Fewer crowds, baby animals, rushing rivers and gushing waterfalls, prime hiking and fishing, discounts on lodging – How does that all sound? We simply cannot recommend visiting Yellowstone in spring enough!
Along with the magnificent sightseeing and adventure opportunities, there are plenty of fun and family-friendly activities to participate in as well. You’ll find free daily ranger programs, campfire talks, interpretive walks, staff-led painting activities, and an endless selection of programs and tours to choose from through the Yellowstone Forever Institute.
We hope you have the opportunity to visit the park this spring. You will not be disappointed! We promise.
Wildlife Watching in Yellowstone
Spring is THE best season to view wildlife in Yellowstone. Baby animals of all species begin showing up on the ever-greening landscape. Bison calves arrive by the hundreds in late-April through May, particularly in the Northern Range and along the Madison River. Black and grizzly bear cubs can be seen following close behind their mothers. Elk calves arrive a bit later in May through the end of June. Yellowstone abounds with new life after the long winter.
Bears begin to emerge from months of hibernation in mid-March. Though it is thrilling to see grizzly and black bears in the wild, it is also critically important to know and follow park bear safety guidelines, for the safety of visitors and bears alike.
Hiking in Yellowstone
Some of Yellowstone’s 900-plus miles of trails start to become accessible in April. See the park’s hiking guide for more information and suggested hikes and check out our own Staff Members’ Favorite Hikes. Spring weather is unpredictable and trails can be muddy, so be sure to pack accordingly and don’t forget your boots! Remember to remain alert and bear-aware when out on the trail. Carry bear spray, hike in groups, make noise.
Discounts on Lodging in Yellowstone
From rustic cabins to the grand Lake Yellowstone Hotel, there are fantastic and historic accommodations of all types in Yellowstone. Thanks to our generous partners at Yellowstone National Park Lodges, Yellowstone Forever supporters receive a seasonal lodging discount of 20% from April 26 to May 23! See our Lodging 101 article for full details. Want a more on-the-ground experience? Give camping a try! As both lodges and campsites do fill fast, we encourage you to make your reservations as early as possible.
Yellowstone Forever Park Stores
Our educational Park Stores are the number one source of information on all things Yellowstone. Staff are ready to help you plan your trip, provide information about Institute programs, and explain the different ways you can support important park projects. Stop by these 11 locations in and around Yellowstone this summer.
Yellowstone Park Store Locations and Opening Dates
Old Faithful – April 19
Canyon – May 3
Norris – May 17
West Thumb – May 17
Quake Lake – May 24
Art & Photography Center – May 24
Fishing Bridge – May 25
Grant Village – May 25
Madison – June 1
Gardiner, MT – Open year-round
Mammoth Hot Springs – Open year-round
Bozeman Airport Store – Open year-round
Yellowstone Art & Photography Center
The Yellowstone Art & Photography Center is located at Old Faithful near the visitor center and celebrates the role art and photography played in the preservation of Yellowstone and many other public lands.
The Art & Photography Center will open for the season on May 25!
The Center offers staff-led activities, art lecture series, and daily hands-on activities for the whole family. For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit Yellowstone.org/art.