Embracing the Wild Weather of Wyoming

Feb 14, 2024

Wyoming is NOTORIOUS for its weather. From the intense cold the winters bring and the wind of the spring and fall, to the sudden summer rainstorms, Wyoming has it all. Whether it be a wedding, a photoshoot, or just a visit to Jackson Hole, it is so critical to know what to generally expect and how to be properly prepared so that you can still enjoy your time!

Spring: snow, mud and wind

Let’s talk about the spring first. I don’t book a lot of sessions in the spring because it is definitely one of the more dicey seasons, and the spring itself starts much later in the year than most places. In Jackson Hole, you will find the spring to be off and on windy. One of my crazier elopements here took place in April, with over 40 mph wind gusts. Additionally, most of the Grand Teton National Park roads don’t open until May because of the snowpack. Once May hits, you can once again access most of the park, but you should bring footwear that will account for mud and snow, ESPECIALLY if you are hiking. Hiking in the spring here will absolutely require snow spikes for your shoes and you can expect slush in the afternoons as the snow melts. You’ll probably still be layering a jacket or two until you get a bit into June, so plan on chilly air with the setting of the sun!

Summer: hot afternoons and evening showers

The early summer (June through the first week of July) is where you will find an abundance of wildflowers and the whole valley is alive with the deep greens of everything that was revived with winter. Summer days here can be very hot (like in the 80s-90s), but you’ll find yourself still needing a jacket to watch sunrises (where it can be 20-30 degrees) and fend off mosquitoes in the afternoons. The Tetons have the most amazing electric storms in the evenings, generally right before the sun sets, that will last maybe 45 minutes to an hour. If you are doing high altitude climbing to try and reach one of the peaks, you will need to make sure you have a good turn around time so that you are not on the exposed part of the mountain in the late afternoon during this time! But the late evenings remain warm, which is perfect for stargazing after the rain clears up. Definitely bring a swimsuit for one of the lakes, andhot cocoa for those sunrises. Summer in Wyoming is unbeatable.

Fall: shorter days, migration, and potential snow

Fall is an absolute beauty here. The one downside? It is an extremely short window of time. The weather is generally pretty mild in the early fall, with a need for a jacket when the sun isn’t up. Typically around the second or third week of October, we’ll see the first snow. Once that happens, you can bet on all the fall leaves being gone, even if it melts. To prepare for fall weather, I’d bring both a light and heavy jackets, as well as a light pair of gloves for mornings and evenings! Hiking in the lower altitude areas is great at this time of year still as well, and you will be sure to see (or hear) the elk migrate if you are in the valley.

Winter: frigid days and snow

Winter is a beast in Wyoming. But it can be the most amazing experience as well. I would highly highly highly recommend getting a car with four wheel drive, keeping a battery charger and jumper cables in your car, a sleeping bag/blankets for emergencies, and having some sort of food and water bottles in your car. In addition to that, don’t let your car gas get low. I once got stuck on the Teton Pass as I drove home from a wedding. A small avalanche had been triggered by an intense snowstorm, and I was stuck in a huge car line for hours in white out conditions while they worked hard to clear the roads. I was SO grateful I’d filled up my car right before getting on, as though I had had enough miles to get to the next gas station, I absolutely would have ran out after idling with the heat on for so many hours, and it never hurts to be prepared if you slide off the road and are away from the general public. Plan on LOTS of snow, and as such, bring extra socks in case yours get wet, as well as hand warmers and gloves for walking around. There is no such thing as “too cold,” just not warm enough clothes, so consider bringing insulated gear over the cutesy jacket you love so much. If you are getting married in the winter here, wear leggings under your wedding dress!! You won’t see them and you will be so happy to have that extra layer. Overall, just know you will be cold. But if you are a skier, you won’t regret the winter visit out.

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