The Best Time to Visit Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

Early September to early October and late April to early May are the best time to visit Yellowstone National Park. The shoulder seasons provide comfortable weather, fewer tourists, and few to no street closures. So because kids are out of the classroom and it’s mild enough to stay the night outdoors, July and August are the most incredible summers to explore. Yet, in this place, the cold is just nothing new. Middle-of-summer wind chills have been noted to drop into the 30s in the park’s high-density areas. In the winter, expect a diverse range of temperatures, from the lower numbers to the high 20s. The sight of steam rising from a heavy blanket of winter weather is nothing short of beautiful, don’t ever let that discourage you.

With millions of tourists each year, Yellowstone National Park is among the busier national parks in the country. This area has a lot to do and see, from the recognizable geyser basin to the enormous animals.

Yellowstone National Park

Ideal Time of the Year to Visit Yellowstone National Park- Make Travel Plans?

Each season brings something unique to Yellowstone; any traveler can find a location in a national park, whether they like the summer’s crowded geyser valley or the winter’s calm, snow-covered surroundings.

This article includes detailed descriptions of each season, expert tips for avoiding crowds, what to expect, or where to stay, as well as all the knowledge you need to choose the most fabulous weekend of the year to explore Yellowstone National Park.


The Best Time to Visit Yellowstone National Park


Yellowstone’s springtime weather might be erratic, but if you go when it’s best, you can avoid the crowds and watch the park awaken from its wintertime sleep. Plan to bring a lot of clothes, as weather conditions can range from the low 60s to single digits. Because of periodic street closures, it is preferable to travel towards the close of April and in May. Usually, roads begin to open between the middle of April and the middle of May. Visit the National Park Service website to discover the most recent road closures and reopening dates.


Based on where you’re located in the park, average highs range between the 70s and 80s, which is ideal for trekking. Each of the park’s amenities will also be accessible. Yellowstone has almost 2 million people during the warmer months, so lodging will book up fast. For festival enthusiasts, July is a particularly popular month to travel because the park and the nearby towns organize a variety of activities. If you actually choose to travel during the busy season, book your accommodations as soon as you can.


Autumn is one of the best times to visit because there are numerous opportunities to see animals, the weather still seems pleasant, and most summer visitors have already left, keeping a lot of affordable hotel accommodations. But much like the park, you need to prepare for winter by being aware that daytime temperatures can often vary from the mid-thirties to the low-60s.  Be warned that many businesses, such as visitor centers, corner stores, offices, etc., might close as early as mid-September. Also, in mid-October, seasonal road limitations start.

Yellowstone National Park


The winter season in Yellowstone is challenging for the timid. The park receives much snow at this time, and the daytime highs barely rise above freezing. You must always have safety gear available if you travel this year, including snow chains, charts, booster cords, sleeping bags, lamps, first aid supplies, shovels, and extra snacks and beverages. Additionally, be prepared for dangerous driving conditions. Most park amenities from the nature center in the Mammoth Hot Springs area—will be locked for the year by December. Just the North Gate is accessible by automobile during the winter.


Best Times to Visit Yellowstone to Avoid Crowds

Cold weather travel can occasionally be the most gratifying, despite many people being apprehensive about doing so. Snow covers the rugged scenery of Yellowstone National Park in the winter, keeping the park’s most major attractions delightfully empty. Some of the best underrated snowshoeing in the nation can be found in Yellowstone for the daring (and those prepared to suffer the savage cold). Just remember to look for road closures ahead of time because they can make exploring Yellowstone difficult.

While touring Yellowstone during the busiest time of year, use the following advice to stay away from the crowds:

  • Get the day going early. Midday is the busiest time at famous Yellowstone locations, including Old Faithful. So avoid the crowds by touring early in the day or right before dusk. Yellowstone looks its best at this time of the day for photography.
  • Explore the hiking trails in Yellowstone. The majority of tourists who come to Yellowstone stay on the boardwalk trails that run through the geyser basin. Instead, think about hiking if you want to stay away from the throng. Among the finest hikes in Yellowstone is Mount Washburn Trail. Learn further about Yellowstone’s top hikes.
  • Go off the beaten track to explore. In Yellowstone, there are numerous things to do. The Old Faithful region has the most tourists. If you wish to escape crowds, explore extending your stay close to Yellowstone Lakes, Tower-Roosevelt, and Lamar Valley.


The Best Time to Visit Yellowstone for Wildlife

Yellowstone allows visitors to watch wildlife all year long, albeit the species you see will depend on the climate. The most excellent months to observe bears are March and April, while the winter is the ideal time to see wolves and bighorn sheep. The summer, the park’s busiest time of year, also occurs when you can view bighorn sheep, elk, moose, and bison.

Autumn is a fantastic time to see bears, elk, and raptors despite having more pleasant temperatures. Maintain a safe distance when witnessing the wildlife for your safety and the well-being of the animals. Tourists are not permitted to approach wildlife to take pictures or selfies based on the park.

Yellowstone National Park

Best Time to Visit for Photography

One could suggest that there is never a poor moment to visit Yellowstone for photographers. But there will undoubtedly be additional subjects in those photographs throughout the busy season. Wintertime trips to Yellowstone can benefit those who want to take pictures because there are fewer people there (no families huddled around Old Faithful). Snowfall and steam pouring from geysers and hot springs make for stunning pictures during the winter.



Yellowstone’s weather can be erratic year-round because of its high elevation. You need to know that temperatures in the spring and fall range from 30 to sixty degrees Fahrenheit, but lows occasionally fall below zero. Although it’s not uncommon for cold winter nights to generate frost and freezing conditions, summer high temperatures are often around 70 and 80 degrees.

Based on height, mountainous areas see wide temperature variations. Visitors are not required to be concerned about going through (or avoiding) a monsoon season because the average amount of rainfall is generally stable throughout all seasons.