Yellowstone National Park
Travel Update: Most destinations are open — check the official websites and read our crucial BEST TIME tips below to help you AVOID CROWDS (Travel with at least 15% off | booking.com)
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.
Yellowstone is the world's first national park, established in 1872. Witness volcano’s hidden power rising up in colorful hot springs, mudpots, and geysers. Explore mountains, forests, and lakes to watch wildlife and watch the beauty of the natural world unfold.
- Avoid the crowds! Visit the popular areas (NPS - Yellowstone Places To Go) in the early morning or in the evening. Try to get to the busier spots either first thing in the morning or later in the evening when most visitors already left.
- Bring layers of cloth! Especially in spring, early summer and fall, it's a good idea to bring layers of cloth. With layers, you can peel a layer off or on. Suggestion: Base layer, wool sweater, fleece jacket, waterproof breathable rain gear works.
- Go hiking! Even a short hike will take you away from crowds and offers a much more rewarding experience of Yellowstone's amazing landscapes.
- Watch the wildlife! The best times for wildlife spotting is either early morning or in the evening. Read our special wildlife tips: Yellowstone - Wildlife
- Stop at the Visitor Center and check for the Ranger Programs.