View Full Version : First trip to Yellwostone

18-Apr-2015, 14:03
I'm making my first trip to Yellowstone and was wondering what to expect.I'm going in late October. I've been to Yosemite many times so i know where the sun will be at what time but don't know Yellowstone.I'm going for a week,do I need a full week in Yellowstone??

18-Apr-2015, 14:05
Try net wisdom.

Eric Biggerstaff
18-Apr-2015, 14:10
October is a shoulder month so you will have fewer visitors, nice light and possible storms (be prepared for snow). A full week just in Yellowstone may get a tad burned out but you have the Grand Tetons right next door so you should not run out of things to set up on. I wish I could have a full week with my camera (alone) up there! One of these days................

18-Apr-2015, 16:24
I love fall in that region because the crowds have mostly gone. But the days are getting quite short by October, and there can be lots of of muddy, early season snow.
Yellowstone is nice for the huge untouched backcountry. I like the tetons for playing in steeper mountains.

18-Apr-2015, 17:38
Do you need a week? I've been there five or six times and wish I could just move there permanently. Between there and the Tetons just to the south, there is a whole career of possible images and locations.


Leszek Vogt
18-Apr-2015, 22:25

If you are staying at a motel the temps shouldn't concern you too much. I went there in early Oct (1st week) of 1998 and woke up and it was in the low 20's - camping in a vehicle. Needless to say I was staying in the motel the next night. Yes, you could expect some snow dusting, particularly at higher elev....oh, did I mention the park is at 8000' ? But, the upside is that the crowds will thin to a trickle....at least hope so for your sake.


Jim Becia
19-Apr-2015, 05:12
I'm making my first trip to Yellowstone and was wondering what to expect.I'm going in late October. I've been to Yosemite many times so i know where the sun will be at what time but don't know Yellowstone.I'm going for a week,do I need a full week in Yellowstone??

Having worked there for 5 summer seasons and 2 winter seasons, one week will only whet your appetite. It will be cold in the mornings, but hopefully that will mean foggy mornings and much frost, and a decent chance of snow. The park will be relatively quiet when it comes to visitation. There are so many areas to see and photograph. Enjoy!

Gary Tarbert
19-Apr-2015, 07:00
hi , i find change of season or shoulder months the best time to photograph , In Australia Summer is the worst time IMHO harsh light bigger crowds i could go on , All my favourite shots are spring and autumn , As you know we don't really have a winter so i shoot a bit of b&W in these months . Oh sorry i am rambling . I love these change of season months they are awesome no matter where where you are

Kirk Fry
19-Apr-2015, 21:24
Don't miss Mammoth Hot Springs from the top in the Morning with the sun coming up.

21-Apr-2015, 17:58
OK ,thanks.

21-Apr-2015, 18:37
July camping north of Mammoth Hot Springs... Frost on the tent at sunrise. pack warm.

Drew Wiley
22-Apr-2015, 13:10
You just never know. Can turn pretty darn cold at times. Have a serious sleeping bag in your car - wise policy traveling anywhere in the mtn or desert West. But
I'd opt for off-season myself. Crowded in summer. When the herds of people depart, the wildlife gets more casual and easier to view. Campgrounds get some elbow room. But, on the other hand, many campground, motels, restaurants, and facilities will have closed by Oct. Everything in Jackson is open year-round;
but I'd rather be camped somewhere with solitude myself. Once damn near ran over a couple of moose napping on the highway that time of year. ... though each
of them seemed bigger than my truck itself. That wouldn't have ended well.

22-Apr-2015, 19:52
This site will keep you up to snuff on road conditions within the park. I've been to Yellowstone a number of times. Twice got stopped near the entrances and had to backtrack and go around to another entrance. Last time was the East entrance...bridge work. No signage for over 50 miles until I was within a few miles of the entrance. Had to backtrack over 50 miles to catch the road around to the North entrance. Lost over half a day. Another time, got caught in traffic slowdown by two buffalo's sauntering down the middle of the road over half hour, in the park. Not predictable on the web site!!!

Anyway, this site is kept current.


Have a happy trip. Say hi to that buffalo for me. He's BIG and he's BROWN!!!:cool:

23-Apr-2015, 07:18
Agree with the others on the temperature and weather issues in October. I have been snowed on, and seen nights in the 20s, during the first week of September. Any time after Labor Day, when the kids are back in school, is a great time to visit yellowstone. By late October, sometimes parts of the park are closed due to snow. As you get close to leaving for your trip, contact the visitors center about the conditions and what areas are still open.

The park is at about 8000 feet, or more in some areas. Be prepared also to be much more easily winded than normal, and more easily dehydrated (because of the extra physical exertion), even in cool weather. Bring a good water bottle and carry water with you.

One thing I haven't seen mentioned. If you intend on taking pictures of all the lakes, pools, and hot springs, bring a circular polarizer and adapters for your various lenses (step down rings). The polarizer allows you to cut glare and "see into" the various water features.

Regardless of the format you use, you will probably find yourself wishing for long telephoto lenses and ultrawides; there are so many photos just waiting to be taken.

If you have time, and if the roads aren't closed (ask the visitors center before you leave) drive out Highway 14/16/20 to Cody, WY, then go up 120, turn left at 296, and take 212 back into the park. This loop has some of the most beautiful views in the area. It's a solid day of travel, with stopping for some photography, so leave early, or stay overnight in Cody to give you more time to take photos.