Yellowstone was established at Wyoming in 1872. It is not only America’s first national park but is also widely recalled as the first National Park of the world. To this day, millions of visitors travel to Yellowstone every year to witness the raw beauty preserved within the yellowstone land’s hot springs, mud pots, and breathtaking waterfalls.
The National Park lays to rest on top of a dormant volcano and has more geysers and hot springs than any other location on Earth. It offers a truly one-of-a-kind experiences to its visitors with its hiking trails, beautiful views, and one of America’s most popular natural wonders, the Old Faithful.
The best time to visit Yellowstone Park depends on what kind of trip you want to have. If you are visiting Yellowstone with your kids and family, then you would probably want to opt for warmer weather i-e July and August. But if you are hoping for some wildlife sightings, cheaper flights and no crowd then the best time for you to visit Yellowstone is in winters.
The Best Time for Photography in Yellowstone
Yellowstone is truly a nature’s marvel to witness in every season and perhaps there is no such thing as bad timing to visit Yellowstone National Park. However, during peak times like summer, the park is mostly crowded with families and tourists from all around the country. You will not have that much freedom to explore the beauty of this park during those times.
If you are solely visiting Yellowstone for photography, there is no better season than winters. It is a great time to photograph the steam rising from geysers and hot springs.
Best time to avoid crowd in Yellowstone
From November through March, strong winds, frigid weather and freezing temperatures prevent many tourist crowds from visiting Yellowstone. While not all travelers are willing to brave the cold, some do prefer the quiet, beautiful landscape blanketed in white snow and the exotic wildlife creatures.
However, beware that the harsh cold weather makes driving near Yellowstone dangerous and there is a high risk of car accidents. So, make sure to stay up to date with the of the weather conditions when planning your visit as services are also limited in the winters. Also, check for any possible road closures and availability of services.
Things to do in Yellowstone
There are plenty of events happening in summer, fall, and winter. During winter, the park has ranger-led snowshoe walks, the Geysers Galore talk, and many other educational activities. In other seasons, there are various guided walks and programs such as the Junior Ranger Wildlife Olympics, etc.
The park is also geothermally active year-round. In winters, the steam from erupting geysers and hot springs makes quite a view against snow-covered fields. The wildlife is majestic during this time, although a little difficult to spot in the fresh blanket of snow, but is totally worth it.
Weather in Yellowstone
Since Yellowstone is based in a high-elevation mountainous area, the weather can surprisingly vary and remain unpredictable. Considering the weather patterns of recent years, July through September are usually the warmest and driest months of the year. Temperature reaches as high as the 70s in July and August and drops to 60s in September. Temperature in spring and fall is commonly recorded between 30 and 60 degrees.
In winters, the temperature drops to somewhere between zero and 20 degrees. Due to high elevation, snow is very common at this time of the year. So, tourists and visitors are advised to pack in a few extra warm layers and come prepared with waterproof gear.
Best time to See Wildlife in Yellowstone
Various animals such as elk, bison, bears, and wolves are commonly seen wandering the meadows and valleys in spring, between April and early June.
The arrival of summer marks the movement of many species to higher elevated areas in hopes of finding colder habitats to reside in. So, there are fewer animal sightings between mid-June till August.
During the fall, animals start to return to their original habitats in meadows and valleys, which is usually between September and October. Around this time, many animals such as elks are often seen strutting around each other.
Winters in Yellowstone
If you love spending time in nature and enjoy the beautiful snow-capped mountains, the best time for you to visit Yellowstone is in winters. The winter season lasts from November until March. You can witness the most beautiful wildlife creatures during this time. They remain nearby valleys and are often seen close to geysers and hot springs warming themselves up. Winter is also the best time to see wolves in Yellowstone.
However, wildlife must be observed from a distance and tourists should act with the utmost care around them. Do not stray close to these animals in attempt of feeding them.
There are not many people around so you can enjoy the calm as well.
Images from Yellowstone Winter Photography Tours
7 nights lodging, all meals (except on day of arrival), transportation during the tour by private luxury snow coach and off road capiple sprinter van, park fees, experienced guides, in field photographic instruction.