Teton Crest Trail September Weather?


Mar 10, 2015
I'll be in Yellowstone on September 16th and the plan is to spend an evening and a day exploring before heading down to the Tetons on the 18th to try and get a permit for the crest trail to head out on that day or the 19th. I feel pretty set for bad weather conditions but am not feeling super confident my friend will be ready if the weather gets bad. I stumbled across this today and it just shows how rough it can get up there in mid September.


My question is, will there be anyway to see on the 18th what the weather will be like up in the mountains for the next few days or is it just so random there is no way to know for sure? Being from the Midwest I don't have any experience with the weather up in the mountains. The plan is that if the weather looks awful we would stay in Yellowstone and do a 5 day trip at the lower elevation instead. Should I be considering dropping the Tetons idea all together?

The weather can be perfect or terrible. There really isn't any way to know until a few days before the trip. But the day you start your trip, you should have a really good idea of what the weather will do the next few days.

It is usually great weather in September and even early October. Cool, crisp fresh mountain air, and a lot less people. I've done half a dozen September/October trips in the park, and almost all of them have been great weather.

Yellowstone can easily have worse weather than the Teton Crest. Just depends on where you are in the park.

My advise it to just watch the weather forecast, and plan accordingly.

Here are 2 trip reports from September in the Tetons worth checking out. One has snowy weather, the other has perfect weather:


Here are some photos from I believe September 16th last year in Grand Teton National Park:

Good to know that we should have a general idea of what the weather will be like for at least a few days so we can make a decision. Thanks for the quick reply! I have seen both of those threads and the videos so I was kind of hoping you would have some input as I wasn't sure if you knew what you were heading into, so thanks! I have watched, I think, all of your videos on YouTube at least once, so thank you for helping me through the boring days stuck here in Chicago! :D

Two more questions if you don't mind? My plan for the trail is to stay at Holly Lake or Grizzly Bear Lake on the 3rd night, is one any better than the other? Fishing maybe? And do you have any recommendations for an area of Yellowstone that could be a possible backup trip for about 5 or 6 days? It seems most of your trips in Yellowstone go longer than 5 days so not sure lol
Grizzly Bear is good fishing, although i've never fished it. You'll have Grizzly Bear all to yourself. Its not "advertised" as a backcountry campsite by the park, so not everyone know's you can camp there. It's nice than Holly in my opinion. Holly Lake is beautiful, but is a designated campsite, and you have a spot you are suppose to camp in. A lot more people go there, and it can be hard to get a site there. Personally I would just camp in the upper paintbrush zone, which gives you a more alpine view, and will be more private. But Grizzly Bear Lake would be my first choice. Also remember that Grizzly Bear is at least 500 feet or more down to, which you would have to climb back up the next day.

The Bechler Canyon and Dunnanda Falls is one of the nicest hikes in Yellowstone. Really beautiful, lots of waterfalls and water, hot springs, swimming holes, no fire burn, and beautiful meadows. Its incredible out there in September. No bugs that time of year, and its not the "killing zone" like other parts of Yellowstone as far as the wildlife. What i mean by that is grizzly bears aren't coming through your camp every night there. You won't see as much wildlife, but its a fantastic hike that you'll enjoy from start to finish. Union Falls is another spot to include in that.

But if you have bad weather hitting the Tetons, that same weather will be hitting the Bechler area. Slough Creek, Pebble Creek, and the Hellroaring area in the NE corner could have better or different weather, and has much better wildlife viewing.

On both of those September trips I linked, I did know what weather I was heading into. The first one we knew several days of bad weather was coming in. It lasted longer than we anticipated. On the second trip, I saw that no weather was coming in for several days. The tetons are easy to hike out of if you need to. Its not a big or wide range. That also makes the weather a little more predictable.

Hope that helps! Cool to know you watch the videos. Although I doubt Chicago is a boring place. :)
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Awesome good to hear about Grizzly Bear, it looked really nice in one of your videos and seemed a little more off the beaten path so I thought it would be a good spot.

Alright I'll look into those two areas. Have yet to see a grizzly in the wild, probably wouldn't enjoy having them wondering through our camp every night haha I'll definitly look into all of those areas as back up options.

Okay cool, very good to know that we should have a decent idea at least about the weather when we get out there. Wasn't sure if it would be a total guess or not up in the mountains. Yeah the videos are awesome man, they have inspired me to give it a try, recording a bit more than I have in the past. You need to upload some more soon, I've run out of ones to watch! :) Chicago the city isn't boring but the suburbs can be and it sure doesn't have enough wild places for my liking, been looking to move out to the Denver or Salt Lake City area lol

Thanks again for your info and help!
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