Why the Best Time to Visit Yellowstone is in the Fall
Traveling in Yellowstone will have significant changes with every season. Every month brings a new feel and a new setting to Yellowstone.
I’m going to tell you, why the best time to visit Yellowstone is in the fall. To be even more specific for me the best time to visit Yellowstone is during Mid-September and I’m going to tell you everything you need to know to make your own decision on when the best time will be for you.
While reading the information that I gathered to help you decide your best time to visit Yellowstone National Park you want to keep in mind what your favorite activity is such as hiking or skiing or is it that you like to watch the wildlife roam the beautiful landscape or do you prefer checking out the geothermal activity?
I do recommend preplanning out your trip so that you can get the most out of your best time to visit Yellowstone. You can spend a full week there and not see everything. Have a daily checklist of what you would like to specifically do and see and certainly make more than 1 visit to see how each season brings does something very different.
Reasons Why the Best time to Visit Yellowstone National Park is during the Springtime:
Springtime is when the businesses and roads will start to slowly open. The lower elevations will be the ones to open first. By Memorial Day weekend almost everything should be in full operation. The opening dates are posted for lodging, camping, restaurants, and activities at https://www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/hours.htm
The Campgrounds will begin to open for visitors again although the weather can be a set-back they all should be open by mid-June.
Memorial Day will begin the start of fishing season additionally spring is a good time for hiking because it’s truly beautiful to see the spring flowers start to bloom.
This season is significantly special when viewing wildlife because unlike the other seasons this is when the babies are born. You’ll start to see the bears come out of hibernation and of course birds will start their migrating back to Yellowstone. Making it the best time to see wildlife in Yellowstone National Park.
Springtime can bring a lot of visitors but still less crowded than during the peak summer time.
Reasons Why the Best time to Visit Yellowstone National Park is NOT during the Spring:
Spring can be in fact a very unpredictable time especially when it comes to the weather. Higher elevations will still have snowy trails additionally there are plenty of roads that won’t be opened up to travelers. You’ll most likely see some snowflakes daily.
The evenings and mornings will have freezing temperatures but will vary during the day so be prepared to change your dress code accordingly. Thawing out from the winter months will surely bring muddy trails.
Reasons Why the Best time to Visit Yellowstone National Park is during the Summer:
The Summer Season is Yellowstone National Park is considered the High Season. All entrances will be equally open 24 hours a day-7 day a week. Activities are in full swing. All areas will be open to hiking, backpacking, you can do horseback riding, take a guided trip and of course, you can join any of the Ranger programs. Everything is open and in full operation.
Most campgrounds will be open by June 15th and the backcountry campsites open in July
Temperatures are a comfortable average of 70*f during the daytime
Late summer the Bison will begin their rutting season. You will get the chance to see Elk, Moose, Bison, Mountain Goats
Reasons Why the Best time to Visit Yellowstone National Park is NOT during the Summer:
You’ll find that the heaviest crowds of people will visit during holiday weekends and the months of July and August. If you are a patient person and don’t mind the overcrowding then I would suggest booking your summer visit at least 1 year in advance. Do be advised the restaurants do not take reservations during the summer.
Don’t forget your repellent, summertime brings a heavy mosquito population.
Keep in mind that there are plenty of different wildlife species roaming around during the summer months but some of the animals will leave the Lamar Valley and Hayden Valley and migrate to the higher elevations.
Best time to Visit Yellowstone National Park is during the Fall:
The Fall Season will bring milder weather and with that, it becomes less crowded. September is full of the beautiful red, orange and gold fall colors. The prices go to offseason for lodging at the hotels & campgrounds.
This time of year makes the best pictures. When the higher altitudes start to become colder the animals will return to the valleys. The Elk will be hanging out around Mammoth Hot Spring. There will be plenty of wildlife entertainment.
Bears are running around trying to get fattened up for hibernation. The Raptors are out. This is the beginning of the rutting season. The best time to view the animals is up to 2 hours after dawn and 2 hours before dusk.
Best time to Visit Yellowstone National Park is NOT during the Fall:
After Labor Day the activities start to slow down. In mid-October, Through Early November the higher elevations will see snow, therefore, the roads will start to close
Reasons Why the Best time to Visit Yellowstone National Park is during the Winter:
The Winter Season will bring a beautiful landscape with all of the fresh white snow covering.
There are outdoor winter activities and tours for anyone interested in snowmobiling, skiing, snowshoeing or riding in the snow coaches.
The lodges and restaurants will bring a cozy feel. Warming booths will be open to the public.
There are plenty of active animals around during the winter. The white snow makes it easier to spot. You are able to see wolves, coyotes, foxes, bighorn sheep, elk, bison and trumpeter swan.
This is a great time to visit if you’re trying to avoid the crowds.
Reasons Why the Best time to Visit Yellowstone National Park is NOT during the Winter:
The Winter Season will bring freezing temperatures on average between 0*f to 30*f
The seasonal snowfall will cause road closures. The main road that runs between the North entrance and Northeast entrance will be open year round. This will take you by Mammoth and Tower-Roosevelt’s Lamar Valley.
Winter time has limited lodging, restaurants, and stores that are open and operating. Most have a planned date to close but are subject to weather conditions and budget.
Information that is good to know when visiting Yellowstone National Park:
a)July and August are the only months that all entrances are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
b)Road status can be checked at the entrance. Be aware of road closures or delays due to current projects or restorations. Keeping in mind the Park is over 100 years old and is getting over 4 million visitors annually, road closures are going to happen.
c) Due to Mother Nature, Yellowstone is constantly changing and will look different with every visit. To give visitors the best view of thermal features even the boardwalks get adjusted as they change.
d) Check webcams or signup for Yellowstone road alerts text 82190 to 888-777.
e) To hear a recorded message about current road conditions call (307) 344-2117
f) To skip some of the over-crowding tour popular areas very early in the morning. Most people won’t be up yet or at breakfast. If you’re out there at dawn you’ll have a better chance for animal sightings and get to see the sunrise. Keep the opposite schedule of most people, eat an early dinner then go back out for more sight-seeing between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm when everyone is at dinner.
I’ve gathered this information to help you decide for yourself when the best time is to visit Yellowstone National Park
Every season brings new sights and does have an impact as to what you will see and do.
What is more important to you? Is it the warmer weather? Is it the smaller crowds? Is it the different animals that you will see?
When is the best time to visit Yellowstone National Park? What it really comes down to is that it’s up to the individual.
When deciding your best time to visit know that every month and season brings something fresh and new hence why people will come back time and time again.
Leave a comment on what you decided your favorite time is to visit Yellowstone National Park
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6 thoughts on “Why Summer is not the Best Time to Visit Yellowstone”
Everyone shall have millions of money so that we can travel, travel and TRAVEL. Amazing read!
Maybe not millions but just enough to travel,travel,TRAVEL. Thanks for the comment and I want to give your website a thumbs up!
Thank you for a great article. I myself prefer to go there in the fall, nature is so colorful then 🙂
Thanks for the comment Sam. Day hiking is one of my favorite things to do. I’ll be sure to check out royalhiker.com
Life is a Adventure
Yes, it is and should be! I think that you’d enjoy my RV reviews post