Yellowstone Weather in October: What to Expect

Written by August Buck
Published: May 30, 2022
© Lillac/Shutterstock.com
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Fall around the nation is a wonderful time of year for a number of reasons, but what is Yellowstone weather in October like? If you are planning a trip to this beautiful National Park during the autumnal season, you should take the time to learn about what the weather will be like and other important things about Yellowstone. 

In this article, we will address everything you need to know about visiting Yellowstone during the month of October, including what the average weather is like. We will address if you should anticipate snow or rain, as well as the average amount of daylight you can expect. Finally, we will give you a list of some of the most popular things to do in Yellowstone National Park, regardless of whether. Let’s check it out now! 

What is the Weather Like in Yellowstone in October?

Yellowstone Weather in October
The weather in Yellowstone in October is much cooler compared to previous months, reaching an average high of 48 degrees Fahrenheit and an average low of 27 degrees Fahrenheit.

©Lillac/Shutterstock.com

Yellowstone National ParkAverages
High Temp (F)48 degrees
Low Temp (F)27 degrees
Rainfall1 inch
Snowfall10 inches
Hours of Daylight11 hours/day
Elevation Changes in the Park7,000-8,500 feet

The weather in Yellowstone in October is much cooler compared to previous months, reaching an average high of 48 degrees Fahrenheit and an average low of 27 degrees Fahrenheit. Snow begins to fall again in earnest toward the end of the month, reaching nearly ten inches on average, while rain remains at a single inch.

This is why it is still important to pay close attention to the weather should you plan on visiting Yellowstone National Park during the month of October. Should snow accumulate unexpectedly, you may not want to do that big backpacking and camping trip that you have planned! However, there are a number of fun things to do in Yellowstone should the weather be unfavorable. Let’s talk about some of those things now.

Pros of Visiting Yellowstone in October

Yellowstone Weather in October
Yellowstone sees significantly fewer visitors during October compared to July, August, and even September.

©iStock.com/MriyaWildlife

There are a number of benefits to visiting Yellowstone during the month of October, especially compared to previous months. Yellowstone sees significantly fewer visitors during October compared to July, August, and even September. You can expect a more contemplative experience, with fewer crowds and less traffic. 

Additionally, the foliage is beautiful during this time of year, as it is for much of the country. You can meditate upon and otherwise observe the trees and plants changing, surrounded by the beauty of this National Park. Finally, the wildlife viewing is also fantastic during this time of year, given that it is the breeding season of many different animals. 

Cons of Visiting Yellowstone in October

Yellowstone Weather in October
The high elevation of Yellowstone National Park tends to lead to many unexpected weather happenings. 

©iStock.com/juliannafunk

One of the main cons of visiting Yellowstone during the month of October is the fact that the weather can be extremely variable. You may find that the trip you booked months in advance gets canceled due to either wildfire potential or unexpected snow storms. The high elevation of Yellowstone National Park tends to lead to many unexpected weather happenings. 

Additionally, Yellowstone National Park begins to close some of its roads and lodging opportunities during this month as well. You may find that the campsites you were hoping to spend the night in are closed by the time you reach it, and many roads close to residential vehicles toward the end of the month. 

What to Do in Yellowstone in October

With the weather and other seasonal variables in mind, let’s discuss what all there is to do in Yellowstone National Park during the month of October! 

Wildlife Viewing

Yellowstone Weather in October
Many outdoor enthusiasts would argue that October is one of the best times to hike and backpack in Yellowstone National Park.

©iStock.com/IngerEriksen

Given the fact that October is a slower month for Yellowstone National Park, the wildlife viewing opportunities are abundant during this time of year. While the bison, elk, and deer should be avoided given that it is their breeding season, you can view all of these creatures from a safe distance throughout the park. 

October is also a time of migration and animal activity based on the changing of the seasons. Birds and other nesting animals will be preparing for the long winter, and some animals make their way down from the higher elevations into the warmer valleys, where most of the roads and populated areas are. 

Some of the other animals you can expect to see during this time of year are: 

This also means that you should pay special attention when hiking or traversing the park, as you may stumble upon wildlife that you were not expecting to see. Always maintain a safe distance from larger wildlife, such as wolves and bears as well as bison and elk, especially if it is their mating season! 

Hikes and Backpacking Opportunities

Yellowstone Weather in October
Given the fact that October is a slower month for Yellowstone National Park, the wildlife viewing opportunities are abundant during this time of year.

©iStock.com/va103

Many outdoor enthusiasts would argue that October is one of the best times to hike and backpack in Yellowstone National Park. This is largely due to the fact that there are fewer crowds and more opportunities to enjoy nature without rubbing up against other people. You can explore over 900 miles of trails throughout Yellowstone, but do pay attention should there be any road or trail closures due to weather or time of year. 

Foliage and Fishing

October is a wonderful time of year for viewing the limited color changing foliage found throughout the park. You can observe all of the beautiful fall colors and plant matter on hikes or drives, and it is a wonderland for photographers. You can also rent a kayak or canoe and experience fishing throughout Yellowstone National Park, as many different fish species enjoy the cooler waters offered by this time of year. 


The Featured Image

shutterstock_602444258
Yellowstone National Park is home to several ungulate species, including grizzly bears, pronghorns, white-tailed deer, badgers, otters, and badgers
© Lillac/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

I am a non-binary freelance writer working full-time in Oregon. Graduating Southern Oregon University with a BFA in Theatre and a specialization in creative writing, I have an invested interest in a variety of topics, particularly Pacific Northwest history. When I'm not writing personally or professionally, you can find me camping along the Oregon coast with my high school sweetheart and Chihuahua mix, or in my home kitchen, perfecting recipes in a gleaming cast iron skillet.

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