Yellowstone National Park
As a national park, Yellowstone is open year-round and each season provides travelers with a distinct experience ranging from wildlife-watching adventures to backcountry treks and fall-foliage tours to guided snowmobiling. To help you determine which time of year you'd like to explore Yellowstone National Park, we've included an overview of each season below.
Summer in Yellowstone: Road Trip Season
Summer is the park's busiest season, but it's also a beautiful time of year to visit. When planning a summer road trip through Yellowstone National Park, plan to make your accommodations and activity reservations early. As the park welcomes a majority of its travelers during summer, be sure to get off-the-beaten-path by taking a hike (check out the trail system here) and plan to depart for your day's adventures early. For more, read 7 Ways to Experience Yellowstone this Summer.
See Fall's Foliage in Yellowstone
Fall brings comfortable days, chilly evenings, crisp mountain air, elk bugling and an array of colorful foliage to Yellowstone National Park. Wildlife are active in the park during autumn, especially as grizzly and black bears fill their bellies to prepare for the upcoming winter hibernation. Elk are also in rut and visitors will hear bugling in the park, especially in the early morning and at dusk. If wildlife-watching opportunities and quieter trails are high on your Yellowstone National Park travel list, fall is a beautiful time of year to explore the park.
Yellowstone National Park's Winter Wonderland
Winter in Yellowstone is truly a unique and intimate experience. Although most roads in the park are closed to vehicles, visitors can travel through the park in snowcoaches or on snowmobiles with an authorized guide. Plus, in winter the park becomes a snow-covered wonderland that allows visitors to cross-country ski or snowshoe on miles of groomed trails, watch bison trudge through the snow or simply escape for a quiet and majestic retreat. In the winter, guests can stay inside the park at the Old Faithful Snow Lodge and Cabins or Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel. Both locations have casual dining facilities and visitor centers that are open year-round.
Spring: Yellowstone's Undiscovered Season
Appropriately known as the park's undiscovered season, spring brings additional road openings, with all roads being open by Memorial Day weekend. If you're looking for an uncrowded trip to Yellowstone National Park, spring is an ideal time to plan your trip, with activities that include hiking on lower-elevation trails, wildlife watching (bison and elk calve during April and May) and spring biking.