If you are considering a trip to Yellowstone National Park, you may be trying to decide when to go. Are the landscapes more beautiful in the summer or in winter? Which is the best time to visit Yellowstone for wildlife? If you are wondering when is the best time to visit Yellowstone National Park, the answer is always! Every season offers something different, and it depends on the type of experience you are looking for. Find out what you can expect during each season. Then, plan the vacation that’s right for you!
There is no best time to visit Yellowstone National Park, as the region offers plenty to do and see year-round! Be sure to download our free Vacation Guide for a complete list of area attractions and activities. The guide is full of information about the best dining, events, and entertainment near Yellowstone National Park.
The Best Time to Visit Yellowstone National Park
As soon as you enter the world’s first national park, prepare to be awed by the dramatic landscapes. The park’s 2.2 million acres include towering canyons, lush forests, spectacular alpine rivers, colorful paint pots, hot springs, and bubbling geysers — including it’s most famous, Old Faithful. Each year, millions of visitors are drawn to the area for its unique beauty and wildlife viewing opportunities. No matter what time of year you visit, we guarantee that you’ll have an unforgettable time. Here’s what to expect during each season:
If you are looking for the best time to visit Yellowstone to avoid the crowds, we recommend going in spring. During March, April, and May, the climate is typically colder here than other areas of the country. Temperatures can range from 30 – 60 degrees during the daytime, so you will want to dress accordingly and check for road closures. Many hibernating creatures are also emerging this time of year, so you’ll find plenty of great opportunities for wildlife viewing!
Summer brings warm weather and tons of activity to Yellowstone National Park. Temperatures are an average of 70 or 80 degrees, the kids are out of school, and many people are planning their family vacations. There are many seasonal events throughout the summertime, and beautiful wildflowers blooming everywhere you look. Reds, blues, yellows, and golds cover the prairies and sagebrush in a spectacular display of color. If you are planning to visit Yellowstone in June, July, or August, make sure to book your accommodations well in advance. Because this is the peak season, it can be difficult to find lodging on short notice.
The crisp autumn air welcomes gorgeous fall foliage and fewer crowds. This is also the elk’s breeding season, commonly referred to as “the rut.” Bear and other wildlife are also preparing for hibernation in fall, so you may see them foraging out in the fields. When visiting Yellowstone in September, October, and November, you can expect mild weather between 30 – 60 degrees. However, we recommend checking for any road closures ahead of time!
When the temperatures drop, the winter activities heat up in Yellowstone. The park is open for cross-country skiing, ice-climbing, snowshoeing, and snowmobiling each winter. You’ll also see frozen waterfalls, steaming geysers, and sparkling landscapes blanketed in snow. Temperatures can range from 0 – 20 degrees during the daytime, so bundle up and get ready for a fun day of adventure. Winter is by far the most magical time to visit!
How Much Does It Cost to Get Into Yellowstone?
The entrance fee at the gate is $30/vehicle and is good for seven days. If you are traveling by foot or bike, the fee is just $15. Anyone 15 or younger is always exempt from paying an entrance fee. They also offer a variety of fee-free entrance days throughout the year!
If you would like to experience the ultimate adventure, be sure to take advantage of our Yellowstone Wildlife and Photo Tour! Your experienced guide will take you to some of the most scenic places in the Park. You might even spot moose, buffalo, deer, black bears, antelope, bighorn sheep, elk, wolves, or grizzly bears!
Where to Stay Near Yellowstone
Now that you know the best time to visit Yellowstone National Park, it’s time to start making your plans to visit! Located at the gateway to Yellowstone National Park, Monster Lake Ranch offers the ideal accommodations for your stay. Situated on nearly 10,000 acres, the ranch is only 60 miles east of Yellowstone and close to the best area attractions in Cody, WY. World-class museums, rodeos, and restaurants are all just minutes away. Plus, the surrounding Absaroka range provides boundless recreation and unrivaled views year-round!
A stay at Monster Lake Ranch is more than just a vacation. It is an experience that your family will always remember. You can enjoy some of the best fishing and hunting in the region, as well as horseback riding, whitewater rafting, and guided tours to Yellowstone. We also offer an incredible on-site restaurant and saloon. No matter which of our lodging options you choose, we promise you will have the time of your lives. So what are you waiting for? Contact us and book your stay today. We look forward to hearing all about your adventures at Yellowstone!