Best of the Tetons

Balsom Root June10

Summer in the Tetons and Jackson Hole

Summer in the Tetons is probably more a state of mind than merely dates on the calendar. Spring unfolds slowly and unevenly across the valley floor—especially so along the base of the mountains—but at some point, you look up and everything is bright and green again.


Most businesses consider summer the period between the Memorial Day weekend and the Labor Day weekend. Despite Jackson  Hole’s reputation as a great ski area, Summer is by far the busiest season. Tourists and photographers appear in large numbers.


Color Guard for the beginning of the Old West Days Parade: The sign could say “Let  Summer Begin!”

Lightning Barn1_July27

Stores, restaurants, and streets begin to fill with welcomed visitors. On the calendar, summer officially arrives on June 22nd (in 2014), but I think only fishermen and photographers really notice it. For fishermen, it means a few less minutes to fish each afternoon for the next six months and for photographers, it means not having to get up quite so early or stay out quite so late as each day passes! Maybe golfers notice, too?

Web_Double Rainbow 2012

Summer days can start out clear and bright, then change drastically as the day progresses when storms roll through. I love trying to capture the drama.


Summer, for the skiers and snowboarders, is often called ” two months of bad skiing”. Some think of summer as the couple of months it is less likely to snow, though we’ve sat in our warm cars as snow fell and Fireworks were going off on 4th of July. Tourists show up in large numbers after the first week in June. The migratory animals will have been here much longer and will hang around even after most of the visitors are back at their homes and sending their young ones back to school.

Web Morning Riffle July2010

Summer visitors find most facilities open, roads open and passable, lakes clear of snow, and skies usually bright and clear. For Photographers, catching a summer sunrise means getting up at an obscene time of the morning. It means driving through downtown while the traffic lights are still flashing red in both directions.


Most animals are active early and late in the day. Many are bedded down during the brightest and hottest times of the day. Ironically, that’s the time most visitors are out and about viewing the Park “trying to find them”. Most local photographers I know are driving back into town as the tourists are heading out!


Fishermen have to look for clear water in small streams, beaver ponds, and lakes for the first half of summer. Runoff swells the Snake, Buffalo Fork, Gros Ventre, and Hoback Rivers. Mountain lakes and tail waters can still offer good fishing in the area.


Early summer welcomes the first wildflowers and the first of the baby mammals and birds. Bison, bear, and moose babies usually appear first, followed by elk and deer, and later pronghorns. Grass starts out lush and green before turning darker and duller. By late summer, much of it dries out and shifts to brown before the more drastic changes of fall.

Dusty Return

Yearly road construction projects seem inevitable in the summer. It’s a way of life here. There’s a saying in Wyoming suggesting there is no road construction in months with an “R” in it! May, June, July and August lack the letter. Numerous delays are expected for the summer of 2014, both in the park and around the town of Jackson. Set the alarm even earlier for that sunrise shot or possibly miss it! Mother Nature still puts on her show, regardless of barricades and delays. Closures aren’t limited to roads. In 2014, large areas of the trails on the West side of Jenny Lake will be closed or restrained for repairs and construction.


While Schwabacher Landing is scheduled to be open this year, it is closed for the entire month of June for construction and paving of the winding road.


Outdoor activities abound! Check out GTNP & JH Info / Links or keep an eye on the JH Chamber of Commerce Events pages. People come to Jackson Hole for so many good reasons. Grand Teton National Park is the centerpiece, of course. Outdoor activities include river rafting, horseback riding, hiking, fishing, golfing, biking, and just general sightseeing. Commercial vendors offer hot air balloon rides, paragliding, soaring, scenic and whitewater trips. The list goes on and on in the summer! Artists and photographers flock to the area. Jackson Hole is an artist’s mecca in the summer, including several outdoor Art Shows, antique show and sales. Parades are held downtown on the Saturday of Memorial Day and again on the 4th of July. Outdoor concerts are held regularly at Snow King Resort. The JH Rodeo, JH Shootout, and Stage Coach ride downtown begin over Memorial Day Weekend and end on Labor Day Weekend.


Summer Events: (More added soon)

Summer: Feature Posts

Wildlife: Feature Posts

As always, if you like this post, please click any of the social medial icons below and share the page with the rest of the world! MJ

Like This Post? Share It

Comment (1)

  1. Judy Lenoir

    You are my photography idol!!! Thank you for being there!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *