the seasons of yellowstone

Early Spring

Late March through Late April

Imagine biking, walking, jogging, or rollerblading in the nation’s first National Park before the roads are open to motorized public vehicles! This adventure begins sometime in late March or early April, depending on weather. Adventurers are able to travel close to 50 miles of park roads from West Yellowstone to Mammoth Hot Springs. Being close to nature without the distraction of motorized vehicle is an entirely different way to experience Yellowstone. Enjoy a rare journey with an easy bicycle ride into 7 Mile Bridge. Watch the trumpeter swans build their nests. The contrasting colors of their white feathers against the dark blue water will make you appreciate the beauty of these birds. April also holds some terrific angling opportunities for the early season angler, including some of the first mayfly hatches of the year. The Madison River, Gallatin River, and Henry’s Fork are open year round in both Montana and Idaho.

Late Spring

Late April through Late May

Every season provides you with a different look at Yellowstone National Park, and late Spring is no exception. With less visitors there’s lighter traffic, which allows you to meander through the park at your own pace. Experience nature beginning a new life cycle and wildlife being born as the park awakens after winter. Plant life, such as phlox and buttercups, is emerging through the snow. The rivers flow intensely from the winter thaw. You can hear the bison calves call for their mothers and the birds singing loudly as they build their nests. It is as if all things are celebrating life with the excitement of the upcoming summer in Yellowstone. As many rivers in the surrounding area are intensifying with spring runoff, West Yellowstone-based anglers fish a combination of the Madison River and the nearby Henry’s Fork. Yellowstone Park opens to fishing on Saturday of Memorial Day weekend.



Take a day trip to Old Faithful, the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, or Mammoth Hot Springs in America’s oldest National Park. Test your hiking abilities as you attempt to rise above the treeline on Mount Washburn. Gaze over the valleys at the Fire tower or rent a kayak and paddle around one of the deepest lakes in America. Find yourself floating in a drift boat on one of the pristine rivers in the area. Big Sky Angler guides can assess your skill level and put you on the best water for your abilities. Experience the thrill of reeling in a trout in a world-renowned fishing destination.

Early Fall


In the fall, overall tourist numbers begin to decrease but animal activity is on the rise as nighttime temperatures dip lower each day. Fall fishing opportunities abound both in and outside of Yellowstone. This is a great time of year to visit Yellowstone country, come to awaken yourself in the brisk mornings and listen to the elk bugle. Enjoy the changing colors of the Aspen and Alders. It feels like all the living things are taking a big deep breath, relaxing after the bulk of summertime tourist traffic has waned.

Late Fall


Mornings are below freezing and daytime temperatures hover in the 30s, the snow that falls during this time might just end up being the last snow to melt in the spring. Yellowstone Park closes its gates on the first Sunday in November. West Yellowstone is as quiet as can be as we ramp up for Yellowstone’s winter season which starts mid month with Fall Camp and Ski Fest, some of the first US Nordic Ski events of the season. Our extensive Nordic trail system is usually one of the first in the nation to have groomed trails and adequate snow coverage, and attracts skiers and teams from across the country.



The variety of activities in the winter is vast. Just a short jaunt from your cabin, enter Yellowstone National Park on your cross-country skis or book a guide to lead you on a snowshoeing expedition into the back country. For a more relaxed winter tour of the Park, travel by snow coach! These over the snow vehicles allow you to view the magnificence of winter from a heated van on HUGE tires. If more individualized tours are your thing, a guide would be happy to lead you on an invigorating adventure through the park on a snowmobile The Park is your oyster in the winter!