Yellowstone National Park in August: Vacation Planning Guide

Here’s everything you need to know for planning a trip to Yellowstone National Park in August.

This Yellowstone National Park travel guide will help you plan your August vacation: things to see, do and photograph as well as what to pack, where to stay and services available.

visiting yellowstone in august

Keep reading for all the information you need about visiting Yellowstone in August, and the fun outdoor activities you can do!

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Yellowstone National Park Packing List

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Visiting Yellowstone National Park in August

In August you’ll find all the park roads, services, and campgrounds are open so it’s one of the best times to visit Yellowstone National Park.

Visitation numbers in August are high so be prepared for crowds during the day. We always recommend entering the park early in the morning, or even later in the afternoon.

Yellowstone Weather in August

The average temperatures in August at Yellowstone are highs near 80 and lows in the high 40s degrees Fahrenheit.

Be prepared for rain at any time. It doesn’t hurt to pack winter gloves, hat, coat and fleece jacket and wear layers since the mornings and evenings are still cold!

How Long Should I Plan My Yellowstone Vacation?

In order to really soak in Yellowstone, you will want to be there for more than 2 days, especially in the summertime. 

We suggest when vacationing during the summer months at Yellowstone that you plan to go for at least 4-5 days. This way you are not rushed and you can be a little more patient with the crowds of people knowing you have time to see everything. 

Not only that, but 4-5 days gives you time to relax, fish, hike, and really experience Yellowstone for everything it has to offer!

Here’s our favorite Yellowstone 4 day itinerary!

plan your dream vacation to yellowstone

THINGS TO DO AT YELLOWSTONE IN AUGUST

Here’s a list of things to do at Yellowstone National Park when you visit in August!

Hiking at Yellowstone in August

Before exploring any Yellowstone hiking trails, we recommend you check with the rangers at the Visitor Center to get current trail conditions. Also tell someone your hiking destination, route, and estimated time of return.

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.

Stay on trails: taking shortcuts causes trail erosion and is dangerous. In hydrothermal areas, stepping on thin crust may plunge you into boiling water.

Here’s a list of hikes in Yellowstone by region:

Yellowstone Waterfalls in August

Most of the Yellowstone waterfalls don’t require hiking to see them. In August the water is still flowing well so visiting the various waterfalls is a good activity. Here’s a list of the main waterfall attractions in the park:

  • Canyon: Lower and Upper Falls, Brink of Upper Falls
  • Firehole Falls
  • Gibbon Falls
  • Kepler Cascades
  • Lewis Falls
  • Moose Falls
  • Tower Fall
  • Undine Falls

hot pool at yellowstone

Yellowstone Geysers and Hot Springs in August

Any time of year is a good time to see the hydrothermal features in Yellowstone: geysers, hot springs, mudpots, travertine terraces and fumaroles. Check out the NPS website for the latest geyser eruption predictions!

Here’s a list of the best locations to see these these unique features:

two bison lock horns during the bison rut at yellowstone

Wildlife at Yellowstone in August

In August you’ll get to experience the bison rut in Lamar and Hayden Valleys!

We’ve put together this resource of the best time to visit yellowstone for wildlife in case you want to see a specific animal in the park.

Remember 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.

Yellowstone Photography in August

We recommend you have your camera ready to go because the wildlife you may see as you drive through the park won’t wait for you to find the camera in your car.

In August you’ll want to photograph the geysers, hot pools, waterfalls and rivers. Here are some tips for taking pictures at Yellowstone.

Other Yellowstone Activities

Places to Visit at Yellowstone in August

Did you know that Yellowstone is divided into regions? To avoid a ton of driving, here’s a list of the places to visit and things to do in each region to help make planning easier! Check out our done-for-you: 4-day Yellowstone Vacation Planner!

Here’s a list of places to visit in the Yellowstone National Park Southern Loop and Northern Loop.

Yellowstone Visitor Centers

There are ten Yellowstone Visitor Centers and information stations throughout the park. Talk with a ranger, learn about the park through exhibits and interpretive offerings, or get oriented to the things you can do at the park.

Yellowstone Regions: Services and Attractions

There are various regions or areas throughout Yellowstone. Each one has different lodging options, services and things to do!

Canyon Village and the Grand Canyon

  • Scenic Drives: Dunraven Pass, North Rim Drive, and South Rim Drive
  • Hydrothermal Feature: Mud Volcano
  • Natural Features: Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone River, Hayden Valley, and Mount Washburn
  • Visitor Services: Canyon Campground, Canyon Lodge, Canyon General Store, and Canyon Visitor Education Center
  • Waterfalls: Lower Falls, Silver Cord Cascades, and Upper Falls
  • Day Hikes, Wildlife Watching
Grand Canyon of Yellowstone Lower Falls photo jeepers

Fishing Bridge, Lake, and Bridge Bay

  • Scenic Drives: Gull Point Drive and Lake Butte Scenic Drive
  • Hydrothermal Features: Mud Volcano and Steamboat Point
  • Natural Features: Mary Bay, Natural Bridge, Sedge Bay, Storm Point, Sylvan Pass, and Yellowstone Lake
  • Visitor Services: Bridge Bay Campground, Bridge Bay Marina, Fishing Bridge General Store, Fishing Bridge Visitor Center, Fishing Bridge RV Park, Lake General Store, Lake Hotel and Cabins, and Lake Lodge Cabins
  • Day Hikes, Fishing and Boating
fishing bridge at Yellowstone

Madison and the West

  • Scenic Drives: Firehole Canyon Drive and Firehole Lake Drive
  • Hydrothermal Features: Fountain Paint Pot, Grand Prismatic Spring, Great Fountain Geyser, Midway Geyser Basin, Terrace Springs, and White Dome Geyser
  • Natural Features: Firehole Canyon, National Park Mountain, Madison River, and Purple Mountain
  • Visitor Services: Madison Campground, Madison Information Station, and West Yellowstone Visitor Information Center
  • Waterfalls: Fairy Falls and Firehole Falls
  • Day Hikes and Fishing
Firehole Falls at Yellowstone

Mammoth Hot Springs and the North

  • Scenic Drives: Blacktail Plateau Drive and Upper Terrace Drive
  • Historic Areas: Apollinaris Spring, Fort Yellowstone (historic US Army headquarters, now park headquarters), and Obsidian Cliff
  • Hydrothermal Features: Boiling River, Canary Springs, and Mammoth Hot Springs
  • Natural Features: Bunsen Peak, Mount Everts, Sheepeater Cliffs, and Swan Lake Flat
  • Visitor Services: Albright Visitor Center, Indian Creek Campground, Mammoth Campground, Mammoth General Store, and Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and Cabins
  • Waterfalls: Rustic Falls, Undine Falls, and Wraith Falls
  • Day Hikes
mammoth hot spring at Yellowstone

Yellowstone Maps and Guides at Amazon:

Yellowstone maps and guides

Yellowstone Tours and Day Trips

Places to stay in West Yellowstone

Places to stay in Gardiner

Places to stay in Cooke City or Silver Gate

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