Yellowstone National Park sits within two climate zones — cool temperate and continental. Although there are four distinct seasons, the weather can be unpredictable (think four seasons in a day!) and you can't always rely on the forecast.

No matter when you visit Yellowstone, bringing the right footwear and clothing is essential. Ensure you bring a warm jacket, waterproof gear and warm layers (even in the summer).

Average temperatures in Yellowstone National Park

Month

Average high (°C)  

Average low (°C)  

January

-1

-12

February

-15

-10

March

4

-8

April

9

-3

May

16

1

June

21

5

July

27

8

August

26

7

September

20

3

October

13

-1

November

4

-7

December

0

-11

Spring

March and April can feel more like winter in Yellowstone as the park doesn’t thaw fully until late spring/early summer. The beauty of visiting in spring is that you’ll see life in full bloom around Lamar Valley. If you're lucky, you may see bear cubs or elk and bison calves. Waterproof shoes (with good tread) and a rain jacket are a must, as spring tends to be one of the wettest seasons.

Summer

Summer is a great time of year in Yellowstone with warm, dry(ish) weather that lends itself to hiking. Just ensure you're prepared (i.e. you have a waterproof jacket) for the occasional afternoon thunderstorm. It can still be quite chilly at night, with temperatures dropping to single digits or below freezing at higher elevations. Layered clothing is key for the unpredictable weather.

Autumn

Autumn is a glorious time of year. The landscapes turn golden, the crowds start to thin and the animals retreat to lower ground. The weather can be a bit all over the place as the season changes, so it's best to be prepared for all the elements. As the days get shorter, ensure you turn back in time for sundown when hiking. Snow starts to cover the ground by the end of autumn.

Winter

Yellowstone is otherworldly. Period. But winter is a magical time of year with frozen waterfalls, snow-covered peaks and hardly any other souls around. Snowshoeing and cross-country skiing are great ways to explore the park in winter. You may also be lucky to see ‘geyser rain’ – when boiling water from a geyser erupts and transforms into ice crystals when it hits the freezing air.

It’s chilly during the day and even colder at night, with temperatures reaching as low as -12°C at higher elevations. Most roads close in winter and the only areas with facilities open to the public are Mammoth Hot Springs and Old Faithful. If you want to visit in winter, you must book a snowmobile or snow coach tour.

You can stay updated with the latest forecast for Yellowstone National Park with the National Weather Service.

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