Visiting Yellowstone in September

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All About Visiting Yellowstone in September

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

September is a spectacular time to visit Yellowstone National Park. The summer crowds begin to disappear, and you have a real chance for solitude, and phenomenal wildlife viewing. There are many benefits to visiting in September, as well as some drawbacks. Read through the categories below to determine if September is the best time for you to visit the park!

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Benefits of Visiting in September

The biggest benefit to visiting in September is the lack of crowds. September marks the official end of summer tourism, so there are many less people in the park. Additionally, the fall colors are abundant at end of the month. 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 sunlight, and are a treat for visitors in autumn.

It is mating season for many species of wildlife in September. 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.

Finally, September is a phenomenal month for hiking and backpacking Yellowstone! The bugs are gone, the crowds are mostly gone, temperatures are still quite nice, and the backcountry is ripe for exploring.

Drawbacks of Visiting in September

The only drawback to visiting the park in September is that some facilities, including campgrounds and lodging begin to close throughout the month. There are many that remain open, but Lake Lodge and Roosevelt cabins close at the beginning of September, and Old Faithful Lodge and Grant Village close at the end. You can read Yellowstone Lodging’s closing dates before planning your accommodations.

Things To Do In September

September is a great month for sightseeing in Yellowstone. Many species of wildlife are mating, which provides excellent opportunities to see them in most areas of the park. Hiking and backpacking are world-class in September—since the aspen trees are glistening gold in the autumn light, it turns even a short hike into something magical.

Additionally, fishing is great in many of the rivers in September; as the water cools, the trout begin to bite again. There is plenty to do in Yellowstone in September to make your trip a memorable one!

Llama Treks

Llama treks are fantastic in September and offer the ability to explore the backcountry of Yellowstone with minimal impact and maximum comfort. Each llama can carry 70 pounds of gear and supplies, so guests get to hike with light day packs. Options range from 3-day trips to 6-day trips and feature waterfalls, wildlife, vast meadows and stunning scenery.

If you’d like to enjoy the benefits of a llama trek but aren’t interested in a fully guided adventure, you can also rent llamas or hire Wildland Llamas to provide a drop camp for you. (Drop camps are a service where the outfitter carries in your supplies and helps set up your camp, but it is not a guided trip.)



Hiking And Backpacking in September

Hiking is ideal in September—with the abundant autumn foliage, the bison and elk rutting, and the cooler temperatures. You can read about the best locations to see wildlife before setting out on the trail. There are less people in the park this time of year, so you could experience solitude on your hike.

Also, backpacking is incredible in September, and permits are easier to obtain in the fall as the crowds thin. Spending the night under the golden aspens and brilliant stars in Yellowstone National Park is unbeatable.

Weather in September

The weather in September in Yellowstone is variable; with warm days and chilly nights. The average temperature for Mammoth Hot Springs is a high of 68, and a low of 39 degrees Fahrenheit (20/ 4 degrees Celsius). At Yellowstone Lake, the average temperature is a high of 61, and a low of 31 degrees Fahrenheit (16/ -1 degrees Celsius). On average, it rains 5 days in September.

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.