Visiting Yellowstone National Park in July

With its stunning mountains, crystal-clear rivers and lakes, and abundant wildlife, it’s easy to see why Yellowstone is the perfect summer destination. Here’s a list of all the fun outdoor activities you can do at Yellowstone National Park in July.

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

yellowstone national park in july

From fishing on Yellowstone Lake to exploring the geysers of Old Faithful, there are plenty of activities for visitors to enjoy while they take in all that nature has to offer.

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

Yellowstone packing list Optin box
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A Photo Tour of the Yellowstone Southern Loop

Take a visual tour through the south loop of Yellowstone National Park to see the wildlife, waterfalls, geysers, and landscapes you’ll find in this part of the park!

Visiting Yellowstone National Park in July

July is one of the best times to visit Yellowstone National Park because all park roads, services, and campgrounds are open.

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.

Visitation numbers in July 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 July

The Yellowstone National Park weather in July means 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, hatcoat and fleece jacket and wear layers since the mornings and evenings are still cool.

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!

Things to Do at Yellowstone in July

Our number one Yellowstone vacation tip to avoid lines at the entrance gates is to enter the park early and head to the popular sites ahead of the crowds.

Be prepared for slow cars and bison or bear jams. Pack your patience and enjoy the scenery!

Here’s a list of things to do at Yellowstone National Park when you visit in the month of July.

Lake along the Yellowstone Scenic Drive
Lake along the Yellowstone Scenic Drive

Yellowstone Scenic Drives in July

Yellowstone covers over 2 million acres of land! It’s divided into 2 main sections and 9 areas. You’ll find two scenic drive loops within the park, as well as other stunning Yellowstone scenic drives outside the park!

Yellowstone National Park Southern Loop Scenic Drive:

There are three entrances to access the southern loop of Yellowstone: West (West Yellowstone), South (Grand Teton), and East (Cody).

There are seven areas in the southern loop of Yellowstone:

  • Madison
  • Old Faithful
  • Lake
  • West Thumb Geyser Basin
  • Grant Village
  • Canyon
  • Norris

Yellowstone National Park Northern Loop Scenic Drive:

There are two entrances with direct access to the north loop of Yellowstone: North (Gardiner) and Northeast (Cooke City).

There are four areas in the northern loop of Yellowstone:

  • Mammoth
  • Tower-Roosevelt
  • Canyon
  • Norris

There are so many points of interest to see along these drives! We HIGHLY recommend downloading the GuideAlong Yellowstone Audio Tour App to hear fun behind-the scenes stories and local tips that play automatically as you drive, based on your GPS location in the park!

Observation Peak fire tower at Yellowstone National Park
Observation Peak fire tower

Hiking in July at Yellowstone

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.

Click this link for a list of Yellowstone National Park Easy summer hikes to add to your list! Check out the Yellowstone hikes by region:

Some trails might still be wet and muddy in early July. Here are a few tips to keep in mind when hiking at Yellowstone:

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

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.

Yellowstone Waterfalls in July

Most of the Yellowstone waterfalls don’t require hiking to see them. In July the water is still running high so it’s a good time to photograph waterfalls.

Here’s a list of the main waterfall attractions in Yellowstone:

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

Grand Prismatic
Grand Prismatic

Yellowstone Geysers and Hot Springs in July

There are five types of hydrothermal features you’ll see 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 places to see these wonders:

three mountain goats along beartooth highway near yellowstone

Wildlife at Yellowstone in July

In July the black bears and grizzly bears usually head to the higher elevations. You’ll still see bison calves known as red dogs due to their reddish-brown color. Due to the crowds in the park July really isn’t the best time to visit yellowstone for wildlife.

We like to drive past Lamar Valley to Cooke City and on along Beartooth Highway to look for moose, bighorn sheep, and mountain goats! 

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 July

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

Yellowstone River Rafting in July

If you’re looking for a fun adventure, try river rafting in Yellowstone! Families love exploring Yellowstone this way as they see incredible views, wildlife, and more while going down the river. 

You will experience varying sizes of rapids dependent on the water levels so take that into account when deciding who is going to go white water rafting in the family.

Yellowstone Tours in July

Taking a tour helps you see many parts of Yellowstone that you might not see on your own. Here’s a list of Yellowstone Summer Tours you can book in July:

Yellowstone Camping in July

With its stunning scenery and abundant wildlife, a favorite way to enjoy the park is by camping at Yellowstone National Park. With numerous campground options, you’ll find a variety of Yellowstone campsites ranging from full-service to primitive.

All campsites at Yellowstone’s 12 campgrounds require advanced reservations in July. It’s recommended you make your reservations far in advance due the demand for camping at Yellowstone.

If you can’t find a spot in the park, check out the RV parks near Yellowstone National Park!

Yellowstone maps and guides

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