There is no specific season and time to visit Yellowstone since every season has its features. People also have different choices and preferences. Some may like winter while others find aesthetic sense in spring, so people may differ as far as the best time to visit Yellowstone, the world’s first national park. Be it winter, spring, autumn, or summer, and every season is replete with natural landscape and beauty specific to that season. So, it isn’t easy to find out which season is Yellowstone time. But in this article, we will try to find out and let you know which time is the best to go to Yellowstone. Moreover, we also guide you on how to enjoy having a visit to Yellowstone. We will seasonally discuss to find out which is the best time of year to visit Yellowstone.
Let’s start with the hot summer.
Summer in Yellowstone:
Summers are known by summer vacations when people usually have a trip with families. As the time-lapse between Memorial Day and Labor Day are very beautiful, and it attracts people in large number. That is the reason the highest number of people and families take summer vacations and have road trips. As far as Yellowstone is concerned, beautiful summer attracts more than three million people. Yellowstone weather in September is too beautiful to visit. The influx of sightseers and campers travel to Yellowstone in September.
If you are a nature lover, have a visit to Yellowstone in September to have the best time to visit Yellowstone national park. The days of summer, especially early in June and September, after kids are back to school, the mosquito swarms die down, and bison are nearly done with finding mates, are calm and quieter, providing the best month to visit Yellowstone. After finalizing the plan of visiting Yellowstone in summer and celebrating summer, there is another question that demands an answer. You don’t need to worry. The answer lies in the later section.
These are the top ways of celebrating days at Yellowstone in summer.
1: Eat breakfast at Mammoth Hotel Dining Room:
The Mammoth Hotel Dining Room is one of the oldest hotels in the national park that has been renovated. Eating breakfast here in summer is one of the best ways of enjoying Yellowstone. Moreover, this hotel is also considered the first certified green restaurant for Xanterra, the park’s concessionaire. You can have a look at what was once the parade grounds of Fort Yellowstone and see elk grazing through ceiling windows. In addition to this, the legendary Mammoth Hotel springs lying at a stone’s throw gives an amazing look. The hotel does not provide reservations because it is first-come-first-served.
2: Climb Mount Washburn:
If you like hiking, then climbing Mount Washburn in summer provides you the best time to travel and the best time of the year to visit Yellowstone. To have one of the most memorable hikes in the national park, get an early start. Mt. Washburn is undoubtedly a Yellowstone classic and lets you experience a good time in Yellowstone. This two-and-a-half-mile track lifts you 1400 feet up that goes through fields of wildflowers before reaching the 10223-foot high summit.
But the important point is to start hiking early in the morning so that you can enjoy thunder and lightning storms. If you want to have the best time to visit Yellowstone for wildlife, hiking Mt. Washburn can be a good experience because you will find bighorn sheep grazing along the way. At the top, an amazing view of the Greater Yellowstone ecosystem gives a stunning look, providing the best month to visit Yellowstone.
3: Visit Old Faithful:
Everyone who visits Yellowstone in summer does this. So, see yourself along with the crowd what happens when Old Faithful, the world’s famous geyser, erupts. The time of its eruption can be searched out on the NPS Geyser app. Download that app before visiting Yellowstone if you want to visit Old Faithful.
4: View Wildlife at the Lamar Valley:
Viewing wildlife at the Lamar Valley provides Yellowstone the best time to visit. Head to the Lamar Valley that lies in the northeast corner of the park in the late afternoon and early evening if you want to experience the best time for Yellowstone. Large mammals such as wolves, bison, and black and grizzly bears can be viewed for hours that answer when is the best time to go to Yellowstone?
It would be wrong to say that if you are not allergic to the sun, beautiful days of summer and ways of celebrating summer at Yellowstone mentioned above give you the best time for Yellowstone. Visiting Yellowstone in June or Yellowstone September are replete with Yellowstone flowers, wildlife, and much more.
Spring in Yellowstone:
Unlike spring in California, Texas, or Missouri, where you will find warm weather and wildflowers, spring in Yellowstone during March, April or May is empty as far as warm weather or wildflowers are concerned. While finding the best season to visit Yellowstone, it is imperative to highlight the least recommended season to visit Yellowstone. Spring in Yellowstone is such as season, which is a challenging time to visit the national park. It is the last season we will recommend you to visit Yellowstone. The reason behind this is that spring is called the “mud season.” It can still be snowy and cold. The remaining snow of winter turns the park’s trails, roads, campgrounds, and meadows muddy, snowy, icy, and difficult to ride, walk or navigate.
That is the reason Yellowstone is not the best national park to visit in May. Roads there remain closed, limiting your options of going. In addition to roads, many other facilities such as restaurants, hotels, and visitor centers remain closed due to muddy and snowy landscapes. Moreover, muddy and swampy hiking conditions block parts of the Grand Loop, freezing pouring rain and slushy snowpack that could inhibit activities like skiing, driving, boating, or biking. However, there is an upside to going there in spring. The crowd is minimum.
During these months, tourism is very less, leaving the roads, weather, and parks permitting, all to yourself. There is also the chance of viewing baby animals in spring. But you will have limited choices on where you can go, what roads you take, and what you can see. Thus, if you want to have the best time to visit Yosemite to avoid crowds, spring is a good season to visit Yellowstone. But muddy, icy, and snowy conditions at Yellowstone in spring do not provide the best times to go to Yellowstone. Now let’s have a look at prominent and important things worthy of mentioning that you can enjoy in spring at Yellowstone.
1: Spring Weather:
Spring has a different kind of aestheticism in Yellowstone thanks to its high elevation. The temperature at daytime ranges from the 30s to 60s, but it lowers to single-digit, making it enjoyable at night. Snow is common there. As weather is not constant and unpredictable, so you should equip with plenty of warm clothes. Add snowshoes to let you enjoy cross-country tracks.
2: Roads Close for Snowplowing:
As snow is common there in spring, so roads close most of the time, limiting your options to go. Total road closes are 198 miles of the main road, 124 miles of secondary roads and 125 acres of parking lots inside the park, and 31 miles of the Beartooth Highway outside the park to be opened and prepared summer season.
3: Spring Bicycling:
Another important thing to enjoy there is cycling in spring. Many other non-motorized public travel like rollerblades, jogging, walking, and roller skis may be allowed depending on the road condition along with cycling. The time for this roughly starts from late March or early spring.
Autumn in Yellowstone:
Flowers, grasses, and leaves turn lovely oranges and yellow in autumn. There is that slight bite in the air. And the bulk of summer tourists have returned home. If you find the best time to visit Yellowstone and the best time to visit grand Tetons, autumn in Yellowstone National Park is a magical time to visit. The only thing to confirm before going the road closures and mind for unpredictable weather there. For this, Yellowstone weather forecast ten days should be checked before going. Yellowstone is one of the best national parks to visit in the fall.
Crowds are minimum, and you will want to reserve months in advance to have the best month to visit Yellowstone national park. Visiting Yellowstone in September and October is magical because grand Teton weather in September and October can be very exciting. Because the elk act a little crazy, Yellowstone is the best national park to visit in October and one of the best national parks to visit in September. Let’s have details of autumn details.
1: Autumn Weather:
Weather in Yellowstone in autumn can vary very rapidly, even on days. Temperature ranges from 20 degrees Fahrenheit and 65 degrees Fahrenheit. Moreover, the temperature goes down as the sunsets and days get shorter with the approach of winter.
2: Hiking in Yellowstone:
Hiking is the main activity of enjoying in autumn. It lets you see the fall colors in abundance. The sight of wildlife as they get ready for the coming winter also mesmerizes you. In addition to elk and bear, bighorn sheep, pronghorn, eagles, and moose are some animals to be seen there.
3: Biking in Autumn:
As in spring, most of the roads are closed due to snow but lucky for cyclists, sections of the road remain open. If you like biking and bicycling, autumn at Yellowstone presents you with a mesmerizing experience of cycling.
Winter in Yellowstone:
Yellowstone when to visit? When is the best time to visit Yellowstone park? When to visit Yellowstone national park? When is a good time to visit Yellowstone national park? Some questions demand an answer that lies in visiting Yellowstone in winter because winter is magical at Yellowstone. Why is spring the best season to visit Yellowstone national park? The answer lies in the natural beauty at its peak with the coming of winter. For example, steams from spring and thermal vents turn to frost on nearby trees, and geysers burst to boil water, scattering into droplets that freeze in the air and elk post-hole through thick snow.
Winter is also the best time of the year to go to the glacier. Winter starts in late December and goes till March, open for ice-climbing, cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, snowshoeing, and exploring the snow and ski vehicle trails that cur through snowy basins like Black Sand and frozen waterfalls that shimmer like frosted chandeliers. Thus, Yellowstone national park best time to go in winter. That is how you can enjoy winter in Yellowstone national park.
1: Road closing in Winter:
Road gets closed to motored vehicles and wheeled traffic on Nov 2, but not between the North and Northeast entrances, which remain open. With the Beartooth Highway seasonally closed, the only entrance to the park for a vehicle is the North entrance.
2: Winter Recreation Season:
After closing, Yellowstone Park opens for the winter recreation season in mid-December. Over-snow travel is also allowed onward.
3: Activities in winter in Yellowstone:
Want to visit Yellowstone in spring and don’t know what to do there? Don’t worry. We have plenty of ideas for you! Different kinds of transportation like motor vehicles and other wheeled traffic along with on foot, cross-country skis, snow coaches, snowmobiles, seeing wildlife via snowshoes, and having the opportunity to see steaming geyser basins are some plans you can take on while being there in spring. Watching wildlife, wolves, elk, bison, and bears can give an amazing experience. Have a safe distance when you have wildlife watching.
In short, every season has its beauty; summer for beautiful days and summer vacations, winter for snow and glaciers, autumn for a classic look of nature provided by yellow and orange grasses and leaves, and spring for the peak of flowers. Although it is difficult to specify the best to travel to Yellowstone (as already been said), yet summer and winter are the best time at Yellowstone national park. This is the best time to visit Yellowstone to see animals, the best time to go to Yellowstone for wildlife, the best time to travel to the national glacier park, and the best time to hike Yellowstone.