What to Wear for Yellowstone’s Unpredictable Weather

It’s important to get it right when it comes to packing gear so you can focus on the scenery and wildlife rather than the ominous clouds overhead.
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Bison grazing by the river in Yellowstone at sunset

Visiting Yellowstone: Planning the Perfect Trip

Your family has been anticipating this trip to Yellowstone for a long time, and it’s time to start thinking about how to best plan for the vacation of a lifetime. While beautiful, Yellowstone is prone to inclement weather, which can throw a wrench in your plans if you’re caught unprepared. It’s important to get it right when it comes to packing the appropriate gear so you can focus on the scenery and wildlife rather than the ominous clouds overhead.

Yellowstone's Weather Can Change Quickly

Yellowstone’s weather is unpredictable and can change quickly, so be prepared for cool nights and rain at any time. If you’re planning a May or June trip expect the average high temperatures to only be in the 60’s with lows in the mid 30’s and you should also be prepared for rain and even snow. May is Yellowstone’s rainiest month with over two inches of rainfall on average. Even in July and August the average low temperatures hover in the mid 40’s and afternoon rain showers are common.

Bring Gear and Clothes to Stay Warm, Dry and Comfortable

You want your trip to be memorable, but for all the right reasons. Your gear will act as a lifeline when it comes to staying warm, dry and comfortable as you experience the majesty of America’s first national park.

Yellowstone Gear Suggestions

Waterproof hiking footwear and a protective all-weather shell will act as your closest companions on this trek. You’ll be glad you thought to pack them when faced with Yellowstone’s cool temperatures and unpredictable storms. Here are a few recommendations:

Hiking Footwear That is Waterproof but Also Breathable

La Sportiva Synthesis Mid GTX® SURROUND® Boot is a mid-cut boot that offers more stability than a low cut shoe, and with new GORE-TEX® SURROUND® product technology, it delivers an outstanding combination of waterproofness and breathability.

La Sportiva Shoe courtesy Gore-Tex

The North Face Ultra Fastpack GTX® Shoe - This shoe from the Ultra Protection Series features a Pebax® shank and Snake Plate™ for lightweight protection and energy return. Made from GORE-TEX® Extended Comfort footwear laminate, this shoe is durably waterproof and highly breathable — which means your feet will be comfortable all day long, indoors and out. Overall, a top choice for Yellowstone’s varying weather conditions and terrain.

North Face Shoe. Courtesy Gore-Tex

All-Weather Shells That’ll Keep You Protected From the Wind and Dry in Wet Conditions

L.L.Bean® Stowaway Coat - Made from waterproof and breathable GORE-TEX® fabric, this jacket will keep you dry and comfortable during your Yellowstone activities. An adjustable hood with reinforced visor keeps rain off your face, and the jacket stows in its own pocket for easy packing.

LL Bean Jacket courtesy of Gore-Tex

Outdoor Research Aspire Jacket - Ideal for activities where weight and space are important, like day-hiking and backpacking, this GORE-TEX® jacket with Paclite® product technology offers extreme breathability and durable waterproofness in a lightweight package. An added benefit is its TorsoFlo™ side zippers which allow poncho-style ventilation to keep you cool and dry when you’ve been working hard. A solid choice for Yellowstone.

Outdoor Research Jacket courtesy Gore-Tex
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Article by Rob Wood


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