What’s July like in Yellowstone?
What is it like during July in Yellowstone? When is the best time to see Yellowstone? These questions regularly arise when people plan their vacation to Yellowstone. This post is the part of a series that covers what it’s like in the park during different months. Today, we look at July.
This post may contain affiliate links. That means that if you follow a link and make a purchase, I receive a small portion of that purchase at no extra cost to you. These purchases help keep this site maintained and in development.
Average High Temperature F/C
Average Low Temperature F/C
Average inches of Snow
Average Hours of Daylight
(Info from NOAA)
July is an incredible month to be in Yellowstone, but because the weather is so nice that you’ll find it more crowded than in other months.
After the Fourth of July celebrations, the number of people in the park usually skyrockets. It’s vacation time. This means driving in Yellowstone becomes more challenging. The popular destination spots such as Old Faithful, Canyon or Mammoth can take a bit to find a parking space. Be sure to budget in extra time to get from one place to another.
While you need to expect frost in the mornings any month of the year in the park, July has fewer of those, especially in the latter part of the month. But do expect some crisp morning temperatures. Generally speaking, the weather is delightful – with warm and even hot days that might see an afternoon shower to cool things off for the evenings. While you still want to bring layers with you, you may not need the heavy coats.
Fire season often gets underway in July. This makes the skies a bit less blue, but the sunsets are often stunning.
With the warmer temperatures, some of the wildlife will move to higher, cooler elevations. This includes many of the elk and deer populations. Bears are migrating to the moth fields on the high altitude talus slopes. They’ll feast on the cutworm moths that migrated there in late June to dine on the wildflowers on the tundra during the night and spend their days hiding under rocks. Bears will turn these over and lick them clean of these high protein snacks, not unlike popping sunflower seeds all day.
Throughout July, bison finish ridding themselves of final bits of last winter’s coat. By the end of the month, they look magnificent as they start to gather for the rut that often begins in the last week of the month. This makes for one of the best times of the year to visit Lamar and Hayden Valleys. The most dramatic action happens around sunrise, so getting up early to head out will be a great time to capture the action here.
Late June and early July are some of the best times to see the wildflowers in Yellowstone. At lower elevations, many species are starting to go to seed while the same species will be in full bloom at higher altitudes.
Hot days are the best time to visit the thermal features, making July in Yellowstone one of the best times to see the colorful pools. A good 90 degree F day has the steam knocked down on most of the hot springs. Midday with the sun shining down into the pools, the colors are spectacular. Thanks to the warmer temperatures, the microbes are much more vibrant.
July is also when the hiking season truly begins. Before this, areas are either closed for bear management or are simply too muddy and wet to do much hiking. If you’ve already seen Yellowstone’s main sites, spending time taking a few hikes will get you away from the crowds. Just make sure you’re bear aware and carry bear spray. Not all of the bears migrate to the moth fields.
July is a popular month to visit Yellowstone for a reason. While the crowds increase this month, there are many advantages to visiting Yellowstone in July.
Be Outside • Take Notes
This site contains affiliate links. If you click on a link and make a purchase, I receive a small portion of that sale at no extra cost to you. Your purchases help to keep this site in development.
GET MORE NEWS AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Sign up for the Yellowstone Naturalist Newsletter