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What To Expect This Spring In Yellowstone

a highway with a mountain in the background

Spring is a time of awakening at Yellowstone. Hibernating wildlife and young plant shoots begin to emerge with the changing of the seasons. As the transformation from winter continues, you will find that visiting Yellowstone in the spring offers many amazing opportunities to see the park as never before. Here are a few things to expect during a spring trip to Yellowstone National Park.

Spring Temperatures

Thanks to its higher elevation, Yellowstone’s spring weather is not unlike winter in some other climes. There is still a beautiful blanket of snow on the ground, and it often keeps falling, especially in the early spring months. The average daily temperatures can range from the 30s to the 60s, making it essential to wear warm layered clothes when you visit. Overnight lows are well below freezing, with temperatures averaging 10 degrees or below at night. Of course, as the season continues to unfold, the temperatures also continue to get warmer.

Yellowstone Wildlife in Spring

The emergence of grizzly bears from their dens in March is one of the first signs that spring is arriving in Yellowstone. Shortly thereafter, migrating robins, osprey, meadowlarks, and bluebirds fly in from the neotropical climates where they have spent the winter. Things start to really pick up in April as the black bears and chorus frogs wake up from their hibernation, the bison calving begins, and early wildflowers such as buttercups start to bloom. May is the busiest spring month, with elk, pronghorn, moose, and bison calving bringing new wildlife to Yellowstone as wolf pups materialize from their dens in Lamar Valley and more wildflowers start to appear on the hillsides.

When Do the Roads Open?

As with many things in Yellowstone, the seasonal opening of the roads depends on the weather. The National Park Service has to clear snow from hundreds of miles of roads before they can open them to the public. Usually, the first roads are opened to the non-motorized traffic of bicyclists, in-line skaters, and joggers in late March or early April.

For 2017, the anticipated opening dates for motorized travel start on April 21st with more roads and passes in some higher elevations opening every week or so up until May 26th when the park will open the Beartooth Highway, weather permitting. You can check the full park road opening schedule on the park’s website.

After spending months in a deep winter, Yellowstone begins the slow awakening from winter in late March. By Memorial Day, the park is filled with baby animals, migrating and hibernating wildlife has returned and awoken, and wildflowers bloom in the meadows. Watch the park wake up as it warms up with a trip to Yellowstone in the spring. For more information or to book a spring Yellowstone tour, contact us at Scenic Safaris today.