Wind River Range, Wyoming, 2018
Hey guys, welcome to Adventure Forecast, a hiking and adventure travel blog for ambitious explorers looking for exciting day hikes and multi-day backpacking trips! My name is Alan Smith, and I am an outdoor recreation enthusiast based in beautiful Jackson, Wyoming, USA who has hiked and explored all across the Rocky Mountains and beyond. I am also a professional meteorologist, and my goal is to blend my knowledge of weather with outdoor adventure travel to help you plan your adventures!
I provide detailed hiking, backpacking and outdoor travel experiences along with gear advice and weather expertise for areas across Wyoming, the Rocky Mountains and beyond. My goal is to inspire explorers to find new hiking destinations and adventures, while providing them with the tools to plan their adventures.
This website is geared toward hikers and outdoor adventure travelers who enjoy exploring spectacular areas, challenging themselves physically through moderate to difficult hikes and other outdoor activities, and experiencing local mountain towns and cultures. This site is also for anyone looking to plan hiking, camping and backpacking adventures, including gear reviews.
I was born and raised in Greenville, South Carolina, a beautiful and growing city near the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Growing up, my Dad instilled an appreciation for the outdoors and nature into my brother and I at an early age, by taking us on hikes and adventures along the Blue Ridge Parkway just up the road in Western North Carolina. I also became involved with the Boy Scouts as a teenager and earned my Eagle Scout ranking.
I was also fortunate enough to take several family trips out west during summer breaks as an early teenager, which really opened my eyes to the world of outdoor adventure travel. I am forever grateful to my parents for opening my eyes to the national parks of the American West. In a four-year period of annual summer trips, we experienced national parks such as Olympic, Mt. Rainier, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, Rocky Mountain, Banff, and Jasper - all places I still love today!
I attended college at Clemson University in the mid 2000's and earned a degree in business. Although college life at Clemson revolved around football, social life, working for the student newspaper, and yes academics, I also became more passionate about hiking and the outdoors during this time. I would often travel into the Blue Ridge and Great Smoky Mountains in the Western Carolinas for hiking and backpacking trips.
In the summer of 2006, I decided to take a chance and look for a summer job out west in our near a national park. I ended up landing a summer job at a retail store in Jackson, Wyoming, at a time when local businesses were able to offer cheap housing to seasonal employees (something that is rarely possible nowadays!).
This turned into a dream summer, which I spent hiking and exploring all over the Teton Mountains and surrounding areas during my days off. There were many highlights, but if I had to pick one highlight from the summer it would have to be hiking the 20-mile Paintbrush to Cascade Canyon Loop in Grand Teton National Park in a single day. This summer truly turned me into a hiker and made me realize that I wanted to live out west in the Rocky Mountains.
While I was living in Jackson Hole in 2006, I randomly struck up a conversation with a manager at a ski shop (someone who is a good friend to this day), and he told me if I decided to come back out after finishing college that I would have a winter job waiting for me. While not exactly a career-type job, my life focus at the time was to move out west, so when I graduated from Clemson in December of 2007, I made the drive out west to spend a winter working in Jackson Hole.
I had gotten into skiing during recent winters, both in the Appalachians and during a few college group ski trips out west. Also, being a weather geek I had always loved snow, so to spend a winter in Northwest Wyoming was an exciting new endeavor.
The winter of 2007-2008 ended up being one of the snowiest on record in Jackson, with over 600 inches of snow recorded at the ski resort. Working at ski shop at the base, I was fortunate enough to hit the slopes nearly every day, and quickly turned into an avid skier who loves to hunt for powder.
I remained in Jackson Hole working in outdoor retail through the summer of 2008, before deciding to give Colorado a try. At the time, I didn't really know what I wanted to do with my life, so I figured Denver would be a good starting point since it was a larger city that is still located near the mountains.
I ended up living in Denver for about 7 years and made some wonderful friends, but despite being in the city I spent as much time in the mountains as I possibly could. While searching for a purpose in Denver, I also decided to chase my lifelong passion of weather and enrolled in Metro State University of Denver's Meteorology program.
Metro State's program far exceeded my expectations — a small, close knit group of students and professors that really set us up for success in the profession. While I was a student, I began working for a private weather forecasting company based in Denver, and this eventually turned into a full time position after graduation.
The older I got, the more the travel bug started to bite me and the more I wanted to explore outdoor recreation-focused areas beyond my home base of Colorado. Fortunately, my weather job after earning my degree was remote based, which allowed me to choose where to live.
Although I had a blast living in Denver and made some wonderful friends there, I realized more over time that city life isn't for me. I still had some connections in Jackson Hole, so in 2015 I decided to move back and have been living here ever since.
Today, I work in various meteorology and content writing roles, including the primary weather forecaster for Jackson's local media company, as well as a powder forecaster for OpenSnow during the winter months.
While continuing to hike and explore as much as possible across the Jackson Hole area, I have also been traveling more and experiencing other locations both near and afar. A few years ago, I began dating a wonderful woman who I am now engaged to, and we have both started traveling. Recent trips include Glacier Park in Montana, Western Canada, and New Zealand.