Deciding when to go to Yellowstone is one of the first steps when planning your vacation to this Wyoming national park. Considering seasonal weather conditions plays an important role, since there are plenty of outdoor activities available, such as camping and snowshoeing, but not all are available year-round, and some seasons are more crowded than others.
The best time to visit Yellowstone depends on the type of activities you want to try on your vacation. With 2.2 million acres of park space, vacationers have access to numerous outdoor activities, guided tours, more than 1,100 miles of hiking trails, and popular attractions such as Old Faithful.
There are many vacation options available once you decide when to go to Yellowstone, including both summer and winter options. Yellowstone vacation packages are also an option, and they typically feature accommodations along with tours and sightseeing at classic attractions. There are themed packages as well, including adventure packages designed for those interested in exploring, hiking, and wildlife observation, as well as romantic packages for couples.
The best time to visit Yellowstone if you’re interested in an adventurous vacation is in the summer. Then you can take advantage of the guided sightseeing tours, RV and tent camping, fly fishing expeditions, and scenic hiking trails through meadows and past tumbling waterfalls.
For individual and guided snow skiing and snowmobile tours; winter wildlife expeditions by foot, snowshoe and van; guided snowshoeing tours through the Lamar Valley; and viewing snow-capped mountains and the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, winter is the best time to visit Yellowstone. The temperatures will be cold, but the crowds will be significantly smaller.
Winters in Yellowstone are long and last into April or May. Summers run from mid-April or May to September, before the autumn chill appears, while a short wet season occurs in March and April.
Temperatures during the spring months are typically cool, ranging from the 40s to 50s requiring appropriate clothing for warmth. The summer months’ temperature average ranges from 75 to 85 degrees during the day and mid 40s at night. Be prepared for summer thunderstorms when you travel to Yellowstone, and those who visit during the winter should be prepared for excessively cold temperatures. Wear appropriate attire and stay hydrated.
The park has an abundance of lakes, streams, and rivers and is especially popular for fishing enthusiasts. Travel to Yellowstone during the summer months and experience why Yellowstone is considered the best destination for fly-fishing in the world.
The park is open year-round and vacationers can travel to Yellowstone any day of the year but must keep in mind that several of the entrances to the park close at specific times of the year to prepare the roads for the winter and summer seasons. Prior to visiting, check with your travel agent or directly with the hotel or lodge for information on entrance and lodging seasonal openings and closings.
Generally, roads close in November in preparation for winter activity, and again in March and April to prepare for summer traffic. During the winter season, interior park roads are limited to over-snow type vehicles. Snow tires or chains may be necessary. After mid-April or early May, all roads and park entrances are typically open, though this is dependent on the whether.
Choosing when to go to Yellowstone might seem daunting, if only because of the sheer number of activities available, but that’s one of the things that makes a Yellowstone vacation so wonderful. This is one of the most beautiful national parks in the United States, and it’s well worth a visit, no matter how you plan to spend your time.