May 2018 Daily Journal for JH & GTNP

Coyote In Snow

“The Park Awakens!”

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Check Out These Popular Pages: If I Had Only One Winter Day in the Tetons: If I Had Only One (Summer) Day in the Tetons: and A Trip to Jackson Hole and Winter in the Tetons: Tips for travel and photography.  April 2017: | April 2016:April 2015: | April 2014:


May 1, 2018 – Tuesday  – Mayday!

Grand Teton National Park is in the process of welcoming this year’s visitors—but it happens slowly! Many roads are still closed, but one of the major arteries, the Teton Park Road (aka Inner Park Loop Road) opened to vehicle traffic today. Moose-Wilson road between the Murie Center Road and Death Canyon Road will be closed to all users until May 13. Expect construction delays at Gros Ventre Junction all summer. The road to Curtis Canyon opened today, allowing antler hunters to access the National Forest.

Closed Roads as May 1 : Signal Mountain Road to the top, Spaulding Bay Road, Cattleman’s Bridge Road, Pilgrim Creek Road, Grassy Lake Road, Two Ocean Lake Road, Forest Service Road from Pacific Creek Road, RKO Road, BarBC Road, along with both two track roads off the East Boundary Road.

Recently Opened Roads: Schwabacher Landing, Dead Man’s Bar, Lost Creek Ranch Road, Teton Park Road, Antelope Flats Road, Northern portion of Mormon Row Road. The Murie Center Road is still open.

Recently Opened Facilities: The Visitor’s Center at Moose has been open for a month or so. The Convenience Store at Colter Bay Junction and the Convenience Store and Pizza Parlor at Dornan’s are open. Other commercial centers should open for the Mother’s Day Weekend.

Bison In Snow

Wildlife Opportunities for May 1: Most of the Elk and Bison have moved off the National Elk Refuge and have spreading out into the Park and Forests. Moose are moving from their wintering home on the Sage Flats into the river bottoms. A few Pronghorns are back in the Park. Grizzlies and Black Bears are reappearing, but April was much less productive this year than last year. May could be epic if Sows like Blondie, 610, and Falicia appear with two or three cubs each. 399 and her two cubs appeared for a day but hasn’t been seen in a while. 610’s sub-adult cubs have been seen off and on. Other random Grizzlies have been seen on sporadic timelines. A large Cinnamon colored Black Bear has been seen a couple of times. Wolves and Foxes were active for a couple of weeks in April, but it appears the females are in the dens. The valley is now loaded with Robins, Juncos, Starlings, Ravens, Crows, & Magpies. Osprey are on their nests. Hawks, Kestrels and Eagles are often visible. Owls are scarce but are reported to be mating and nesting this year after a terrible year last year. A few of the Bison cows have already delivered their young, often called Red Dogs. Throughout the month, watch for other babies. Moose calves are usually born at the end of May and the first week or so in June.

String Lake

String LakeNikon D850 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

The Landscape for May 1: We had a nice snowfall at the end of April, changing much of the area back to Winter for a few days. Rain and drizzle melted the snow around town. Grass is turning green in most areas in the south portion of the valley. Areas closer to the mountains like String Lake and Jenny Lake are still snow covered. The Northern portion of the Park has snow for now. Togwotee Pass was clearing for the first few miles from the base, but is covered from around Turpen Meadows Road to the summit. Jackson Lake is open the size of a football field at the dam, but is still frozen. It should drop soon. String Lake is about half open, but everything I could see of Jenny Lake is still frozen.

Jenny Lake

 Jenny LakeNikon D850 and Nikon 24-70 Lens, Handheld.

Horses in Snow

Buffalo ValleyNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Elk Group

Buffalo ValleyNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Buffalo Valley Barn

Buffalo Valley Barn: Expect hillsides like this to be green within a few days. The recent snow was heavy and wet. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Cinnamon Teal Pair

Cinnamon Teal Pair: The Park offers a lot of wildlife possibilities, but it helps to not get too bogged down looking for a specific subject to show up. This pair of ducks were in courtship mode near the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Cinnamon Teal

Cinnamon TealNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain Bluebird: Captured near the Jackson Lake Dam. Nikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

Mountain Bluebird

Mountain BluebirdNikon D5 and Tamron 150-600 G2 Lens, Handheld.

While I posted a lot of images for this initial Journal Page, you’ll want to make Best of the Tetons a regular stop. I’ll be adding photos almost daily throughout the month! The first week or so of May should resemble the last week or so of April, so check it out:

April 2018 Daily Journal for JH & GTNP

If you like what you are seeing here, please share the page and let your friends know about it. If you are not already a subscriber, I’d love to have you! MJ

If you are interested in taking a Best of the Tetons Photo Tour with me, click the photo below! The tours help me pay for this site and allow me to continue to supply all of the free information! For inquiries, send an email to I have openings available in May and all of June. Book early for September…slots are filling fast!

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