You’ve made your decision to take a Yellowstone vacation this year. But what month is the best month to come Here’s a rundown of the summer season to help you plan your vacation.
SEASONS IN YELLOWSTONE
There are two main seasons in Yellowstone, Summer, and Winter. Between these two seasons, the park closes most of the roads. The summer season begins in mid-April and goes to the first weekend in November. Read a previous post of ours that gives the opening dates for the various entrances.
The park opens for the summer season in mid-April with access from the north and west gates. In the Cody area, the wildlife is starting to gather for migration back into the parks. The first bears have emerged from their dens, and this is a great time to visit us! Wildlife viewing here in the Cody area is often spectacular.
Usually, the first weekend in May is when the East Gate (the Cody Entrance!) opens. If you want to see wildlife, this is the month to be here! Bison calves (known as “red dogs”) are showing up more and more. Migration is underway, and the wildlife follows the snow line back into the park. This can be a wet and chilly month punctuated with glorious bluebird sky days.
Snow is possible in the park pretty much any month of the year, and the latest we’ve seen has been mid-June. So be prepared. But sometime this month summer arrives in Yellowstone. Of course, in Cody, we’re already there. The fields are green, Baby animals are everywhere, and the wildflowers are starting to come on. The crowds also begin to build this month as school lets out.
The number of visitors picks up its pace after the 4th of July. This is the best time to think about visiting Yellowstone if you want to see the geysers and hot springs at their best. It’s a bit more challenging to find wildlife this time of year as bears head to the high country to feast on moths and elk and other wildlife head higher as well to enjoy cooler temperatures. Even so, there are always some that hang out closer to the roads all summer long. Late June and early July give us the peak of the wildflower season.
The crowds start to dwindle in August as families begin to focus on the next school year. Grasses begin to cure out, and the wildflowers are fewer. The first snowfall in the high country may come sometime this month, and those cooler temperatures bring the wildlife back down. The days are still hot, but nights start to get cooler by the end of the month. The bison begin their rut at the end of July and August is a great time to find the herds gathered.
This can be one of the best months weather-wise to visit. There’s a crispness to the morning air that gives way to some beautiful sunny days. The elk rut that started in August hits its peak in September. Bears are beginning to prepare for hibernation by eating more and more hours a day to pack on the pounds. Nights can be quite chilly, giving way to sparkling frost-filled mornings. This is a great month if you want to take a wildlife tour.
Facilities start to shut down in the park in September and these closures pick up this month. Not to worry, though, as we always know what’s open and where to take you to see the best of Cody/Yellowstone country. As things shut down, the number of visitors also drops. Bears are now entirely focused on consuming as much as they can at this point. Elk and other wildlife that migrate out of the park for the winter are on the move. Sometimes we also see unusual geyser activity in September and October. The park closes up usually the first weekend in November to prepare for the upcoming winter season
READY TO BOOK YOUR TOUR?
There’s really no wrong time to visit Yellowstone. By booking a private tour with us, we’ll take care of the driving for you in our comfortable SUVs, and with our expert guides, you won’t need to worry about anything but what memories you want to make. Give us a call to book your custom tour today! 307-527-6316