Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Become a Member

Get access to more than 30 brands, premium video, exclusive content, events, mapping, and more.

Already have an account? Sign In

Brands

Weather and Seasons

Springtime in Yellowstone

Explore the park when it becomes fresh and new with baby animals running alongside their mums and waterfalls thawing.

Visit Yellowstone during its warming-up season—spring—to explore the park when both the heat and crowds are at bay. With a little research and careful packing, you can enjoy the park during this transition season, which is somewhat unreliable in terms of weather.

2022 Dates: All opening and closing dates are subject to change based on future conditions and public health guidance. Yellowstone will continue to evaluate and adapt to changing COVID-19 guidance and adjust operations as needed. Visit www.nps.gov/yell/ for current conditions.

Spring Weather in Yellowstone

Be prepared: spring in Yellowstone is different than spring in other locales; due to its high elevation Yellowstone can feel more like winter during this period. Daytime temperatures range from the 30s to the 60s, with lows at night in the teens to single digits. Snow is common, with accumulations of 12” in a 24-hour period possible. Yellowstone’s weather is highly unpredictable—especially in spring—so come equipped with plenty of warm layers. Add ski or snowshoe equipment to your list and you’ll soon discover a sparkling winter world accessible via the park-wide network of cross-country tracks. More about weather.

Spring Bicycling

Spring bicycling from West Yellowstone in April
Spring bicycling from West Yellowstone in April, when the roads open to non-motorized traffic.NPS Neal Herbert

Bicycling, walking, jogging, roller blades, roller skis and similar means of non-motorized public travel may be permitted beginning sometime in late March or early April between the West Entrance and Mammoth Hot Springs prior to these roads opening to motorized public travel. The first day of “spring bicycling” is never predetermined and is dependent on road conditions as determined by park staff. Read More

Spring Roads Close for Snowplowing

Park roads close in spring while crews clear a winter’s worth of packed snow from the Grand Loop. This totals 198 miles of main road, 124 miles of secondary roads and 125 acres of parking lots inside the park as well as 31 miles of the Beartooth Highway outside the park’s Northeast Entrance to prepare for the summer season.

2022 Road Closures to Snowcoaches and Snowmobiles

The park road from the North Entrance to the Northeast Entrance is open to traffic 365 days per year. Other park interior roads close at 9 p.m. on the following dates to allow for snow plowing.

  • March 6: Mammoth Hot Springs to Norris
  • March 8: Norris to Madison and Norris to Canyon Village
  • March 13: Canyon Village to Fishing Bridge
  • March 15: All remaining groomed roads close

2022 Spring Road Openings

Conditions permitting, roads will open at 8 a.m. on the following dates: On the third Friday of April, park roads begin opening to regular vehicles. All roads open by Memorial Day weekend.

  • April 15: West Entrance to Madison Junction, Mammoth Hot Springs to Old Faithful, Norris to Canyon Village
  • May 6: East Entrance to Lake Village (Sylvan Pass), Canyon Village to Lake Village
  • May 11: Cooke City to Chief Joseph Scenic Byway
  • May 13: South Entrance to West Thumb, Lake Village to West Thumb, West Thumb to Old Faithful (Craig Pass), Tower Junction to Tower Fall
  • May 27: Tower Fall to Canyon Junction (Dunraven Pass), Beartooth Highway

Check NPS website about current road conditions at www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/parkroads.htm

Spring Animal Activity in Yellowstone

Momma grizzly and her cub on May 15, 2014 near Daisy Geyser
Mama grizzly and her cub take a stroll on May 15, 2014, near Daisy Geyser in Yellowstone. NPS/Jim Peaco

Riders and hikers alike should be aware that the park’s awakening—marked by the opening of interior roads and campgrounds in May—also signifies the awakening of its large mammal populations: bears, bison, elk, wolves, and other wildlife. These inhabitants include females preparing to give birth, according to the NPS, “The beautiful red colored baby bison arrive first, followed by baby elk and then the emergence of mother bears and their cubs (born during the winter).” See photos and video of Baby Animals

25 minute old elk calf at Mammoth Hot Springs.
A 25-minute old elk calf looks at its mom at Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone. NPS/Jim Peaco

As spring is a time of wildlife activity, drivers should watch for bison migrating back into the park north of Gardiner; slower speeds and extra caution are encouraged. Furthermore, be advised that bears are active in the spring as they emerge from their winter dens and begin searching for any food source that will help them restore fat reserves lost during torpor. Bears aggressively defend food sources—such as winter-killed animals, wildflower buds or burrowing rodents—from perceived aggression. Therefore, all park visitors should follow bear safety precautions when skiing or hiking.

Spring Camping in Yellowstone

For those interested in camping, note that the Mammoth Campground is the only year-round option. The other campgrounds will follow a graduated opening schedule beginning in early May and continuing through the end of June.

2022 Projected Opening of Campgrounds

Note: The dates below are estimated dates based on prior years. Check www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/hours.htm for campsite opening dates before making any summer plans since COVID-19 has impacted what services are open in the park and when.

  • Open Year-round: Mammoth Campground
  • May 6: Madison Campground
  • May 20: Bridge Bay Campground
  • May 27 Fishing Bridge RV Park, Canyon Campground
  • June 3: Grant Village Campground
  • June 10: Indian Creek Campground
  • June 15: Pebble Creek Campground, Slough Creek Campground, Lewis Lake Campground
  • TBD: Norris Campground, Tower Fall Campground

Spring Lodging in Yellowstone

The park has a plethora of food and lodging options, though only a handful of these amenities are available year-round. Most of the facilities—key locations and offerings listed below—begin opening in May, in step with the rest of the park. Mammoth Hot Springs offers the only year-round service station, general store, and clinic.

The dates listed below are generalized from previous year openings for trip planning purposes. All dates are subject to change! For lodging inside Yellowstone please contact Xanterra Parks & Resorts at (866) 439-7375. Learn more about lodging inside Yellowstone.

2022 Projected Opening of Hotels and Cabins

Opening and closing dates are subject to change based on future conditions and public health guidance due to COVID-19.

  • April 29: Mammoth Hot Springs Hotel, Old Faithful Snow Lodge & Cabins
  • May 13: Mammoth Hot Springs Cabins
  • May 6: Old Faithful Inn
  • May 13: Old Faithful Lodge Cabins, Lake Yellowstone Hotel & Cabins
  • May 20: Grant Village Lodge
  • May 28: Canyon Lodges, Washburn, Rhyolite, Hayden
  • 27: Canyon Lodges, Cascade, Dunraven, Chigtenden, Moran
  • June 3: Roosevelt Lodge Cabins
  • June 10: Lake Lodge Cabins

See complete list of facility opening dates at www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/hours.htm

Please check Yellowstone National Park Lodges for changes in openings and closures for 2022 at www.yellowstonenationalparklodges.com/stay/summer-lodges/