Yellowstone National Park is a tremendous tourist attraction that is visited by millions of people every year.
However, due to the country’s diverse seasons, tourists are unsure on what the best time is to visit Yellowstone.
Read on to discover which times of the year are best suited for you and your visit to Yellowstone National Park.
The Best Time To Visit Yellowstone National Park
This park is located in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana, and more than 4 million people visit each year. The peak season is July and August. Visitors are fewest from November through April.
It’s more enjoyable to explore the park’s natural attractions and spot wildlife outside of the overcrowded summer months.
Yellowstone National Park’s closest international airportis Jackson Hole, Wyoming, or Bozeman, Montana, which has generally less pricey flights outside of summer.
Prices for hotels are generally lower after Labor Day, when children have returned to school and summer crowds have dissipated. Due to the weather, the park has a few road closures, so plan accordingly.
Summer in Yellowstone
While the months between Memorial Day weekend and Labor Day weekend are exceptionally beautiful, they are also the busiest for families on summer vacations and road trips.
During the summer alone, Yellowstone attracts more than three million tourists, but if you travel early in June or September, you can beat the influx of campers and sightseers.
Catch a quieter Yellowstone in September after kids have gone back to school, bison have almost finished finding mates, and mosquitoes have died down.
Spring in Yellowstone
In contrast to what you might experience in spring in places like Texas, California, or Missouri, you won’t find wildflowers in Yellowstone during March, April, or May.
We don’t recommend visitors come during this season because it’s the most challenging time to visit the park.
Springtime is Yellowstone’s “mud season” and a low-volume time to visit the park. It can be cold and snowy at this time of year. Winter’s remaining snow thaws, making the park’s roads, trails, meadows, and campgrounds muddy, icy, and snowy.
During the spring, many of the park’s roads are closed, and many of its facilities are closed, including hotels, restaurants, and visitor centers.
This season may bring swampy hiking conditions, occasional mudslides blocking parts of the Grand Loop, slushy snowpack and freezing rain that could hamper driving, skiing, biking and boating activities in Yellowstone.
What are the benefits of going in spring? During these months, tourists are at a minimum (for good reason), so you have the park to yourself, weather permitting.
It’s also a great time to see baby animals. However, you will be limited to what roads you can take, where you can go, and what you can actually see.
Autumn in Yellowstone
It’s a beautiful time of year when leaves and grass turn yellow and orange. The air is a little bit crisp. And tourists are returning home from their summer getaways.
Yellowstone National Park is a magical place to visit in the fall for dozens of reasons – just check for road closures (usually in late November) and pack appropriately for unpredictable weather.
While it is getting to be more popular to visit during the fall because crowds are lower, you will still want to make your reservations far in advance. The best-kept secret of Yellowstone has been revealed.
Visiting Yellowstone in September and early October can be especially exciting because the elk are in rut and act a little crazy. If you are a witness, stay at a safe distance.
Winter in Yellowstone
Yellowstone’s winters are simply magical. Steam from thermal vents and springs freezes to frost on nearby trees, elk posthole through thick snow, and geysers burst into droplets that freeze in the air.
In the winter, cross-country skiing, ice climbing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, and exploring the ski and snow vehicle trails that cut through snowy basins like Black Sand, and frozen waterfalls that shimmer like frosted chandeliers are available.
Final Thoughts – How To Be Safe In Yellowstone National Park
The park is full of dangers, most of which can be avoided.
The best place to observe animals is inside your car. Keep at least 100 yards away from bears and wolves, and 25 yards away from bison, elk, and other animals in the park. Do not feed the wildlife.
There are boardwalks and trails in the park’s thermal areas to keep you safe. Follow the designated pathways to avoid injury or death. Never let your children run on the boardwalks and keep them close to you.
Do not stop in the middle of the road to view wildlife. Allow other drivers to pass by using the pull-outs to avoid car accidents. If you encounter a wildlife traffic jam, which occurs frequently, stay inside your vehicle and be patient for the animals to pass.