On a sunny morning, the Swainson’s hawk soars over the gushing geysers and tree-lined mountains of the domain that includes the segments of Idaho, Wyoming, and Montana – officially known as the Yellowstone National Park (the first of its kind, though controversies arise). June has been hot, with temperatures in the 70s, and the sudden precipitation doesn’t seem to help much. You must have read the news about the flood and wondered if the June to August span touted to be the best time to visit Yellowstone actually holds true. Well, It does!
Climate change is undoubtedly affecting the natives who have been residing for more than 11,000 years, but there’s still more than a century’s worth of nature to explore. So, how about getting a fair idea of the trajectory before you book the tickets? Let this post – curated with the assistance of qualified travel planners help you –
Best time to visit Yellowstone – pick yours
#The First Choice –
There’s no discord about this – the best time to visit Yellowstone is the summer months. Though it is the time when you find the herd-like crowds making their way to the park and constant eruptions of the Old Faithful – the fauna and flora are at their best!
June to September is the period when the wildflowers take your breath away while the weather makes cuddling together extremely comfortable. The sunrises, warm days, sunsets, starry nights, campsites, bonfires, sudden animal viewing – name it, and you have it!!
What to do? Since the roads are open – you can always hike up the park or go in for a casual stroll in the brisk mornings.
From the wildflowers to the wildlife – you have all your viewing disposal.
Be prepared – The sudden thrush of storm in the afternoon and flashes of wildfire might be a little discomforting.
#The Second Option –
If you want to go earlier – another time to visit Yellowstone is the spring season. Just as the sheath of snow vanishes and the new shoots crop up with the cubs and calves making an appearance, rest assured you will see nature embellishing itself in a new manner.
March to June is the period to check out both the changes in the landscape as well as the emergence of the little ones. The mother animals do wait till the summer to make a show.
What to do? Since the park is devoid of any kids or families, for people who prefer solitary outings, this is one of the best time to visit Yellowstone. For the uninitiated – you might see a bear here and there or may get to stroll down the half-covered snowy roads.
Be prepared – You may suddenly face a rage of snowstorms (they continue through May), and also, the series of activities allowed inside the park may not open up completely.
#The Other Options left behind
As you have already checked out the spring and summer seasons, it is time to check out the fall and the winter months for the ones who considers it the best time to visit Yellowstone. If you are a crowd fan, then this might not be the ideal time to visit this ‘Wonderland,’ but if not – then rest assured – this silent space painted in the colors of the fall ensures that you are left in solitude with the fauna. Also, initially, the roads start closing down, and then with the snow coming – there is complete closedown except for the singular road connecting the Mammoth Hot Springs.
September through March is the period of change in the hues of this park – as if resting the past behind and awaiting the new. From January to March, there is only one road navigable – the one from Gardiner to Mammoth Hot Springs, and that with cross-country skis or snowmobiles.
What to do? Check out the wildlife at their healthiest, with moose and deer showcasing their antlers. Also, there’s no other season that will depict the season change so well for you. Keep your cameras ready.
Be prepared – The winter is biting, the facilities will decrease and you might have to shell out more than you expect.
Not a traditional tourist? Here’s the segmentation
If you are not the traditional one visiting Yellowstone park, you may keep aside the joys of the best time to visit Yellowstone and look for alternative areas to focus on. Here they are –
#You want to be the tourist who wants to go up hiking in the fall –
With the leaves spreading all apart – if you wish to hike up Yellowstone, the last week of September to the first week of October is the time to visit. The Lamar Valley and the Mammoth Hot Springs are the best features for the fall that you cannot miss exploring!
#You are a frugal traveler –
In that case – for you, the best time to visit Yellowstone would be early spring or amid the winter. The costs are limited, and the crowd accommodated is strictly limited.
Before you go – here’s what you must know –
What to know before planning a trip?
You may pick any time of the year to visit Yellowstone National Park – but there are specific pointers you must be aware of before making the trip. Here’s the listicle for you –
- If Yellowstone is your sole destination to visit – you will have to prep up for the costs. The entry fee (last information available ranged from $25 to $35 depending on the people, vehicle, and other associated factors); however, be prepared for changes.
- The costs will depend on your itinerary and the place to lodge. If you are choosing in-park campsites, it could range from $20-$80, while for hotels beyond the boundary, it would lift up to $100-$300/350. However, there might be price changes depending on the demands of the best time to visit Yellowstone according to the crowd.
- Another critical factor is to have exclusive news of the activities within the park’s domain. Starting from the areas to explore to the spurting periods of the geysers (Old Faithful erupts every hour, while Baby Daisy erupts within a span of half hour to one hour), to the appearance of wildlife – list out your activities.
Beware of these activities –
You may have a gala time at the park, but certain activities are prohibited. So, do not –
- Checking out the hotsprings are one thing, but diving in them – is a strict no-no!! If you wish, you can dip in the Firehole River or the Boiling river (the associated springs that allow hot water dives) but definitely not in any of the other hot springs.
- If you plan on a hiking trip, be prepared accordingly – from the clothes to the shoes to the trail to the animals you might face. Do not go unprepared on a hike – the one at Yellowstone may leave you with a bad experience, even if you are in the middle of the best time to visit Yellowstone.
#Special Mention – The nearest airport to the park is Yellowstone Airport or Jackson Hole Airport. You could also opt for Bozeman Yellowstone International Airport or the regional airport of Yellowstone.
If you are done checking out Yellowstone – you can spare some time for Grand Teton National Park or Glacier National Park.
All set for the trip?
So, all set for the trip? Well – you already know the best time to visit Yellowstone; hence, you can choose accordingly. Get the tickets, book the stays, pack the clothes accordingly, and wish you an eventful trip. If someone else is making the trip with you, do share this post with them so they may be prepared accordingly. You can also check the website for further details if you have any doubts.
Monalisa Mukherjee is a content writer and copywriter with close to 3 years of experience. She has written for websites like Biography Talk, Contour Cafe, He And She Fitness and Fiction Pad. She is currently associated with a noted Digital Marketing Agency and specialises in writing articles for travel, entertainment, cooking, celeb, lifestyle, tech, health, fashion and film news.