December in Yellowstone

Seasonal Phenology Notes from the Greater Yellowstone Area

On this page you’ll find December phenology notes for Yellowstone and surrounding areas (mainly Cody, WY). If you’re wondering what it’s like in Yellowstone in December – browse through to get an idea.

December 1

  • 2014: Cody | Wapiti – Still about a foot of snow on the ground from the last storm (the night before). No wind overnight, though it picked up later in the morning. Watched four mule deer heading up past the house this morning first thing, three does and one rather large buck (saw them heading down last night). The rut is still on. About a half hour later a younger forked buck (antlers with just one fork in them) limped down the same path. Guessing he lost.

December 22

  • 2013: Cody | In Town – Started snowing in the evening, a total of 1/2″. Beck Lake |Alkalai Lake 100% frozen.

December 23

  • 2013: Cody | North Fork – We took a drive up to Wapiti and had snow showers down the North Fork as far as Wapiti, but not much farther. The winds picked up in the early afternoon and warmed the temperatures enough in town to melt most of the snow (in the 40’s). Much of Buffalo Bill Reservoir frozen over, but not frozen enough for ice fishermen to venture out. A large flock of Canada Geese (~75-100) were feeding in one of the hay fields in the Wapiti area. Bucks (mule deer) seen sparring, so the rut is still on here.

December 24

  • 2013: Cody | In Town – snow overnight let us wake to about a half an inch of snow and overcast skies.

December 25

  • 2013: Cody | In Town – Snow on the ground in the morning – much of it melted as the day progressed. Sunny.
  • 2015: Cody | In Town – Snow on the ground – maybe 40% of the ground covered. A few light snow showers during the day.
  • 2015: Cody | North Fork – Saw 200+ Elk in a field in the Wapiti area. Big Horn Sheep still in rut. Saw a large bull Elk with lots of hair missing (mange?).

December 27

  • 2015: Meeteetse | Sunshine Reservoir – Had a report that the ice was a foot thick and lots of folks were out ice fishing.

December 29

  • 2013: Cody | North Fork – This report from a friend: A beautiful blue-sky, no-wind day to head out to Pahaska to go snowshoeing. Saw four bull bison wintering on the North Fork and an American Dipper.