When is a great time to spot wildlife? Wild animals can be found in ecosystems like deserts, forests, rain forests, plains or grasslands. Often wildlife is hidden and difficult to spot. Here you will find the right time and areas where the chance for a wildlife sighting is much higher.
Waterton is great at any time and open throughout the year. However, from May - September is probably the best time with the most wildlife being about and more pleasant temperatures. Check out our place Glacier National Park for weather details, since both are close and experience the same climate.
Avoiding Tourist Crowds
Although it's tiny compared to Banff and less touristy, Waterton became much busier in the recent years. Especially during the peak months of July and August. If you go during the summer: Avoid weekends and arrive early in the morning. In summer, the visitor center opens at 8 AM. Later in the day, there can be 40-50 cars waiting at the gate. Be there right at 8 AM and start your hike before the crowds arrive. Another way to avoid tourist crowds is visiting in the spring (May - mid-June) or in September after Labor Day Weekend until October.
Season Overview: Activites by Season | Waterton Lakes NP
Opening Hours: Hours - Facilities - Operation | Waterton Lakes NP
Yukon has equally stunning aspects to offer, both in the cold and the hot months. It depends on what appeals to different individuals. Below is a guideline to help you decide when to visit.
November-April (winter/spring): The average temperature in Yukon during the day in winter is high of -13.3C in January to 6.4C in April. During the night in winter, it is a low of -22C in January to -4.6C in April. Average hours of daylight one can expect to get is 4.5 hours in December to 15 hours in April. Winter is a very constitutive part of the Yukon lifestyle, making it one of the most interesting times to visit. The Northern Lights are undoubtedly the top attraction during the winter nights. During the day one can go on dog sledding, ice fishing, snowmobiling, and snow shoeing among many activities. Spring in Yukon is breathtaking with migrating birds returning and wildflowers blooming.
May-October (summer/fall): The average temperature in Yukon during the day in summer is high of 20.5C in July to 4.3C in October. During the night in summer, it is a low of 7.7C in July to -3.1C in October. Average hours of daylight one can expect to get is 20 hours in July to 10 hours in October. The Yukon summer is typically warm and dry. It has long hours of daylight known as the midnight sun. Long days mean lots of wildlife activities that one can witness. June - August is the best time if you want to canoe the river. The short fall season from late August is breathtaking with cooler days and spread of vibrant colours across the landscape.
Summer is the ideal time for viewing the stunning wildlife Yukon is harbouring which is 4 species of amphibians, 36 fish species, 66 mammal species, 227 bird species, 1238 plant species and over 6000 species of insects! The key to successful wildlife viewing is being spontaneous and always keeping an eye out. There are specific places, however, where one can go to spot wildlife.
The Northern Lights, the highlight of Yukon, can be seen as long as the nights are dark and without clouds. Therefore the winter months are perfect to spot this mesmerizing phenomenon. Roughly from September to April. However, with any natural phenomenon, the Aurora Borealis shows up without any precision or timetable when the weather conditions are favourable, usually on clear nights only. Time of day: Your best chance of seeing aurora borealis is around local midnight.
Monthly Weather / Climate
Weather for Yukon Territory - Whitehorse (switch between C° and F° at the top of the page)
Bontebok is a year-round destination. Weather is more predictable with little rainfall from October until March. The chance of increasing precipitation starts in May and lasts until September. Nights can be very cold in winter. In summer canoeing or a refreshing bath in the Breede River is another highlight.
The best time for wildlife viewing is in southern winter from May to September. The game concentration at waterholes is high, vegetation is low, and animals are easier to spot.
Crowds and Climate
Southern winter, the dry season (May to September) is the best time for wildlife spotting. Days are sunny with low humidity and nights are cold. Fewer mosquito. It's also the low season with viewer crowds, except for school holiday: It’s less busy in camps and on the roads.
The busiest months with most tourists in the main camps are in the southern summer (November to March). The rain starts end of October. The scenery gets lush and green, but during summer it’s also hot and humid and heavy rainfalls occur. Wildlife game viewing is not as good as in southern winter, but birding is excellent. Our favorite month is September: still dry, even more game to spot and temperatures rise.
In the dry season from June to September: Great for wildlife watching and photography but more crowds then.