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Thread: Yellowstone/Grand Tetons - Fall Color

  1. #1
    FotoGeek
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    Yellowstone/Grand Tetons - Fall Color

    I have read that Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons is wonderful in the fall. I have also read that the last week in September is typically a good time to see fall color in that area. I would be interested in hearing others experiences and favorite shoot locations for both fall color and wildlife.

    If other forum members either live near this area or have recently visited, I would appreciate any updates on fall color status.

    Thanks in advance!
    - fg

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    Re: Yellowstone/Grand Tetons - Fall Color

    fg - We're heading out to Jackson Hole end of the month so stay tuned. Last visit was in mid/late Sept 2006 and we felt we were still just a little too early so that's the reason for the early Oct trip this year.

    Don
    Don Libby
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    Senior Member routlaw's Avatar
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    Re: Yellowstone/Grand Tetons - Fall Color

    Quote Originally Posted by FotoGeek View Post
    I have read that Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons is wonderful in the fall. I have also read that the last week in September is typically a good time to see fall color in that area. I would be interested in hearing others experiences and favorite shoot locations for both fall color and wildlife.

    If other forum members either live near this area or have recently visited, I would appreciate any updates on fall color status.

    Thanks in advance!
    - fg
    I live just an hours drive north of Jellystone. Fall color in this area can be hit and miss depending on the year. Autumn Aspens are never quite like they are in CO, NM and UT even on their best day. But the willows, and Cottonwoods can also produce nice fall colors. However the Tetons seem to usually do a bit better with Aspens than further north toward Jellystone and beyond. This year, summer in this neck of the woods has been very cool and wet, and in fact we have had quite a bit of accumulated snow at higher elevations since the 3rd week of Aug. Theoretically good signs for a great fall color. We are already starting to see some early color changes now but a ways to go before peak color.

    Be forewarned dead on winter last year came on Oct 1 and by that I mean not snow but a blizzard and near zero degree temps at night and mid teens at the heat of the day throughout most of Oct. Needless to say color went from yellowish green to brown/black overnight.

    Hope this helps.

    Rob

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    Super Duper
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    Re: Yellowstone/Grand Tetons - Fall Color

    I've often found Fall colors similar to sunset, turn your head for a second and they're gone.

    We had two days of snow in mid Sept '06 then warmed up again just as we were leaving. This year we'll be in Jackson Hole Oct 4 through 23rd with fingers crossed and heavy jackets.
    Don Libby
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    Administrator Bob's Avatar
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    Re: Yellowstone/Grand Tetons - Fall Color

    This year I am headed for Woodstock Vermont Oct 6-8; who knows what I will get?
    The possibility is peak pre peak or post peak and it could be a good year or a bad year.
    Probably the same is true for Yellowstone or the Grand Tetons.
    -bob

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    Re: Yellowstone/Grand Tetons - Fall Color

    Does it really matter? Most of the fun I get in landscape photograhy is just being there ...

    Okay it would great if the colors are there
    Don Libby
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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Yellowstone/Grand Tetons - Fall Color

    I was there last year also and can confirm Rob's assessment of the fall color blink & gone on not only the 1st Oct but during the week before. There were quite a few areas that had obviously been hit with wind and dropped early leading to patchy Aspens/Cottonwoods foliage and some bare areas. Up until the 1st the mountains were pretty bare too. There was a fair amount of smoke with fires up until the 1st as well which didn't do much for cliche'd Oxbow Bend reflection shots plus closed off some areas around Jenny Lake. Hopefully it'll be burn free this year.

    I'm going to be there from Sunday through next week. I thought I'd try a week earlier this time and if all else fails just concentrate on the wildlife at the Tetons & Yellowstone instead of color. It's always a bit of a crap shoot unless you can dedicate a couple of weeks or are local I think.

    If you see a big guy with too much gear and a silver tricked out off-road Land Rover LR3 say hi.

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    Re: Yellowstone/Grand Tetons - Fall Color

    If you see this jeep we shouldn't be too far away just look for a shot guy (6-9) and wife (6-0).....

    It'll be great to have some sort of report as we head in there.

    Don Libby
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  9. #9
    FotoGeek
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    Re: Yellowstone/Grand Tetons - Fall Color

    Thanks for all the input! This is great! I look forward to the possibility of bumping into some fellow photographers. I'll be touring in a 4WD Black and Tan Sportsmobile (Ford Van). I will report back here from time to time.

    Special thanks to Rob (routlaw) for the insightful post.

    - fg

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    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Yellowstone/Grand Tetons - Fall Color

    Quote Originally Posted by FotoGeek View Post
    Thanks for all the input! This is great! I look forward to the possibility of bumping into some fellow photographers. I'll be touring in a 4WD Black and Tan Sportsmobile (Ford Van). I will report back here from time to time.

    Special thanks to Rob (routlaw) for the insightful post.

    - fg
    I've been eyeing up Sportsmobile's for a couple of years now. If I see you I'll have a ton of questions about your outfit because I've been seriously deciding whether to invest in one vs. a truck camper.

    If you see this "camera bag" then I'll be nearby ... (actually I just removed the rack this week).


  11. #11
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Yellowstone/Grand Tetons - Fall Color

    Update on conditions at the Tetons as of Sept 23rd:

    Aspens aren't at peak with a fair amount of green depending upon where you are. Cottonwoods are kind of "dreary" with no great color punch. I think basically they're looking like victims of the overall dry conditions here.

    Weather wise you've probably seen that it's predominantly sunny which doesn't make for a lot of drama behind the mountains. That said, there is some high level cloud in places that have been giving some nice color but just not over the mountains.

    There seem to be a fair number of Moose around including a nice family unit of a bull & couple of cows & youngster at Oxbow Bend. Plenty of Pronghorn too plus the inevitable Bison herd migrating up & down Antelope Flat.

    I think that next week will yet again be peak color but who knows?

  12. #12
    Subscriber & Workshop Member GrahamWelland's Avatar
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    Re: Yellowstone/Grand Tetons - Fall Color

    Some fires going on this week too. Not as bad as last year and you can do some creative stuff with it at night at least.


  13. #13
    FotoGeek
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    Re: Yellowstone/Grand Tetons - Fall Color

    I left the Tetons yesterday. The best color is at Oxbow Bend with OK color at Gros Ventre and Granite Canyon Trailhead. There is also a small stand of aspen at the northern edge of Jackson Lake that is brilliant with color.

    Headed south to Colorado ...

  14. #14
    FotoGeek
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    Re: Yellowstone/Grand Tetons - Fall Color

    While past peak in many of the exposed higher elevations, there is still plenty of color in the Aspen, CO area.

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