Is Autumn a Good Time to Visit Yellowstone? 2023 Update

The first national park in the US was formed on 1st March 1872. It is not only the first in the US but also in the world. Yellowstone National Park is located in Wyoming, Montana, and Idaho. This national park, the Grand Teton National Park, and the surrounding national forests together form the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. So, let’s find out if a visitor ever think Is Autumn a good time to visit Yellowstone?

The park became a UNESCO World Heritage site in the year 1978. It is also home to over 17,000 species of trees and flowering plants. There are various species of animals, including Bison, black bears, wolves, grizzly bears, Elk, moose, etc., The park is situated on the top of the Yellowstone Caldera and is an active super volcano.

 The US national park has a large number of geysers and hot springs. The most well-known among them is the Old Faithful, whereas the tallest geyser is the Steamboat, which erupts occasionally.

The season of Falls in Yellowstone : Is Autumn a good time to visit Yellowstone

Choosing one favorite season in Yellowstone National Park is like choosing your one favorite child; you have to choose one while you want to choose all. But I love the season of Fall very much. The number of tourists is less compared to other times. The weather changes from summer to winter and has a beautiful cooling effect.

Nature presents with aesthetic beauty. The changing color of the leaves, the fruits ripen, and the trees shed their leaves. It is even extraordinary to be a fisherman at the park during this time.


The weather in the US national park during Fall can significantly vary from week to week or even from day to day. The temperature generally lies between 20 degrees F to 65 degrees F. As days pass by and winter comes near, days are gradually shorter, nights become longer, and the temperature drops rapidly after sunset.

Seasonal Road Closures:

The weather Fall in Yellowstone is very unpredictable; tourists can expect the closing down of roads due to snow or other weather conditions. In some areas, one can also require snow tires or chains. Proper notices are released beforehand on the closing of roads during the time. These roads remain closed until further notice & usually open only after the arrival of the Spring.

Autumn in Yellowstone
Source – Natural Habitat Adventures

The color of Falls:

The season of Falls in Yellowstone National Park is like playing with colors. The months of September & October have an exhibition of various colors throughout the whole of Yellowstone. The leaves turn red & golden between the snow-capped mountains, giving a mesmerizing view.

Then comes the view of Paradise Valley; a drive from Bozeman to the park is something of grandeur, whether they take US 191 through Gallatin Canyon to West Yellowstone or 1-90 to Livingston and on through the US route 89 to Gardiner.


Autumn is the prime time of the year for wildlife watching. Mating for the Bison begins in August. The rutting season for the Elk starts in September. Some funny moments occur between the animals during this time; the males vie for female attention by emitting high and low-pitched bugling sounds. The atmosphere becomes lovable for the tourists to enjoy.

People can even find the elk fighting & sparing during this time. This is an awe-inspiring look to have but not very unusual. You can also hear a bugling sound that sounds like music and can be found here and nowhere else.

The Mammoth Hot Springs near the northern entrance is one of the best spots for the Elk rut. For Bison, The Lamar & Hayden valleys are both good bets. During this time, all the wildlife prepares itself for the upcoming winters. The coats are all growing up while they physically become very active.

Wild Life Yellowstone National Park
Source – National Park Service

The Bears of the US national park are the most active during Fall, as they lumber about, foraging for roots, nuts & berries to put on their fat for their long winter hibernation.


The tourists are eager to do fishing in the Yellowstone lakes, rivers, and streams during the Fall. The brown trout are spawning. Some of the best spots for destination fishers are the Madison & Gardner rivers, etc., 

Fishing in Yellowstone
Source – Yellowstone National Park Lodges


The season of Fall is also a fantastic opportunity for all the photography-loving & photogenic tourists. Yellowstone is heaven to them in Autumn. Grasses turn themselves golden yellow as the sunrays fall over them. Deciduous trees and shrubs reveal their true colors, hues of orange, red, and golden.

The Aspen trees look mesmerizing as they turn golden and glow in the sunshine. The days are comfortably cool, but the nights can sometimes freeze. To the surprise, one might wake up at midnight at the view of light snowfall and capture it wholeheartedly.


There are a lot of lucrative packages to visit the US national park during the Fall. Various packages are made by highlighting the magic of the season. The weather is moderate, keeping the air crisp and cool. The fall colors surround nature, whether in the sky, the trees, or the ground.

All the wildlife of Yellowstone is more active than in the other seasons. All the male animals run behind the female ones to attract them as the mating season nears. There is a sound of the animals mating & routing. A sweet melody is thus created.

Cooler weather, fewer people, gorgeous colors of nature, and the attraction of prime wildlife watching make the experience magical.


The US national park cannot claim the Fall foliage fame of New Zealand. The park’s landscape dazzles with golden aspens, yellow grasses, and red leaves shrubs. Generally, the best time to see the magical colors of nature in Yellowstone is from mid-September to the first week of October.

Autumn in Yellowstone
Source –

Some of the most colorful spots of the US national park are Mammoth Hot Springs, the Lamar Valley, Blacktail Plateau Drive, and the Lewis River near the falls and the Lewis River Canyon.

Hiking & Biking:

Hiking a trail is a great way to enjoy panoramic views of the Fall foliage. Tourists must be prepared for all kinds of weather changes and varied temperatures. Bicycle lovers can surely take advantage of Yellowstone’s fall bike season. The bike season begins in early November when most of the park roads are closed.

The brief season ends when plowing operations stop so enough snow can accumulate on the roads to support over-snow travel, usually by late November. During the Fall, some park roads are open to bicycles, and most are closed to visitor automobile traffic.

The crowds aren’t wrong:

Most of the population of Yellowstone, the total annual visitors, visit during the summer months, especially in July & August. The roads and trails are frequently populated; traffic jams & bison jams are common during this time of the year. Thus, making travel a headache.

After a few days pass by, the crowds get old. By the mid of September, the visitation drops off and trails & roads become much more manageable. Everything becomes smooth with time, from finding the parking space to booking a table at an on-site restaurant, etc.,

A beginning of a Snowy Adventure:

Snowfall starts mid-November in the lower elevations of the park, making the US national park a vast snowy wonderland. From then on, tourists can relish activities like snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, snow coaches, snowmobile rides &, etc.,

As winter begins in a full-fledged way, the central transport system inside the park becomes these methods. One can search for everything over the web and plan accordingly. Tourists can even get hold of tour guides from the park and visit the main attractions with them.

According to stats, The season of Falls is one of the most significant times to visit the glorious US national park. Despite some drawbacks, September is one of the busiest months in Yellowstone. Tourists are fewer as winter is on its way, and a vast decrease in the tourist population can be seen.

Autumn in Yellowstone
Source – Wallpaper Flare

The golden landscapes of Yellowstone in the Fall are like magic in nature. People are mesmerized by the beauty.

Overall with thinning crowds and colorful foliage, Fall is a spectacular time to visit Yellowstone. To top it off, the park’s wildlife is most alive during this time as most animals are busy collecting their food before hibernation. The temperature starts cooling with the passing days, but a sudden weather change can be expected. If you want to visit in Summer here you should know the details.

The layering of clothes and proper shoes, gloves, etc. It is a must, or you may fall ill during the trip and feel deprived of the beautiful experience of visiting Yellowstone in Falls.

Thank you for reading.

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