8 Advantages to Visiting Yellowstone in the Fall

Visiting Yellowstone in the Fall

Fall in Yellowstone is magical. Summer winds down, kids go back to school and regular work schedules resume. What does that mean? The park is ripe for exploring for a variety of reasons including smaller crowds, active animals, and fall colors. Need more convincing? We've got a list of 8 reasons that you should visit Yellowstone and the greater Bozeman area this fall. 

Fewer Crowds

As kids head back to school the vacation season comes to an end. That means visitation starts slowing down leaving you with lots of space and a nice pace for travel. 

Fall Colors

You’ll see a spectacular display of color. Imagine golden hues of leaves with snow capped mountains in the background. The drive from Bozeman to the park is something of grandeur, whether you take US 191 through Gallatin Canyon to West Yellowstone, or I-90 to Livingston and on through US route 89 to Gardiner, (aptly known as Paradise Valley.)

Fall Bicycling

For a brief period in the fall, while roads are being prepared for winter, the park closes to non-motorized vehicles. This means you get to experience the beauty sans the cars. Keep in mind, it’s important to stay a safe distance from the animals, weather can shift quickly so bring appropriate clothing and watch for park vehicles.



With 900 miles of trails, and cooler weather you’ll find endless opportunities to explore, whether you prefer a quiet stroll or a challenging hike. 



Fall fly fishing is akin to figuring out a new puzzle. Much different than spring or summer hatches, you’ll want to watch for the “fall” (as opposed to a “hatch”.) There is a period where a migration of several types of winged ants migrate. These ants are attracted to the water and other shiny surfaces and when they land, you can guarantee the fish will be feeding. For more tips on fall fishing; Orvis, Secrets of Fall Trout Fishing , HATCH Magazine, Fall Fishing

The Elk Rut

Autumn brings the elk rut, and if you’ve never heard an elk bugle, it’s worth the trip. During the rut, a mature bull can hold 30 or more cows in a herd, which is not normally the case. While the rut is something to behold, other animals are also active in the cooler weather. For the best wildlife viewing, get up early or stay until dusk. 

Raptor Migration

Each fall, Hayden Valley is the prime location to watch the raptor migration. The Yellowstone Raptor Initiative, funded in 2011, was created to monitor the raptors, evaluate their ecological contribution and provide the opportunity to for visitors to learn more about these majestic birds and their migration routes.

Fall Harvest

Restaurants inside and outside of the park pride themselves on sourcing local ingredients and providing sustainable and fresh food to visitors. Fall brings all sorts of vegetables. Whether prepared alone or coupled with local meats, you’ll leave a happy diner. 


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