Visiting in Spring
If you like to avoid crowds, spring is the quietest time to visit the park. But please remember that Yellowstone is at a high elevation and while our calendars say spring, it may seem more like winter to some.
Between mid-March and the beginning of May there are few services available, but the roads in the northern end of the park are plowed and spring skiing is popular.
In May, when the park's interior roads begin to open, the park awakens from a long winter and the large mammals here begin to give birth. The beautiful red colored baby bison arrive first, followed by baby elk and then the emergence of mother bears and their cubs.
As June gets going, some days are closer to winter than summer here. As the snow abates, wildflowers begin to cover the landscape.This is a great time to visit, but the days can be cold and wet. Many of the hiking trails are still snowed in, but there is good hiking in the north end of the park.
Please check the Park Roads page for road opening dates.
Download the park's official newspaper Yellowstone Spring 2013 (3 MB pdf) for quick, detailed information you need to have a safe, spectacular trip.
Please check our Facilities' Opening and Closing Dates for information on lodging, restaurants, service stations and much more.
In the spring before park roads open to motorized vehicles, some roads are open to non-motorized recreational vehicles such as bicycles, roller skis, and roller blades. There will be some administrative vehicles traveling the roads at this time so be careful. See the Spring Biking Page for a map and more information.
Did You Know?
The 1988 fires affected 793,880 acres or 36 percent of the park. Five fires burned into the park that year from adjacent public lands. The largest, the North Fork Fire, started from a discarded cigarette. It burned more than 410,000 acres.