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Yellowstone in the Spring versus in the Summer

What time of year is the best time to visit Yellowstone National Park? Iíve visited this geographical wonder of a park in early spring and in mid-summer. Iíve noticed advantages and disadvantages during each season. Here I outline the pros and cons of each.

Visiting Yellowstone in Spring
The park usually opens in April when enough of the snow has melted away allowing for the majority of the roads and pathways to be accessible by visitors.

Pros: The biggest advantage of visiting Yellowstone in the spring is the lack of crowds. Without the huge crowds, early visitors to the park can see the sights without long lines of cars. Itís also easier to get scenic photographs with fewer people around. Another great reason to visit in the spring is to see the baby bison and other animals that have just been born. This is the season when it is easiest to find last minute accommodations in and around the park.

Cons: One of the major disadvantages of visiting the national park during this season is the weather. Temperatures in Montana and Wyoming can still be rather cool in April and even early May. Snow is also still a possibility. Visitors should also be aware that not all facilities at the park are open in early spring.

Visiting Yellowstone in the Summer
The majority of tourists visit this national park during the summer months.

Pros: The park is operating at peak performance with all facilities in full swing. The weather during June and July makes outdoor adventures such as hiking, fishing, and camping much more enjoyable than the cooler days of spring.

Cons: Accommodations in and around the park are often booked up several months in advance. Visitors will be inconvenienced by the large crowds that lead to long lines in the museum, gift shops, and dining establishments. Driving around the park will also be slower due to so many people wanting to stop on the side of the road to photograph scenery and animals.

So whatís the best time to visit Yellowstone National park? Only you can decide. Think about what is more important to you and your family, and then plan your trip accordingly. No matter when you go to Yellowstone, you wonít regret your visit.

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