Yellowstone National Park Weather
The weather is extremely unpredictable in the Park. BE PREPARED FOR ANYTHING! The average elevation in Yellowstone National Park is 6,000 feet which means temperatures are often much cooler. During the summer months the weather can turn from sunny and warm to rainy and even snowy within just a few hours. Temperatures can drop significantly during rain and thunderstorms so it's important to carry a variety of clothing while hiking or backpacking.
If you're new to hiking/backpacking you may need to experiment with different types of clothing and layering systems in order to find the best solution for regulating your body temperature. Clothing that works for one individual may be inadequate for another. If budget is a concern, look for off-season deals and buy the best product you can afford. Good quality gear can save your life in the backcountry.
For a complete list of gear and clothing options for hiking and backpacking in the Park visit our Hiking & Backpacking Checklist page.
Temperature Averages (ºF)
Rain/Snowfall Averages in Inches
Spring- April & May
Average Daytime Temps = 40º to 50/60º F
Nighttime Temps = 0º to 20/30º F
Spring is often overcast and rainy. Trails can be a muddy and wet so good GORE-TEX® footwear and lightweight gaiters are a must. Cold and rainy/snowy weather is always a threat so it's important to be prepared.
Recommended clothing for spring weather: Packable rain jacket, lightweight fleece jacket, ball cap, knit cap, fleece gloves, gaiters, lightweight convertible pants and lightweight long underwear bottoms and tops.
Summer - June - August
Average Daytime Temps = 70º to 80º F
Nighttime Temps = 30º to 40º F
Summers in Yellowstone are relatively short. Snow can remain in the backcountry until late June and into early July at the higher elevations. The month of June is often cool and rainy and many backcountry trails may be inaccessible until mid July. July through September and sometimes into October are usually the best times to plan a backpacking trip. Afternoon thunderstorms are always a possibility during the summer and snow can fall at anytime of the year.
Recommended summer clothing: Packable rain jacket, lightweight fleece jacket, ball cap, knit cap, fleece gloves, wool sox, lightweight convertible pants and long underwear.
Autumn Weather - September & October
Average Daytime Temps = 40º to 60/70º F
Nighttime Temps = 20º to 40º F
Autumn in Yellowstone can be magical if you hit it right. Temperatures during the day are between 50º and 70º (ideal for hiking) with nights hovering around freezing. Cold and rainy/snowy weather is always a threat during the entire year so it's important to be prepared.
Recommended clothing for fall weather: Packable rain jacket, midweight fleece, WINDSTOPPER® gloves, knit hat or ball cap, convertible pants, lightweight long underwear bottoms and tops.
Winter Weather - November - April/May
Average Daytime Temps = 0º to 20º F
Nighttime Temps = 0º to -40º F
Average Snowfall = 150" +
Short days and high elevations can make winter outings extremely cold. Be overly cautious and bring more than you think you'll need. It's better to be warm, comfortable and tired.
Recommended winter clothing: Windproof/waterproof GORE-TEX® jacket, WINDSTOPPER® fleece jacket or down parka for sub-zero temperatures, wool or synthetic hat, mid-weight gloves with a second pair of overmitts or heavyweight gloves, windproof/waterproof GORE-TEX® ski bibs or windproof pants, gaiters, wool socks, fleece underwear bottoms/tops and arctic boots.