We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

I've only just begun........

Silver Spring, MD
Level Contributor
187 posts
5 reviews
Save Topic
I've only just begun........

Hi all! I am planning our very first, long over due, visit. As we are empty-nesters, we can go at any time of the year. I am torn between 1st week of June and 1st week of September. According to the statistics, it looks like September would be optimal crowd-wise. Being that this is our first trip, do you think it's a coin toss, or is one time period preferable to the other; especially since we can go either time?

BTW, I am loving this TA site. I think it's one of the better ones I've been to.

Driggs, Idaho
Destination Expert
for Grand Teton National Park
Level Contributor
3,429 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: I've only just begun........

I think either way, from a crowd perspective, you'll be ok. School is typically still in force in early June or just starting up again in September. This limits a lot of the visitors.

Early June can be iffy for weather, cold and possible snow sometimes. That being said, it can still be nice but you have a greater chance for unstable conditions than in September, which I have found wonderful and the best time to visit.

However, many people prefer June b/c the wildlife viewing is excellent and you have a chance to see a lot of the new born babies which in itself is exciting.

So ask yourself what is more important to you -

Hope that helps!

Englewood, Fl.
Level Contributor
1,739 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: I've only just begun........

You will no doubt get various opinions on when to visit YNP, but I have to say the first week in June. There are no real crowd problems that early, and you have the extra added attraction of seeing a lot of the newborn wildlife. The calves, fawns, cubs, lambs, and pups that will be the equivalent of "teenagers" by September. The park really is an amazing place at anytime of the year, but IMO especially in the springtime.

One consideration though when coming in early June has to be the weather. It can be very fickle, and simply put, you need to come prepared for just about anything. Packing can be a challenge when flying, I know, but think in terms of the modern lightweight fabrics, layering, and flexibility, and you should be fine.

Silver Spring, MD
Level Contributor
187 posts
5 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: I've only just begun........

Thanks! Maybe it will June for our "first" visit. Who can resist baby animals, and the wildlife is certainly top of the list!

Driggs, Idaho
Destination Expert
for Grand Teton National Park
Level Contributor
3,429 posts
73 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: I've only just begun........

....and there is nothing worse than teenage animals in September LOL. They are very rude, talk back and disrespect their parents.

Green Valley...
Level Contributor
18,001 posts
62 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: I've only just begun........

Still laughing...

To the OP, here's a collaborative article; note the websites provided re: packing, photography, and more. Enjoy!

Yellowstone Newbies - Things You Need to Know

tripadvisor.com/Travel-g28973-c165419/Wyomin…

Atlanta, Georgia
Destination Expert
for Road Trips
Level Contributor
29,662 posts
431 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: I've only just begun........

Here are the must sees for the park-

www.yellowstone.net/topten

Be sure to also plan a couple of days in the Grand Tetons and Jackson Hole.

Might want to order a great book- Yellowstone Treasures by Janet Chapple for great insight into planning, lodging, routes, etc.

Walker, Minnesota
Level Contributor
264 posts
Save Reply
7. Re: I've only just begun........

I definetly 2nd Yellowstone Treasures-its a must have.

Ohio, USA
Destination Expert
for Bryce Canyon National Park, Bryce, Arches National Park
Level Contributor
7,651 posts
446 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: I've only just begun........

Planning is half the fun! Just builds the anticipation for the trip.

My wife and I visited this past fall (early Sept) and had a great time. No issues with crowds and the weather was wonderful.

Here's the link to the (very long) trip report that I posted from our excursion. Perhaps you will find some useful tips and ideas to use for your trip.

tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-g60999-i481-k49692…

N. Idaho
Destination Expert
for Yellowstone National Park
Level Contributor
21,011 posts
109 reviews
Save Reply
9. Re: I've only just begun........

@BBD...laughing too! Plus they run around in packs with their pants down around their behinds.

Pam

Denver, Colorado
Level Contributor
462 posts
46 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: I've only just begun........

Both June and September have positives and negatives. I've been the last two years in a row during the first 10 days of September and am headed back this June.

Snow on the trails, possible short-term road closures due to fresh snow and housing/dining facilities still opening up for the season are things you will encounter in the first week of June.

We decided to wait for the second week so we could stay in the Roosevelt cabins this year. By the end of the third week in June the summer tourist season is building and the crowds get larger since school is out for the summer.

Last year the winter snow was well above average so many things opened later than usual, including roads. So far this year is somewhat below average but late spring snow storms could change that.

As others have pointed out, the wildlife viewing is great since the young critters are out there in numbers.

I have found the Labor Day weekend more crowded because of the number of visitors who live relatively close coming by for a last visit on day trips. But on the Tuesday after the holiday the visitor numbers start to drop off quite a bit. Facilities and visitor services also start to close that day.

Two years ago we had snow several overnight snow storms that closed some roads in the south part of the park until mid morning. Last year the weather was spectacular in early September. And the bison and elk rut was starting so that made for some excitement too.

Check the open/close dates for facilities as your guide to see if the places you want to stay (if you are planning to stay inside the park) and other visitor services are going to be open during your planned visit.

nps.gov/yell/…open_closedates.htm

Spring or fall, you can't go wrong. Each is a different experience in the park so I predict that once you do one you will want to do the other.