our favorite photo spots at Grand Teton:
- Oxbow Bend
- Schwabacher Landing
- Snake River Overlook
- Mormon Row – Moulton Barns
- Jackson Lake Overlook
Make sure your camera gear is all packed and ready to capture the beauty at Grand Teton!