Yellowstone in September
Most people think visiting Yellowstone in September is not worth it as the temperature starts dropping and most of the lodging facilities start to close soon until next summer. But the fact is September is one of the best months to visit Yellowstone for quite a few reasons.
In oppose to the summer season you will see magnificent views of the park as the colors of Autumn start to kick in, as September marks the start of Autumn in Yellowstone. We recommend packing the winter clothes as the temperature starts to drop around this time.
Out of the 4.1 million people visiting Yellowstone National park each and every year most of them visit in the summers thinking this is the best season to visit the park, but today we will tell you numerous reasons to visit Yellowstone in the month of September.
Why should you visit Yellowstone in September?
1. How busy is Yellowstone in September?
Our top reason to visit the Yellowstone national park in the month of September is fewer people. As we already told you that most of the people visit the park from July to August. You will find massive crowds of people lining up for literally everything.
If you are a person who doesn’t like crowds and wants to avoid these long queues September is the month for you. As in this month, you can easily find a spot to sit and enjoy the Old Faithfull Balcony (one of the most famous sites in Yellowstone).
But when we say fewer crowds we do not mean literally zero people as each year 4.1 million people visit the Yellowstone National park, you will get a fair share in September too, but relative to summer it is nothing.
2. Where to stay in Yellowstone in September?
As we told you, you will encounter massive crowds in the summer season, which obviously means it will be very difficult for you to find accommodation. If you really want to enjoy the beauty of Yellowstone National Park the best place to stay is inside the park. In summer it is next to impossible to find a place to stay inside Yellowstone national park as there are just 9 lodges inside the park which are all booked months prior to the peak time.
If you visit in the Autumn you will find a place to stay inside the park as well as outside the park for relatively cheap prices. If you are on a budget and still want to enjoy the beauty of this amazing park September is the month for you.
3. Yellowstone Wildlife
There are almost 300+ types of birds, 16 types of fish, 6 amphibian and reptile species were recorded, and 67 best species of mammals, including two bear species which are known as black bears, and grizzly bears.
Visiting in September will give you beautiful views of the parks along with amazing wildlife sights. Especially during the mating season (for the Elk) which is autumn, you will spot a lot of elks in the region and you can hear the Bulge of elks which is a form of challenge for the opponent. If you are lucky enough you will also be able to spot fighting elks which are completely different in real life than what you see on TV.
Also, you will see a lot of movement off bears and other animals as they start to move for hibernation in the winters.
Conclusion- Autumn is the best time to spot wildlife in Yellowstone National Park and experience nature like in no other season (month).
4. Beautiful colors of the autumn season
What’s better than visiting this amazing park at the time of autumn when the entire park is in a completely different mood. As September marks the starting of Fall, the autumn colors will start spreading all over the park which makes it 10X beautiful.
We would highly recommend hiking in the Yellowstone National Park if you visit in the month of September as during a hike you can see and experience some things which you might miss from the car. Hikes will be much better with few bugs and mosquitoes this month.
Cons of visiting Yellowstone in September
1. Shorter days
The days are shorter as compare to other seasons’ days. Yellowstone’s mornings are significantly shorter in September than they are in the summer. The sun rises around 7 a.m. and sets around 7:30 p.m. every day in September. The sun rises around 5:30 a.m. and sets at 9 p.m. throughout the summer. If you do the mathematics, you’ll find that visiting YNP in September loses roughly 3 hours of sunshine compared to visiting in the summer.
If you’re planning for a long trip this might not matter but if you have a plan for few days this might be an issue as there are tons of things to see and experience in this amazing park.
2. Early closing of facilities
As we already told you in the beginning many lodging and other facilities begin closing down by the end of September. This might be an issue if you are late and all the remaining lodges are booked, but you can still find places to stay outside the park.
Many of the restaurants are closed down too as they are linked with the lodges so this might be another big issue as you obviously need food after a tiring day in the park.
But none of the Yellowstone attractions are closed so you can still enjoy and explore the beauty of the park.
3. Weather in Yellowstone in September
The weather in Yellowstone in September is kind of unpredictable as this month is starting of the fall season. The average temperature in Yellowstone in September ranges from 62° F to 31° F. The sun shines for an average of 8 hours per day so there is plenty of time for you to still enjoy the sun in broad daylight.
The mornings and nights in Yellowstone are chilly, regardless of whether the weather is good or terrible. When visiting Yellowstone in the fall, it is strongly suggested that you bring a lot of warm clothes.
Being said that remember the weather in Yellowstone in September is unpredictable and it is recommended to be prepared for it.
Places to visit in Yellowstone national park in September
In terms of activities, a visit to Yellowstone National Park in September is fairly comparable to a visit mostly in summer. The colder temperature in Yellowstone allows for more demanding activities, such as longer treks. In September, there are a few things to do in Yellowstone.
1. Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone
The reddish-colored valley, which stretches around 1500 and 3000 feet broad and 600 to 1300 feet high, is a popular tourist destination in Yellowstone National Park. The park’s most famous waterfalls are the Upper and Lower Falls. From various vantage points, the Lower Falls (which are nearly twice as high as Niagara Falls) present a magnificent vista. Lower Falls (North Rim), Lookout the best Point (North Rim), Inspiration Point (North Rim), Artist Point (South Rim), and Uncle Tom’s Trail are the greatest viewing locations.
2. Mammoth Hot springs
The Northern Yellowstone Loop’s highlight is Mammoth Hot Springs, which highlights how strange and gorgeous the park truly is. Stored minerals have created beautiful canary terraces. The terraces are flooded with water that is as hot as 160°F (70°C). The sidewalks lead to tiny lakes, hot springs, and larger and smaller rocks. Upper and Lower Terraces separate the region. If you might not want to walk all the way, you may drive down to the lower portion and then up to the higher part.
3. Yellowstone Lake
The biggest alpine lake in North America is located 7,732 feet above sea level. The water is cold and clear, as one would anticipate. A few hot springs can be found on the southern border. Kayaks and boats cannot be hired here, unfortunately. If you still want to paddle, you may bring your own or hire one in Jackson.
4. Grand Prismatic Spring
The Grand Prismatic Spring is the world’s third-biggest hot spring and the largest in the United States. The Grand Prismatic Springs, seen from above, like a tearful eye. It releases about 560 gallons of water each minute. The color combination is stunning.
The colors vary depending on the temperature of the air and the amount of bacteria present—it’s amazing. A little higher up the path, you’ll get the best view of the Grand Prismatic Spring. Follow the signs for Fairy Falls Trailhead before arriving at the parking area. To get to the observation spot, go up the hill for about a mile.
5. Upper Geyser Basin near Old Faithful
There are no other places in the park with as many springs and water fountains as the Upper Geyser Basin near Old Faithful. Wooden pathways link the individual geysers. Everywhere you turn, something is always boiling—surreal! Some geysers erupt regularly, while others have been inactive for decades. On the route to the Morning Glory Pool, which is one of the park’s most stunning hot springs.
Things to do in Yellowstone in September
1. Different animals in their habitats
There are more different species in Yellowstone National Park than nearly anyplace else in the United States, yet it is not a zoo. In Yellowstone, visitors are likely to experience a variety of animals moving freely in their natural habitat. Grizzly bears, grey wolves, the world’s biggest wild bison herd, bald and golden eagles, trumpeter swans, moose, and other animals may be seen. Herds of wild horses may also be seen outside of Yellowstone, to the south and northeast of the park.
Get out of the main route onto Yellowstone’s 1,300-mile trail system to discover the park’s wildest side. The Bunsen Peak, Fairy Falls, and Uncle Tom’s Trail to the base of Canyon’s Upper Falls are among the most popular walks. if you are wondering about hiking in this amazing place then you should do.
In colder weather, you can go long-distance hiking without getting all sweaty and tired, unlike summers. As in summer, you will feel tired and dehydrated very quickly. During these treks in the wilderness of Yellowstone, you will get to see beautiful sights of wildlife and amazing view of the park which you might miss otherwise.
3. Paddeling and raffting
Though there is no rafting inside the park but the waterway surrounding the park offers everything you need. Rafting tours are provided at all of the park’s entrances. You can rent one of the inflatable rafts and enjoy the adventures.
4. Camping in Yellowstone in September
What’s better than getting in touch with nature in Yellowstone National park than camping in one of the many campgrounds in Yellowstone. Spending an overnight or more below the stars is one of the finest ways to explore the Yellowstone region.
There are numerous campgrounds in the Yellowstone park-like Mammoth, Lewis lake, Norris, Madison. You can choose a campground depending on your choice. If you want the best reservable campground then you can stay in Canyon Village. If you want to camp for wildlife watching then you can camp in Slough Creek.
What to pack for Yellowstone in September
Exploring Yellowstone in the fall is a bit different from visiting in the summer. This is our suggested list of necessary things to bring to Yellowstone if you’re looking for a Yellowstone packing list or want to know what to pack for Yellowstone if you are visiting in the month of September.
1. Bear Spray
Bear spray is the most important thing that you should carry with you while visiting Yellowstone national park. As previously stated, animal activity peaks in the fall. Bears are far more common now than at any other time of year. Bring bear spray with you. Also, keep in mind always walk in a group of at least 4 members by making noise to avoid sudden interaction with a bear. Be extra cautious during the hikes.
If you are in the Yellowstone national park and you want to see the wildlife activities during the peak season we recommend bringing binoculars. Observing animals from a distance with binoculars is the finest (and safest) method to do it. With the help of binoculars, you can easily see the activities of grizzly bears and wolves hiding in the grasses. If you don’t have any idea about what type of binoculars will be best then ask the local camp store about it.
3. Woolen socks
As we have discussed the weather is unpredictable in Yellowstone in September. We recommend packing a few pairs of Woolen socks as they will keep you warm in the cold weather. Woolen socks are quick-dry and odor-free which makes them a lot more helpful in long-distance treks.
4. Extra Heated Layers
The mornings in Yellowstone are chilly irrespective of the weather. Bringing in extra layers will help you keep yourself warm in the unpredictable weather of Yellowstone in September.
5. Sturdy Hiking Boots
You should take advantage of Yellowstone’s hiking paths if you visit in the fall. If you’re going trekking, make sure you have a good pair of hiking boots on hand in case of bad weather. Get supportive and waterproof hiking boots in the local stores of Yellowstone.
6. Park maps of Yellowstone
One of the most important things that you should carry is maps of parks. As we all know that Yellowstone is one of the biggest national parks. It is also said that the park is bigger than in some states. You will get the maps at the entrance gate of the park but if your map is lost you can download it from REI.com also.
This is going to be one of the most fantastic trips to Yellowstone. The only flaw is that you didn’t get enough time to see and do all you wanted to. Infrequent snowfall may be a lovely thing since it generates some lovely vistas.
Yellowstone National Park is best visited in September. Spending time in Yellowstone’s Northern Range is also recommended, especially if you enjoy watching wildlife in the wild. If you are confused about which national park you should visit this season we have written a great article on Yosemite vs Yellowstone.
Yellowstone National Park is especially beautiful in September. We hope this post has provided you with all of the information you require to make a proper decision about whether or not to visit Yellowstone National Park in September. If you have any questions feel free to comment.