It’s all too common for visitors to gravitate to Yellowstone in summer when temperatures rise. Visiting in the warm months certainly does have benefits beyond getting to strut your stuff in a bikini lakeside. But in reality, each season in the park holds a special allure that is well worth the repeat trip to soak in all the seasons. Find out what makes any time of year a special experience in Yellowstone.
Photo by Bozeman CVB.
Can you say “foliage”? When the weather gets crisp, leaves start to turn on the aspen and cottonwoods all along the riverbanks as you cruise to the park in style. But this is a season of transition for more than just leaves. Wildlife will be out in force as bears and other furry fellas prep for hibernation, gather food for the winter, or pass through on a southbound migration. And once you get your fill of wildlife spotting, that crisp turn in the air makes cozying up by the fireside or hitting the hot springs back in Bozeman the perfect evening experience. Snuggle up and stare up at the stars—the cool night air means they shine even brighter.
Photo by Bozeman CVB.
Snow on the ground means snow coach tours, snowmobile rides and Nordic skiing take center stage inside the park. This is your chance to have a one-of-a-kind experience that few will ever get to enjoy, seeing this wilderness dusted in white and completely transformed from high summer season. No matter how you move through the park, this winter wonderland won’t disappoint. Sign up for a tour to try to spot winter wildlife during the day, and by night retreat to Bozeman where the booze is boujee and the fire pits are flaring up to keep you cozy. Warm up from the inside out with some delish eats followed by dancing downtown to keep the chill out on those long winter nights.
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Photo by Yellowstone National Park Lodges.
Wildflowers are starting to pop at lower elevations in spring, making for bedazzled hillsides while you still get to relish the photo ops of rugged snow-capped peaks. Spring migrations are getting started, making another prime opportunity to spot wildlife and waterfowl alike. Roads inside the park start to open up, but before vehicle traffic is allowed, bikes get right of way. This is the chance to have a Yellowstone experience on pedals, free of engine noise and evidence of humans. After you work up a sweat, head back to Bozeman for something to sate your hunger, best enjoyed on a patio or rooftop while the sun starts to sink behind the mountains.
It would be a crime to neglect summer in Yellowstone. Here, the name of the game is water. Whether it’s Yellowstone Lake or a river rafting trip, get out and splash around to stay cool when temperatures climb. But this area has that good old fashioned alpine A/C—when the sun sets, temps get low and the air cools off. If that doesn’t quite cut it, RSVP’s in-room air conditioning (plus pool!) should do the trick. Heading up into the mountains never hurts either, where you can cruise through the park and experience mountaintops with fab views without even breaking a sweat. Or get someone else to do the driving for you with a luxury guided tour that will have you back to Bozeman in time for a cocktail and some nibbles.
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