Yellowstone Backpacking Weather

June in Yellowstone is spring, not summer, and although one might experience occasional bouts of prolonged warm sunshine, Yellowstone backpacking means that one must be prepared for rain, snow, hail, wind and warm sunshine all on any given Yellowstone guided hike — sometimes all on the same day! Yellowstone’s vast high altitude plateau creates its own weather via orographic lifting of moist spring winds that cool as they are forced to rise over the plateau and therefore condense into clouds, often with precipitation. By July, most years, the weather stabilizes, which is not to say that it’s always sunny and warm. In fact, in most of the park clear frosty nights can and do occur throughout the year. But the typical summer days are magnificent, with highs in the 70’s, usually with very low humidity. Nonetheless, the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem gets more summer rain than many of the other high country areas of the Rocky Mountains north of Colorado. Afternoon thunderstorms can be frequent, severe and sudden, though they are usually short-lived. Prolonged steady rains do sometimes occur during the summer, but are rare. Most days have lots of sunshine! By September, nights are crisp, days are usually clear and dry, but in some years, winter makes a short cameo for a day or two with the season’s first snowfall that whitens the peaks and occasionally even the forests and meadows below. All in all, our guiding season in Yellowstone produces lots of great, sometimes exciting weather. And it’s an extremely pleasant respite from the blazing heat and oppressive humidity that many of our Eastern, Southern and Midwestern clients have to deal with when they return home after their adventure in the big wilds of Yellowstone National Park.

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