Visiting Yellowstone in November

Use this guide to determine if a trip to Yellowstone in November is the best time for you to visit the park. We share everything you need to know about visiting Yellowstone this time of year!

This Yellowstone National Park travel guide outlines things to do, what to pack, where to stay, services available, and weather to expect in November.

Yellowstone National Park in November

Located in the northwest corner of Wyoming, this vast wilderness area boasts some of the most stunning natural scenery in the United States.

The top reason we enjoy visiting in November is the lack of crowds. The solitude you experience at Yellowstone in November is so rewarding.

But, in early November, the Yellowstone roads begin to close for the season. The only road open is from the North Entrance in Gardiner to the Northeast Entrance in Cooke City.

We live only hours away and visit Yellowstone often. November is one of our favorite times to go! The tips we share are based on our experiences visiting the park this time of year, and specifically in November.

Use our Yellowstone National Park Packing List to make sure you have the right clothing and gear for visiting in November! Grab your free printable packing checklist by clicking the image below!

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Visiting Yellowstone National Park in November

November is a great time to view wildlife in Yellowstone. Yes, most of the park is closed to visitors, but the road in the northern range is open going through Lamar Valley. This area is one of the best places for viewing wildlife in Yellowstone.

Yellowstone Roads in November

The biggest drawback to visiting Yellowstone in November is that most of the roads close the first of the month. Be sure to read the fall and winter Yellowstone road closure dates for the most updated year-to-year information.

From the beginning of November to mid-April, all roads except from the north entrance in Gardiner to the northeast entrance in Cooke City are closed.

Snow coach transportation is usually only available around mid-December when there’s enough snow. For the entire month of November, you are limited to the one single road.

Yellowstone Services in November

Mammoth Hot Spring to the Northeast Entrance is the only part of the park open to wheeled vehicles in November. The road is open up to Cooke City, Montana, after which the road is closed (no through-traffic to Red Lodge, Montana or Cody, Wyoming). Services are very limited between Mammoth Hot Springs and Cooke City, Montana.

The Mammoth Hot Springs area has some services available year-round:

  • Albright Visitor Center – closed Thanksgiving Day
  • General Store – closed Thanksgiving Day
  • Mammoth Campground
  • Mammoth Clinic – closed for a few days around Thanksgiving
  • Post Office – closed Thanksgiving Day
  • Service Stations – credit card fueling only 24-hours

The Mammoth Hot Spring Hotel, dining, and gift shop close the end of November until they re-open for winter in mid-December.

The Tower-Roosevelt Service Station is open 24-hours for credit card fueling only.

Always check the Yellowstone operating hours and seasons for the most updated information.

Mammoth Hot Springs area of Yellowstone
Mammoth Hot Springs

Yellowstone Weather in November

The weather in November in Yellowstone can be unpredictable and constantly changing. Average November temperatures for Mammoth Hot Springs are a high of 39, and a low of 20 degrees Fahrenheit. It snows or rains about 8 days in November so check the Yellowstone weather daily so you’re prepared for the conditions.

Layers are key when exploring Yellowstone in November. Reference our winter clothing guide so you can enjoy the outdoors, even when it’s cold! We recommend at the minimum:

Best Time to Visit Yellowstone

Check out our guide for finding the best time to visit Yellowstone National Park. Each season and month of the year will have different activities and services available.

There are also best times to visit Yellowstone for wildlife. You’ll find a list of the animals you’ll see each month of the year at the park.

Things to Do at Yellowstone in November

Although most of the roads are closed in November, the road from Gardiner to Cooke City is arguably the most scenic road in the park. There is still plenty to see and things to do at Yellowstone National Park in November.

Mammoth Hot Springs in November

The Albright Visitor Center in Mammoth remains open year-round and is a great resource for information about the park. There is a cool museum in the lower level of the Visitor Center, and rangers are available to answer any questions about closures that you may have.

Lamar Valley in November
Lamar Valley in November

Mammoth to Lamar Valley Scenic Drive in November

Driving and hiking through Lamar Valley is an awesome place to see herds of bison, and if you’re lucky, you’ll see wolves and bears. Check out the fun wildlife tours available this time of year!

Yellowstone Hiking in November

Hiking is fantastic in November because the crowds have thinned and you may have the trail entirely to yourself.

Here’s a list of hiking trails open in November:

You can check the Yellowstone Backcountry Situation Report for all pertinent information about the backcountry.

Be sure to carry bear spray – bears are still active in November!!

What to Bring on a Day Hike: at a minimum, carry water, a raincoat or poncho, a warm hat, an insulating (non cotton) layer of clothing, insect repellent, sunscreen, and a first aid kit.

Photography Gear for Hiking: The key to finding the best travel photography gear for hiking is understanding what type of environment you will be shooting in and how much weight you are willing to carry on your back.

Hiking Gear for Kids & Tips for Hiking with Kids: Wearing and packing the right hiking gear for kids is one of the most important first steps. When kids are thirsty, hungry and their feet hurt then the outing will not be fun for anyone!

Yellowstone Waterfalls in November

Experiencing and photographing the various Yellowstone waterfalls is always at the top of our must-do list.

There are 3 waterfalls in the park you’ll find on the northern road:

  • Undine Falls
  • Wraith Falls
  • Lost Falls

The waterfalls in Yellowstone in November aren’t as full as they are in the spring, but they are still amazing nonetheless.

Bison with frost at Yellowstone
Bison with frost at Yellowstone

Yellowstone Wildlife in November

The wildlife possibilities are always present along the northern road from Gardiner to Cooke City. It’s important to know the parameters to keep you and the animals safe!

  • Never approach animals. The animals in Yellowstone are wild and unpredictable, no matter how calm they appear to be.
  • The safest (and often best) view of wildlife is from inside a car. Always stay at least 100 yards (91 m) away from bears and wolves, and at least 25 yards (23 m) away from all other animals, including bison and elk.
  • Never feed wildlife. Animals that become dependent on human food may become aggressive toward people and have to be killed. Keep all food, garbage, or other smelly items packed away when not in use.
  • Never park in the road or block traffic. Use pullouts to watch wildlife and let other cars pass. Stay with your vehicle if you encounter a wildlife jam.

Around Thanksgiving the deer and bighorn sheep rut is at its peak. If you’re lucky you’ll hear the smack of bighorn rams butting heads over females. Rabbits and weasels don white fur coats for the winter.

Photography in November at Yellowstone

Our number one photo tip is: be prepared for anything so you can capture the moment when it happens.

In November the weather can change from day to day. The rain, clouds, fog, and frost are fun elements when taking pictures of Yellowstone.

And we always have our camera ready to go because the wildlife you may see won’t wait for you to find the camera in your car.

Yellowstone maps and guides

Places to Stay at Yellowstone in November

Here’s a list of our recommended places to stay at Yellowstone National Park in Gardiner and Cooke City or Silver Gate close to the North entrance that’s open in November.

Hotels and Vacation Rentals in Gardiner:

Hotels and Vacation Rentals in Cooke City or Silver Gate:

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  1. Love this post! As someone who’s visited Yellowstone in November before, I can attest to the beauty and serenity of the park in the off-season. The lack of crowds makes for a much more peaceful and immersive experience, and the changing leaves make for some incredible scenery. Definitely adding this post to my bookmarks for future reference!

  2. I visited Yellowstone as a teenager, many years ago. I look forward to going back some day and sharing how amazing that park is with my children. Truly a place worth visiting!

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