A Great Place
When should you visit very special and unique places in the world that touch you? Places with an atmosphere you can’t describe or where you even get overwhelmed with emotion.
Long, cold winters. Mild, but short summers. The warmest months are from June to August and a great time for hiking. In spring the weather is unpredictable: Cold and even snow can linger into April and May. A warm jacket and rain gears are a must-have in spring. Fall months, especially SEPTEMBER and early OCTOBER may be the best months with mild weather, fewer crowds and lots of wildlife. In winter heavy snowfall occurs from December to March.
Avoiding Tourist Crowds:
July and August are also the peak tourist months. Crowds start to thin out after Labor Day in September. In October it even gets much quieter. A perfect month to enjoy many places without many others. Just keep in mind that a lot of facilities close sometime in October and November: NPS Yellowstone - Operating Hours.
Please note, that September became busier in the recent years. It's less busy than in summer but not a super quiet shoulder month anymore. Follow our September Tips:
- Go mid-September, as it gets quieter. A great sweet spot week is the last week in September.
- Go as early as possible. If you get up early you'll avoid heavy traffic at the busy areas like Old Faithful or elk rutting spots along the road.
Another great month is the first week of June with warm weather and fewer crowds before the peak summer season starts. Again, keep in mind that June became much busier recently: Go early in the morning and try to avoid weekends.
Best in the late afternoon - the crowds from the cruise ship may have left the gorge and the sunlight is shinning to the entrance of the gorge. Very early morning it is not crowded but it is not the best time of the day, the gorge is in shadow. It is very popular so if a cruise ship has docked in Roseau harbour it might be crowded the whole day same at weekends.
The dry season last from Dec. until April/May. This is also the peak tourist season. Anyway this is one of the wettest regions in the world with 7 liters of rain each year. The climate is humid tropical. The driest month is March and the wettest is August.
Best known for its fall season colors, the Parkway is beautiful and has treasures to offer ANY TIME of the YEAR. However, some sections get closed in winter during heavy snow. Check road conditions via the interactive map: Blue Ridge Parkway Real Time Status. Campgrounds are open from April/May until the end of October.
Highlight (Fall Colors):
Best time to catch the peak fall colors: Visit between MID-OCTOBER and LATE OCTOBER. Don't just visit one spot. Instead drive a while to be on different elevations. Some of the best spots to catch the fall colors: Fall Color Spots – Blue Ridge Mountains
Avoiding the Crowds:
It's busy on the road in fall. Especially mileposts can become crowded. Try to avoid weekends in autumn and get there early in the morning for an amazing experience. The morning light is also great for photos.
Springtime erupts with stunning beauty creating a sea of yellow in Daffodil Glade or Winter to see the annual Illumination of the trees
The difference between visiting in the morning, evening or at night:
Morning until Afternoon: Least crowded. Especially in the morning, you can experience the view without many other tourists. Even without the beautiful night view, it’s still a great experience in daylight.
Twilight / Dusk: Right before dusk it usually gets more crowded. Even more after dark. Top tip: Be there just before dusk to experience the fascinating change from daylight to darkness, while the city lights turn on slowly. Check sunset times here: http://www.timeanddate.com/sun/j...
After Dusk / at Night: Usually crowded year-round from dusk till 10 PM. That’s the time when both the last bus or the last ropeway runs (operating from 9 AM to 10 PM). After 10 PM it thins out and you experience a much quieter place. Great experience around midnight. However, staying that late means you have to pay a taxi to get back down. Otherwise, you’d have to walk and navigate down in the dark. You could also get up there and back down with your own (rental) car.
Open year-round (maintenance closure early December). Consider that even in summer it’s windy and colder up there. Bring an extra sweater in spring/summer/fall and a thick coat in winter, when it’s really cold and chilly on top of Mt. Inasa.
In general, to avoid heavy crowds don’t go during the following very busy times in Japan:
End of Dec - Jan 4: New Year’s travelers
April 29 - May 5: Golden Week
July 19 through August: School summer vacation