Visiting Yellowstone in October

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All About Visiting Yellowstone in October

The benefits, drawbacks, activities and other features of visiting Yellowstone in October.

October is a phenomenal time to visit Yellowstone National Park. The summer crowds have all but disappeared, and you have a real chance for solitude. There are many benefits to visiting in October, as well as some drawbacks. If you are able to make it to Yellowstone in October, you are sure to have a fantastic trip! Browse the categories below to determine if October is the best time for you to visit the park.

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Benefits of Visiting in October

The biggest benefit to visiting in October is the lack of crowds. With so many less people, your chances for solitude grow exponentially. Another benefit is that all the roads in the park remain open through October, with the exception of Dunraven Pass—the road from Tower Fall to Canyon Village, which closes in the middle of October. You can read the fall road closure information for year-to-year details.

Additionally, the fall colors are abundant in the beginning of October. Most of the park is made up of lodgepole pines, which don’t change colors with the season, but there are many pockets of aspen trees throughout the park. Their bright yellow leaves shimmer in the autumn sunlight and are a treat for visitors in October.

Lastly, it is mating season for many species of wildlife in October. The elk move north to areas like Mammoth Hot Springs and the Madison River for their mating, called the rut. Bull elk are seen defending and fighting for their harem, and their bugling can be heard echoing off the mountainsides. Bull bison can be seen in Hayden and Lamar Valleys doing the same.

Drawbacks of Visiting in October

The biggest drawback to visiting Yellowstone in October is that many of the campgrounds and facilities begin to close at the beginning of the month. Mammoth Hot Springs campground is open year round and you can get backcountry permits all year long also. The road from Tower Fall to Canyon Village closes in the middle of October, however, you can just take the longer route to get there.

Things To Do In October

October is a great month for sightseeing in Yellowstone. The wildlife is either mating or getting ready for winter, and it provides you with excellent opportunities to see them in most areas of the park. Hiking in October is world-class, even if it’s only a short walk—the aspen trees are glistening gold in the autumn light, making any hike magical. Fishing is also ideal in October; as the water cools, the trout begin to bite again, and are willing to chase your lure. Lastly, the fall colors and lighting make Yellowstone every photographer’s dream. So, there is plenty to do in Yellowstone in October to make your trip a memorable one.



Hiking And Backpacking in October

With the fall colors putting on a show, the bison and elk in the rut, and the cool temperatures, hiking is absolutely ideal in October. You can read about the best locations to see wildlife before setting out on the trail. In October, there are less people in the park, so you have a high chance of not seeing anyone else while you are on the trail.

Also, backpacking is incredible in October, if you have the appropriate gear for chilly nights. Permits are easier to obtain in the fall when the crowds have thinned. And, spending the night under the golden aspens and brilliant stars in Yellowstone National Park is unbeatable.

Weather in October

The weather in October in Yellowstone is typically variable; with the possibility of warm days, and chilly nights. Average temperature for Mammoth Hot Springs is a high of 55, and a low of 30 degrees Fahrenheit (13/ -1 degrees Celsius). At Yellowstone Lake, the average temperature is a high of 46, and a low of 24 degrees Fahrenheit (8/ -4 degrees Celsius). On average, there are 8 days of precipitation in October.

Join a Guided Hiking Adventure

Yellowstone National Park is home to some of the most epic and amazing hiking vacations in the world. Wildland Trekking offers trips with the best of Yellowstone: geysers, waterfalls, views, wildlife, solitude, adventure and fascinating natural and cultural interpretation.

Guided Yellowstone treks are all-inclusive which covers permits; local transportation (excluded on certain tours); meals; equipment; safety systems and professional hiking/wilderness guides; all of which allows visitors to maximize their time in Yellowstone and focus entirely on enjoying the Park.


  • GUIDED BACKPACKING ADVENTURES: these are for people interested in an authentic Yellowstone adventure away from the roads and crowds.
  • LLAMA TREKS: on these innovative trips, guests hike with light day packs and camp near in stunning backcountry locations.
  • INN-BASED PACKAGES: these tours are all-inclusive packages with lodging, amazing daily hikes, expert guides, meals, transportation and more!
  • CAMPING-BASED HIKING PACKAGES: camping-based hiking packages provide all-around hiking experiences of Yellowstone on wonderful outdoor vacations.
  • DAY HIKE TOURS: maximize your day in Yellowstone on a fully guided, award-winning hiking tour on one of the Park’s best trails.