Early October in Yellowstone

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Posted by Granite Head ( on 10:43:11 08/05/17

In Reply to: Early October posted by Red Hot Mama

Hi Red Hot Mamma! With any luck the weather will be gorgeous in early October, but as you would at any time of year in Yellowstone, dress in layers. You can certainly expect nighttime temperatures to approach freezing, especially at higher elevations. I recommend taking a jacket like a windbreaker that will also keep you dry if it rains. If it's sunny during the day you'll want to take off the jacket, or take of the sweatshirt underneath and put the jacket back on. Yes it can rain and snow (and cause trouble!) in October, so be prepared with shoes with good treads and extra socks :-) I was there in early October last year - photo of this black bear was taken October 7 as he yummed up the last red berry in the park - and it was wonderful. The crowds will have greatly diminished, parking will be pretty easy at the trail heads and geyser basins, and no long waits to get seated for dinner (inside or outside the park). Bison, elk, coyotes, eagles, wolves, maybe even a fox or a moose, will still be around, though other critters like the pronghorn and bighorn sheep, will have migrated out of the park; for a chance to see them meander the Old Yellowstone Trail - depart under Roosevelt Arch and turn left towards Gardiner School and the Yellowstone Heritage Research Center (if you go right you go into the town of Gardiner). Within a few miles you'll start to see wildlife. Continue to East Gate Road (it might be marked Cinnabar Road) turn right (east) to cross over the Yellowstone River and get back on Highway 89, then right (south) and head back into Gardiner and Yellowstone North Entrance.

Yes, most facilities and services in the park will be closed - see link for dates. I gather you're staying at one of the gateway communities outside the park; most stores, gas stations, and eateries in Gardiner, West Yellowstone, and Silver Gate-Cooke City will still be open. At east entrance, the only business is Pahaska Tepee and some, if not all, of Pahaska will be closed. The way I handle that is to gas up outside the park, and pack lunch and plenty of drinks for your daily excursions.

Please let us know what other advice we can provide! Do you want to hike (long, short, steep, flat?), focus on scenery, thoroughly explore the geysers? Some of us love nothing more than chatting about Yellowstone :-)

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