WHAT TO KNOW BEFORE YOU GET HERE

Yellowstone National Park

Weather for Yellowstone Areas
Gateway Towns Weather 
Weather for airports around Yellowstone
• Old Faithful Area Weather • Cody, Wyoming • Yellowstone Airport (WYS)
• Mammoth Area Weather • Cooke City, Montana • Jackson Hole Airport (JAC)
• Yellowstone Lake Area Weather • Gardiner, Montana • Yellowstone Regional Airport (COD)
• Canyon Area Weather • Jackson Hole, Wyoming • Montana Gallatin Field Airport (BZN)
• Tower/Roosevelt Area Weather • West Yellowstone, Montana • Idaho Falls Airport (IDA)
    • Montana Logan International Airport (BIL)
 Bookmark this page to stay current   • Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC)
 with weather before your vacation!   • Denver International Airport (DEN)


Just by clicking on this page it shows that you really want to be prepared for your trip to Yellowstone. It doesn't really matter where you're from, Yellowstone will likely expose you to a variety of situations that you haven't experienced before, or wouldn't even have expected before you found this page. For example, a herd of bison walking towards you in your lane of the road, or 7 inches of snow in June when all you brought were flip flops and a t-shirt.

No need to worry though. In this section we're here to help you expect the unexpected and give you some helpful advice about weather, what to wear, driving through the park, and even a break-down of what you can expect during each month. After reading through the categories below, hopefully you will be even more excited about Your Yellowstone Vacation knowing that you're much more prepared.

Start planning your trip!


   
Entrance Fees Phone Numbers
Rules & Regulations Gas Prices In Yellowstone
Services Elevations
Roads & Driving What To Expect In Each Month


This Month in Yellowstone: April

AVG. High temp:  49.4 F

AVG. Low temp: 26.0 F

April Visitors in 2013: 24,606

The road crews are still hard at work plowing the snow from Yellowstone's roads for most of the month. The West Entrance will open with access to the Old Faithful Area for wheeled vehicles on April 18th as well as the roads from Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris and Norris to the Old Faithful Area, and Norris to Canyon Village. The Geyser Grill in the Old Faithful Area will be the first food service to open for the season on April 18th.
 
Once the park roads open, expect there to be traces of snow still lingering around on the boardwalks, in picnic areas, and on the side of the road. Most hiking trails will still contain snow, and places that do not have snow will most likely be muddy.   The weather is still unpredictable and it could rain or snow at any time.
 
April marks the beginning of spring which means that Yellowstone is welcoming newcomers as animals begin to give birth to their young. Bears are emerging from their dens and are searching for food after a long winter of not eating. Many different wildlife species will be at lower elevations where the snow is not as deep to make foraging for food a much easier task. Keep your cameras handy and be cautious of wildlife (especially bison) traveling on the roadways.
 

 Entrance Fees

Yellowstone National Park entrance sign

$25 - private non-commercial vehicle

$20 - per motorcycle or snowmobile

$12 - each visitor entering by foot, bicycle, ski, etc.

Each entrance pass will give you a 7 day pass into both Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park.

Annual Pass - $50: An annual pass will grant you entrance to Yellowstone National Park and Grand Teton National Park and will be valid for 12 months after the day you purchase it. Back to top


Services In Yellowstone

In addition to lodging, restaurants, dining rooms, gift shops and visitor centers, other services in Yellowstone include YPSS Gas Stations, General Stores, Clinics, and Post Offices.

YPSS Gas Stations

There are seven Yellowstone Park Service Stations conveniently located around the park so you can keep your gas tank full during your vacation. Five of these service stations offer vehicle repair, oil changes, and wrecker services. These service stations offer shelves of snacks and amenities, cold drinks for the thirsty traveler, and coffee to get you started in the morning. All of the service stations around the park open and close seasonally. The gas pumps at Mammoth Hot Springs and Tower Junction stay on year-round where you can fill up in the winter using a credit or debit card only. For assistance at any of the Yellowstone Park Service Stations call (406)-848-7548.

General Stores

Yellowstone General Stores has a total of 12 stores conveniently located around the park in all major areas. All Yellowstone General Stores offer a food and beverage service of some kind that range from sit-down diners to snack shops that serve ice cream and hot dogs. Come in and discover the wide selection of souvenirs that will serve as take-home memories for yourself or as gifts for friends and family back home. Items include Yellowstone themed apparel, mugs, posters, nic nacs, and a variety of Yellowstone books that cover many different subjects. You can quickly and easily print out vacation photos at the digital photo processing kiosks so you can show off those amazing pictures you just shot. Yellowstone General Stores also offer groceries as well as gear and supplies needed for camping, fishing, hiking, cookouts, wildlife watching, and boating to help prepare you for days of adventure in the great outdoors.

Clinic

Hopefully you will never need to use this service, but there are three medical clinics in Yellowstone just in case. The Mammoth Hot Springs clinic is open year-round while the Old Faithful and Lake Village Clinics open and close seasonally. To contact the Mammoth Hot Springs Clinic, call (307)-344-7965

Post Office

Stay in touch with friends and family through one of the five post offices in Yellowstone. Send postcards, or ship souvenirs and gifts home to minimize the number of items you are traveling with. Post Offices are located in all developed areas except for the Tower/Roosevelt area. The Mammoth Hot Springs post office is open year-round and the other four open and close seasonally.  Back to top


Roads / Driving & Drive Times

Traffic jam in Yellowstone National Park

Speed Limits: Yellowstone's roadways will get you from one exciting feature to the next, and doing it safely is important. The maximum speed limit on all park roads is 45mph and sometimes lower where posted.

Driving through the park: Bison, elk, and other large and small animals are often crossing the roads, or in some cases, just standing on the road throughout the park. Drive even more cautiously at dawn and dusk when visibility is limited and animals are more active. During peak visitation around July and August, the roads are filled with vehicles. To help keep traffic moving smoothly, please use one of the many roadside pullouts when stopping to see wildlife or other features. Stopping in the middle of the road is illegal, dangerous, and disruptive to the flow of traffic.  Click here to see a map of estimated drive times through the park.

Road Construction: Occasionally, road construction projects will be under way in the park to improve Yellowstone's roads, and summer time provides a narrow window for road crews to get the job done. In the section(s) of the park where road improvements are being done, expect possible delays. Check back with us frequently to get updated information on road improvements throughout the park to help better prepare you for your vacation.  Click here to stay updated with road construction projects taking place in Yellowstone.

Road openings and closings: In the early spring when the park roads and entrances begin to open, it is not uncommon for some entrances and roads to close suddenly due to avalanches on the road or even additional snowfall creating hazardous conditions. As spring and summer gain a tighter grip and the snow melts, the entrances and roads rarely close suddenly and you should be able to enter the park with ease.  Back to top


Elevations

Elevation in Yellowstone National Park

At higher elevations there is less oxygen in the air than there would be at low elevations or at sea level. Everyone's body reacts to higher elevation in different ways. Sometimes it could take a few days for your body to adjust to the thinner air, so it is recommended that you go at a slower pace than you normally would until you get used to the thinner air.

The roads in the park range in elevation from just over 5,000 feet to 8,859 ft. The highest road in Yellowstone is a section of road between Tower Junction and Canyon Village called Dunraven Pass. Dunraven Pass reaches its highest point of 8,859 feet near the trailhead for the Mt. Washburn hiking trail. Below is a list of park locations and the elevations of those locations.

• Canyon Village (Canyon Region): 7,980 ft. / 2,432 meters

• Grant Village (Yellowstone Lake Region): 7,733 ft./ 2,357 meters

• Lake Village (Yellowstone Lake Region): 7,784 ft./ 2,373 meters

• Mammoth Village (Mammoth Hot Springs Region): 6,239 ft. / 1,902 meters

• Old Faithful Village (Old Faithful Region): 7,365 ft. / 2,254 meters

• Tower/Roosevelt Area (Tower/Roosevelt Region): 6,270 ft. / 1,911 meters

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Weather, what to wear, and what to expect in the month you're visiting.

Lightning

If you were to ask someone that has been to Yellowstone in June and has seen fresh snowflakes falling from the sky, "what kind of weather should I expect?" They will probably tell you to be prepared for anything. The weather in Yellowstone has a mind of its own and can be quite different from what you're used to in your home town.

It can snow in any month of the year and sudden rainstorms can blow in with little warning and then the sun will be shining 10 minutes later. It is recommended to come to Yellowstone prepared for any type of weather, but here we will give you a little run-down of what typical weather conditions are like at certain times of the year. Back to top

 Which month will you be visiting?

January

April

July

October

February

May

August

November

March

June

September December

 

April & May: Spring (Chilly but Getting Warmer)

Upper Geyser Basin spring in Yellowstone National Park

The spring season in Yellowstone can bring on all sorts of weather. There is a good chance that there will be snow still falling from the sky and could accumulate and linger around. When you come to Yellowstone in April or May, you might think that you walked into the heart of winter because several feet of snow will still be around the park especially at higher elevations like the Yellowstone Lake, Old Faithful, and Canyon Regions. Temperatures can range between 30 degrees and 50 degrees Fahrenheit and rain showers could come on the warmer days and may last all day or for as little as only 10 minutes.

April: Roads on the west side of the park begin to open to wheeled vehicles. There will most likely still be snow on the ground at all elevations. Some facilities are open within the park. Entrances that are open may open and close periodically due to weather conditions. Roads may also close temporarily if winter weather conditions persist. Wildlife is at lower elevations looking for food. Expect bison and other animals on the roads, drive with caution. Back

May: All park roads are opened to wheeled vehicles by the end of the month unless additional snowfall in the spring has created unsafe conditions, in which case some of the higher roads may still be closed for a week or two. Wildlife is active and easier to spot. Snow and rain showers are possible. Lake and river levels are rising from snow melt. Some picnic areas, campsites, and trails may be muddy or closed due to high water and flooding. Back

Suggested items of clothing to bring:

► During the day: Pants, long sleeve shirt or light sweater, t-shirt (some days might be warm enough for a t-shirt)

► In the evening: Pants, long sleeve shirt or light sweater, light to midweight jacket or fleece

► Just in case: Thin gloves, heavy jacket, lightweight breathable rain jacket, warm hat Back


 

 June, July & August: Summer (The Warm Months)

Wildflowers in summer - Yellowstone National Park

Frequent rain showers are common in June but begin to taper off heading into July. Scattered thunderstorms are common and can blow in unexpectedly but may only be brief and the sun could be shining shortly after. Early June may still bring snow flurries with some accumulation possible at higher elevations. Although July and August are warmer months, snow flurries have fallen during this time. July through August tend to be drier months and precipitation is much less frequent.

June: All visitor facilities and services are open by the middle of the month. The last bit of snow left over from the winter will be melting away. Temperatures are warming up but snow flurries are possible at higher elevations. Wildlife is still at lower elevations and can be active near the roads and easier to spot. Lake and river levels may still be high from snow melt and some picnic areas, campsites, and trails may be closed due to high water or flooding. Back

July: The busiest month in Yellowstone. Expect traffic and lots of people. Most wildlife have gone to higher elevations where it is cooler. It will be a little more difficult to see animals but you never know when you'll get lucky. All facilities and services are still open. All park roads are still open to wheeled vehicles. Back

August: All facilities and services are still open. Early to mid August is still busy with visitation but starts to slow down slightly by the end of the month. The bison are in their mating season and there might be traffic delays through Hayden Valley if the bison are on or near the road. Yellowstone is usually pretty dry by this time of year and fire season has begun. Most fires are small and away from roads and guest areas. All park roads are still open to wheeled vehicles. Back

Suggested items of clothing to bring:

► During the day: Shorts or jeans; t-shirt or a thin long sleeved top, comfortable sneakers or hiking boots.

► In the evening: Shorts or jeans; t-shirt or a thin long sleeved top

► Just in case: Lightweight jacket or fleece for windy or chilly mornings/evenings, lightweight breathable rain jacket or poncho. Back


 

 September & October: Fall (Warm but Getting Colder)

Quaking Aspens - Fall in Yellowstone National Park

Weather can be variable and unpredictable at this time of year as summer is trying to hang on and winter is trying to take over. Snow flurries and small snow accumulation (especially at higher elevations) begin to fall intermittently. Unless there is a really heavy snowfall, the snow usually melts away by the warmer parts of the day, or at least within a couple days of it falling. Mornings and evenings are chilly. The daytime hours may be warm and sunny or they could be cold, rainy, and overcast.

September: The bison are still in their mating season and there might be traffic delays through Hayden Valley if the bison are on or near the road. Signs of fall will be apparent by the end of the month and the leaves on the trees will begin to change. Back

October: Some lodging and visitor facilities have begun to close for the season but there are still lodging accommodations available and food services within the park. The elk have begun their mating season and are more aggressive if disturbed. Temperatures are cooling down and precipitation will waver between light snow flurries and rain showers. Park visitation has slowed down and traveling will be quicker from one place to the next through the park. All park roads are still open to wheeled vehicles. Back

Suggested items of clothing to bring:

► During the day: Pants, long sleeve shirt or light sweater, t-shirt (some days might be warm enough for a t-shirt)

► In the evening: Pants, long sleeve shirt or light sweater, light to midweight jacket or fleece

► Just in case: Thin gloves, heavy jacket, lightweight breathable rain jacket, warm hat Back


 

November - March: Winter (Cold & Snowy Months)

Winter at Norris Geyser Basin - Yellowstone National Park

If you are fortunate enough to experience a true Yellowstone winter, your definition of "a lot of snow" might change. Parts of Yellowstone can get 20 feet or more of snow in a single season. When visiting Yellowstone in the winter, expect deep snow and frigid temperatures with wind chill temperatures getting as low as -40 degrees Fahrenheit or lower. Warmer days of about 30 degrees Fahrenheit will occasionally make an appearance at lower elevations in the park but the temperature will drop rapidly as the sun begins to set.

November: By the end of the first week of the month the interior park roads are closed to wheeled vehicles. The North Entrance Road and the road from Mammoth Village to Cooke City, MT is still open to wheeled vehicles. All services are closed except for the Albright Visitor Center and the Mammoth General Store. Gas is available at the Mammoth YPSS and Tower Junction YPSS by paying with credit or debit card only. Back

December: In mid December the Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, and Old Faithful Snow Lodge open for the winter season. All interior park roads are still closed to wheeled vehicles. Over-the-snow travel begins. Food services are available at Mammoth Village and Old Faithful Village. The gas pumps at the Mammoth YPSS and Tower Junction YPSS are available for use by paying with credit or debit card only. There will likely be snow accumulated at all elevations. Most of Yellowstone's bears are hibernating for the winter, but there might be some bears still out and about. Back

January: Interior park roads are closed to wheeled vehicles but available to over-the-snow travel only. The North Entrance road and the road from Mammoth Village to Cooke City, MT are open to wheeled vehicles. Winter lodging is available at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Food services are also available at Mammoth Village and Old Faithful Village. Gas is available at the Mammoth YPSS and Tower Junction YPSS by paying with credit or debit card only. Back

February: Interior park roads are closed to wheeled vehicles but available to over-the-snow travel only. The North Entrance road and the road from Mammoth Village to Cooke City, MT are open to wheeled vehicles. Winter lodging is available at Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel and the Old Faithful Snow Lodge. Food services are also available at Mammoth Village and Old Faithful Village. Gas is available at the Mammoth YPSS and Tower Junction YPSS by paying with credit or debit card only. Back

March: Winter lodging and other facilities close early in the month. Roads close to over-snow travel and are beginning to be plowed for the spring. The North Entrance road and the road from Mammoth Village to Cooke City, MT is still open to wheeled vehicles. The gas pumps at Mammoth Village and Tower Junction are still available by paying with credit or debit card only. The Mammoth General Store and Albright Visitor Center remain open as they are the only services available in the park after the lodging accommodations close for the season. Back

Suggested items of clothing to bring:

► Dress in layers: This means putting on more than one layer of clothing which will make it easier to regulate your body temperature by taking a layer off or putting a layer on as you are moving around. It is also a good idea to wear items of clothing that are not made of cotton. Cotton dries slowly and looses most of its insulating ability when it gets wet.

- Long underwear, warm winter pants, fleece vest or jacket, or a light windproof jacket, heavy winter jacket (outer layer), warm gloves or mittens, warm hat, comfortable winter boots, and wool socks. Back

 


 

Gibbon Falls

 


  

Lower Falls - Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone

 


 

Lonestar Geyser

 


 

Mammoth Hot Springs

 


 

Rustic Falls - Mammoth Hot Springs Region

 


 

Castle Geyser - Upper Geyser Basin

 


 

West Thumb Geyser Basin

 


 

Fishing Cone - West Thumb Geyser Basin

 


 

Gallatin Mountains - View from Mt. Holmes

 


 

Hiking in Yellowstone - Pebble Creek Trail

 


 

Artist's Paint Pots

 


 

Lewis Lake Ranger Station

 


 

Beryl Spring

 


 

Boating on Yellowstone Lake - Bridge Bay Marina

 


 

Calcite Springs Overlook

 


 

Camping in Yellowstone

 

 


 

 

 

 

 


 

Questions about planning your trip to Yellowstone?

Click here to email us with your question.


 

 

 


 

 


 

 

 


 

 

 

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 Bull Elk - Yellowstone National Park

 

 

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Park Rules & Regulations

• Camping Rules & Regulations

• Fishing Rules & Regulations

• Boating Rules & Regulations

 

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Current Gas Prices in Yellowstone

$4.09 - Regular Unleaded

$4.39 - Premium

$4.39 - Diesel

 

 

 


Phone Numbers

Yellowstone road & weather conditions, including entrance gate statuses: (307) 344-7381

Lodging, campground, activities & dinner reservations: (866)-GEYSERLAND (866-439-7375)

General Stores: (307) 344-7702

Mammoth Hot Springs Clinic: (307) 344-7965

Wyoming Road Report: *511

Montana Road Report: *511

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