What’s August Like in Yellowstone?

What is it like during August in Yellowstone? When is the best time to see Yellowstone? These questions regularly arise when people plan their vacation to Yellowstone. This post is part of a series that covers what it’s like in the park during different months. Today, we look at August.

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nd of August, so most any weather can be seen.

Average High Temperature F/C

Average Low Temperature F/C

Average inches of Snow

Average Hours of Daylight

(Info from NOAA)

During August in Yellowstone, we start the shift from summer to fall. At the beginning of the month, we are firmly in summer mode, but by the end of the month, the signs of fall become unmistakable.


As the beginning of school looms on the horizon, the number of families seen in Yellowstone begins to dwindle. Facilities in the park begin to close again in a rolling fashion, causing the number of people in the park to lessen. Generally speaking, the crowds are past the peak.


As with most any month in Yellowstone, be prepared for hot, dry days and frost (and even the possibility of snow) overnight. The weather is usually perfect for hikes and exploring Yellowstone. If you are camping, or want to be out in the twilight hours when the animals are around, bring a warm coat. But also bring shorts and t-shirts for the warmer daytime temperatures. We usually see the first snow on the higher mountain peaks by the end of August, so most any weather can be seen.


At the beginning of August, the bison are in rut (the mating season). They’re most easily found in the Lamar Valley and Hayden Valley (some years the Hayden herd hangs out by the Mud Volcano Area). During the days, the bulls will accompany their chosen female wherever she goes, usually waiting until early morning for the activity to really happen. August is the time to be sure to give bison their space. While 25 yards is what the park requires, it’s not a bad idea to give them a bit more room this time of year. Bison can change from looking quite docile to charging in a heartbeat. They are on edge more now, so be aware they are wild and dangerous.

By the end of the month, the bison rut is over and they start to migrate to their winter grounds. For some of the bulls, they spend the winter with us on the Cody side of the park, hanging out along the North Fork of the Shoshone.

It’s also at the end of the month when the elk take center stage. They are in their glory when the velvet comes off the antlers of the bulls. When that happens, they sharpen the tips, and their rut begins. You can find the elk most readily in Mammoth. Each large bull is often accompanied by a ranger in a vehicle that keeps tabs on the elk and the people – working to keep everyone safe. But you’ll also find elk in other areas of the park – around Fishing Bridge, and the Grant/West Thumb are also good places to check.

Fire Season

August is also the season for fires out west. Even if there aren’t any fires locally, the smoke can drift in and out, making for hazy skies during the day, but spectacular sunrises and sunsets. Fires inside the park can affect back country hiking plans.

Be Outside • Take Notes


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