The Seasons of Yellowstone

Early Spring

Late March through Late April

Imagine yourself bicycling, walking, jogging, or rollerblading before the roads are open to motorized public vehicles in the nation’s first National Park! 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. The closeness you feel to nature without motorized vehicle distractions is an entirely different way of experiencing Yellowstone. An easy bicycle ride into 7 Mile Bridge will be a journey few have enjoyed. Watch the trumpeter swans build their nests. The contrasting colors of the white feathers against the dark blue water will make you appreciate the beauty of these birds. April 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. Less visitors lead to lighter traffic which allows you to meander through the park at your own pace. Experience the Park’s awakening after a long winter’s rest. Cherish the feeling. Nature is beginning a new life cycle. Wildlife is being born. Plant life, such as phlox and buttercups, is emerging through the snow. The sounds are even different. The rivers flow intensely from the winter thaw; you can hear the bison calves call for their mothers; the birds are singing loudly as they get busy building their nests. It is as if all things are celebrating life and 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.

Summer

June through Mid September

Imagine you are here! Yellowstone National Park… the oldest National Park… heart of fly fishing in the American West… wander… imagine… cast a fly… soak it in. Your visit may include a day trip to Old Faithful, Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone and Mammoth Hot Springs. You might find yourself in a drift boat floating down Montana’s Madison River. You question… What is going on behind the scenes? That is where we come in. Journey into the depths of Yellowstone. Feel the mist of Fairy Falls on your face, listen to the water rush across the rocks, crashing to the bottom and settling into its path downstream. Hike to Mount Washburn, you begin, wondering if you can make it above the treeline. Walk into your favorite backcountry trout stream and toss a dry fly into a promising plunge pool. Step by step, breath by breath, you are living Yellowstone. Smell, Listen, Look! You are in it; looking into the eyes of bighorn sheep as they meander about their day. At the Fire tower, you gaze over the valleys, seeing it all! You feel like you are on the top of world.

Early Fall

Late September through Late October

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

Early November through Late November

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.

Winter

Mid December through Mid March

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!