Yellowstone National Park Weather: Best Time of Year to Visit

It’s all about the weather when deciding the best time of year to plan a vacation. This article details the Yellowstone National Park weather you can expect each season and month of the year.

Use this Yellowstone National Park travel guide to know the expected temperatures and weather, services available, things to do, what to pack, and where to stay during the year.

yellowstone weather

Do your research to know what it’s like visiting Yellowstone at various times of year so you can decide which season and month is best for you to plan your vacation to this stunning park!

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A Photo Tour of Yellowstone Waterfalls

Take a visual tour through Yellowstone National Park to see the stunning landscape and waterfalls you’ll find in the park!

Visiting Yellowstone National Park

Most of the year you’ll enjoy fun outdoor things to do at Yellowstone National Park like scenic drives, hiking, wildlife safaris, and photography. During the winter, the park access and activities are limited due to cold and snowy conditions!

When planning a Yellowstone vacation it’s important to be up-to-date with current weather and road conditions!

Use these resources to plan your trip to Yellowstone:

Yellowstone National Park Weather

If you’re wondering the best time to Visit Yellowstone National Park, below you’ll find specific information about what it’s like at different seasons and months of the year to help you decide. You’ll also find links to different articles we’ve written about each season or month specifically: weather, services, and things to do that time of year.

Bison and red dog at Yellowstone

Spring Weather at Yellowstone

Springtime at Yellowstone varies quite a bit from month to month. Spring can often feel more like a Yellowstone winter vacation compared to other places because it is higher in elevation.

When visiting Yellowstone in the spring, be aware the weather can change almost instantly so you want to be sure you come prepared with the right clothes especially for those very cold days and nights. 

It is not unusual to get snowfall in May so watch the weather and pack a winter coat, winter hat, and winter gloves when going to Yellowstone during all the spring months. 

Spring is one of the best times to visit Yellowstone for wildlife with all the new babies in the park!

Firehole Falls in Yellowstone

Summer Weather at Yellowstone

 Planning a Yellowstone summer vacation is the perfect way to escape the heat. The summers are typically mild and the nights are cooler. 

The first part of summer in Yellowstone it doesn’t hurt to pack winter gloveshatcoat and fleece jacket and wear layers since the mornings and evenings are still cold! By mid-summer you’ll want a sun hatsunscreen, hydration pack or a refillable water bottle in your backpack.

Summer is a great time to see and photograph the Yellowstone waterfalls! And here’s a list of Yellowstone summer tours you can enjoy!

Buffalo and landscape scene at Lamar Valley in Yellowstone in the fall

Fall Weather at Yellowstone

The weather at Yellowstone in the fall the days get gradually shorter as winter nears, and temperatures drop rapidly once the sun goes down. Be prepared for rain or snow at any time in the fall.

Layers are key when exploring Yellowstone during the fall months. Reference our winter clothing guide so you can enjoy the outdoors, even when it’s cold!

Fall is a great time for photographing wildlife at Yellowstone. In September you can experience the elk rut. You’ll also see bears return to the lower elevations looking for berries and bull bison or elk that perished during the rut.

Man with camera in a snowcoach at Yellowstone in the winter

Winter Weather at Yellowstone

We love planning a Yellowstone winter vacation! But there are important things you need to know. Vehicles are not allowed in the park around the first week of November, except from Mammoth Hot Springs through the North Entrance.

In mid-December, the roads open to oversnow travel only via snowmobile, snowcoach, snowshoe and cross-country ski. We enjoyed traveling along Yellowstone’s snow-covered roads in a bomardier snowcoach.  

BUT the cold winter weather may not be for everyone. Be sure you’re prepared for the cold weather by knowing what to pack for a winter vacation in Yellowstone.

There’s also limited Yellowstone Winter Lodging in the park. The Old Faithful Snow Lodge is a once-in-lifetime experience!

Yellowstone maps and guides

Plan a Yellowstone Vacation

Places to stay in West Yellowstone

Places to stay in Gardiner

Places to stay in Cooke City or Silver Gate

plan your dream vacation to yellowstone

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