Mar 18

Plan Your Spring Trip to Yellowstone

Fewer crowds, baby animals, rushing rivers and gushing waterfalls, prime hiking and fly fishing, world-class and iconic lodging options – How does that all sound? Spring in Yellowstone is an absolute delight.

Along with the magnificent sightseeing and adventure opportunities, there are plenty of fun and family-friendly activities to participate in as well. You’ll also find 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.

Jim FuttererJim Futterer
Learn more about spring bear safety

Hiking in Yellowstone

Some of Yellowstone’s roughly 1,000 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.

You can also join us on one of many guided Naturalist Day Hikes throughout the summer!

NPS / Jacob W. FrankNPS / Jacob W. Frank
Learn more about hiking in Yellowstone

Fishing in Yellowstone

Fly fishing season begins in the park in late May. Yellowstone is a world-class fishing destination (the scenery is not too shabby either). Be sure to check out our fly fishing tips before heading out and casting your fly. Our Yellowstone Forever Institute is also hosting multi-day fly-fishing seminars this summer.

YF / Matt LudinYF / Matt Ludin
Tips for Planning your Fly Fishing Trip

Lodging in Yellowstone

From rustic cabins to the grand Lake Yellowstone Hotel, there are fantastic and historic accommodations of all types in Yellowstone. 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.

YF / Matt LudinYF / Matt Ludin
Learn more about Lodging in Yellowstone

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.

YF / Matt LudinYF / Matt Ludin

Yellowstone Park Store Locations and Opening Dates

Old Faithful – April 19
Canyon – May 13
West Thumb – May 24
Quake Lake – May 24
Grant Village – May 24
Norris – May 24
Tribal Heritage Center – May 20
Fishing Bridge – May 24
Madison – June 9
Gardiner, MT – Open year-round
Mammoth Hot Springs – Open year-round
Bozeman Airport Store – Open year-round

Learn more about our Park Stores

National Park Service Activities

Our friends at the National Park Service will be offering interpretative walks, evening campfire talks, and other presentations and activities throughout the summer.

Find out more information online or stop by the nearest Visitor Center to find out what’s going on near you.

Jessie KnirschJessie Knirsch
Find out more about National Park Service events