Is Summer a good time to visit Yellowstone? 2023 Update

Yellowstone National Park is one of the most incredible national parks in the world. It is even the oldest and biggest national park in the US and the world. This park is primarily located in northwestern Wyoming and partly in southern Montana and eastern Idaho. For the entire year the park the center of attraction for visitors. But Is Summer a good time to visit Yellowstone? Let’ find out about Yellowstone history first.

Yellowstone National Park was established on 1st March 1872 by the US congress as the country’s first national park. The US national park is the biggest hub of hydrothermal features worldwide. More than 50% of the hydrothermal parts of the world are located here.

The US national park was designated a UNESCO biosphere reserve in 1976 and a World Heritage site in 1978. The national park forms a squarish rectangle with an irregular eastern side of 101km from north to south and 87km from east to west at its widest point. Yellowstone altogether covers 8,992 square km of land.

There are many specialised roads built to connect Yellowstone. The John D. Rockefeller, JR., Memorial Parkway is a 130km scenic roadway established in 1972 to connect Yellowstone with Grand Tenon National Park to the south.

Gallatin Custer, Shoshone, Bridger-Teton & CaribouTarghee national forests surround the great US national park. The headquarters are at the Mammoth Hot Springs near the northern entrance to the park.

The region where Yellowstone is situated has been volcanically and seismically active for millions and millions of years. The tectonic movement of the North American Plate has thinned the Earth’s crust, the area forming into a hotspot. About 2.1 million years ago, a subsurface magma dome building in the Yellowstone area blew up in one of the world’s most explosive volcanic eruptions.

Where is Yellowstone National Park Volcano
Source – U.S. Department of the Interior

The whole region of the US national park is exceptionally active seismically. A network of faults is associated with the region’s volcanic history that underlies the park’s surface, and the area experiences hundreds of small earthquakes yearly. The majority magnitude of earthquakes remains between 2.0 and less. It is not felt by the people around, but occasionally a more powerful quake will strike the region and have more significant effects on the park.

Is Summer a good time to visit Yellowstone? Here is the Answer:

Summer in Yellowstone is mostly all about July & August. This time looks evergreen to look at and has a magical feel to being in Yellowstone. By now, all the snow has melted, and there is plenty of wildlife to look at. The environment is fresh, and the hiking trails are all open.

For tourists who want to have it all and explore the whole of Yellowstone, for them, this is the best season. All the park facilities including the roads, trails, and everything, is open, and all the natural attractions are accessible.

Summer Weather Conditions in Yellowstone:

The warmest months of the year in Yellowstone are July and August. Though there can still be freezing at higher elevations and cold during the night, it’s generally hot during the day. The daytime temperatures can remain between 68-80 degrees F[20-27 degrees C] in July and at the beginning of August.

Summer in Yellowstone
Source – Teaching, Learning And Educational Leadership

However, it’s always better to be prepared for the cold weather. Though there is not much chance of rainfall, the afternoon storms come quite often and hence having a rain jacket with you is a must. However, this afternoon’s batteries last only a few minutes.

The temperatures generally decrease by 5-6 degrees in late August. Temperatures can still be pleasant at 70 degrees F[20 degrees C] range, where low temperatures can drop upto 40degrees F [5 degrees C].

Things to do in Yellowstone [July & August]

We already know from the above article, that July & August are the absolute best time of the year to visit Yellowstone. Overall these are the best months to see a lot of wildlife, as all the animals are back from hibernation after the winter. In addition, the tourists can even enjoy hiking, swimming, fishing[permission required], kayaking or exploring Yellowstone lake by boat.

The camping option is also available at all the campgrounds of Yellowstone National Park as the facilities are all open at the time. Multi-day hikes and backpacking also remain good options in the US national park in summer. Although some of these activities require permits, it is recommended to make pre-bookings.

Camping in Yellowstone
Source – National Park Service

There is a lot to see and enjoy in Yellowstone during the peak summer months of July & August. While there are also certain activities that one cannot do in June or September, if one wants to avail of everything of summer then the peak summer is the best time.

Keeping all the perks in mind, one can still hear or read a lot about Yellowstone and its crazy crowd during the peak summer months. According to some of the reports on social media, visiting the US national park during this time is a bad idea, or one cannot simply enjoy the beauty and activities of the park.

It is challenging for parents to visit the US national park without any school vacations. So, yes, it remains crowded for this reason and also because it’s “The” best time to visit Yellowstone.

Different ways to enjoy the Summer trip in Yellowstone:

Yellowstone National Park is a very famous national park in the US and the first in the world; it remains hectic during the summer months, from June to August, with July being an absolute peak season. Although, even during the peak season, one can enjoy and visit everything peacefully by following some tips and tricks provided below:-

Booking the Trip in Advance

 The first and foremost tip you must follow before visiting Yellowstone in the peak summer season is to book your stay as early as possible, preferably at least a year ago. The national park’s accommodation gets fully booked before a year. 

Even the best price-quality accommodations outside the park get booked up for many months. The park gates become the busiest between 9 AM and 11 AM, while the most active hours at the main attraction points at Yellowstone National Park are from 10 AM to 3 PM.

Booking A more extended stay

The best way to enjoy the US national park is by taking one’s own time and getting off beat from the path. One will require more time as Yellowstone is significant as a national park. It is advisable to take at least three days to visit all the park’s main attractions.

Even if tourists visit Yellowstone for a day or two days, they can still enjoy it. But it would help if you did not cover everything together in a brief period or may spend all your time driving and queuing for a parking spot. Please do not panic. Instead, you can choose a few places daily and enjoy them peacefully.

A well-planned itinerary is a must:

 Being a tourist, if you want to make the most out of your tour to Yellowstone in summer, then it’s essential to have some pre-plans for a visit. The first thing to do is to start visiting the famous landmarks in the morning before the day tourists have arrived at the spot.

With time, the park becomes busier, and one can utilise the time to drive to spots at longer distances and reach the other popular areas with a bit of time.

Pro Tip:

 It’s good to have a rough plan for the whole day but try to make it manageable. Instead, keep some free time for unexpected discoveries, wildlife encounters, bison jams on the road, etc.,


Most tourists who visit Yellowstone only walk up to 10mins from their car parks. So, it is easy to go for hikes by avoiding unnecessary crowds in the national park. Hiking here is not a very strenuous job, as there are plenty of options for short hiking distances with less mass.

Hiking in Yellowstone
Source – Planet Ware

Some of the best short hikes in Yellowstone are:

  • Upper Geyser Basin at the Old Faithful.
  • Grand Prismatic Viewpoint at the Fairy Falls car parking.
  • Storm Point Hike to the North of Yellowstone Lake.
  • West Thumb Geyser Basin to the west of Yellowstone Lake.
  • Mammoth Hot Springs Terraces at Mammoth Hotsprings.
  • Uncle Tom’s Trail at the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.
  • Tower Fall at the trailhead behind Tower Fall general store.
  • Porcelain Basin at the Norris Geyser Basin.
  • Trout Lake Trail at the East of Lamar Valley.
  • Wraith Falls is between Tower Roosevelt and Mammoth Hot Springs.
  • Undine Falls is between Mammoth and Tower Junction. It can also be seen from the road.
  • Ice Lake is between Norris & Canyon Village.
  • Harlequin Lake Trail is between Madison and West Entrance.
  • Black Sand & Biscuit Basin Trails is located in the West of Old Faithful.
  • Mystic Falls Trail is situated at the back of the Biscuit Basin boardwalk.

Yet, there are plenty of other long-hike destinations where tourists can escape the crowds.

Visiting less popular places:

The US national park is vast, and there is a lot to invent and explore, even after keeping aside all the main attraction points. These less popular places are ideal for visiting during crowded hours and relishing the beauty and serene nature.

Some of my favourite places in Yellowstone, which are less known, are Ice Lake, Artists Paintpots, Storm Point, Blacktail Plateau Drive, Wraith Falls, Undine Falls, scenic North East Entrance Road at the far NE end of the Lamar Valley, Lake Butte Overlook, Lewis Lake, Lewis Falls, and many more.

Strom point of Yellowstone
Source – The American Southwest 2

So, this is how you can visit Yellowstone National Park in the peak summer season or in July and August. July is one of the best months to see the national park. The weather is nice, all the roads and facilities are open, and the tourists can explore the park to the fullest. However, it is also the best month in Yellowstone, so be prepared for the crowds in the popular tourist spots. Also, remember to book your accommodations in advance. If you are planning to visit in Winter here are the details.

There is usually no snow at the lower elevations in Yellowstone in summer. However, a bit of snow can be found at higher elevations. Though if you are lucky enough, you can see snowfall at the end of July. Thanks for reading my article, have a great day ahead.

Thank you for reading.

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