First Week of June Trip - Wind River? Tetons?


New Member
Jan 15, 2014
Hi Everyone!
I have been reading through this site and others for a could of days now trying to plan a 4 day trip for the first week of June. This site is wonderful and has been very helpful so far, so I thought I should post on here. We live in Bellingham, WA and want a nice week long road trip with an epic backpacking adventure thrown into the middle.

Neither of us have been to the area but both are experienced hikers. My real concern is just making sure we pick a route that is passable that early in the season. The Teton Crest Trail and Big Sandy areas look like EXACTLY what we want to do. I know the Teton trails are very likely to not be ready yet but it seems like Big Sandy and the Cirque areas might be at that time.

Does anyone have some helpful advice for where to find more information or about past conditions? And maybe if necessary just an entire different recommendation entirely?

Thank you, Reid
Welcome to the forum!

Unfortunately, here's what the snow looked like on June 7, 2013, in the Winds and the Tetons:


Sometimes the northern part of Yellowstone, around Hellroaring, is sufficiently melted out by then. But I'm afraid you would need to plan a snow/ice trip for June in the Winds :(

I would say the earliest to expect the Winds to be melted out is the 2nd or 3rd week in July.
2nd or 3rd week is pretty late. I've had good trips in the Winds the first week of July the last two years in a row.

With that said, I agree that early June is generally a no-go for the high country. On the Teton Crest Trail, this website has good pics of snow levels as things melt out each year and over the last few years:
2nd or 3rd week is pretty late. I've had good trips in the Winds the first week of July the last two years in a row.
I usually pad the expected melt-out times by a week or so for people who would have to travel a long distance to the area. I would hate for a big snow year to ruin a trip.
Here's what it looked like on July 6, 2013:


Here's what it looked like on July 7, 2011:

Yeah, it swings around a lot, but I do think first week of July is usually safe. 2011 was a bizarre year. Amethyst Lake still had icebergs in mid-July.
Yep, 2011 is an outlier.
I just hate to tell people who are making a special trip to see a place that it's okay to come the first or second week after we expect the snow to be melted. It always feels like a recipe for disappointment. Especially when the easiest way to avoid the risk is to wait a few more days.
I was looking at hiking Big Sandy area as well and during the last week of June. I was thinking of going up through the Cirque and making my way back to Grave Lake. Unfortunately it looks like that may not work with the snow. I have read in some books that the last week of June is the earliest its ever accessible, but like others have said, its not worth it to get up there and not be able to hike.

With that said, anyone have any good recommendations for May/June hikes? I am willing really to go anywhere that offers good scenic views, not too crowded, and some trout fishing :).
It always rains a lot the first week of June in that area with snow on the Tetons. Two weeks would make a big difference.
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