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Yellowstone

Best Times to Visit Yellowstone

The best times to visit Yellowstone are from March to May and from September to November. These seasons both feature mild weather and fewer crowds. Summer is the most popular time to visit: the kids are out of school and the weather is warm enough to sleep outside. However, this park is no stranger to the cold: Temperatures have been known to drop into the 30s even in the summer, and during the winter, they range anywhere from negative-three - to 25-degrees Fahrenheit. Don't let that stop you: There's nothing quite like seeing plumes of steam rise from beneath a thick blanket of snow.

March-May

The weather is brilliant. Plus, you won't have to share the park with large crowds of tourists. However, don't underestimate the unpredictability of Yellowstone weather: Average temperatures can fluctuate anywhere between 61 degrees Fahrenheit and below freezing, so make sure to pack a few warmer layers just in case.

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June-August

Average highs resting in the 60s and 70s make for great hiking conditions, and all of the park's facilities will be open. During the warmer months, Yellowstone welcomes upward of 30,000 visitors per day, meaning accommodations will fill up quickly. If you do decide to tackle the high season, make sure to make reservations as far in advance as possible.

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September-November

Autumn is one of the best times to visit: the weather is still relatively mild and almost all of the summer crowds have dispersed, leaving behind plenty of more reasonably priced hotel rooms and campsites. But as the park prepares for winter, so should you: Average high temperatures can range from anywhere between 30 and 60 degrees.

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December-February

Winters in Yellowstone are not for the faint of heart. The park experiences an average of around 20 inches of snowfall during this season, and the temperature is rarely above freezing. If you do decide to visit now, always carry safety gear -- sleeping bags, flash lights and extra food -- and be prepared for precarious driving conditions (some roads may even be closed). The North Entrance is the only entrance open to automobiles during these months, while most park facilities (aside from park headquarters at Mammoth Hot Springs) are closed.

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